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Limited and VOD Releases: Live Long and Prosper

September 9th, 2016

Other People

The week’s list is flooded with documentaries on all number of subjects. Of these, For the Love of Spock is the only I’m most interested in seeing and the critics are with me on that one. However, it is not the most likely film when it comes to box office success. I would have to give that to Other People, although being on Video on Demand might stop it from being seen in theaters.

As I Open My Eyes - Reviews
A French film set in 2010 Tunisia just before the Revolution. The film follows a woman, Farah, who is trying to balance her family demands with her being in a political-minded rock band. The film doesn’t have a lot of reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, but so far all of them are positive, so that’s a great sign.

Author: The JT LeRoy Story - Reviews
A documentary about JT LeRoy, a 16-year old writer who became famous for his memoir about his horrible childhood. However, it was then discovered he didn’t exist. The film is earning excellent reviews and if you remember this story, then it is worth checking out.

Before I Wake - Reviews
A horror film about a young boy who doesn’t want to sleep. At first, his new adoptive family assume his home life was really bad before and that’s why he doesn’t want to sleep. However, they soon learn the truth. When he sleeps, his dreams become real. The film’s reviews are weak at just 30% positive. Many critics say it starts out well, but struggles in the end. Additionally, horror films rarely do well in limited release, so I’m not bullish about its box office chances. It could find an audience on the home market, on the other hand.

Cameraperson - Reviews
A documentary by Kirsten Johnson that showcases footage she’s shot over her 25-year career. So far, the reviews are unanimously positive and it has a really good chance of finding an audience on the art house circuit.

Demon - Reviews
A Polish film about a man who inherits a home in Poland, where he plans to get married. However, while fixing up the place, he stumbles into something horrible and unleashes an evil. The reviews are 90% positive, but it is a foreign-language horror movie, so I don’t think it will expand significantly beyond the three theaters it opens in.

The First Film - Reviews
A documentary about the first film and the inventor who made, Louis Le Prince. Documentaries about the history of movies tend to do well on the art house circuit, as there are plenty of cinephiles who frequent these theaters. Additionally, like many of the documentaries on this week’s list, the reviews are excellent, which will further help its box office chances. On the other hand, documentaries rarely expand significantly.

For the Love of Spock - Reviews
Video On Demand
A documentary about Leonard Nimoy, made by his son, Adam Nimoy. The pair started the project knowing that the 50th anniversary of the franchise was coming up. (In fact, that anniversary was yesterday.) Sadly, Leonard Nimoy passed away before the film could be finished, but critics unanimously agree it is a great tribute to his life.

Freaky Ali - No Reviews
A Bollywood film about a “debt collector” (I.E. a goon) who learns he has a natural talent for golf.

Janaan - No Reviews
A Bollywood romantic comedy. Like the other Bollywood film on this week’s list, this one has no reviews.

Kicks - Reviews
An African-American boy wants a pair of cool new sneakers, because he thinks it will make him cool, attractive to the ladies, and no longer a target of the bullies. However, when he gets them, he becomes more of a target and his sneakers are stolen. The film’s reviews are right on the line between good and great, so it has a chance of finding an audience in theaters. Kicks opens tonight in three theaters and there are special events at two of them. Check out the official site for more details.

Other People - Reviews
Video on Demand
The movie is a semi-autobiographical look at writer / director Chris Kelly’s life. Its stars Jesse Plemons as a man who returns home to look after his mom, Molly Shannon, who is dying of cancer. Of all of the films on this week’s list, this is the one I’ve heard the most buzz about and it is the only one I think has a shot at mainstream success. Except it is playing on VOD, so that will likely hurt its box office numbers. The reviews are not quite Oscar-worthy, but I think Molly Shannon might get some buzz, while Chris Kelly’s script might be talked about as a long shot for a nomination.

Transpecos - Reviews
Video on Demand
A thriller about three boarder guards who find something in a routine stop that could cost them their lives. The film is earning 100% positive reviews, but it is also playing on VOD, so its box office chances are negligible. Hopefully it finds an audience, even if it is on the home market.

Secondary VOD Releases:
Brother Nature - Reviews - Video on Demand
Happy Birthday! - Reviews - Video on Demand
Ithaca - Reviews - Video on Demand
Of the three secondary VOD releases this week, Happy Birthday! is the only one I’m remotely interested it, and that’s only cause Vanessa Lengies is in it. She’s Canadian and I have a well-documented pro-Canada bias.

Filed under: Limited Releases, Before I Wake, Ithaca, Kicks, À peine j’ouvre les yeux, Happy Birthday!, Author: The JT LeRoy Story, Demon, For the Love of Spock, Other People, The First Film, Cameraperson, Transpecos, Brother Nature, Freaky Ali, Janaan, Vanessa Lengies, Leonard Nimoy, Jesse Plemons, Molly Shannon, Chris Kelly, Kirsten Johnson, Adam Nimoy, Baya Medhaffer