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Countdown to Limited Releases

July 23rd, 2010

We have four limited releases on this week's list, five if you count the re-release of Orlando, which is arguably the best film to check out. The only other release opening in more than a single theater is Countdown to Zero.

Countdown to Zero - Reviews
A documentary on the nuclear arms race that touches on a number of interesting aspects of that subject. I heard about this documentary last week and was doing some research. Did you know that the United States has enough active nuclear weapons to nuke every city in the world with a population of 500,000 or more, three times over. This includes cities in the United States, like Toledo, Ohio. And the United States has more than three times that many in reserve. This seems excessive to me. And when you hear some of the stories about how World War III was nearly accidentally started, it makes a whole lot of sense to cut back. Countdown to Zero opens tonight in four theaters, half in New York City, but also in Washington, D.C., plus a one-day screening at the Strand Theatre in Rockland, Maine this Sunday.

Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child - Reviews
A documentary on Jean-Michel Basquiat, who was the first African-American artist to become an international star. He was also the subject of a previously made biopic, Basquiat. This film is earning better reviews, but chances are it won't make as much at the box office. Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child opened on Wednesday at the Film Forum in New York City.

Life During Wartime - Reviews
Writer / director Todd Solondz's follow-up to Happiness. The film's cast is impressive and includes Shirley Henderson, Allison Janney, Ciarán Hinds, and many other; however, it's reviews are only good and not up to the usual level associated with success in limited release. Since Happiness, Todd Solondz hasn't had a lot of critical or box office success. And since that film came out more than a decade ago, it might be too much to ask for moviegoers to check out this film based on that one's reviews. Perhaps it will be the big hit of the week, but it will have an uphill climb ahead of it. Life During Wartime opens tonight at the IFC Center in New York City.

Spoken Word - No Reviews
Directed by Victor Nunez, whose last release was Coastlines, which I actually reviewed way back when it hit DVD. So far there are no reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, while the few I've seen online are not positive. The story of a son returning to a dysfunctional family he left behind is not an original one and there are too many clichés thrown into the mix for it to work here. Spoken Word opens tonight in BIG Cinema Manhattan before expanding to Los Angeles next week.


Filed under: Limited Releases, Countdown to Zero