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Capsule reviews of recently released movies

All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, Hairspray

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NOTE: To find full reviews of these movies by CL critics, click on the title with a link where applicable.

Opening Friday

ALL THE BOYS LOVE MANDY LANE (R) Boyish infatuation with Mandy Lane's (Amber Heard) girlish figure leads to obsession and murder on the part of one admirer in Jonathan Levine's horror movie.

ANGEL-A 3 stars (R) See review.

EAGLE VS. SHARK (R) A hopelessly romantic waitress (Loren Horsley) falls for an overly vengeful video-game clerk (Jemaine Clement) in writer/director Taika Cohen's quirky love story.

HAIRSPRAY 4 stars (PG) See review.

I NOW PRONOUNCE YOU CHUCK AND LARRY (PG-13) Adam Sandler and Kevin James star as straight firefighters posing as gay life partners to take advantage of the insurance benefits in Dennis Dugan's comedy.

Duly Noted

300 4 stars (R) In 480 B.C., 300 Spartan warriors stand against an army of hundreds of thousands in an ultraviolent action epic that makes the Hercules and Conan movies look like flailing slap-fights. Like Sin City, Frank Miller adapts his macho graphic novel, and all the backgrounds are computer-generated; unlike Sin City, Miller's painterly images don't overwhelm the emotional investment of such actors as Gerard Butler and Lena Headey as Sparta's king and queen. If it plays like the biggest Army recruiting commercial ever made (particularly given that the bad guys are Iranians -- I mean, Persians), 300 nevertheless conquers its own overwrought tendencies to offer a spectacle. Flicks on 5th. Wed., July 25 at dusk. Georgia Tech, Technology Square. 404-894-2805. -- Curt Holman

THE LIVES OF OTHERS 4 stars (R) Despite being set in recent history, The Lives of Others is also a cautionary tale, offering a possible window into our own future for its message about the life-sapping potential of a government that puts power above its human citizens. Director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's engrossing Oscar winner for Best Foreign Film follows an East Berlin secret policeman or "Stasi" as he has his first twinge of guilt over a life spent spying on and subsequently destroying the lives of his fellow Germans. When he is ordered to spy on a playwright and his girlfriend, Capt. Gerd Wiesler (Ulrich Mühe) begins to feel affection and sympathy for them. The Plaza Theatre, 1049 Ponce de Leon Ave. 404-873-1939. www.plazaatlanta.com. -- Felicia Feaster

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 tripped-out musical. Midnight Fri. at Lefont Plaza Theatre and Sat. at Peachtree Cinema & Games, Norcross.

SUMMER OF LOVE: SEX, DRUGS, ROCK, ROCK, ART AND PROTEST IN THE COUNTERCULTURE CIRCA 1967 See overview.

THE ZOMBIES OF MORA TAU (1957) Treasure-seeking, fully alive sailors search for the diamonds guarded by undead, zombiefied sailors in Edward Cahn's horror classic. The Silver Scream Spook Show. July 28. The Plaza Theatre, 1049 Ponce de Leon Ave. 404-873-1939. www.plazaatlanta.com.

Continuing

1408 (PG-13) Stephen King's twisted mind and extensive collection spawn yet another horror flick, brought to life this time by Swedish director Mikael Håfström, Samuel L. Jackson and John Cusack, who plays a skeptical horror novelist checking into the Dolphin Hotel's infamous room 1408.

CAPTIVITY (R) Elisha Cuthbert (The Girl Next Door, House of Wax) plays Jennifer, a fashion model abducted, held against her will and tortured in Roland Joffé's (The Killing Fields) thriller.

DAYWATCH 2 stars (R) Like Russia's answer to the cheesy, faux-Gothic Crow or Highlander franchises, Daywatch, like its predecessor Nightwatch, features the murky, portentous exploits of supernatural beings in contemporary cities. The second installment features some welcome humor (including a terrific bit with hero Konstantin Khabensky switching bodies with a female colleague), but the film's second half turns both ponderous and shrill. -- Holman

EVAN ALMIGHTY 2 stars (PG) In this superficial yarn, selfish freshman congressman Evan Baxter (Steve Carell) finds his political career derailed by a holy decree from God (Morgan Freeman) to build an ark. A crass attempt to get the fundamentalists and progressives on the same page, this misguided comedy about environmentalism-through-Scripture suggests Close Encounters of the Third Kind meets Mr. Smith Goes to Washington without either film's integrity or skills. -- Feaster

EVENING 2 stars (PG-13) From a novel by chronicler of WASP angst Susan Minot, Evening follows the various bees in the bonnets of an upper-crust Yankee clan on the 1950s weekend of their youngest daughter's (Mamie Gummer, Meryl Streep's daughter) marriage. The story flashes back and forth between the present, as Ann (Vanessa Redgrave) lies dying of cancer, and that fateful weekend when she was a young bohemian bridesmaid (Claire Danes) observing the strange rituals of the rich. Despite a powerhouse cast including Toni Collette, Meryl Streep, Natasha Richardson and Glenn Close this is all very tepid, uninvolving stuff. -- Feaster

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