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Operation - Limited Release

October 13th, 2006

This week's selection of limited releases includes three films opening in the lamentable "Select Cities." Of the more limited limited releases, there are a couple of high profile films, including Deliver Us From Evil and the latest from Terry Gilliam, Tideland. It seems likely that the former will be the best on this list on the per theatre charts, but there are a few others that could be sleeper hits.

Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker - Reviews
This is a film with a definite popular feel, but its release strategy and mixed reviews is going to hurt its box office chances, a lot. The Kid Spy genre, when done well, is a lot of fun with plenty of action for the kids while having an element of parody for the adults. However, it has a tendency to become silly if not done well. This one, unfortunately, steps into the silly realm a tad too often. Even so, it should do well enough on the home market. As for its theatrical run, it starts tonight in 221 theatres but seems unlikely to even reach $1 million at the box office during its opening weekend.

Deliver Us From Evil - Reviews
This is the kind of movie that makes you want to grab a pitchfork and a torch and form an angry mob. It is also an exceedingly well-timed film given the current political scandal that bares more than just a passing similarity. Brutally honest, and just plain brutal, it should be enough to affect real change, but I'm too much of a cynic to believe it will. Even so, the more people who see this movie the better. Deliver Us From Evil opens tonight in Angelika Film Center in New York City as well as theatres in California and Massachusetts.

Driving Lessons - Reviews
Rupert Grint's second non-Potter role, the first being Thunderpants, which was about a boy who could fart. It was never released here theatrically. I can't image why not. This film is earning reviews that most wide releases would kill for, but are not enough to escape the art house circuit. On the other hand, there has been a bit of award talk regarding Julie Walters, but even best case scenario would have her as a long shot. Driving Lessons opens tonight in 8 theatres, mostly in the Los Angeles area.

Infamous - Reviews
This is a film that has way too many obstacles to overcome in order to succeed. The reviews, the select cities release strategy, the comparisons to Capote. Philip Seymour Hoffman won an Oscar for his portrayal of Truman Capote, so releasing a second biopic just over a year later seems foolhardy while releasing it in nearly 200 theatres seems likely to kill it.

Nearing Grace - Reviews
Opening in more than 60 theatres and to reviews that are mixed, Nearing Grace will really struggle to find an audience. There are some strong aspects to this film, including the performances by some of the younger stars, but the script is too uneven to be fully satisfying. Nearing Grace opens tonight in 63 theatres in the dreaded select cities, but it is unlikely to do well enough to expand later.

So Much So Fast - Reviews
A documentary look at two brothers, one who finds out he has ALS and the other who becomes obsessed with finding a cure. The film deals with the familiar bond, how the disease affects people, the desire to work for a cure, and the frustration at how slow the progress can be. So Much So Fast is one of the best new films to come out this week and should be seen by as many people as possible. It opens tonight at the Cinema Village East in New York City.

Sweet Land - Reviews
The film takes place in 1920s Minnesota. It stars Elizabeth Reaser as Inge, a mail order bride who traveled from Norway to be with her new husband, Olaf, played by Tim Guinee. It's a sweet story, perhaps a little too sweet for some. Sweet Land opens tonight in Minnesota before expanding into New York next week.

Tideland - Reviews
Terry Gilliam has directed some amazing films. This is not one of them. Easily the most dark and depressing film in his career, and he's made more than a few of those. It is sure to have a number of hardcore fans as the film is technically great, but the subject matter is simply too much for most moviegoers, even those who were fans of his previous work. Tideland opens tonight at the IFC Center in New York City.

Zerophilia - Reviews
Luke has a rare genetic abnormality that causes him to turn into a woman. It's an interesting hook and is used to study some fascinating gender issues, but the execution is fatally flawed. Zerophilia opens tonight at the Cinema Village East in New York City.


Filed under: Limited Releases, Sweet Land, Infamous, Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker, Driving Lessons, Deliver Us From Evil, Tideland, So Much So Fast, Zerophilia, Nearing Grace