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10 Limited Releases Or Less

December 1st, 2006

There was a lull in the wave of Oscar hopefuls this weekend with just six limited releases, none of which were earning overwhelmingly positive reviews. Things should pick up next weekend and remain hot for the rest of the year.

3 Needles - Reviews
Three stories set in three different continents dealing with the same subject: AIDS. As a jumping off point for discussion on the global AIDS epidemic, this is a great success. As a movie, it suffers never quite becoming a cohesive whole. However, since the film is being release today, which is Global AIDS Awareness Day, I think the filmmakers will be more than happy with starting discussions instead of earning praise. 3 Needles opens tonight in six theatres, mostly in the Los Angeles area.

The Architect - Reviews
The latest is a line of Magnolia movies to be released day-and-date in theatres and on HDNet before coming out on DVD the following Tuesday. So far the strategy hasn't produced a box office success, but someone must like the results because they keep trying. Also of note, those who buy tickets for The Architect online at can download some extras, including a deleted sceen.

Christmas at Maxwell's - Reviews
A depressing tale of a family dealing with a terminal illness during the Christmas holiday. Clearly the film has aimed at a Christian audience with little or no regard for crossover appeal. Also, it is opening in far too many theatres using the dreaded select cities release schedule. Christmas at Maxwell's opens tonight in dozens of theatres, mostly in the South, but that is likely as far as it will go.

Ten Items or Less - Reviews
Out of all of the new limited releases this week, this one seems like it has the best shot at mainstream success with the best known cast and a director that has seen box office success. However, reviews have been week barely topping 50% positive and there's not enough buzz for the film to overcome that. On a weird note, a TV series of the same name also made its debut this week, which could confuse some moviegoers. I was certainly puzzled by the coincidence. Ten Items or Less opens tonight in select cities before hitting PPV on the 15th.

Two Weeks - Reviews
Tries too hard to mix the emotional with lighthearted comedy and ends up doing neither particularly well. The filmmakers should have stuck with one or the other, and in this case the emotional would have been the better choice. Two Weeks opens at the AMC Century City 15 in Los Angeles.

Unnatural & Accidental - Reviews
A Canadian movie based on a play, which in turn was based on the real life murders of several aboriginal women on Vancouver’s east side, which is arguably the poorest part of Canada. Like many films that are adapted from a play, this one isn't able to escape the stage and feels confined. Unnatural & Accidental opens tonight in Vancouver and the Granville 7 Cinemas and in Toronto at the Carlton Theatre.


Filed under: Limited Releases, Ten Items or Less, Two Weeks, Christmas at Maxwell's, The Architect, 3 Needles