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These Limited Releases are Not Yet Released

September 1st, 2006

It's a big week for limited releases, not so much in terms of raw numbers, but in terms of theatres. There are two films opening in more than 100 theatres each as well as another opening in nearly 3-dozen theaters. However, it is a much narrower release, This Film is Not Yet Rated, that has the best potential to for expansion.

Idiocracy - No Reviews
The most depressing release of the week, not because of its subject matter, but because it had so much potential that is being wasted. Helmed by Mike Judge, the man who created Beavis and Butt-Head as well as the cult classic Office Space. The film looked to have the same satirical edge as the latter film, but with more box office potential. Then the disastrous pre-screening happened at the film was completely re-tooled. Now it is opening in a mere 130 theatres in a handful of markets, (Austin, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, and Toronto), before being dumped on DVD later in the fall.

Lage Raho Munnabhai - No Reviews
The latest Bollywood film to hit theatres domestically. The film is being released simultaneously here, in its native India as well as foreign markets like the U.K. and should do well on the international charts. However, it won't help push the genre into the mainstream. Lage Raho Munnabhai opens tonight in 35 theatres, but that is likely as far as it will go.

Lassie - Reviews
The widest limited release of the week it is also one of the best reviewed and those two rarely go hand in hand. The film goes back to its pre-war British roots and is all the better for it. The film isn't perfect, it is a little long in places and overly sentimental at times, but it is still a great family film. However, it feels a little too old-fashion and that theatre count of 170 will work against it. It may get a pre-Christmas DVD release, which is where it will earn the most of its money.

Looking for Kitty - Reviews
The latest release from Edward Burns was actually made two years ago but sat of the studio shelves since then. However, his most recent film, The Groomsmen failed to connect with moviegoers and this film has even less star power, (no insult to David Krumholtz intended). Add in weaker reviews and this film has little to no chance of expanding wide. Looking for Kitty opens tonight at the Quad Cinema in New York City.

Mutual Appreciation - Reviews
Writer / director Andrew Bujalski's follow-up to last year's Funny Ha Ha and it looks like he won't be suffering through a sophomore slump. So far reviews are perfect, as the film has gone 12-0 with the critics. As for the film's box office potential, it should over perform his directorial debut, but it will likely not be able to escape the art house circuit. Mutual Appreciation opens tonight at the Cinema Village in New York City.

Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles - Reviews
Yimou Zhang's follow up to House of Flying Daggers. This is not the best film he's made, in fact, reviews put it in the lower half of his career. Part of the problem is the film's slow pace and the fact that the story is one we've seen before. However, there's still enough here for fans of his to be enthralled by. Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles opens tonight in five theatres, mostly in the New York City area.

This Film is Not Yet Rated - Reviews
If I were forced to pick just one new movie to watch this week, it would be This Film is Not Yet Rated. Granted, I may be biased since I have a particular dislike for the rating system currently in place. Personally I feel the only thing a rating board should do is give consumers information, not make judgement calls and giving a film an NC-17 rating over an R rating is a judgement that should be left up to the consumer. Overall reviews are excellent with a few complaints over the methods used to expose who these people on the ratings board actually are. (They are 'average parents.' It turns out having qualifications like being a child psychologist actually disqualifies you from being a member of the board.) This Film is Not Yet Rated opens tonight in two theatres, the IFC Center in New York City and the Nuart Theatre in Los Angeles and if there's any justice, it will expand wide.


Filed under: Limited Releases, Lage Raho Munna Bhai, Lassie, Idiocracy, This Film is Not Yet Rated, Qian li zou dan qi, Mutual Appreciation, Looking for Kitty