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Don't Let the Limited Releases be Left in the Cold

September 21st, 2007

We are starting to see award season heat up with not only a couple of potential award season players opening this week, but several others expanding wide. However, with a lot of competition, some might get lost in the shuffle.

Antonia - Reviews
One of the best reviewed films of the week, this Brazilian film tells the story of four women in a hip hop band who try to breakout of poverty while breaking into the music business. There's a lot of pitfalls the filmmakers could have succumb to while making a story like that, but they managed to avoid them and come up with a solid dramatic story. Antonia opens tonight in three theaters, including the Quad Cinema in New York City.

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford - Reviews
Clearly made to win awards, I was never sold of the film's prospects. Now that reviews are in, I see I was justified. That is not to say it is a bad movie as 71% positive would be a great score for a wide release, but it is not high enough to be consider Oscar worthy. In fact, in might not be enough to survive limited release. Then again, it does have some star power that could help it do well enough to expand wide over the coming weeks. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford opens tonight in 15 theaters, mostly in Texas.

Beauty Remains - Reviews
A Chinese take on the Cinderella story with one sister forced to be a maid for the other, spoiled sister in order to fulfil their father's will. It's reviews are good, but not good enough to survive the competitive limited release market. Beauty Remains opens tonight at the Cinema Village in New York City.

Cover - No Reviews
A movie about a married black man who is secretly gay. The film may or may not be opening tonight; a few sites have this as the release date, but so far there are no reviews, no buzz, not even a website.

Into the Wild - Reviews
Another possible Oscar contender opening this week, this film's best shot at award season glory in the cinematography, but the performance by Emile Hirsch and the directing of Sean Penn. So far Sean Penn has only directed a handful of movies, but this is clearly his best and while I don't think it will be a big player, it might earn enough buzz to help it stay in theaters longer. Into the Wild opens tonight in four theaters, two in New York City and two in the Los Angeles area.

The Jane Austin Book Club - Reviews
Another film that is earning mere average reviews, in fact, at 57% positive, it has slipped below the 60% threshold needed for an overall fresh rating. Combine these soft reviews with the widest opening for a limited release of the week and you have trouble. Then again, Becoming Jane had nearly identical reviews and a wider opening and it managed to surprise. The Jane Austin Book Club opens tonight in 25 theaters, mostly in California.

The Last Winter - Reviews
The second film coming out this weekend that is set in Alaska. This is also one of the best reviewed film of the week. Ron Perlman stars as Ed Pollack, an oil worker whose crew is attacked by unseen forces in this ecological horror film. The scares here come from equal parts gore and mood and without the 'torture-porn' aspects that have dominated the genre for the last few years. The is great news for fans of genuine horror films, but this is a genre that has not succeeded in limited release for a while. The Last Winter opened on Wednesday at the IFC Center in New York City and expands to the Landmark Nuart Theatre in Los Angeles tonight.

The Man of My Life - Reviews
A man suffers from marital troubles after forming a bond with a gay man who moves in next door. It's an interesting premise, but the execution is week. It's a little too melodramatic and doesn't feel fresh enough. The Man of My Life opens tonight at the Quad Cinema in New York City.

Randy and the Mob - No Reviews
Writer / director Ray McKinnon plays Randy, a man who has gotten into debt with the mob and must seek advice from his estranged gay twin brother. His previous film, Crystal, barely registered at the box office; I don't suspect this one will do much better. Randy and the Mob opens tonight in five theaters in Georgia before touring the south over the coming weeks.


Filed under: Limited Releases, Into the Wild, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, The Jane Austen Book Club, Cover, Randy and the Mob, The Last Winter, L'homme de sa vie, Mei ren yi jiu, Antônia - O Filme