Follow us on

Limited and VOD Releases: Below Average Releases

May 27th, 2016

The Ones Below

There are only two non-documentary releases on this week's list, which is really low. Neither of them are earning overwhelmingly positive reviews, but The Ones Below's reviews came the closest. The documentaries fair better with a number of them that should please fans of the genre, including Presenting Princess Shaw, Lasseter's Bones, etc.

As I AM: The Life and Times of DJ Am - Reviews
A documentary about Adam Goldstein, a.k.a. DJ Am. He had an interesting life, before tragically dying of an accidental drug overdose. There are only four reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, but they are all positive. As I AM opens tonight at the Village East Cinema in New York City, with planned expansions throughout the summer. However, it was crowdfunded, so those who were most interested in seeing it got a chance to do that on Wednesday.

The Idol - reviews
A documentary about a group of musicians living in poverty in the Gaza Strip. They want to become successful musicians to escape their current lives. The reviews are good, but not great, while there is a lot of competition for documentaries this week.

Jia Zhangke: A Guy From Fenyang - Reviews
A documentary about Zhangke Jia, a prolific Chinese director. The film explores his life and the locations he filmed in. At the moment, the reviews are excellent, but there are only six of them on Rotten Tomatoes, so a single bad review could change the average dramatically.

Lasseter's Bones - Reviews
A documentary about Harold Lasseter, whose body was found in Australia's Central Desert in 1931. He had his diary on him and in it he wrote he found a motherlode of gold, but wouldn't give it up for a loaf of bread and a chance to survive. His 85-year old son, Bob Lasseter, is still looking for the gold. The reviews are excellent, but like most documentaries, this film doesn't have a good shot at mainstream success.

The Ones Below - Reviews
A couple expecting their first child have new neighbors in the apartment below, who are also expecting their first child. However, while they get along at first, trouble soon arises. The thriller's reviews are good enough that if it were opening wide, I wouldn't be concerned. However, they are too weak to think it will thrive in limited release. The Ones Below opens tonight in four theaters, as well as on Video on Demand, just not Amazon. Check out the official site for more details.

Presenting Princess Shaw - Reviews
A documentary about Samantha Montgomery, who goes by the name Princess Shaw on YouTube. She makes music and wants to be a star, but is struggling. One day, Ophir Kutiel, a.k.a. Kutiman, remixes her song and the two begin to collaborate, despite living 7,000 miles apart. The film's reviews are excellent, but it is playing on VOD, so its box office chances are very limited. Presenting Princess Shaw opens tonight in New York, Los Angeles, and about a dozen more cities, as well as on VOD, but not Amazon. Check out the official site for more details.

To Life - Reviews
Three women who survived the Holocaust reunite in the 1960s, but there is a conflict between those who want to confront what happened to them and those who want to leave those events in the past. The reviews are mixed, which will likely prove fatal for a limited release.

Unlocking the Cage - Reviews
A documentary about animal rights, specifically the legal challenge to say certain animals that have the capacity of complex thought should have the same, or at least similar rights to humans. The reviews are good, but not great. Some critics complain that since the issue hasn't been solved, those interested in this topic will be left without resolution. After playing in a number of film festivals, Unlocking the Cage opens this week in New York City with planned showings throughout the summer. Check out the official site for more details.

There are no secondary Video-on-Demand titles this week.

Filed under: Limited Releases, As I AM: The Life and Times of DJ Am, Ya Tayr El Tayer, Presenting Princess Shaw, The Ones Below, Jia Zhangke: A Guy From Fenyang, À la vie, Lasseter's Bones, Unlocking the Cage, Zhangke Jia, Samantha Montgomery, Ophir Kutiel, Adam Goldstein, Bob Lasseter