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Capsule reviews of recently reviewed films



AMARCORD (1973) 5 stars (R) Federico Fellini's Oscar-winning film about small-town Italian life.
NEXT DAY AIR When an unsuspecting delivery man drops off a giant box of cocaine at the wrong house, the bad guys come looking for the messenger. Stars Mos Def, Mike Epps and Donald Faison ("Scrubs").
STAR TREK 4 stars (PG-13) See review.
SUGAR 3 stars (R) See review.


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. Midnight, Fridays at Plaza Theatre, 1049 Ponce de Leon Ave. 404-873-1939.


ADVENTURELAND 3 stars (R) A cerebral — and virginal — college graduate (Jesse Eisenberg) finds dreary summer employment and the possibility of romance at Adventureland, a seedy Pittsburgh amusement park. The likeable cast includes Twilight's Kristen Stewart as a beguiling co-worker involved with the park's resident "cool guy" (Ryan Reynolds), as well as scene-stealing Martin Starr as an underemployed, overeducated geek. Writer/director Greg Mottola previously directed the hit Superbad, and Adventureland, while funny, offers a bittersweet account that suggests those youthful, fateful summers weren't as fun to experience as our nostalgic memories might suggest. — Curt Holman

AMERICAN VIOLET 2 stars (PG-13) In a small town in Texas, a waitress and mother of four (Nicole Beharie) is wrongfully arrested for dealing drugs, and eventually challenges the racial inequities of the war on drugs by suing the powerful local D.A. (Michael O'Keefe). Director Tim Disney captures the terror of shock-and-awe arrest tactics and the Orwellian nightmare of unfair criminal prosecution (especially for the working poor), and builds to a lively cross-examination in a deposition. Unfortunately, American Violet's saintly treatment of its heroine and one-dimensional characterizations (despite the work of such strong actors as Tim Blake Nelson, Alfre Woodard and Charles Dutton) keep the film on the level of a made-for-TV movie. — Holman 

BATTLE FOR TERRA 2 stars (PG) Evan Rachel Wood voices a spunky, tech-savvy teenager on Terra, a planet of legless, floating tadpole-people. When the remnants of humanity come to colonize her world, can she and a shipwrecked soldier (Luke Wilson) convince their races to give peace a chance? Had Battle for Terra beat Delgo to theaters, its technically more sophisticated animation might have been more impressive, but instead the project feels derivative of too many sci-fi sources. — Holman

THE CLASS 4 stars (Not rated) In this Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language Film, teacher and award-winning novelist François Bègaudeau plays a fictionalized version of himself, a middle-school French instructor who struggles with his confrontational middle-school students. Compared to Hollywood inspirational teacher-dramas like Dangerous Minds, The Class could be a remedial course, focusing on the institutional and cultural challenges that make education an uphill battle. Primarily set in the classroom, the film reveals complex conflicts and proves that educational problems have no easy answers. — Holman

CRANK: HIGH VOLTAGE Chev Chelios (Jason Statham) is pissed off. Organ thieves have stolen his heart and now he's going to fight them to get it back.

DRAGONBALL: EVOLUTION Forces of good and evil fight for control of the Dragonballs. The fate of the world is at stake. Special effects and stunt fighting ensue.

DUPLICITY (PG-13) Espionage, romance, and the perfect con are mixed together for this thriller cocktail. Clive Owen and Julia Roberts star.

EVERLASTING MOMENTS  3 stars (NR) In early 20th-century Sweden, a downtrodden mother (Maria Heiskanen) contends with poverty, World War I, and a drunken, abusive husband (Mikael Persbrant), leaving little time for her inchoate talent as a photographer. A Golden Globe nominee for Best Foreign Language Film, this often grim drama presented primarily from her daughter's point of view, often suggests a Scandinavian Angela's Ashes. Everlasting Moments features subtly gorgeous cinematography and offers a primer in 100-year-old photography, but the woman's commitment to her brutish spouse seems as much masochistic as martyrlike, and proves to be the film's one area that could use more development. — Holman

FAST & FURIOUS Does the scent of burning rubber get your engine going? This flick invites you to fill up your tank with Vin Diesel for two hours of car chases around Los Angeles.

FIGHTING The title says it all. A young man enters a seedy circuit of bare-knuckle brawling. Will he be able to keep all his teeth?

GHOSTS OF GIRLFRIENDS PAST Don't be fooled by the spooky title. This romantic comedy starring Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Garner has more laughs than gasps.

GOMORRAH 3 stars (NR) Italy's official entry for this year's Academy Awards offers a sprawling, journalistic portrayal of the Camorra crime syndicate in Naples. Director Matteo Garrone's five entwined narrative lines cross generations and social strata, from a white-collar toxic waste dumper to an impoverished housing projects kid named Totó (Salvatore Abruzzese) who aspires to join a "clan." Gomorrah leaves audiences in the position of innocent bystanders, without always knowing who the players are or where sudden violence will come from, and manages to offer a gangster film without a trace of glamour. — Holman 


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