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Everyone Wants to see Limited Releases

September 5th, 2008

It's the first weekend of autumn, but there are not a lot of limited releases to talk about, and even fewer that have a serious shot a thriving in limited release. Oh well, at least Awards Season is nearing, and we should have plenty of top notch limited releases to discuss in the coming weeks.

Everyone Wants to be Italian - Reviews
A romantic comedy about a man, Jay Jablonski, who has to pretend to be Italian in order to find true love. For a limited release, this film has been building buzz for quite a while. Has it been worth the wait? Looking at the reviews, the answer appears to be no. Overloaded with Italian stereotypes and romantic comedy clich├ęs, there's not enough charm to be romantic, nor is there enough humor to be a comedy. Additionally, Everyone Wants to be Italian is opening in nearly 100 theaters nationwide, which is too many for this type of release.

Mister Foe - Reviews
A coming of age movie starring Jamie Bell as the titular Mr. Foe. Hallam Foe is a 17-year old boy whose mother committed suicide, but he blames his new stepmother for killing her. Jamie Bell has quite a bit of Indie cred still, and the movie is getting good reviews, but it is just below the 80% I usually associate with the minimum needed to succeed in limited release. I'm not writing off the film, but it is far from a secure hit either. Mister Foe opens tonight in two theaters: Angelika Film Center in New York City and the Landmark in Los Angeles.

Ping Pong Playa - Reviews
A film about an Asian-American man, Christopher "C-Dub" Wang, who mourns over his failed basketball career, but when tragedy strikes, he takes over his mom's ping pong classes, which might be his road to salvation. So far this film has only managed mixed reviews, with more than one critic calling it slight and predictable, but some think that the film has enough charm to compensate. Others strongly agree, saying the main character was annoying, the jokes crossed the line and were racist, misogynistic, homophobic, etc. Ping Pong Playa opens tonight in nine theaters, mostly in the Los Angeles area.

Save Me - Reviews
Chad Allen plays Mark, a gay man who is addicted to drugs and sex. He turns to Genesis House to cure him of both additions, but their mission is to pray the gay away. So far reviews have been strong, but there are not enough to really say how much of a shot the film has at finding an audience on the tight limited release market. Additionally, the usual audiences might be taking a break after the summer rush, while preparing for the Awards Season rush, which will be starting shortly.

A Secret - Reviews
A French film set just after World War II, which is told with flashbacks as we uncover the family secret affecting a Jewish family. So far there have been few reviews to be found, but almost all of those I did find were positive, and it feels like it is a good fit for the art house crowds. A Secret opens tonight in two theaters, both in New York City.

Surfer, Dude - No Reviews
Matthew McConaughey stars as Steve Addington, a surfer who returns to Malibu, but who learns you can't go home again. There's several well known actors in this movie, but there are zero reviews and it is opening in Austin, Texas, which is not known for film premieres or surfing. This is not a good sign. Surfer, Dude opens tonight at the Regal Gateway Stadium 16 in Austin, Texas and is expanding next Friday.


Filed under: Limited Releases, Un secret, Everybody Wants to Be Italian, Save Me, Ping Pong Playa, Mister Foe, Surfer, Dude