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This past weekend, "Up in the Air" made more than $1 million on 15 screens while "Transylmania" took in only $250,000 (roughly) on more than 1,000 screens. So you see, limited release doesn't mean limited box office gross, and it certainly doesn't mean limited appeal. Of course, "Up in the Air" stars George Clooney. This week's three spotlighted films opening in limited release don't have that luxury, yet each has enough appeal to enough of a built-in audience that I won't be surprised to see all of them do relatively well with the screens their given.

"A Single Man"

What it is: Fashion designer Tom Ford makes his directorial debut with "A Single Man," a '60s-set drama in which a college professor (Colin Firth) deals with the death of his boyfriend (Matthew Goode). Julianne Moore and Nicholas Hoult, of "About a Boy," also appear as the man's best friend and student, respectively. Based on the novel by Christopher Isherwood. Read More...

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When Sony pulled the plug on its adaptation of Michael M. Lewis' "Moneyball" this past summer, mere days before shooting was to begin with Steven Soderbergh at the helm, movie and baseball fans alike were severely disappointed. Yet despite reported fears that a movie about America's greatest pastime won't play well internationally (as if this were Hollywood's first ever baseball-centered film), the studio is continuing its attempt to bring the story of Billy Beane and his management of the Oakland A's to the big screen.

According to Variety, Sony has hired Bennett Miller to replace Soderbergh as director. Miller hasn't made a film since "Capote," for which he was nominated for an Oscar, though he has been doing the occasional TV commercial and music video. So, as much as this is good news for fans of Lewis' book -- which encompasses any true baseball enthusiast -- it's also exciting for those of us who've been waiting for Miller to direct his next feature. Read More...

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Vampires pretty much put Summit Entertainment on the map after the company made the wise decision to produce and distribute "Twilight." Now, as Summit continues to rake in money with "New Moon," The Hollywood Reporter brings word that the house Edward Cullen built is interested in exploring the roots of the undead creatures at the heart of the franchise.

Summit will collaborate with Brad Pitt's production company, Plan B, on "Vlad," a period action film about Vlad the Impaler as a young prince. The real-life 15th century Wallachian ruler, famously the inspiration for Bram Stoker's book "Dracula," may not be portrayed in the film as a vampire, but his connection to the mythology cannot really be ignored. Read More...

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Summit Entertainment, hot off "New Moon"'s golden box office performance, is announcing a number of projects this week, including a sci-fi action movie titled "Invasion," which will be produced by horror filmmaker Eli Roth and Eric Newman ("Children of Men"). According to, the idea is being compared to "Cloverfield," likely in the way it will depict an apocalyptic situation from the limited perspective of a small group of protagonists.

The project, which began with a spec script by Ben Magid, is said to have an environmental theme, putting it in the same boat as "The Happening" and "The Day After Tomorrow." I'd like to suggest Roth and Newman hire filmmaker Larry Fessenden to direct now that he's no longer doing Guillermo del Toro's "Orphanage" remake. Fessenden has proven with films like "The Last Winter" that environmentalist themes don't have to be cheesy or too preachy. Read More...

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Now that December is upon us, you can expect to hear about a lot of new releases you probably won't be able to see right away, unless you happen to live in a major market. Unfortunately, this is how it goes with films vying for year-end awards notice. Some of these hopeful contenders will show up at your multiplex around Christmas, when the marquee will be filled with so many new releases your head is likely to spin. Others will expand in January, and still others won't go wide until the Oscar nominations are announced on February 2. Meanwhile, we'll continue to see some titles released that don't have the benefit of an Oscar campaign and some that don't have the qualifying status to warrant such promotion.

This week's unLimited features a sure-thing Oscar contender, a dark comedy unlikely to be considered for any honors and a documentary that isn't qualified to be up for an Academy Award. Support independent fillm; check them out if and when you can. Read More...

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Indira Gandhi, India's first and only female Prime Minister, is getting a much-deserved biopic, and big name actors are being wooed for star-studded cameos. According to The Daily Telegraph, Helen Mirren is in talks to return to the role of Queen Elizabeth II, who she won an Oscar for playing in 2006's "The Queen." Emily Watson, meanwhile, has been cast as former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Other expected -- or at least sought-after -- portrayals include Tom Hanks as Lyndon Johnson, Tommy Lee Jones as Richard Nixon and Albert Finney as British actor Peter Ustinov.

The biopic, titled "Mother: The Indira Gandhi Story," will be released in two parts, a la Steven Soderbergh's "Che" films. Both will be directed by Indian filmmaker Krishna Shah, who last helmed a pair of American B-movies called "Hard Rock Zombies" and "American Drive-In" back in 1985. Since then he seems to have primarily been a producer of "Sleepaway Camp" sequels. Playing the lead role of Gandhi is Bollywood star Madhuri Dixit, of the very entertaining and hugely successful Indian film "Hum Aapke Hain Kaun...!" (I highly recommend it to anyone curious about modern Bollywood cinema). Read More...

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It's another big holiday weekend with plenty of new releases to consider following your Thanksgiving feast this Thursday (and following your subsequent leftovers feasts through Sunday). In the same way that many Americans prefer alternatives to the traditional turkey and stuffing dinner on the day of gratitude, many moviegoers want something other than a studio tentpole release the day after Thanksgiving. Really, why would you want a popcorn movie when you're still full from the night before?

There are a couple of limited release options this week, including an important studio film getting a surprisingly soft opening, to appease such a film diet. Check these films out if you want something different as or additional to your main course this weekend: Read More...

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Last week, during a live Q&A on, Judd Apatow addressed the idea of a "Funny People" spin-off focused on Aziz Ansari's minor stand-up comedian character, Randy (or, Raaaaaaaandy), implying that it was all up to the actor if it would happen. "You should Twitter Aziz Ansari and tell him you want that movie," Apatow urged fans via webcam. "Aziz may be concerned that more people think he's Randy than Aziz. That may be his hesitation."

Well, the occasional IMAX protester and costar of NBC's "Parks and Recreation" has apparently gotten over that hesitation, whether due to fans Tweeting him or not. According to Variety, he and writer-director Jason Woliner, one of Ansari's collaborators on MTV's sketch comedy show "Human Giant," have sold Apatow and Universal Pictures on a pitch for the Randy movie, along with two other movie ideas. Read More...

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As long as Hollywood is turning board games into movies, why not also mine game shows? I'd love to see movies made out of "Press Your Luck" and that Japanese show where contestants had to guess what dangerous animal was atop their head. In a way, "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" has already been turned into a movie ("Slumdog Millionaire"), and now a producer of "300" is bringing "American Gladiators" to the big screen.

Scott Mednick, also an executive producer of this fall's "Where the Wild Things Are," has hired "Point Break" screenwriter Peter Iliff to script the previously announced adaptation of the physical competition series as a movie that, Variety says, will "feature the Herculean characters as superheroes." But will amateur athletes be cast as the villains? It would certainly be appropriate to the format of the show, which involved everyday contenders battling the gigantic male and female Gladiators for a shot at $100,000 and a car. Read More...

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Despite the record-breaking advance ticket sales for "New Moon," I think there may be one or two of you interested in seeing something other than the "Twilight" sequel this weekend. And if neither the sports drama "The Blind Side" nor the animated "Planet 51" is your cup of tea, either, there's also the indie hit "Precious: Based on the Novel PUSH by Sapphire," which expands wider this Friday. Or, if you live in a major city, there are a number of new films opening in limited release that also look appealing. As always with unLimited's picks, if you wan to see one of the following titles and it isn't scheduled for your neck of the woods, contact your local theater and request it be booked there.

"Red Cliff"

What it is: Epic war film set in Ancient China, directed by legendary action auteur John Woo ("Face/Off") and starring Tony Leung ("Lust, Caution"). Read More...

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