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Limited Releases: Any Gold to be Found?

April 3rd, 2015

Cheatin' poster

It is a busy week, but not a good week for limited releases. The two biggest releases, Effie Gray and Woman in Gold, are both earning weak reviews. The film on this list I'm most interested in seeing is Cheatin'. I own a number of Bill Plympton movies / shorts and this one looks like it is worth adding to my collection.

5 to 7 - Reviews
A man and a woman meet and fall in love. However, the woman is already married, so they can only see each other from 5 to 7. The film's reviews are very good for a romantic comedy, but soft for a limited release. Also, it is not a genre that tends to do well in limited release. 5 to 7 opens tonight at the IFC Center in New York City before expanding to Video on Demand next Friday.

Boychoir - Reviews
A story about a poor boy who gets into a prestigious singing academy and is pushed by a teacher who recognizes his potential. This basic setup has been done countless times, which explains the reviews. They are not exactly bad, but they are also a hair below the overall positive level as well. Since limited releases generally need great reviews to thrive, this is bad news indeed. Boychoir opens tonight at the City Cinemas Village East Cinema in New York City.

Cheatin' - Reviews
The latest animated feature-length film by Bill Plympton, who has a style that is unmistakably his. The reviews for the film are good, but not great, and animated films rarely do well in limited release. On the other hand, this film was crowdfunded, so it doesn't need to find as large of an audience to break even. Cheatin' opens tonight at the Village East Cinema in New York City, before expanding over the coming weeks. Check out the official site for more details.

Detective Byomkesh Bakshy - Reviews
The latest Bollywood film coming out in the usual places. There are no reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, but that is not uncommon for these films. For more information, including a review and showtimes, check out Now Running.

Effie Gray - Reviews
Dakota Fanning stars as the titular Effie Gray is this biopic. The real life story has been dramatized a number of times, but while there is a great cast, the overall reviews are merely mixed. Additionally, there were legal troubles due to allegations of plagiarism. (It is based on real life people and events, so these allegations seem strange. They were eventually dismissed.) Effie Gray is opening in "select cities", which is likely too many theaters to thrive. Check out the official site for more details.

Electric Slide - Reviews
A biopic about Eddie Dobson, played by Jim Sturgess, who was an antique dealer who decided to rob a bank. ... And then robbed 64 of them in a nine-month period. There's more to it than that, but the reviews are weak enough that it doesn't really matter. The reviews are so weak, that I doubt it will find an audience on Video on Demand.

The Girl is in Trouble - Reviews
A rather typical action thriller with a better than average cast working from an overly familiar script. The reviews are strong enough to suggest it could find an audience, when it comes out on DVD in May.

Lambert and Stamp - Reviews
A documentary about documentarians who wanted to find a subject for their next movie and instead helped turn The Who into one of the greatest rock 'n' roll bands of all time. This film is earning some of the best reviews of the weekend and rockumentaries have been known to find audiences in limited release. Lambert and Stamp opens tonight in three theaters, split between New York City and Los Angeles.

Last Knights - Reviews
This film stars Clive Owen and Morgan Freeman. Given the cast and the nature of the movie, it likely cost a lot to make compared to the the vast majority of limited releases. One would have to assume the studio making it were aiming for a wide release. However, its reviews would be terrible for a wide release. They will be fatal for a limited release. Worse still, it is opening on Video on Demand, so its theatrical numbers are not even relevant.

Let's Get Married - No Reviews
China is turning into the new India. We are starting to see a lot more Chinese films open in theaters here, but like much of the Bollywood films that get a theatrical release, there are no reviews to judge the film by.

Woman in Gold - Reviews
A real-life story about a woman who fought to get her family's artwork back decades after it was stolen from her family by the Nazis. Nearly all of the critics are praising Helen Mirren's performance, but most are saying that's not enough to carry the movie. Woman in Gold is opening in 250 theaters, which might be enough to reach the top ten.


Filed under: Limited Releases, Electric Slide, Lambert & Stamp, Boychoir, Last Knights, Effie Gray, Woman in Gold, 5 to 7, Detective Byomkesh Bakshy, Cheatin', The Girl is in Trouble, Zan men jie hun ba, Morgan Freeman, Dakota Fanning, Helen Mirren, Clive Owen, Jim Sturgess, Bill Plympton