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Limited and VOD Releases: Holmes is on the Case

July 17th, 2015

Mr. Holmes

There are very few films on this week's list that have a real shot at earning mainstream success. I would like to think Court or A Hard Day could do so, but they are both foreign-language films and that's usually too big of an obstacle to overcome. Mr. Holmes has both the cast and the reviews to thrive, but it is playing in more than 300 theaters. That might be too many to thrive. Let's hope I'm being too pessimistic.

Alléluia - Reviews
Video on Demand
Gloria has a one-night stand with a killer and decides to join him on his crime spree. The reviews are good enough that it would normally have a chance in limited release. However, it is the wrong genre, as horror films almost never thrive in the art house scene. Worse still, it is playing on VOD.

El Ardor - Reviews
Video on Demand
A limited release with a better than average cast, but much worse than average reviews. It's a thriller without enough thrills and the characters are clichés, so the actors can't truly shine. El Ardor opens tonight in theaters, but it is also playing on VOD, so its box office chances are insignificant.

Bajrangi Bhaijaan - No Reviews
An Indian film about a young Pakistani girl who becomes lost in India. She is found by an Indian man who is determined to do what it takes to get her back to her family. There are no reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, but that is common for Bollywood films. You can learn more about the film here.

Court - Reviews
An Indian drama about a folk singer who is arrested on trumped up charges because his work has inspired the lower castes to try and rise above their station in life. The reviews are currently perfect and it feels like something that could catch on with the art house crowd. Court opened on Wednesday at the Film Forum in New York City with more showings planned over the coming weeks / months. Check out the official site for more details.

Irrational Man - Reviews
The latest from Woody Allen, but it could end up being his worst film in a decade. The film's reviews were almost below 40% positive, but have bounced back to 45% positive. If you have loved everything Woody Allen has made over the past ten years, then it is worth checking out. On the other hand, if you liked Blue Jasmine, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, and Midnight in Paris, then this one is safely skippable. Irrational Man opens tonight in five theaters, three in New York City and two in Los Angeles, with plenty of more markets to be added in the coming weeks. Check out the official site for more details.

A Hard Day - Reviews
A South Korean movie about a police detective who accidentally kills someone in a hit and run on the same day as his mother's funeral. He hides the body in her coffin, only to get blackmailed by another police detective into turning over the body to him. The reviews are incredible, but no South Korean film has really earned mainstream success here. A Hard Day opens tonight at the Village East Cinema in New York City with other showings scheduled. Check out the official site for more details.

Lila and Eve - Reviews
Video on Demand
Lila's son was killed in a drive-by shooting. She meets Eve, whose daughter was killed, at a support group. When the cops are not that interested in solving the case, Eve convinces Lila to go after the killers herself. The film's reviews are mixed and it is playing on VOD, so it likely will go nowhere in theaters. On the other hand, the reviews are not so bad that watching it on VOD isn't that bad an idea.

The Look of Silence - Reviews
A sequel to The Act of Killing, this one focuses on the genocide in Indonesia during 1965 and 1966. Like the previous film, this one is earning amazing reviews. That said, documentaries rarely have breakout success in theaters. The Look of Silence opens tonight at the Sunshine Cinema in New York City with planned screenings in the coming weeks / months. Check out the official site for more details.

Mr. Holmes - Reviews
Ian McKellen plays an aging Sherlock Holmes who has retired and is suffering from diminished mental capacity. He gets help from a young boy, as he tries to crack the one case he was never able to solve. The film's reviews are stunning and Ian McKellen has more box office drawing power than most limited releases can hope for. On the other hand, it is opening in 363 theaters, which might prove to be too many for the film to thrive.

Northern Limit Line - Reviews
There are not enough reviews to really talk about, but this South Korea film has been a big hit in its native market, so it is worth a least a mention here.

Safelight - Reviews
Video on Demand
I like Juno Temple, so I was hoping this film would be good. It is not. It is by a first-time writer / director and the critics all agree that there are too many clichés in the script and none of the reviews are positive. It is also playing on VOD, so I wouldn't be surprised if we didn't even get box office numbers released next week.

The Stanford Prison Experiment - Reviews
I'm of two minds when it comes to this film. On the one hand, the reviews are excellent. On the other hand, it is based on a fatally flawed experiment that really can't be used to draw any real conclusions. The person in charge of the real experiment was an active participant rather than an objective observer, which taints the findings. Then again, a lot of what was learned in the experiment has been replicated in other experiments. The Stanford Prison Experiment opens tonight in two theaters before expanding to VOD next week.


Filed under: Limited Releases, The Stanford Prison Experiment, The Look of Silence, Mr. Holmes, Lila & Eve, Irrational Man, El Ardor, Court, Safelight, Alléluia, Kkeut-kka-ji-gan-da, N.L.L: Yeonpyeong Haejeon, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Ian McKellen, Woody Allen, Viola Davis, Lola Duenas, Jennifer Lopez, Juno Temple