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Pretty Good Selection of Limited Releases

August 12th, 2005

While it is not as busy as last week, this week's selection of limited releases should include something for just about everyone.

Asylum - Reviews
Natasha Richardson stars as Stella, the wife of a forensic psychiatrist who was recently appointed Deputy Superintendent at a psychiatric hospital for the criminally insane. There she meets Edgar, a brilliant but tortured artist who was convicting of killing his wife in a jealous rage. Given the cast, it looks like it was made for Award Season, but the reviews are not up to the level needed. Asylum opens tonight in five theatres in New York City and Los Angeles including the Arclight Cinemas in the latter city.

Chaos - Reviews
A teenage slasher flick with ambitions to be a cult classic like The Last House on the Left, but is so poorly conceived and executed on nearly every level that it's destined to go down as one of the worst movies of the year, possibly ever. There really is no redeeming value to this film. Note: This film was mentioned on last week's column, but was pushed back to this week at the last minute.

The Goebbels Experiment - Reviews
Kenneth Branagh reads Joseph Goebbels' journal entries and together with archival footage gives an insight into the second most powerful man during the Nazi regime. Joseph Goebbels was a master of spin and took propaganda to untold heights, but this movie looks at the man behind all of that and paints a complex and disturbing portrait. The Goebbels Experiment opens tonight at the Quad Cinema in New York City.

Grizzly Man - Reviews
A look at the life of amateur bear expert, Timothy Treadwell. Timothy Treadwell was, at best, a misguided person who risked his life in some foolhardy attempt to protect the animals he loved. At worst, he was an narcissist who was using the bears as a road to fame, which eventually cost him and his girlfriend their lives. The film is a captivating look at the man, although parts of it come across as more of a reenactment than a documentary. The film opens tonight in 29 theatres in major markets nationwide.

Mangal Pandey - The Rising - Reviews
The latest Bollywood film to open simultaneously here and in India, (as well as other worldwide markets.) Set in the 1850s, it tells the story of Mangal Pandey and the Indians fight for independence from Britain. The film is much more realistic than the escapist entertainment Bollywood usually produces, but could still have a difficult time reaching a mainstream audience despite opening in 63 theatres tonight.

Pretty Persuasion - Reviews
I had high hopes for this film, but the reviews are well below expectations. Outside strong performances by Evan Rachel Wood and James Woods, the cream-of-the-crop reviewers are calling this dark comedy a retread of many other, much better films like Heathers. The run of the mill reviewers are a lot kinder, but overall the reviews still fall short. Pretty Persuasion opens in eight theatres in New York and Los Angeles including the Sunshine Cinema in the former and Laemmles Sunset 5 in the latter.

State of Mind - Reviews
A look inside one of the most secretive countries on the planet, North Korea. The documentary follows two girls as they prepare to perform in the Mass Games, the largest choreographed gymnastics performance on Earth. The filmmakers were able to film the day-to-day lives of the two girls and their families, something that have never been allowed before and that alone makes the film important. State of Mind opens at the Film Forum in New York City tonight.

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Filed under: Limited Releases, Asylum, Pretty Persuasion, Chaos