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Short Subjectives

Capsule reviews of films by CL critics

Opening Friday
BAMBOOZLED (R) 1/2 Spike Lee's vicious, witty satire of a black television executive who concocts a "New Millennial Minstrel Show" to save his troubled network's ratings, is a color-blind comedy of the stereotypes perpetuated by both blacks and whites. Sharp and often laugh-out-loud funny in its first half, Bamboozled loses a little steam in its preachy denouement but remains a must-see fantasy of how the media eventually renders even the most offensive subject matter palatable. -- FF

BEDAZZLED (PG-13) Loosely based on the 1967 romantic comedy starring Dudley Moore, the movie is about a depressed loser (Brendan Fraser) who unwittingly sells his soul to Satan (Elizabeth Hurley) in exchange for seven wishes. He intends to use the wishes to win the heart of his beloved, but the wishes, of course, end up going horribly wrong.

BILLY ELLIOTT (R) A hybrid of the miserable-English-childhood film and performing-British-nonconformist movies such as The Full Monty, Billy Elliott depicts an 11-year-old coal miner's son (Jamie Bell) who develops an improbable passion for ballet. Some of the self-conscious flourishes (like the soundtrack prominent with T-Rex) can be strange, but it's an endearingly idiosyncratic film that puts some new moves on its "feel-good" premise. -- CH

THE BROKEN HEARTS CLUB (R) A contrived effort to market gay life to a mainstream audience, this fluffy romantic comedy seems to believe shallow, one-dimensional characters and sitcom situations will lure a "Friends" viewership -- in that sense it may achieve the expected results of making its gay characters bland and superficial enough for any taste. Set in the Los Angeles gay enclave of West Hollywood, the film concerns six bosom buddies who are trying to overcome bad habits like promiscuity and self-hatred while they search for love on a competitive, looks-oriented dating scene. -- FF

THE LEGEND OF DRUNKEN MASTER (R) Originally released in Asian markets in 1994, the martial-arts comedy is considered a Jackie Chan cult classic outside the United States. Using his trademark stunts, Chan plays an unlikely hero who turns into a martial-arts master after one drink. As a drunken fighting machine, the master must stop a group of nasty smugglers from stealing sacred imperial treasures.

PAY IT FORWARD (PG-13) A social studies teacher (Kevin Spacey) gives his class the ultimate assignment: Make the world a better place. Taking the project to heart, Trevor (Haley Joel Osment) devises a system, in which one person helps three people and then they help three people and so on. Trevor and his mother (Helen Hunt) are surprised to learn just how far his idealistic plan reaches.

Duly Noted
THE BEST OF CORKY QUACKENBUSH The screening features claymated animation by Quackenbush, who is known for his work on "MADtv." The satirical, dark shorts include "Davey and Son of Goliath," "Furious George" and "The Reinfather." Oct. 23 at 9 p.m., Fountainhead Lounge, 485 Flat Shoals Ave.

DISCREET CHARM OF THE BOURGEOISE Winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film in 1973, the film centers on a group of "respectable" friends who want to meet for an enjoyable dinner. Their simple plan becomes a surreal nightmare after each attempt at a meal is foiled by highly bizarre interruptions. Director Luis Bunuel uses his subversive film to poke fun at the bourgeoise. Oct. 20-26 at GSU's cinéfest.

ENTHUSIASM Under a harsh military dictatorship in Chile, three life-long friends dream of a perfect world, one safe from violence and all-consuming capitalism. As the movie progresses, the utopia envisioned by the idealistic friends is tarnished by the pursuit of money and power. Director Ricardo Larrain's 1999 film is in Spanish with subtitles. 2000 Latin-American Film Festival, Oct. 20 at 8 p.m., Rich Auditorium.

THE EYES OF TAMMY FAYE This documentary takes a behind-the-scenes look at the crocodile-tear-stained woman at the center of the PTL controversy and biggest makeup crisis of the past 20 years. Oct. 20-26 at GSU's cinéfest.

IT'S A JUNGLE OUT THERE Director Hans-Christian Schmid's 1995 film is a coming-of-age story on acid. Anna, 17, cannot get along with her parents, so she decides to run away from her small town and hitchhike to Munich. Through a number of horrible experiences in the city, Anna learns that her home life might not have been as terrible as she once thought. The film is in German with subtitles. Oct. 25 at 7 p.m., Goethe-Institut Atlanta.

THE LIGHTHOUSE A heart-warming tale about two sisters left to fend for themselves after a car accident claims the lives of their parents and brother. The movie follows the duo as they struggle to come to terms with the great loss and the deep wounds that scar them. Director Eduardo Mignona adds a sense of humor to the sisters' bittersweet journey. The film is in Spanish with subtitles. 2000 Latin-American Film Festival, Oct. 21 at 8 p.m., Rich Auditorium.

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