Surfer's Limited Release - Weekend 10/09 An Education, Bronson, The Damned United, From Mexico With Love, Trucker, Good Hair

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Surfer's Limited Release - Weekend 10/09 An Education, Bronson, The Damned United, From Mexico With Love, Trucker, Good Hair

Post by silversurfer19 on Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:35 am

Greetings, and welcome to your latest instalment of Surfer’s Limited Release, the place to frequent for all things indie. It’s like the Cantina, where groups of us freaks and geeks accumulate to talk of art house releases, separating the potential hits from the flops, and occasionally, a certain couple of arch enemies get to find out who shot first in their own brand of squabbling. But first and foremost, it’s a place where I have been given the column space to finally rant on for a few hundred words in the hope that a few of you will listen. And somewhere within that rant you will hopefully find some clues regarding which independent movies to pick up for your slate.

So anyway, it’s a busy week this week, where the British are invading the US cinemas, so I’d better get on with it. This week see the limited release of six new movies, three of them being from my former home, one from Mexico and two from the good ol’ US of A.

First up, with the most potential to break out is An Education, a new movie which has been written for the screen by Nick Hornby of High Fidelity, About A Boy and Fever Pitch fame. Directed by the largely unknown Danish director Lone Scherfig and starring relative newcomer Carey Mulligan (And When Did You Last See Your Father, Public Enemies), Peter Sarsgaard and Alfred Molina, I have no doubt this coming of age movie will perform well, if only to satisfy the mass of Hornby fans (which, believe me, is fairly a fairly large fanbase). I myself am a fan of Hornby’s work, especially so High Fidelity, however, it must be remembered that although An Education is being advertised as the work of Hornby, the story is in fact an autobiographical memoir of British journalist Lynn Barber. And I think this may have an impact on its overall success. The main reason for this is the fact that the trailer seems to make the movie look rather boring. I have no doubt it has been well written and will portray a terrific portrait of England in the early 60s, exploring women’s roles in British society. I have no doubt that Hornby will include some of his trademark distinctive humour, and I’m sure the performances are good (as I am a fan of most of the leads’ work). However, something just seems missing from this. And I don’t think I am alone in this. Every time I have witnessed the trailer in the cinema I have noticed a rather deflated, unenthusiastic response to the movie. And in the end, I think that will impact its performance at the box office.

Even so, I expect it to perform the best of the new releases, but unlikely to overcome the might of A Serious Man. It will probably take second place from Coco Before Chanel, but only just. But with the likes of New York, I Love You and Where The Wild Things Are to be released next week, I don’t see it hanging around the PTA chart for too long. I predict no more than 6 PTA points for An Education, a solid 7.5 IMDB rating, and probably sub double digits in box office numbers. Worth your $5 in Ultimate and $2 in Box Office? Probably, but don’t anchor your PTA points total on it.

Next up is another British movie, however despite being another period piece, this is entirely different from An Education, and likely to draw in an entirely different crowd. Bronson is the story of the notorious Charles Bronson (not the actor), widely known as Britain most violent prisoner. Born Michael Peterson, the bare knuckled boxer was imprisoned for seven years for armed robbery in 1974, but has had his sentence repeatedly extended for crimes committed within prison. Having served all but four years of his sentence in solitary confinement due to the number of hostage situations and attacks, he is now to spend his entire life in the establishment. Will this make a good movie? I say it sounds like a ravishing idea. Tom Hardy portrayal of Bronson looks scintillating, reminding me of Eric Bana’s performance in Chopper and Daniel Day Lewis in Gangs Of New York. Debuting solely in New York this weekend, before expanding to LA next week, I see the movie performing similarly to Chopper, bring in probably around $5000 PTA and placing somewhere in the bottom of the PTA chart. I think it looks like a great movie, but I doubt enough of the US knows the story of Charlie Bronson to be interested. A couple of PTA points is all I see for the movie, while it already has an established IMDB score of 6.6, I don’t really see any point in picking up this movie for the $4 in Ultimate or $2 in Box Office. I think it may be a worthwhile viewing, though.

Next up is the final of the British instalments, The Damned United, the story of Brian Clough, one of the most outspoken football (sorry, soccer) managers ever to grace the dugout, during his 44 day stint at Leeds United. His abrasive approach to the game won as many fans as it lost, but he was a damn good manager, probably one of the best ever. Here, his failed attempt at working with one of Britains top clubs of the time, is portrayed with verve by one of the UK’s best recent actors, Michael Sheen of The Queen and In The Loop fame. The script’s humour is kept dry and witty, and the direction fully absorbs 1960s and 70s Britain. However, this is football, never a good start when tackling the American market. Soccer movies generally don’t work in the US. And I don’t know why Sony Classics has decided to release two limited release movies in one week (the other being An Education). I just don’t see this transferring over the Atlantic. It will probably keep a very respectable IMDB rating of over 7.5, and will be embraced by all that see it. But I just don’t see the market. I would say it would be lucky to bring in even 1 PTA point on such a busy weekend with such strong holdovers already in place.

Moving away from the British Isles and closer to home we have From Mexico With Love, a touching story which deals with Latin immigrants and their struggle to survive in the realm of a boxing ring. Directed by stuntman Jimmy Nickerson, I imagine the action will be very realistic, but beyond a Latin audience, I just don’t see the appeal. And I imagine Roadside Attractions feel the same. Released in 279 locations, its too many for it too make an impact PTA wise, and too small to make any moves in terms of box office, This one is pretty much DOA, and with an IMDB of only 5.8 not really worth it even for a decent boost in that category. I’d say even for $3 in Ultimate and $1 in BO it’s just not worth it.

Next, I’ll quickly pass over Trucker, a movie starring the ever likeable Michelle Monoghan as a truck driver who looks to harness her carefree lifestyle when she takes in her estranged 11 year old son. To be honest, I see no prospects for this movie, I’m afraid, and despite it holding a very respectable 7.8 IMDB score, I just don’t see any potential for this too succeed, especially considering most seem to have forgotten it is even being released this weekend! Best to avoid, I’m afraid.

Last, but not least this week, we have Good Hair, the Chris Rock, Sundance award winning documentary which explore the ‘wonders’ of African-American hairstyles. Yes you read that right. Opening in 185 locations this should draw a fairly healthy African-American audience, and having been largely well received by the critics I suspect it’s IMDB score should remain over 7. However, I don’t see it bringing in more than 1 PTA point this weekend due to the competition, as well as it is a second release from Roadhouse in one weekend, and for this I don’t really think it is worth its $4 in Ultimate or $2 in Box Office. But then I know nothing of its target audience, so maybe it will go and prove me wrong.

So, that’s it for me this week. If you think a fair slice of Britishness is in order for you, or weather Mexican immigration or African-American documentaries are your thing, there is certainly plenty to watch in a variety of genres at your local this weekend, and I suspect a couple of them will add a little bit extra to your slate no doubt. Next weekend we are back for a little more patriotic fare, with New York, I Love You and Black Dynamite on my plate. Join me in my procrastination, you may well find something to think about yourself, or at least a couple of minutes away from work anyway.

Weekend PTA Predictions

1. A Serious Man
2. An Education
3. Couples Retreat
4. Coco Before Chanel
5. Bronson


Last edited by silversurfer19 on Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:45 am; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Surfer's Limited Release - Weekend 10/09 An Education, Bronson, The Damned United, From Mexico With Love, Trucker, Good Hair

Post by geezer9687 on Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:38 am

Is it Good Hair or Bad Hair? lol!

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Re: Surfer's Limited Release - Weekend 10/09 An Education, Bronson, The Damned United, From Mexico With Love, Trucker, Good Hair

Post by silversurfer19 on Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:45 am

Good Hair, bad title. Damn you guys are too quick for me to change my mistakes!!

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Re: Surfer's Limited Release - Weekend 10/09 An Education, Bronson, The Damned United, From Mexico With Love, Trucker, Good Hair

Post by Buscemi on Fri Oct 09, 2009 7:02 am

I think Good Hair will do a little better than expected. After all, it's got Chris Rock in it.

The New York numbers should help it at least.

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Re: Surfer's Limited Release - Weekend 10/09 An Education, Bronson, The Damned United, From Mexico With Love, Trucker, Good Hair

Post by silversurfer19 on Fri Oct 09, 2009 7:24 am

I think it's theatre count is just a little too high for it to have any significant impact. And with the number of new releases I just don't really see its potential.

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Re: Surfer's Limited Release - Weekend 10/09 An Education, Bronson, The Damned United, From Mexico With Love, Trucker, Good Hair

Post by Buscemi on Fri Oct 09, 2009 7:32 am

Which is why I said "a little".

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Re: Surfer's Limited Release - Weekend 10/09 An Education, Bronson, The Damned United, From Mexico With Love, Trucker, Good Hair

Post by silversurfer19 on Fri Oct 09, 2009 7:37 am

Which is also why i said it has a potential of 1 PTA point at best.... Anyway, didn't another comedian (Vince Vaughn) create a documentary recently and I'm sure that was a flop. Just goes to show that having a name comedian on your movie doesn't always help you. It's a shame so many movies are being released this weekend, as their are some really interesting titles coming out which will just disappear due to the amount of competition.

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Re: Surfer's Limited Release - Weekend 10/09 An Education, Bronson, The Damned United, From Mexico With Love, Trucker, Good Hair

Post by Buscemi on Fri Oct 09, 2009 7:43 am

But keep in mind that Vince Vaughn's documentary was shelved for two years and happened to be a concert documentary (a sub-genre that is often box office poison). Also, the film had no advertising whatsoever or advance word-of-mouth. It was gone after one week pretty much everywhere.


Last edited by Buscemi on Fri Oct 09, 2009 8:04 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Surfer's Limited Release - Weekend 10/09 An Education, Bronson, The Damned United, From Mexico With Love, Trucker, Good Hair

Post by silversurfer19 on Fri Oct 09, 2009 7:54 am

I understand the differences, and maybe it is wrong to compare them, however although not from the US, I can't say I have seen a lot of advertising for Good Hair either.

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Re: Surfer's Limited Release - Weekend 10/09 An Education, Bronson, The Damned United, From Mexico With Love, Trucker, Good Hair

Post by W on Fri Oct 09, 2009 8:21 am

silversurfer19 wrote:I understand the differences, and maybe it is wrong to compare them, however although not from the US, I can't say I have seen a lot of advertising for Good Hair either.

It's not just you, I haven't seen a thing besides what's on this board and a link under "coming soon" on IMDb.

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Re: Surfer's Limited Release - Weekend 10/09 An Education, Bronson, The Damned United, From Mexico With Love, Trucker, Good Hair

Post by Shrykespeare on Fri Oct 09, 2009 10:00 am

For those that are interested, incontention.com has "An Education" getting four major Oscar nods:

Best Picture
Best Actress - Carey Mulligan
Best Supporting Actor - Alfred Molina
Best Adapted Screenplay

This is a website that only talks about film awards.

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Re: Surfer's Limited Release - Weekend 10/09 An Education, Bronson, The Damned United, From Mexico With Love, Trucker, Good Hair

Post by Buscemi on Fri Oct 09, 2009 10:02 am

But will anyone see the movie for it get those nods?

Also, I find it surprising to see The Last Station get so much notice. The film has no distributor and will probably not see a US release until next year.

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Re: Surfer's Limited Release - Weekend 10/09 An Education, Bronson, The Damned United, From Mexico With Love, Trucker, Good Hair

Post by BanksIsDaFuture on Fri Oct 09, 2009 10:08 pm

As far as Good Hair goes, I think it's opening in too many theaters to get in on the PTA charts.

But it should do pretty well, there's a lot of awareness of it. Trailers before Tyler Perry and Chris Rock has been doing the rounds promoting it (Russ Parr, Steve Harvey, Oprah, Jay Leno, etc).
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Re: Surfer's Limited Release - Weekend 10/09 An Education, Bronson, The Damned United, From Mexico With Love, Trucker, Good Hair

Post by Donte77 on Tue Oct 20, 2009 11:15 pm

And An Education keeps going. 10 PTA.
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Re: Surfer's Limited Release - Weekend 10/09 An Education, Bronson, The Damned United, From Mexico With Love, Trucker, Good Hair

Post by W on Tue Oct 20, 2009 11:40 pm

Buscemi wrote:But will anyone see the movie for it get those nods?

yep

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Re: Surfer's Limited Release - Weekend 10/09 An Education, Bronson, The Damned United, From Mexico With Love, Trucker, Good Hair

Post by silversurfer19 on Wed Oct 21, 2009 1:04 am

I think I underestimated the potential of a Hornby movie. Apart from that i don't think I did too bad. And I'm pretty sure A Serious Man will beat it this week, it has a comparable PTA and is playing in a lot more thatres. Let's hope I keep improving....

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