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Limited Releases: Signaling Defeat

June 13th, 2014

The Signal poster

Just a quick look at the list of limited releases coming out this week you will find more than a few that are earning great reviews. However, you will also find more than a few that are earning more negative reviews than positive ones. Of the ones earning fantastic reviews, most don't have a lot of buzz. I'm not sure any will be a breakout hit. Both The Amazing Catfish and Burning Bush are earning perfect reviews, so hopefully they will at least do relatively well.

All Cheerleaders Die - Reviews
Caitlin Stasey stars as Maddy, who joins the cheerleaders to get revenge on a football player, only all of the other cheerleaders die and come back as zombies. It's a horror comedy with mixed reviews. It very likely won't find an audience in theaters, but it could do relatively well on the home market. All Cheerleaders Die opens tonight in ten theaters in select cities nationwide, as well as video on demand. Check out the official site for more details.

The Amazing Catfish - Reviews
A film about two women, Claudia and Martha, who meet while they are both in the hospital. After they get out, Martha asks Claudia to stay with her and her four children and she bonds with her new family. There are only five reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, but all of them are positive. Additionally, films aimed at Hispanic audiences have been doing relatively well recently, so this film could find an audience in theaters. The Amazing Catfish opens tonight at the Village East Cinema in New York City.

Burning Bush - Reviews
This is a TV mini-series recut for a theatrical release. It is about Jan Palach, a Czech student, who in 1969 committed suicide by setting himself on fire to protest about the brutal Communist crack down in his country. The reviews are perfect so far, but I'm not sure how well this story will connect with audiences here. Burning Bush opened on Wednesday at the Film Forum in New York City.

Evergreen: The Road to Legalization - Reviews
A documentary that looks at the political campaign in Washington state that would determine if marijuana would become legal for recreational use. There are not a lot of reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, which suggests a lack of buzz, but they are mostly positive, which is a good sign. Polls suggest the move to legalize pot is gaining mainstream appeal, so this film could benefit at the box office. Evergreen: The Road to Legalization opens tonight at the Cinema Village in New York City.

Hellion - Reviews
A drama about a family falling apart after the death of the mother. The father is too depressed to do much but drink, while his two young sons are developing serious behavioral problems. The film's reviews are mixed at exactly 50% positive, so it likely won't find an audience in theaters. Hellion opens tonight at the IFC Center in New York City.

The Human Race - Reviews
Eighty people are captured by a mysterious light and forced to compete a race to the death. The reviews are good, but not great, and like I've said many times, it generally takes great reviews for a film to survive in limited release. The Human Race opens tonight in Los Angeles, as well as on Video on Demand.

I Am I - Reviews
A woman, Jocelyn Towne, meets her father, Kevin Tighe, for the first time at her mother's funeral. However, his memory is fading and he thinks he is a young man and she is her mother. At first she goes along with his delusions, because she wants to learn more about her father, but this can't end well. I Am I opens tonight in New York City and Los Angeles, as well as on Video on Demand.

Ivory Tower - Reviews
A documentary about the high cost of higher education. The reviews are good, but not great. Many critics say it touches on too many topics, so it is not as focused as it should be, but it is still worth checking out. Ivory Tower opens tonight New York City and Los Angeles.

Life's a Breeze - No Reviews
A family in Ireland decides to do something nice for their matriarch by cleaning her home. However, the mattress they throw out contained her life savings, more than $1 million. There are no reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, which suggests no buzz and without buzz, it has little hope at the box office. Life's a Breeze opens tonight, but I can't find an official site for its American release.

Lullaby - Reviews
The estranged son of a rich family learns his father asked to be taken off life support and only has a day or two to live. He returns home to repair family relations. The film's reviews are really bad with most critics attacking the script for cliché after cliché, as well as an emotionally manipulative plot and stilted language. Lullaby opens tonight in select cities, as well as on Video on Demand.

Policeman - Reviews
A film from Israel about terrorism; however, the extremists in this case are Israelis set on changing the economic system, which sets it apart. It also means it will resonate more with audiences outside of Israel. Policeman opens tonight in New York City and Los Angeles.

The Rover - Reviews
This film takes place in a post-apocalyptic Australia and it focuses on Guy Pearce, whose car was stolen by a gang. He uses one of their injured members, Robert Pattinson, to track them down and get it back. The reviews are good, but not great, so it likely won't find an audience in theaters. The Rover opens tonight in New York City and Los Angeles before expanding "wide" next weekend. The official site says wide, but I think that's an exaggeration.

The Signal - Reviews
A Sci-fi horror film about a couple of hackers on a road trip who follow clues to a reclusive master hacker, and wake up in a strange laboratory. There are a lot of reviews, but right now they are split exactly 50/50. Additionally, it is the wrong genre for limited release. Finally, it is opening in 120 theaters, which is too many for limited release.

Violette - Reviews
A biography about French novelist Violette Leduc, and Simone de Beauvoir, whom she meet in Post-World War II. The film debuted in Canada last year and it is making its American debut tonight. Its reviews are good, but not great, so its box office potential is mixed. Violette opens tonight in two theaters, both in New York City, and it expands over the coming weeks. Check out the official site for more details.

Witching and Bitching - Reviews
A group of men rob a Cash-4-Gold place and escape. They hide from the cops in the woods, woods where a group of cannibal witches live. The reviews are great, but it is a horror comedy. It is a foreign-language horror comedy. Witching and Bitching opens tonight at the IFC Center in New York City.


Filed under: Limited Releases, All Cheerleaders Die, Violette, The Rover, The Signal, Evergreen: The Road to Legalization, Ivory Tower, Lullaby, Hellion, I Am I, Las brujas de Zugarramurdi, Horici ker, The Human Race, Ha-shoter, Los insolitos peces gato, Robert Pattinson, Guy Pearce, Kevin Tighe, Caitlin Stasey, Jocelyn Towne, Ximena Ayala, Lisa Owen