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Short Subjectives

Capsule reviews of films by CL critics


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ORPHEUS Director Jean Cocteau's 1949 French classic centers on a poet who meets the Princess of Death and becomes obsessed with her, which doesn't sit too well with his wife, Eurydice. The love triangle becomes even more complicated when Eurydice is killed and descends to the Underworld, the realm of the Princess. Celluloid Canvas Series, Nov. 8 at 8 p.m., GSU's cinéfest.

RED PLANET (PG-13) In the new space adventure, Earth is on the verge of death, and a group of American astronauts must travel to Mars to learn if the red planet is suitable for colonization. The mission runs into some unforeseen disasters, forcing the team to reevaluate their beliefs. Proceeds from the preview screening benefits the Captain Planet Foundation. Nov. 2 at 8:30 p.m., GSU's Rialto Center for Performing Arts, 80 Forsyth St.

THE ROAD WARRIOR Max is back in this 1981 sequel to Mad Max. In post-apocalyptic Australia, the disillusioned ex-police officer (Mel Gibson) wonders the land, searching for scarce, invaluable gasoline. On his journey, he comes across a group of people terrorized by bikers who want to take over their refinery. Nov. 3-9 at GSU's cinéfest.

SPEEDY BOYS (NR) An erotic fugue by Athens experimental filmmaker/painter James Herbert, this film of two young Americans, Andy and Carter, engaged in various carnal and intellectual entanglements during a summer in Italy typifies Herbert's intoxication with lush, young, naked bodies as evidence of the sublime. The story is characteristically loose and airy, according to Herbert's modus operandi, filled with vignettes of the boys lolling naked about Carter's painting studio, their apartment, or with various girls in the Italian countryside. Viewers will either fall in love with Herbert's film, reaffirm their faith in his artistic methods or wonder what all the fuss is about. Celluloid Canvas Series, Nov. 4 at 8 p.m., GSU's cinéfest. -- FF

TIME OUT One of the most successful Colombian films, the satirical comedy is about how the 1994 World Cup soccer match between Colombia and Peru impacted the brutal resistance struggle in Colombia. The power of soccer is apparent in director Sergio Cabrera's movie as the guerrillas and army cease fighting in order to watch the game on a single television in the jungle. The 1999 film is in Spanish with subtitles. Films at the High 2000 Latin-American Film Festival, Nov. 4 at 8 p.m., Rich Auditorium.

ALMOST FAMOUS (R) 1/2 Jerry Maguire director Cameron Crowe romanticizes his experiences as a 15-year-old Rolling Stone reporter, on tour with a fictional band called Stillwater. The film oversells the puppyish cuteness of leads Kate Hudson and Patrick Fugit but offers a pleasingly nostalgic portrait of a rock writer and the rock industry's loss of innocence, with terrific turns by Billy Crudup, Jason Lee and Philip Seymour Hoffman. -- CH

THE ART OF WAR (R) 1/2 Framed for murder while working on a top-secret UN security force, Wesley Snipes has to clear himself in an overlong but visually dazzling action flick with a reasonably intelligent and pleasantly fanciful script. Director Christian Duguay (TV's Joan of Arc) has no trouble filling a wide screen with some of the most interesting work of any western director in this genre. It's no milestone in the art of cinema, but it offers fair competition to the Mission: Impossible films, with a lot less hype to live up to. -- SW

BAIT (R) Another comic dud for the very funny Jamie Foxx, this is one slow-ass action movie that, even for a comedy, takes too many liberties with time and space. Foxx plays a petty (but sincere) thief who's used by the feds to draw out a killer (played by Doug Hutchison like Frank Gorshin imitating John Malkovich), but the killer's not the only thing that's drawn out. Given a choice of "fish or cut bait," I recommend you cut Bait out of your movie diet. -- SW

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) 1/2 A good multiple-personality showcase for Brendan Fraser and, to a lesser extent, Frances O'Connor ("Mansfield Park") also proves that a little of Elizabeth Hurley's Joan Collins-wannabe routine goes a long way. The film fausts--er, foists--a very tired plot on us in a nominal remake of the 1967 Peter Cook/Dudley Moore comedy. Good-hearted but socially inept Fraser sells his soul to the Devil (Hurley) in exchange for seven wishes, which never turn out as he wishes they would. Things turn preachy with a spiritual and a humanist message in addition to the obvious "Be careful what you wish for." -- SW

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