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Limited Releases - First Time for Limited Releases

July 14th, 2006

There are a number of limited releases coming out this week that I've had my eye on. However, while my anticipation was high, their Tomatometer ratings are all quite low. Fortunately, there are a couple of highly rated French films to pick up the slack in that regard.

The Color of Olives - Reviews
A documentary, of sorts, that seems to care more about cinematography than its subjects. Director Carolina Rivas does an excellent job at framing her subjects to show their plight, but what she doesn't do is let them speak. There is almost no dialogue and that ruins the effectiveness of the movie.

Edmond - Reviews
William H. Macy stars as the titular character, a man who decides his life needs a change but while searching for it finds that not all changes are for the better. Given the cast, the writer, and the director, (Stuart Gordon), this movie should be better than it is. The play that it is based on is nearly 25 years old, and the transition to the screen wasn't a smooth one. Also, most of the characters are too dark to care about, and some are too dark to even stomach, which makes for an unpleasant time. Edmond opens tonight in 2 theatres in New York City, including the Quad Cinema.

Excellent Cadavers - Reviews
A documentary about Italian prosecutors, Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, who prosecuted many Mafia types during the 1980s and 1990s. The story was made into an HBO movie in 1999, but this documentary is a superior film. Excellent Cadavers opened on Wednesday at the Film Forum in New York City.

Gabrielle - Reviews
The first of two film from France on this week's list. The films stars Isabelle Huppert, who is one of France's most acclaimed actress, and Pascal Greggory as a couple in turn of the century. The film is earning some of the best reviews this week, but there are some of will find the stylistic choices made by the director, Patrice Chereau, to be distracting. Gabrielle opens tonight at the IFC Center in New York City.

The Groomsmen - Reviews
Edward Burns burst onto the scene more than a decade ago with his film, The Brothers McMullen and there was talk that he would be the next big thing in independent cinema. However, his track record since then has been spotty, at best, with only one movie, his sophomore effort, She's the One, that even comes close to being a hit. This film is not a return to form for Burns, but is it far from his worst effort either and considered its very impressive cast, it could do well enough to expand over the coming weeks and months. The Groomsmen opens tonight in three theatres in New York and Los Angeles.

Mini's First Time - Reviews
A neo-noir film that features an excellent cast but it is just too nasty to be likeable. Consider it a cross between the cruelty of Edmond above and not so sexy sexuality of The Oh in Ohio below. However, it is getting better reviews than either of those two movies and is worth checking out, but unless you live in New York City or Los Angeles, (where it opens tonight), you will have to wait for the home market to see it.

The Oh in Ohio - Reviews
The final of three limited releases I was anticipating, it is also earning the weakest reviews. While some critics enjoyed this sex-comedy, some thought it went too far, but even more thought it didn't go far enough. The filmmakers should have picked one extreme and gone for it, because trying to make a movie for everyone meant fewer people would like it. And since this is a movie about sex, they should have not been so shy about it. The Oh in Ohio opens tonight in more than a dozen theatres, mostly in the southern California region, however, it also opens in Cleveland, where the film was shot, at the Cedar Lee Theatres.

Time to Leave - Reviews
The final film on this week's list is also the one earning the best reviews. Written and directed by Francois Ozon, whose past films include Swimming Pool, 8 Women, and others, it deals with a gay photographer who learns he has an inoperable tumor. In reaction to this news, he alienates his loved ones and isolates himself, until he is asked to help a woman and her sterile husband have a child. Francois Ozon is developing quite a following here, and this film should help his reputation and popularity grow. Time to Leave opens tonight at the Angelika Film Center and the Lincoln Plaza, both in New York City.


Filed under: Limited Releases, Edmond