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Limited Releases taking a Cautious Approach

September 28th, 2007

A couple more award season hopefuls debut this week, including one of the most talked about releases of the season, Lust, Caution. It will be interesting to see if its NC-17 rating will prevent it from earning mainstream success, or even turn off award voters.

The Darjeeling Limited - Reviews
The latest from Wes Anderson has Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, and Jason Schwartzman as three brothers trying to reconnect on a train tour of India. It's more of the same from Wes Anderson, which is both good and bad. It's a step up from The Life Aquatic, but not up to the same level as Rushmore, for instance. Those who are ardent fans of the director will likely be pleased, but others may have grown tired of his style. The Darjeeling Limited opens tomorrow, but I'm not sure why its opening on a Saturday.

Itty Bitty Titty Committee - Reviews
The latest film from Jamie Babbit, whose previous works include The Quiet and But I'm a Cheerleader. The film stars Melonie Diaz, from the upcoming Be Kind Rewind, as Anna, a young lesbian who falls in with a woman's organization protesting the plastic surgery clinic where she works. Reviews are mixed with the negative ones admitting there some cult appeal here and the positive ones admitting it could have used a little more polish. Itty Bitty Titty Committee opens tonight at the Laemmles Sunset 5 in Los Angeles but will likely have to wait till the home market to find an audience.

Johnny Gadaar - No Reviews
The latest India film is opening in 9 theaters tonight with no reviews, no advanced buzz, not even an official site.

Lust, Caution - Reviews
Ang Lee's follow-up to Brokeback Mountain was slapped with an NC-17 rating by the MPAA, but instead of cutting the film to get a lower rating, they decided to release it as is. There have been very few NC-17 films released in theaters since the rating was introduced in 1990, and almost none that have crossed $10 million at the box office. However, the success of Brokeback Mountain and Lust, Caution's win at the Venice Film Festival should help this film perform well here. I don't think $10 million is in its future, but $5 million is. Lust, Caution opens tonight at the Lincoln Plaza in New York City and could win the race atop the per theater chart.

Outsourced - Reviews
Josh Hamilton stars as a salesman sent to India to help train is replacement after his division is outsourced. It's a culture clash comedy that is earning good reviews, but there are too many award season hopefuls that are hogging all of the spotlight for this film to thrive. Outsourced opens tonight in 8 theaters, mostly in the Northwest area of the United States.

The Price of Sugar - Reviews
A documentary narrated by Paul Newman about the near slave-like conditions the farm workers in the Dominican Republic toiling away in sugar farms. A powerful film that shows the dark side of globalization and how consumers can unknowingly support the exploitation of workers by the decisions they make at the cash register. The Price of Sugar opens tonight at the Cinema Village in New York City.

Shake Hands with the Devil - Reviews
A Canadian film about the horrors in Rwanda based on the book by the Canadian general who was in charge of the U.N. operations there. This is not the first film to deal with this story, in fact, it's the fourth, but considering the world's continued inaction with regards to other genocide happening around the world today, it is still an important story to tell. Shake Hands with the Devil opens tonight in English Canada while it will open in Quebec in October.

Sharkwater - Reviews
A documentary that takes viewers to some of the most shark invested waters in the world and shows them how these environmentally sensitive creatures are being exploited. What could be just a simple animal documentary is a lot more dangerous when the filmmakers have to deal with the real threat, people from poachers to pirates. Sharkwater opens tonight in 60 theaters, including many in Florida.

Trade - Reviews
This movie deals with the international sex trade business, which is a very difficult story to tell. However, in an attempt to avoid feeling exploitive, the film fails to be as compelling as it should be. TO compound matters, the film is opening in 90 theaters, which is too many for most for a limited release to survive in and it is very likely that this is as wide as it will go.


Filed under: Limited Releases, The Darjeeling Limited, Se jie, Sharkwater, Trade, The Price of Sugar, Shake Hands with the Devil