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This week's film openings and more




GROWN-UPS Five Guys- no, not the restaurant, but comedy studs Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Kevin James, David Spade, and Rob Schneider - play former basketball teammates who honor the passing of their basketball coach by spending the Fourth of July weekend at a Lakehouse where they had won their title years earlier. Stringing their families along on their adventure, the guys show that growing older does not mean growing up.

JOAN RIVERS: A PIECE OF WORK 4 stars (R ) This strangely compelling documentary follows a year in the life of 75 year-old Joan Rivers, whose abrasive, confrontational persona proves consistent with her desperation to reclaim the spotlight. In one characteristic contradiction, she makes profane, uproarious insults through-out her stand-up act - then wonders why audiences don't embrace her. Rivers may be one of the complex characters in any film to be released this year, and proves to be funny enough to remind audiences why she became popular in the first place. -- Holman

ONDINE (PG-13) Colin Farrell plays an Irish fisherman who catches a beautiful woman (Alicja Bachleda) in his net and wonders if she's some kind of mystical sea-creature. The Crying Game's acclaimed, underrated director Neil Jordan returns to the magical realism mode of such films as The Company of Wolves and The Butcher Boy.

STONEWALL UPRISING (NR) The 20th century was a huge period of activism and revolution. Following the civil rights movement and feminine revolution came what was naturally then next order of business: gay movement. The movie is based on the book Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution by David Carter


THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE (PG-13) Pop culture's most mopey teen romantic triangle - Bella the human, Edward the vampire and Jacob the werewolf - faces such complications as a wave of murders in Seattle, an impending war between supernatural beings and high school graduation. From the director of 30 Days of Night.


48 HOUR FILM PROJECT (NR) Over the weekend of June 18, filmmaking teams had just 48 hours to create new short films. This weekend, see the finished products - which should range from amateurish to impressive - at two lively screenings. Fri., June 25, 7 - 11 p.m. and Sun., June 27, 9-1 p.m. The Plaza Theatre, 1049 Ponce de Leon Ave. 404-873-1939.

HERCULES IN THE HAUNTED WORLD (1961) 3 stars (NR) British bodybuilder Reg Park plays the musclebound Greek demigod, who clashes an evil king played by Christopher Lee. According to the film's Wikipedia entry, "The climax has Hercules smashing Lico with a giant boulder and throwing similarly large rocks at an army of zombies." Silver Scream Spook Show. June 26, 1 and 10 p.m. Plaza Theatre, 1049 Ponce De Leon Ave., $8-$12. 404-873-1939.

THE ROOM (2003) 1 star (R ) This hilariously incompetent, sub-Skinemax-level romantic triangle has become a wildly entertaining monthly viewing party, a la The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Writer-director-star Tommy Wiseau strikes a freaky presence as a long-haired, heavy-lidded, thick-accented bank employee cuckolded by his vicious fiancée (Juliette Danielle). The film's bizarre touches, like framed photographs of spoons, inspire audiences to throw plastic spoons at the screen, and more. Not to be missed. Tue., June 29, 9:30 p.m. $8. Plaza Theatre, 1049 Ponce de Leon Ave. 404-873-1939.


KNIGHT AND DAY 2 stars (PG-13) Single gal June (Cameron Diaz) has an airport meet-cute with dashing Ray (Tom Cruise), only to discover that he's a renegade government agent who drags her along for a globe-trotting chase for a dangerous invention called "The Zephyr." Can Ray keep ahead of evil arms dealers and ambiguous feds (including Peter Sarsgaard and Viola Davis) long enough to get June to her sister's wedding? Formerly called Wichita before taking the forgettable name Knight and Day, the film might as well be called Generic Romantic Comedy-Thriller under James Mangold's fast-paced but unmemorable direction. Initially resembling a remake of The In-Laws, only with the possibility that the two leads will have sex, Knight and Day eventually brings up unwelcome memories of True Lies' sexism, although Cruise and Diaz prove that star power can carry a vehicle a long way. -- Holman

JONAH HEX 1 star (PG-13) Confederate soldier turned hideously-scarred bounty hunter Jonah Hex (Josh Bolin) tracks down his maniacal former commander Quentin Turnbull (John Melodic), who plans to wreak havoc on Washington DC's centennial with a giant war machine designed by Eli Whitney. Brief moments with Bolin talking to dead people suggest the moody supernatural revenge flick it could've been, but the notoriously hexed production results in a noisy massacre of an intriguing comic book tough guy. The best thing about Jonah Hex is that, with its 80 minute running time, there's not very much of it. -- Holman

OSS 177: LOST IN RIO 2 stars (NR) Jean Dujardin reprises his hilariously clueless character of vapid French secret agent code-named OSS 177, who encounters hippies, Nazis, masked wrestlers and a hot, go-go-garbed Mossad Colonel on a mission in Rio. Following the ingenious, post-911-informed satire of the predecessor, Cairo, Nest of Spies, Lost in Rio proves a disappointment, with gags that gain little comedic mileage, with exceptions including the Hitchcock-inspired finale. The filmmakers put more loving care into the 1960s-era style, particularly the energetic split-screen effects, than into the script. -- Holman

SOLITARY MAN Michael Douglas plays Ben Kalmen a washed-up, formerly successful car dealer on the verge of a comeback after countless financial and familial mistakes. But things get complicated when the divorcée starts to have feelings for his daughter's friend who just so happens to have a daddy in high places in the auto manufacturing world. The film also stars an all-star cast including Danny DeVito, Susan Sarandon, and Jenna Fischer.

TOY STORY 3 4 stars (G) With their owner Andy departing for college, Woody (voiced by Tom Hanks) and the other playthings consider a less lonely future at a bumptious day care center, only to discover that a bitter teddy bear (Ned Beatty) rules it like a prison warden. While the script's a little looser than its predecessor, Toy Story 3 completes the most internally consistent and satisfying film trilogy since The Lord of the Rings, offering Pixar's trademark snappy patter and emotional complexity (which may be occasionally upsetting for pre-schoolers). Big Baby may be the breakout character of the summer. - Holman

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