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Limited Releases Are What They Are

September 27th, 2013

There are a lot of limited releases on this week's list, including a few earning stellar reviews. There are also a few with weak reviews or that are the wrong genre to thrive in limited release. One film fits into both ends of the spectrum, We Are What We Are, which is earning great reviews, but as a horror film, likely won't find an audience till the home market. Hopefully I am wrong. Inequality for All is earning even better reviews, but it is a documentary, so it have very little chance to expand. On the Job has the best reviews of the week, but it is a foreign-language action film, so it will likely not earn breakout success.

As I Lay Dying - Reviews
Co-written and directed by James Franco. This is not the first film he has directed, but he has yet to find success behind the camera. This film's reviews are below 50% positive, so it is unlikely that this movie will end that streak. As I Lay Dying opens tonight in select cities.

Dark Touch - Reviews
Missy Keating stars as 11-year old Neve, or Niamh, depending on what source you read. Her family is murdered, by her house. Of course, the cops don't believe her when she says that, instead believing a murderous gang is responsible. But she sees signs that the evil that killed her family isn't gone. The film's reviews are good, but generally speaking, limited releases need great reviews. Furthermore, it is the wrong genre and it is debuting on Video on Demand as well. I don't think the film will thrive in limited release. Dark Touch opens tonight at the IFC Center in New York City.

Inequality for All - Reviews
Robert Reich is one of the smartest people around when it comes to the economy, so any effort made to spread his message is a cause I can get behind. Fortunately, this film not only has an important message, it also has stellar reviews. Unfortunately, there have been a lot of political documentaries recently, and the market might have gone past the point of saturation. Inequality for All opens tonight in nearly 30 theaters nationwide.

Metallica: Through the Never - Reviews
The widest limited release of the week. It is not a documentary or a concert film, but an action film that takes place during a Metallica concert and intercut with footage from a real concert in 2012. It's a high concept film, but the reviews suggest it works. On the other hand, Metallica: Through the Never opens tonight in 308 theaters and that might turn out to be too many.

Morning - Reviews
This film was shot in 2010, but it is only coming out in limited release this week before coming out in DVD on Tuesday. That's a bad sign. Its reviews are weak, but not terrible, but I doubt that will make a difference at the box office. Morning opens tonight in New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

Muscle Shoals - Reviews
A documentary about Muscle Shoals, Alabama, which has a special place in Rock'n'Rock and R&B history. The film's reviews are amazing and hopefully it will do well for a documentary. Muscle Shoals opens tonight at the IFC Center in New York City before expanding during the month of October.

The Network - Reviews
A documentary about the first independent TV station in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, there are not many reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and the ones that are there are only mixed. There's not even an official site. The Network opens tonight, but I'm not sure where, because there is no site to check out.

On the Job - Reviews
An action film from the Philippines. In the movie, two criminals are released from prison to carry out executions in exchange for reduced sentences. However, at the same time, two cops are trying to figure out why so many criminals are being killed, but their investigation is stymied, because unbeknownst to them, their main suspects are back in prison while they are trying to investigate the latest killing. The reviews are perfect at the moment, but action films rarely do well in limited release. On the Job opens tonight in nearly 30 theaters, including many in Canada. Check out the official site for more details.

The Secret Lives of Dorks - Reviews
Payton is in love with Carrie, the head cheerleader. However, Carrie is not interested, so she tries to set up Payton with Samantha. It's the wrong genre for limited releases and the reviews are not good. Perhaps it will find an audience in the home market. The Secret Lives of Dorks opens tonight in 15 cities, including Toronto, Canada.

Shepard and Dark - Reviews
A documentary about the friendship between Sam Shepard and Johnny Dark, which began in the 1960s and continues to this day. There are not a lot of reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and they are only mostly good. I'm not sure there is a large enough audience for this film to survive in limited release. Shepard and Dark opens on Wednesday in the IFC Center in New York City.

Therese - Reviews
Elizabeth Olsen stars as the titular Therese, who is forced by her aunt, Jessica Lange, to marry her sickly cousin, Tom Felton, only to begin an affair with his best friend, Oscar Isaac. There is only one review on Rotten Tomatoes, which is a bad sign. It is positive, but still, it is a sign there is not enough buzz for this film. Therese opens tonight in select cities.

We Are What We Are - Reviews
Frank Parker is the head of the family, but when he dies, his two daughters, Rose and Iris have to take over his duties, which include... Well, that would be a spoiler, unless you've seen the original. The reviews are amazing, but horror films rarely find an audience in limited release. We Are What We Are opens tonight in two theaters, one in New York City, Sunshine Cinema, and the other in Los Angeles, Nuart Theatre.


Filed under: Limited Releases, Morning, , Metallica Through the Never, The Network, We Are What We Are, Inequality for All, Muscle Shoals, The Secret Lives of Dorks, Shepard & Dark, On The Job, Dark Touch, Gaelan Connell, Tom Felton, James Franco, Oscar Isaac, Jessica Lange, Bill Sage, Sam Shepard, Vanessa Marano, Elizabeth Olsen, Riley Voelkel, Ambyr Childers, Johnny Dark, Julia Garner, Missy Keating