Movies & TV » Film Clips

Capsule reviews of recently released movies

What to see, what to miss


Opening Friday

· DATE MOVIE (PG-13) Alyson Hannigan of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" stars in this rom-com parody that tweaks the likes of Meet the Fockers and practically every movie released in the past five years with "Wedding" in the title. The trailer points out that it's from "two of the six writers of Scary Movie!"

· EIGHT BELOW (PG) The Fast and the Furious' Paul Walker stars in this fact-based account of a team of eight sled dogs forced to fend for themselves in Antarctica for six months.

· FREEDOMLAND 3 stars. (R) See review.

· GAY SEX IN THE 70S 2 stars. (NR) See review.

· WHY WE FIGHT 4 stars. (NR) See review.

· THE WHITE COUNTESS 2 stars. (R) A blind former diplomat (Ralph Fiennes) forms a wary romance with a Russian countess-turned-sometime-prostitute (Natasha Richardson) in 1930s Shanghai. The last in the Merchant-Ivory line of hoity-toity films (cut short because of the death of producer Ismail Merchant), The White Countess presents a pair of intriguing characters and an exotic setting, but suffers from anemic passions and heavy-handed symbolism. -- Curt Holman

Duly Noted

· THE BLUE ANGEL (1930) (NR) In this legendary film, a prudish prep-school teacher falls for local nightclub singer Lola Lola (Marlene Dietrich, in her career-defining role). Berlin: Journey of a City. Wed., Feb. 22, 7 p.m. Goethe Institut Atlanta, 1197 Peachtree St. $4. 404-892-2388.

· CAMPUS MOVIENITE (NR) This evening presents the best Georgia-made short films of the Campus MovieFest, the fifth annual competition of student filmmakers. Thurs., Feb. 16, 7:30 p.m. Symphony Hall, 1280 Peachtree St. $12, $6 for students. 678-613-7370.

· HWY 5 FILM FESTIVAL (NR) The first Hwy 5 Film Festival features 10 locally produced short films from such filmmakers as Tracy Martin, Chris Tsambis, Cara Price, Matt Ruggles and Taj Turner. Fri., Feb. 17 and 24, midnight. El Cine Mireles, 3378 Canton Road. $6.25.

· LOST BOYS OF SUDAN (2003) 3 stars. (NR) Documentarians Megan Mylan and Jon Shenk follow two of the thousands of Sudanese "lost boys" made orphaned refugees by the nation's decades of civil war. As American immigrants they discover that nothing comes cheap in the land of the free, and the film reveals some fascinating, unexpected examples of culture shock. As one of the young men thrives while the other treads water, the film resembles Hoop Dreams, but finds more sociological insight than dramatic intensity. Feb. 17-23. Cinefest, GSU University Center, Suite 211, 66 Courtland St. $5 ($3 until 5 p.m.). 404-651-3565. -- Holman

· EXPERIMENTAL TELEVISION CENTER SCREENING (NR) This video screening from the 35 year-old Experimental Television Center features work from more than 20 filmmakers interested in exploring contemporary electronic arts. Thurs., Feb. 16, 8 p.m. Eyedrum, 290 Martin Luther King Jr Drive, Suite 8. $5. 404-522-0655.

· EYES WIDE SHUT (1999) 2 stars. (R) Then-spouses Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman play a wealthy married couple who embark on an urban odyssey of desire and paranoia when the husband's jealousy sends him deeper into New York's kinky (but improbably sterile) sexual underworld. In Stanley Kubrick's final film, the director's trademark icy formula never quite connects to the theme of erotic obsession at the heart of the film (which received some posthumous tampering to make the risqué scenes less explicit). Thurs., Feb. 23, 8 p.m. Woodruff Arts Center, Rich Theatre, 1280 Peachtree St. Free. 404-352-4225. -- Holman

· THE POWER OF NIGHTMARES (NR) This documentary draws a parallel between the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in the Middle East and the burgeoning neoconservative political movement in the United States. Thurs., Feb. 23, 7 p.m. Arts Exchange, 750 Kalb St. Free. 404-624-4211.

· THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW (1975) (R) The cult classic of cult classics, the musical horror spoof follows an all-American couple (Susan Sarandon and Barry Bostwick) to the castle of Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Tim Curry), a drag-queen/mad scientist from another galaxy. It's all fun and games until Meat Loaf gets killed. Dress as your favorite character and participate in this musical on acid. Midnight Fri. at Lefont Plaza Theatre and Sat. at Peachtree Cinema & Games, Norcross.

· SEARCHING FOR THE WRONG-EYED JESUS 2 stars. (NR) Coming uncomfortably close to a Southern freak show, this half-documentary, half-narrative exploration of the South's stark moral divide between evil and good, sin and church visits Pentecostal churches, Louisiana prisons, gritty roadhouses and even Harry Crews in British director Andrew Douglas' faltering effort to get close to the "real" South. The raw authenticity of the places tour guide and musician Jim White takes us sit badly next to contrived, artsy music video interludes where musicians like White, Johnny Dowd and the Handsome Family croon alt-country ballads to the region. Thurs., Feb. 16. Cinefest, GSU University Center, Suite 211, 66 Courtland St. $5 ($3 until 5 p.m.). 404-651-3565. -- Felicia Feaster

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