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Will Limited Releases Shine?

April 9th, 2010

As is the norm, there is an eclectic mix of limited release on this week's list, including a documentary, a horror film, an Australian film noir, and even two Canadian films. There should be something for everyone here, but none have a guaranteed path to box office success.

After.Life - Reviews
A horror film with weak reviews that is opening in far too many theaters. That's strike one, two, and three right there. In the film, Christina Ricci stars as a woman who gets into a car accident, only to wake up and find Liam Neeson preparing her for burial. He says she's dead. She disagrees with his professional assessment. Could be a great setup to a suspenseful film, but critics say the end result says otherwise. After.Life opens tonight in more than 40 theaters, but that is likely as far as it will go.

It Came from Kuchar - Reviews
A documentary about the underground filmmakers George and Mike Kuchar. It's a good introduction to their work, while fans should enjoy the praise-laden interviews. Those who do like it will want to check out more of the brothers' work, which should be the goal for all documentaries like this. It Came from Kuchar opens tonight at the Anthology Film Archives in New York City.

A Shine of Rainbows - Reviews
The first of two Canadian films on this week's list, it is also an Irish co-production. This one is written and directed by Vic Sarin, who previously made Partition, a film which only earned mixed reviews and never really found an audience. This film has a better chance, as it is earning some excellent reviews, although very few of them appear on Rotten Tomatoes. (This is not surprising, as it is not opening in the United States, at least not yet.) A Shine of Rainbows opens tonight in English Canada before expanding into Quebec in two weeks.

The Square - Reviews
An Australian film noir about two married people having an affair. When the women steals from her criminal husband so they can start a new life together, their plans don't go as smoothly as they had hoped. So far this film is earning amazing reviews with more than a few comparing the movie to the Coen brothers. Part of this comparison is because this film was written by Joel Edgerton and directed by his brother, Nash. But a lot of this has to do with the style and quality. I'm not sure the film will be a box office hit here. After all, it's tough for a limited release, even one with reviews this good. But it could be the start of a new career for the two. The Square opens tonight at the Sunshine Cinema in New York City and the Nuart Theatre in Los Angeles.

The Wild Hunt - Reviews
A Canadian film about a group of medieval re-enactors that are interrupted when the ex-boyfriend of one of their participants tries to win her back. If you are a fan of Monster Camp (and you should be) then this is worth checking out. However, since it makes its theatrical debut tonight in theaters in Vancouver and Montreal, most people reading this will have to wait till the home market to see it.

Women Without Men - Reviews
A film set in 1953 Iran and based on a novel by Shahrnush Parsipur. It tells the stories of four women caught up in the CIA-led coup that ousted the democratically elected leader and reinstalled the Shah as supreme leader. Reviews are good, but not quite at the 80% positive level usually associated with success in limited release. On the other hand, there are not that many reviews either, so maybe by the time more critics review it, its score will climb to that level. The lack of reviews suggests that there's not enough buzz and it won't last long enough for many critics to review it. Women Without Men opened tonight in Los Angeles in a couple Laemmle locations.


Filed under: Limited Releases, The Square, After.Life, Women Without Men, It Came From Kuchar