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Limited and VOD Releases: Check out an Oscar-winner or Three

February 9th, 2018

Summer 1993

A lot of films on this week’s list are earning good reviews, but not great reviews. This means most of them will have to wait till the home market to find an audience. That’s not to say there are no movies worth going to the theater to see. Summer 1993 is the best, but both Pad Man and the 2018 Oscar Shorts collections are also worth the trip.

2018 Oscar Shorts
Animated Shorts - Reviews
Live Action Shorts - Reviews
Documentary Shorts - Reviews
Every year, the Oscar nominated shorts get a limited release in theaters. It is one of the few times you can see short films in theaters, so it is an easy recommendation.

Basmati Blues - Reviews
Video on Demand
This film was shot in 2014 and has sat on a shelf collecting dust. If the critical reaction is any indication, it should have remained there. Its Tomatometer Score is 0% and it has almost no chance of finding an audience in theaters. That’s actually good news, as the film can’t hurt anyone’s career, if no one sees it.

Becks - Reviews
Video on Demand
Lena Hall stars as a Brooklyn musician who just broke up with her girlfriend, so she moves back to the midwest with her conservative mother. She beings singing at the local bar, meets a girl, and finds her songwriting voice. The film’s Tomatometer Score is over 90% positive, but the average score given by individual critics is just 6.7 out of 10, so while the vast majority of critics like the movie, few love it. That said, this is perfect for a VOD rental.

La Boda de Valentina - Reviews
A romantic comedy aimed at an Hispanic audience. The film’s reviews are ... well... barely there. There’s only one of them, but at least it is positive. It’s opening in over 300 theaters, so it has a great shot at over $1 million over the weekend. It would have to be a massive hit on the theater average chart for it to reach the top ten.

Entanglement - Reviews
Video on Demand
Thomas Middleditch plays a man who is depressed to the point of suicide. He’s convinced that if something, anything was different growing up, his life would be completely different today. He then learns his parents almost adopted a girl. Perhaps if he had a sister, his life would be better, so he decides to find this would-be sibling. The reviews are good, but not great, so it will likely fail to find an audience in theaters. On the other hand, the reviews are good enough for a $7 VOD rental.

Golden Exits - Reviews
The relationships between two families are upset when a newcomer, Naomi, arrives in their Brooklyn neighborhood. The film’s reviews are good, but not good enough to thrive in limited release.

Pad Man - Reviews
A fictionalized account of Padmashri Arunachalam Muruganatham, who lost everything in his obsession to create an affordable sanitary napkin to help Indian women. There are only six reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, but all six of them are positive. Additionally, Indian films do have a built-in audience here, so it won’t need to find a crossover audience to be at least a moderate hit in limited release.

Permission - Reviews
Video on Demand
Anna has been dating Will for so long that neither of them has ever dated anyone else. Now that they are getting closer to getting married, someone suggests Anna should date some different men, just so she knows what’s out there. The reviews are good, but not great, so it will likely have to wait till the home market to find an audience. Fortunately, the reviews are good enough for a $7 VOD rental.

Still/Born - Reviews
A Canadian horror movie about a woman who gives birth to twins, but one of them was stillborn. While taking care of her surviving child, she begins to suspect a supernatural force has targeted her living child. There are only nine reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, but eight of those nine are positive. Unfortunately, horror films rarely do well in limited release. It does come out on DVD next month and it will likely do better there than in theaters.

Summer 1993 - Reviews
The best film on this week’s list. Not only does it have 100% positive reviews, the average score given by the critics is 9.2 out of 10. This is Oscar-worthy. Unfortunately, there are only 10 reviews and that suggests weak buzz.

Time Regained - Reviews
A re-release of the 1999 film by Raoul Ruiz. It is about a man on his deathbed reminiscing about his younger life. The reviews are not great, so I don’t think the re-release will find an audience in theaters.

Secondary VOD Releases:
Bomb City - Reviews - Video on Demand
Fake Blood - Reviews - Video on Demand
The Female Brain - Reviews - Video on Demand
Bomb City is the best of the secondary VOD releases, but none are so bad that they are not at least worth a rental. Granted, The Female Brain barely gets there, but you could do worse this weekend.

Filed under: Limited Releases, Time Regained, Becks, The Female Brain, Estiu 1993, Golden Exits, Still/Born, Bomb City, Entanglement, Permission, La Boda de Valentina, Padman, Basmati Blues, 2018 Oscar Shorts, Fake Blood, Emily Browning, Rebecca Hall, Dan Stevens, Thomas Middleditch, Lena Hall, Raoul Ruiz