With the consent of Dennis Brian, here it is: the limited release movies section for his weekly Wide Release Films forum.
All limited release movies for the week may not be covered, so if one is missed, feel free to suggest. Sources are IMDB and Box Office Mojo.
Easy Money (Snabba Cash) [dir. Daniel Espinosa] (opens Wednesday)
Starring the new Robocop and presented by Martin Scorsese, Easy Money looks quite interesting, if a bit been there, done that. Either it will turn out as the usual boring stylish crime thriller or something with substance. Safe House was a bit underrated, but I’m gonna have to see what Espinosa has here if I’m gonna keep an eye out for him.
Alps (Alpeis) [dir. Giorgos Lanthimos]
Liked Dogtooth or you didn’t? I don’t care (though I think it’s a bit overrated), but from the looks of it, it’s another subversive (albeit sentimental-looking) work from the director. Been waiting for it ever since it was announced, but I’ve heard that it’s been disappointing critics. We’ll see.
Red Lights [dir. Rodrigo Cortes]
Buried was pretty cool, even though it didn’t go far, so this is also something I’ve been waiting for. The premise feels a bit uninteresting compared to Buried, but with a cast that can’t be beat (Robert de Niro and Elizabeth Olsen, yay!), this can go any direction.
Trishna [dir. Michael Winterbottom]
Do we really need another Tess of the d’Urbervilles adaptation? I haven’t read the book and I haven’t seen the Polanski yet, but I’m not sure if India is gonna make any difference, and I’m not really a fan of Winterbottom (but 24 Hour Party People is the shit). Nevertheless, I’m gonna see it just because. Plus: Freida Pinto.
Other releases are:
The Imposter [dir. Bart Layton]
Ballplayer: Pelotero [dirs. Ross Finkel, Trevor Martin, and Jonathan Paley]
Union Square [dir. Nancy Savoca]
The Obama Effect [dir. Charles S. Dutton]
Three Stars (not sure if this is the movie)
Awww. I always look forward to the wide release posts. Cool idea to do limited as well :)
I like the format of this new thread
(wish the straight to dvd thread caught on to then we would have movie from all sides)
Red Lights looks okay, Deniro’s character seems interesting and Olsen is nice (seems regulated to horror films)
I will probably catch up with The Imposter at some point.
The Obama effect looks like something I wish Spike Lee would make (tho Dutton’s direction seems off from trailer). Charles Dutton (anyone who saw Roc knows) is a powerful actor.
All in all, I am seeing little difference between mainstream and indie films these days, will be curious to follow this thread and see what is going on in the limited release world.
I’m sure Alps will be as, if not more, divisive as Dogtooth. I’ve been wanting to see this for a while.
These threads will be much more interesting to read in terms of what people will/want to see. For instance, Michael Winterbottom is a very prolific director and interests me in that way, but is very hit or miss, so I’m always interested to see if anybody’s interested. I feel like the wide release threads are more interesting to read in terms of thinking about what other audiences will do with them, for instance from my interest in box office to just looking at the general enthusiasm or lack thereof of upcoming stuff. This thread provides an opportunity for us to spread the word-of-mouth stuff that’s more interesting to actually sit down and watch, not just talk about as a product.
I like that Japeman started the direct-to-DVD part and I would encourage him to continue, if possible, I just want to point out that as a former rental manager who tracked that stuff closely in real numbers, it’s almost an entirely different world, comparable in fact to the difference between theatrical feature length films and experimental festivals — both are ‘movies’, and both involve audiences sitting in a movie theatre with the lights low and the images flickering, but they’re practically a different medium altogether in some ways. However, Japeman has been focusing on the more traditional feature length version of straight-to-DVD, as opposed to the almost endless varieties of stuff distributed in that manner, so in a sense it’s a limited limited release thread.
I would really enjoy reading a direct-to-DVD thread as well, whatever the films covered.
YES!!! JAPEMAN, COME BACK!!!
@bijoux: Hee hee, I would read it, but never watch any movies from it.
Wha? ??? I love dtdvd.
All DTDVDs are horrible imo. Even the Wild Things ones XD
I think direct to video films are among my favorites
Fred Olen Ray
No. Noooooo. You are wrong.
just because it’s dtdvd doesn’t mean it’s no good. Just because a film doesn’t have a commercial audience does not have anything to do with the quality. I know I don’t live to watch all the garbage that’s released in the theatres. Haven’t you ever noticed how the lines are constructed at the theatre? They’re herding you in there like a bunch of cattle. Don’t let THEM tell you what’s worthy of a theatrical release.
@dennis: Well, Lloyd Kaufman is cool, I’ll tell you that. Didn’t know he was DTV at times.
@bijoux: Wrong about DTVs being horrible? Or Wild Things DTVs being horrible? :P
OK not ALL. Just the ones major movie studios crap out.
The Wendell Baker Story
I share this not because it’s particularly great, or because I think you would like it, but because it represents the type of stuff that slips through direct-to-DVD: Owen and Luke Wilson’s brother Andrew takes what he learned from working with Wes Anderson and the three make a Bottle Rocket like little indie, only it doesn’t get as much love. Why did it go DtDVD? Well it sort of deserves it for not being great, but on the other hand it deserves a little more love than some stuff that hits national release.
However, more along the lines of a recommendation:
This is one of the best ‘finds’ I had working at a DVD store and having to unbox this type of stuff. This movie is pure low-budget magic, a decent story (comparable to a middling Neil Gaiman book) with an absolutely, this-movie-doesn’t-look-like-others unique look:
Now why did Ink go Direct-to-DVD? Much more awful reason than Wendell Baker Story: no distributor believed it would make money because it was a science fiction indie film, and the indie film market is meant for movies like The Wendell Baker Story. In other words, because it was an independent production that did not feature listless 20 year olds striking cigarettes and staring off into space, they figured nobody would love it.
But people did. Jamin Winans released it on the Internet for free and it got enough positive word of mouth to get picked up by a distributor to be put on brick-and-mortar shelves (also, it’s on Netflix Instant or at least used to be).
See it. It’s pretty much the type of gem you can expect to find on DtDVD: possibly rough around the edges, but something lovely is going on there that just managed to fight and claw its way into your and my homes despite everything set against it.
I hold these two films as representative of what you should expect from DtDVD, and what you can find if you’re patient, respectively.
Dude : Wrong about dtdvd :) I haven’t seen any of the Wild Things movies but my sister likes them.
I might bring back my DVD discoveries thread tomorrow I dunno
I didn’t stop it because people weren’t interested, I stopped it because it was starting to become too much of an obligation. It was fun at first but…. Yeah lol
That being said I never saw it as a “direct to DVD” thread. Yes, a lot of the movies were ones that skipped theatrical distribution and went direct to DVD but the movies I focused on most of the time were underseen/festival favorites that skipped theaters or played very limited release
Sure, there were a few schlocky horror movies but for the most part I avoided them in the thread unless I was given good reason not to.
There’s some good stuff coming on DVD tomorrow (Black Limousine with David Arquette, anyone?)
I want to see Red Lights and (to a lesser extent) Trishna
Hopefully Red Lights will be playing near me this weekend. Considering their aren’t many “Major” releases this week, it might be
For what it’s worth, I always lurked in the direct-to-dvd threads. Also, wasn’t Trick ’R Treat direct to dvd? I thought that one was pretty great… but nobody I follow gave it more than three stars… what gives?
Tricker ’R Treat was indeed dtdvd. A lot of movies, especially horror, action, and sci-fi movies, go dtdvd as something like what you could consider a superlimited release — they were made to be played at a couple specific theatres or festivals, or released wide in theatres but literally for a specific weekend or week and no longer, and then put on the consumer rental market for wide. There are like three different yearly horror movie omnibuses in this regard, Afterdark Horror Fest and one produced by Sam Raimi (but I’ve forgotten its banner line) or at least his production company are two of them that come to mind.
My favorite dtdvd subgenre is the festival shorts winners collections. Occasionally a festival will actual own the rights to its short film winners and will release them on DVD. Its one of the few commercial methods of enjoying short films. The Academy Award nominated short film collections are one famous example, but you get short films from smaller festivals as well.
I am in talks with a producer right now about potentially creating a dtdvd short film omnibus. I don’t think he’s interested because he’s just the type of guy who only sees the big, wide stuff and takes a while to wrap his mind around alternative methods of (production/distribution/meaning/not caring about making a big name on a big screen). However I think if I start breaking down some numbers to show how these other dtdvd films do, it may compel him.
Thinking aloud right now. Back to where I intended to be going, sometimes people quip, “Man, why don’t independent filmmakers ever make like, action films?” They do. Those films are dtdvd and star Val Kilmer and Cuba Gooding Jr., at most.
This is a pretty mediocre weekend for movies (even for small movies). Maybe I’ll go see Easy Money or maybe I’ll catch up on stuff I’ve missed. Or most likely I’ll go see nothing and just mentally prepare for the next weekend, when Batman comes out. :)
I kinda like the trailer for Red Lights and I thought Buried was very effective. But reading some of the reviews for Red Lights, eek, I think I’ll probably hate it.
A positive review for Alps from Slant
^ Alps is one of those films that I know I’ll see anyway, so I’ve avoided reading reviews or watching trailers so that nothing at all will be spoiled. I hate it when there’s some kind of surprise or even slow realization in the first half of the movie that gets spoiled with the trailer and synopsis, which was definitely the case with Dogtooth.
@dffoo: I don’t read reviews before seeing a movie either, but I posted the review above cause I want to kind of do a coverage of reviews since I heard it’s been divisive with critics unlike Dogtooth.
^ No, you just want to spoil it for me! :P YOU’RE ALL SPOILERS!!!
You know, I saw Dogtooth when it came out and I enjoyed it for what it was. But for some reason, I don’t feel compelled to see Alps (or Annenberg for that matter). I’m not really sure why.
@santino: I think I know why:
Cause it looks like there will be no dumbbell dentistry :P
Yes, I love to let reviews tell me what’s good and what’s not.
I find myself to be simple minded enough to allow reviews to make an impression me and formulate false expectations of films I’ve yet to see and ejaculate them over message boards and forums.