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Limited and VOD Releases: Cry for Help

March 3rd, 2017

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It is not a particularly good week for limited releases with lots of films earning mixed reviews, or worse. There are a few that are earning good reviews, like Catfight or Donald Cried, but none are likely to be box office hits.

Burlesque: Heart of the Glitter Tribe - Reviews
A documentary about Burlesque, which is an art form that is making a bit of a comeback. There are only three reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, but all three of them are positive. I wonder if Burlesque will be popular enough to warrant selling DVD / Blu-rays of performances?

Catfight - Reviews
Video on Demand
Two women who went to college together reunite at a party and their reunion is violent. Very violent. It might be too violent for some moviegoers. The reviews are good enough to suggest it could find an audience in theaters, but it is also playing on VOD, so it will likely do better there.

Contemporary Color - Reviews
A concert film that features a few popular performers and several Color Guard teams from Canada and the United States. If you’ve never seen Color Guard, then this film is a great introduction to the performance art form.

Donald Cried - Reviews
Peter left his hometown never wanting to return, but has to after the death of his grandmother. While he is there, he loses his wallet and with no one else to turn to, asks his former friend, Donald, for help. Their reunion isn’t really a happy one. This film is earning some of the best reviews of the weekend; however, it isn’t an easy film to watch, as both of the main characters are horrible people.

Headshot - Reviews
Video on Demand
A man washes up on a beach with no memory of who he is and is nursed back to health by a doctor. However, his past catches up to him. The film’s reviews are not good enough for it to thrive in limited release, but they are just fine for an $8 rental on VOD.

The Human Surge - Reviews
This film is earning mixed reviews with many critics complaining that it lacks a story and there’s isn’t enough payoff for what is there. It is also a foreign-language film, which further limits its box office potential.

The Last Laugh - Reviews
A documentary about comedy and the Holocaust and whether or not it is ever acceptable to joke about a tragedy of that magnitude. I haven’t seen the movie, but in my opinion, you can joke about anything you want. However, if you tell a bad joke and more people think it is offensive than funny and you get in trouble as a result, suck it up. Don’t whine and say people are too P.C.

The Last Word - Reviews
Shirley MacLaine plays a former business woman and control freak who wants to control everything, including her own obituary, so she writes it herself. Amanda Seyfried plays a newspaper writer who decides to see if it is accurate. The reviews are weak. A Tomatometer Score of 38% positive would be bad, even for a mindless blockbuster. It will likely prove fatal for a limited release.

Lavender - Reviews
Video on Demand
A Canadian co-production about a photographer, Abbie Cornish, who loses her memory after an accident. However, there are clues in her photographs that suggest she might be responsible for the deaths of family members she didn’t even know she had. The reviews are weak and the film is playing on VOD, so its box office chances are terrible. On the other hand, it only costs $7 to buy it on VOD on Amazon, so at least it isn’t expensive.

Nakom - Reviews
A medical student travels to his home village after the sudden death of his father. He learns his family farm is in financial trouble and he must turn things around. There are not many reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, but most of them are positive. Also, we don’t see a lot of movies from this part of the world, so it is important to seek diversity in entertainment.

The Settlers - Reviews
A documentary about Jewish settlers in the West Bank. The film’s reviews are 100% positive, but like most documentaries it’s box office chances are limited.

Table 19 - Reviews
I was really looking forward to this movie. It is written and directed by Jeffrey Blitz, who hasn’t made a lot of movies, but both Spellbound and Rocket Science were excellent. The film also has a very talented cast. Unfortunately, the reviews are terrible. They are so bad, that even if you like the cast, crew, and the genre, there are better options out there.

Wolves - Reviews
Video on Demand
A coming of age movie about a high school basketball player who has earned a scholarship to university. However, his father’s gambling addiction might cost him his chance at success. The film’s reviews are mixed and it is playing on VOD, so its box office chances are nearly zero. On the other hand, its reviews are not so bad that it isn’t worth renting on VOD, if you are interested in the story and / or the cast.

Secondary VOD Releases:
The Institute - Reviews - Video on Demand
Because of the way I do this column, I don’t check to see how many secondary VOD releases there are until I’m done the list. This means we occasionally only have one such release and it kind of stands out. It stars and is directed by James Franco, who tends to make interesting films, but whose hit to miss ratio is terrible. This film has no positive reviews so far, so it is yet another miss.

Filed under: Limited Releases, Lavender, Wolves, The Last Word, Headshot, Catfight, Table 19, Contemporary Color, Burlesque: Heart of the Glitter Tribe, El Auge Del Humano, The Institute, The Settlers, Nakom, The Last Laugh, Donald Cried, Abbie Cornish, James Franco, Shirley MacLaine, Amanda Seyfried, Jeffrey Blitz, Kristopher Avedisian, Jesse Wakeman
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