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What If poster

Last week, there was only one limited release that I thought would do well, Calvary. This week might be even weaker. There is only one film earning a good amount of buzz, What If. Unfortunately, its reviews are likely not as good as they need to be. Again like last week, there are also a couple of documentaries that could find audiences in limited release: Fifi Howls from Happiness and The Dog.

About Alex - Reviews
A group of college friends reunite after one of them attempts suicide. This isn't an unique premise, nor is the cast given enough to work with in the script. It isn't a bad movie, but with reviews that are just under 50% positive, it isn't good enough to survive in limited release. About Alex opens tonight in nearly a dozen theaters, including a couple in Canada, while it is also playing on Video on Demand.

The Admiral: Roaring Currents - No Reviews
This film opened in its native South Korea last weekend and dominated the box office. There are no reviews here, so it is impossible to judge how good the movie is. Additionally, it is based on an important historical war in South Korea, so there's little reason to assume it will resonate with American audiences. The Admiral opens tonight at the CGV Cinemas in Los Angeles before expanding significantly next weekend. Check out the official site for more details.

After - Reviews
A family could be torn apart by a family secret. The film is only earning 11% positive reviews, so its box office chances in limited release are close to zero. After opens tonight in New York City, Atlanta, Dallas, and Houston, while it is also playing on Video on Demand.

Deepsea Challenge - Reviews
A look at James Cameron's attempt to dive down the Mariana Trench. It's an interesting technical problem and there are some good visuals along the way, but the overall package hasn't won over most critics. Deepsea Challenge opens tonight in more than 300 theaters nationwide.

The Dog - Reviews
A documentary about John Wojtowicz, who was the subject of Dog Day Afternoon. Many critics are arguing that the real story is more intriguing than the movie. It could do well in limited release, at least compared to most documentaries. The Dog opens tonight in four theaters, split evenly between New York City and the Los Angeles area.

Fifi Howls from Happiness - Reviews
A documentary about Bahman Mohassess, a gay Iranian artist, who was living in Italy at the time of filming this documentary, because being gay in Iran is not exactly tolerated. The film is earning perfect reviews so far, which means it should do well in limited release, at least for a documentary. Then again, documentaries rarely have breakout success. Fifi Howls from Happiness opens tonight at the Lincoln Plaza Cinema in New York City.

The Maid's Room - Reviews
Paula Garces stars as a maid for an upper-class family, a family that seems great. However, their son commits a hit-and-run and she is a witness. Now she has to decide whether or not to report what she saw, which is complicated, because the seemingly great family turns dark when they need to protect their son. The reviews are weak and thrillers like this usually do better on the home market than in limited release. The Maid's Room opens tonight in New York City and Los Angeles.

Web Junkie - Reviews
A documentary about internet addiction in China, which is considered such a huge problem that the government has set up camps to help the afflicted. The reviews are good, but not great, while documentaries rarely have breakout success in limited release. Web Junkie opened on Wednesday at the Film Forum in New York City.

What If - Reviews
Daniel Radcliffe stars as Wallace, a med school drop-out who is struggling to find a way in life. He meets Chanty and there's instant chemistry, but she has a boyfriend. This film is earning the loudest buzz, but the reviews are only good and not great. I think the starpower of the cast could help it survive in limited release. What If opens tonight in 20 theaters in select cities nationwide.

What Now? Remind Me - Reviews
A documentary about Joaquim Pinto, who also wrote and directed the movie. He has been a part of Portuguese cinema for three decades and has been living with HIV for two decades. The film is earning perfect reviews so far, but there are only three of them on Rotten Tomatoes, so it is too soon to guess where it will end up. However, we can say that with just three reviews, there might not be enough buzz to thrive in limited release. What Now? Remind Me opens tonight at the Film Society Lincoln Center in New York City.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2014-08-08