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Limited Releases are a Real Trip

June 10th, 2011

While this week's list of limited releases isn't as long as some in the past couple of months, it does have one of the best-reviewed films of the summer, The Trip. And while Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon are not exactly household names here, the latest film by Michael Winterbottom could turn out to be his biggest hit here.

Bride Flight - Reviews
Three women travel from Holland to New Zealand to meet their fiancées. However, while on the flight they meet a fellow traveler, Frank, who has a profound effect on their lives. The reviews are strong enough to suggest the film could find success in limited release. However, it is also playing in more theaters than I think its buzz warrants. The only actor with name recognition here is Rutger Hauer, who has a cameo in the film. Bride Flight opens tonight in 20 theaters in select cities nationwide.

Just Like Us - Reviews
A documentary starring and directed by Ahmed Ahmed, who sets forth to disprove the belief that Arabs don't have a sense of humor. My response to that is, "Really? Are there really people who believe that?" The reviews are good, but not great, with many critics saying it's a little lightweight and feels more like a travelogue than a probing documentary. Just Like Us opens tonight in three theaters, one each in New York City, Los Angeles, and Washington.

Road to Nowhere - Reviews
Monte Hellman's return to directing after an absence of more than two decades. And Silent Night, Deadly Night III is not exactly a beloved film. This film is closer in quality to Two-Lane Blacktop, the film he is best known for. The film-within-a-film story could find an audience with art house crowds, but its reviews are currently below the 80% positive level I would like to see for a limited release. Hopefully it will beat the odds. Road to Nowhere opens tonight at the City Cinemas Village East in New York City before expanding to Los Angeles next week, but it will probably have to wait till the home market to fund a receptive audience. Since it very likely won't expand to where I live, I'm willing to wait.

The Trip - Reviews
If you see only one movie this weekend, see this one. Michael Winterbottom's latest stars Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, who play fictionalized versions of themselves. In the movie they go on a week-long road trip to check out and review various restaurants. It's not much of a plot, but the improvisational talents of the two leads means you don't need a complex plot to carry a movie. On the other hand, I would be much happier to grab the full TV mini-series it was culled from instead, but the only DVD release on is in PAL, so there's no point in that. The Trip opens tonight in six theaters, split between New York City and the Los Angeles area. I really, really hope it expands.

Troll Hunter - Reviews
A group of college students travel to the frozen wilderness of Norway to capture a troll on film. This film has generated some advance buzz with genre fans, but I'm not sure that will be enough to thrive in limited release. Firstly, it's the wrong genre for limited release. Secondly, its reviews are a little lower than I would like. And thirdly, it is a foreign language film. Some foreign language horror films have succeeded, but not many. Troll Hunter opens tonight at the City Cinemas Village East in New York City.

Viva Riva! - Reviews
A film from the Democratic Republic of Congo, which is not a country from which we see a lot of films. Patsha Bay plays the titular Riva, a small time hustler looking for his first big score, but competition for crime bosses, the dangers of warlords, and a potential romance get in the way. The reviews are very good, but I don't think it has the buzz to make it big. Viva Riva! opens tonight in three theaters, including the Angelika Film Center in New York City and the Nuart Theatre in Los Angeles.


Filed under: Limited Releases, Trolljegeren, The Trip, Bride Flight, Road to Nowhere, Just Like Us, Viva Riva!