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Limited Releases: Going Mental for Limited Releases

March 29th, 2013

It's kind of a mixed week when it comes to limited releases. There are quite a few of them, but not many that have good reviews and strong buzz. The best of these is Blancanieves, which I thought opened previously. There are some with good reviews and some with buzz, but not a lot that scream hit. The Place Beyond the Pines probably has the best chance at hitting major milestones.

Blancanieves - Reviews
I guess it is coming out this week. I talked about it earlier, so there's not much more that needs to be said. Blancanieves opens tonight in a handful of theaters in New York City and the Los Angeles area.

Detour - Reviews
Neil Hopkins stars as a man whose car is swallowed up by a mudslide and has to learn how to survive with the limited resources at hand. The setup isn't bad, but the reviews are only mixed and this is the feature-length debut for the director, William Dickerson. It will likely not thrive in limited release. Detour is opening tonight in select cities, as well as Video on Demand.

Family Weekend - Reviews
Olesya Rulin stars as Emily Smith-Dungy, a young lady tired of dealing with her bad parents. Her mother cares more about her career and her father is too laid back to care about anything. After they miss her state regionals in jump rope, she decides to kidnap them and teach them what it takes to be better parents. This is not the type of film that tends to thrive in limited release, and the reviews won't help. It should perform better on the home market. Family Weekend opens tonight in New York, Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago and Dallas.

Mental - Reviews
A big cast and a writer / director with some hits under his belt. However, this film is earning mixed reviews. The reviews wouldn't be fatal if it were opening wide, but it is debuting in select cities, so it would need great reviews to thrive. It is also a black comedy and these films are really hard to sell to moviegoers. Perhaps the big names will help the film during its opening weekend, but that likely won't last too long.

The Place Beyond the Pines - Reviews
This film has a lot of buzz, especially compared to most limited releases, but the reviews are only good and not great. Its cast is phenomenal, not just with strong name recognition, but the two leads are also both Oscar-nominated actors. I think this will help it thrive during its opening weekend, but then the reviews will come into play. The Place Beyond the Pines opens tonight in four theaters, split between New York City and the Los Angeles area.

Renoir - Reviews
A biopic of Pierre-Auguste Renoir, an Impressionist painter, who became reinvigorated when he discovered a new muse. The reviews are very good and it is a subject that should appeal to fans of art house cinema. On the other hand, it is not the only film in this genre coming out this week, so the market is split. Renoir opens tonight at the Lincoln Plaza Cinema in New York City.

Room 237 - Reviews
A documentary about The Shining, specifically the conspiracy theories around it. Stanley Kubrick was such a details oriented director that some people think this film was about the Holocaust, or the treatment of Native Americans, or the conspiracy about the Moon Landing Hoax, and he hid little hints throughout the movie. Stanley Kubrick was detail oriented, so he might have put in little hints. He was also a trickster. He gave maps of the famous hedge maze to the cast and crew, so they wouldn't get lost in it. However, the maze had moveable walls, because they needed to get the camera in there to film. Partway through the shoot, he changed the maze and didn't tell anyone, so the maps no longer helped people if they got lost. Now that's a prank. He might be pranking these people from the grave. The reviews are excellent and this is the kind of film art house fans might flock to. Unfortunately, I don't think it will expand beyond that group. Room 237 opens tonight at the IFC Center in New York City.

Violeta Went to Heaven - Reviews
A biopic of Violeta Parra, here played by Francisca Gavilan, her revival of the traditional Chilean folk music and how that helped spur political change. The film's reviews are very good and the subject matter is one that should appeal to art house aficionados, but I don't think it has much appeal beyond that group. Violeta Went to Heaven opens tonight at the Quad Cinema in New York City, among other theaters.

Welcome to the Punch - Reviews
James MacAvoy stars as a police detective trying to capture a career criminal, Mark Strong, who has alluded him for a long time. The reviews are only mixed, while the buzz is rather weak compared to the name recognition of the star. Welcome to the Punch opened on Wednesday at the IFC Center in New York City.

Wrong - Reviews
From the writer / director of Rubber, Quentin Dupieux. This film also stars Jack Plotnick and is earning slightly better reviews and it is not quite as weird a film, so it has a little better shot at box office success. Wrong has been playing on Video on Demand and opens tonight in select cities. Check out the official site for details.


Filed under: Limited Releases, Violeta se fue a los cielos, The Place Beyond the Pines, Renoir, Blancanieves, Wrong, Welcome to the Punch, Room 237, Mental, Family Weekend, Detour, Kristin Chenoweth, P.J. Hogan, Stanley Kubrick, Matthew Modine, Jack Plotnick, Mark Strong, Olesya Rulin, Neil Hopkins, Quentin Dupieux, James MacAvoy, Francisca Gavilan, William Dickerson