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Limited Releases have Big Shoes to Fill

April 15th, 2005

It's a rather weak week for limited releases, with no film on the list earning overall positive reviews. And while a couple should perform well, it looks like Kung Fu Hustle's position on top of the per theater charts is very safe.

Down and Derby - Reviews
A film that feels like a TV movie from one of those family channels you get on cable: the best thing you can say about it is that it's harmless. The film centers on a group of dads who use their kids' entry in the Pinewood Derby to make up for past failures, taking the lighthearted competition way too seriously and therefore destroying it for their kids. With that one sentence synopsis, you can pretty much guess what happens throughout the movie. The film opens in nearly 60 theaters in select cities, quite a few of them in Utah.

House of D - Reviews
Many actors try their hand at directing at least once in their career, and while many do really well, (Penny Marshall, Ron Howard and Rob Reiner to name a few), most really struggle with the transition. This is the case with House of D, which is helmed by first time writer / director, David Duchovny. A coming-of-age story that has too many flaws to work but does feature fine performance by its two younger stars, Anton Yelchin and Zelda Williams (daughter of co-star Robin Williams).

Palindromes - Reviews
The film has an interesting hook; the character of Aviva is played by several different actresses and even one actor. And while this is intriguing, it gets in the way of the storytelling. Add in a difficult story that involves abortion and pedophilia and you have a film that will never escape the art house circuit. The film opened on Wednesday in seven theaters, three in New York City and one each in Encino, Irvine, Los Angeles and Pasadena, California.

A Wake in Providence - Reviews
When his grandfather unexpectedly dies, Anthony returns to his traditional Italian family and introduces them to his live-in girlfriend, who happens to be black. The movie has a certain My Big Fat Greek Wedding vibe to it, which is either a good thing or a bad thing depending on your point of view. Also worth noting, the film was shot more than five years ago but is just now getting a theatrical release, although it probably won't expand much further than New York and Los Angeles.

The Year of the Yao - Reviews
The best reviewed new movie of the week and the limited release with the best shot of leading this week's crop. The biggest complaint about the film is the fact that it is not an unbiased look at Yao Ming or his career, it's downright hero worship at times. If this was a political documentary that would be troubling, but he's just a basketball player and not someone running for office. Also helping the film this weekend is its release schedule; the film opens in 12 theaters, all in Houston, home of the Rockets.

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Filed under: Limited Releases, Palindromes, House of D