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Short subjectives

Capsule reviews of films by CL critics

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Opening Friday

AUTUMN IN NEW YORK (PG-13) Richard Gere and Winona Ryder star as ill-timed lovers who have to make the most out of one season in New York City.

BLESS THE CHILD (R) Kim Basinger fights against evil and other forces that keep her from mothering her adopted daughter.

THE EYES OF TAMMY FAYE This documentary takes a behind-the-scenes look at the woman at the center of the PTL controversy and biggest makeup crisis of the past 20 years.

I'M THE ONE THAT I WANT Margaret Cho's stand-up routine makes it to the big screen as she discusses her unique cultural role and near brush with fame.

THE REPLACEMENTS (PG-13) Keanu Reeves and Gene Hackman star in this story of butter-fingered football players whose love for the game may be the only thing that can save them.

SAVE THE LAST DANCE An interracial teen romance with Ten Things I Hate About You star Julia Stiles, who falls for a Chicago boy from the wrong side of the tracks.


Duly Noted

THE CASTLE This quirky Australian film shows what family life is like at the end of an airport runway. Aug. 12 at 7:30 p.m. Cinevision, 3300 Northeast Expressway, Building 2.

DIVINE TRASH A behind-the-scenes-look at some of celluloid's most raucous films, this documentary shows the cuddlier side of John Waters and his unique approach to filmmaking. Aug. 11-24 at GSU's cinéfest.

THE GIRL NEXT DOOR A documentary about porn star Stacy Valentine, this film portrays the troubled woman as someone who seized an opportunity to break free from an abusive marriage and inferiority complex, even if it was to become a starving, collagen-injected cheesecake. Aug. 4-10 at GSU's cinéfest.

GLADIATOR (R)
There still hasn't been a great gladiator movie since Spartacus, but stunning cinematography and fast and furious fight sequences that border on the surreal save this belabored but lovely period epic about an enslaved general (Russell Crowe) who becomes a champion fighter in Rome's spectacular and bloody gladiatorial games in order to take revenge on a treacherous twerp of an emperor (Joaquin Phoenix). Fans of the late Oliver Reed will surely enjoy one of his final performances as a crusty ex-warrior who runs a stable of gladiators. Aug. 10 at 8 p.m. Coca-Cola 2000 Summer Film Festival at the Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. -- EM

THE LIFE AND TIMES OF HANK GREENBERG Hank Greenberg's life and career served as a model for Jewish Americans when the baseball player challenged Babe Ruth's hitting record. This showing of the documentary benefits IMAGE Film and Video Center and the Ciesla Foundation. Aug. 16 at 8 p.m. at the Tara Theatre, 2345 Cheshire Bridge Road.

OCEAN OASIS An IMAX film (followed by martinis at Friday's show) about the undersea flora and fauna of Baja, Calif. August 11 and 13 at 6 p.m. Fernbank Museum of Natural History, 767 Clifton Road.

PINK FLAMINGOS A paragon of the John Waters' canon, this film starring the late Divine, portrays the battle between two families for the coveted title of the Filthiest People Alive. Aug. 11-17 at GSU'S cinéfest.

SCARY MOVIE (R)
A ribald comedy from the creators of I'm Gonna Git You Sucka, this spoof of horror films and teen sex comedies leaves no cliché (nor any supporting character) unskewered. Although weakened by vulgar jokes aimed at retarded and gay characters, it amply illustrates that comedy always has a victim; and though there are human victims aplenty here (including American Pie's shapely Shannon Elizabeth), Scary Movie most gleefully eviscerates Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer and The Blair Witch Project. Aug. 17 at 8 p.m. at the Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St.-- GN


Continuing

BLOOD SIMPLE (R)
It loses half a star for some film-school shenanigans, derelict dialogue and an unforgivable dream sequence, but the seeds of future greatness can be seen stirring in the director's cut of this thriller about adultery, betrayal and murder-gone-awry in Texas that launched the career of Joel and Ethan Coen, one of the American cinema's most influential and innovative teams. True, it may not have aged too well, and it's no Raising Arizona, but it can still stand up to just about anything out there. -- EM

BUT I'M A CHEERLEADER! (R)
Director Jamie Babbit's first feature-length film is a queer coming of age story about an otherwise American-as-apple-pie girl. Megan (Natasha Lyonne) is a cross-wearing, pom-pom toting cheerleader, going steady with the captain of the football team. Her parents, however, are worried about the posters of Melissa Etheridge on her wall, her boyfriend suspects she doesn't enjoy kissing him, and her fellow cheerleaders think she's overly affectionate. They stage an intervention to save Megan from her homosexual tendencies, and send her off to a rehabilitation camp for homosexuals, True Directions, where RuPaul, out of drag, plays an "ex-gay" counselor. -- KL

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