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Viva Limited Releases!

August 11th, 2006

More than ten limited releases on this week's list including a couple that should earn some measure of mainstream success, Conversations with Other Women and Half Nelson. While the Canadian release, Bon Cop, Bad Cop, could break records north of the border.

Bon Cop, Bad Cop - Reviews
This Canadian buddy cop action / comedy is part of a new wave of Canadian films made for mainstream success. So far it looks like a success as it has already broken records in its native province of Quebec. It opened with $1.27 million in the province, which is akin to Pirates of the Caribbean's opening a few weeks ago and enough to put it in 18th place on the North American charts. This week it expands into the rest of Canada and if it earn half as much in the rest of the country, it could become Canadian biggest hit domestically in a long, long time and easily recoup its production budget of $8 million Canadian.

Calvaire a.k.a. The Ordeal - Reviews
Yet another sadistic horror film hitting theatres. I can't wait for this trend to be over and these films are relegated to the direct-to-DVD section of the movie industry. This film is earning no better reviews than most such films and while it might attract some fans of the genre, it won't have the appeal to escape the art house circuit. Calvaire opens tonight at the Cinema Village in New York City.

Conversations with Other Women - Reviews
Although it is not the best reviewed new release on this week's list, it is the one with the best shot at mainstream success, mainly thanks to its two leads. Helena Bonham Carter and Aaron Eckhart star as two former lovers who meet after many years have past and rekindle their old relationship, for a bit. The film uses a split screen effect very well and helps the dialogue heavy film work better than it otherwise would. Conversations with Other Women opens tonight in 11 theatres, mostly in the New York City and Los Angeles areas.

Half Nelson - Reviews
The best reviewed new release of the week, the film stars Ryan Gosling as formerly idealist inner city school teacher who still manages to inspire his students in his classroom. However, he gets by the rest of his day in a drug-fueled daze. One of only two films on this weeks list that has a legitimate shot at mainstream success, Half Nelson opens tonight at the Angelika Film Center and the Lincoln Plaza, both in New York City.

House of Sand - Reviews
Beautifully shot, slow moving, emotionally poignant and filled with amazing performances. In many ways this is an example of the best of what art house movies have to offer. On the other hand, at times it feel pretentious and a bit like a vanity project. Still, the good outweighs the bad by a large margin and while most people will have to wait for the home market to see it, it will be worth the wait. House of Sand opens tonight in five theatres in the New York City and Los Angeles areas.

Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna - No Reviews
The latest Bollywood film to get a select city release here. Like most of these films, it is opening with no reviews, and not advance buzz and has almost no chance to expand past this week's theatre count of 93.

Lunacy - Reviews
Based on two stories by Edgar Allen Poe, this film is by Czech surrealist artist, Jan Svankmajer. While the film is live action it uses stop-motion animation, mostly in the form of moving animal parts, to add to the atmosphere of depravity and it adds up to a surreal experience that will certainly play better to art house crowds than mainstream moviegoers. Lunacy opens tonight at the Film Forum in New York City.

Poster Boy - Reviews
There is a great film somewhere in this one. Considering the political nature of gay/lesbian rights right now, a film about a conservative political who uses his (closeted) gay son as the poster boy for his campaign should be ripe for dramatic, comedic and even political opportunities. However, while the film is mostly effective, it is not quite as satisfying as it should be. Poster Boy opens tonight at the Regent Showcase Theater in Hollywood before expanding next weekend to the Quad Cinema in New York City.

The Trouble with Men and Women - Reviews
A tired and formulaic film that tries to get by on the charms of its cast, which might be enough for some. For most people, however, its release strategy is more interesting. The IFC film opens simultaneously at the IFC Center and their Pay-per-view channel tonight.

Viva Pedro - Reviews
This isn't a film, it's practically a film festival. Sony Pictures Classics is re-releasing eight of Pedro Almodovar's best films, (Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, All About My Mother, Talk To Her, Flower of My Secret, Live Flesh, Matador, and Bad Education). The traveling festival starts tonight in the Lincoln Plaza in New York City before expanding to Los Angeles on the 25th, and throughout the country in the fall.

Waltzing Anna - Reviews
While Robert Capelli Jr. and Emmanuelle Chriqui are the two leads in this film about an, 'ethically challenged' doctor, the real draw for many will be seeing the older cast members playing the residents in the long-term health care facility. It's a charming film, if a little slight. Waltzing Anna opens tonight in select city, but will likely not expand further.


Filed under: Limited Releases, Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna, Half Nelson, Viva Pedro, Casa de Areia, Conversations with Other Women, Poster Boy, Waltzing Anna, Calvaire, The Trouble with Men and Women, Sílení