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Short subjectives

Capsule reviews of films by CL critics


Opening Friday
BOYS LIFE 3 (NR) *** At 27 minutes max, none of these five gay shorts wears out its welcome. David Fourier's wryly comic "Majorettes in Space" is a masterpiece. Bradley Rust Gray's "hITCH" creates and sustains a homoerotic mood. Highest-profile but least effective is Inside Out, written and directed by and starring Jason Gould in a spoof of his own life as the gay son of Elliott Gould and Barbra Streisand. Lane Janger's Just One Time is a seven-minute appeteaser for a feature-length version with the same cast. $30 is a sweet story starring Sara Gilbert that saves its gay angle for the end. -- SW

SOMEONE LIKE YOU (PG-13) ** 1/2 The best thing about this total chick flick is that men, rather than being likened to pigs, are compared to bulls instead. Ashley Judd stars as Jane, who adapts the New Cow Theory, that bulls refuse to mate with the same cow twice, to show that human males behave the same as bovines. That's after she's dumped by Greg Kinnear and before she and Hugh Jackman realize they're made for each other. This formulaic movie might have been made in the pre-feminist era as well as today. It's not groundbreaking but it's a pleasant enough time-waster. -- SW

SPY KIDS (PG) *** Here's Willy Wonka: The Next Generation, full of warmth, imagination and surrealism combined with the action today's youngsters demand (though less violence than they might prefer). Robert Rodriguez's creation is about the children of retired spies Antonio Banderas and Carla Gugino going into the family business to rescue their kidnapped parents. The story, action and visuals rate higher than the inconsistent acting. The heroes are fine, but the villains (Alan Cumming, Tony Shalhoub, Robert Patrick and Teri Hatcher) are all over the map instead of uniformly over the top. -- SW

THE TAILOR OF PANAMA *** Pierce Brosnan wickedly sullies his 007 image as a sleazy, womanizing intelligence agent who enlists a fraudulent tailor (Geoffrey Rush) to spy on Panama's ruling elites. The adaptation of John LeCarre's novel weaves a complicated pattern of broad satire, serious political commentary and knotty character study, but director John Boorman loses his grip on the different threads, offering a weak, unconvincing ending that undercuts the film's otherwise provocative originality. -- CURT HOLMAN

TOMCATS (R) Just in time for Spring Break, Revolution Studios introduces a sex-crazed, freewheeling bunch of single buddies who make a pact never to marry. Seven years later, all are hitched but two -- Michael Delaney (a struggling cartoonist with a big-time gambling debt played by Jerry O'Connel) and Kyle Bremmer (Jake Busey as an avowed bachelor). Delaney has 30 days to win the bet (with a pot of almost a half-million bucks), but falls for the woman he's propositioned to be Bremmer's bride.

Duly Noted
THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI. The silent 1919 classic was a landmark film in the German Expressionist movement in cinema. As part of Georgia State's cinefest, the film will be accompanied by live music provided by Duende.

April 6 at 8 p.m. at cinefest.

DO THE RIGHT THING IMAGE Film & Video Center screens one of Spike Lee's most controversial films. Set in Brooklyn on a sweltering summer day, the film reveals the racial hostilities between black and white neighbors that threatens to erupt into violence. April 5 at 8 p.m. Woodruff Arts Center

THE GLEIWITZ CASE *** (NR) East German director Gerhard Klein's 1961 style-explosion melds documentary, fascist film aesthetics and everything from Godard to Welles. Though a critique of fascism seemed Klein's primary objective, his reenactment of a 1939 Nazi conspiracy that ushered the world into war is also off-kilter funny, its sampling of film technique from classic Hollywood glamour to Triumph of the Will starched formality makes this film as deliciously weird as it is stylistically snazzy. April 4 at 7 p.m. at the Goethe Institut. -- FELICIA FEASTER

LE JOLI MAI (LOVELY MAY) Winner of the International Critics' Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, Lovely May is a study of Paris and its people during the month that marked the end of the Algerian War, featuring interviews with a slum dweller, a merchant, an African student and a priest turned militant communist and others. Shown as part of "Memory Sites: A Festival of Films by Chris Marker." March 28 at 8 p.m. 208 White Hall, Emory.

LE TOMBEAU D'ALEXANDRE (THE LAST BOLSHEVIC) A tribute to the Soviet director Alexander Medvedkin, The Last Bolshevik is presented in the form of letters to his deceased friend and includes rare footage from Madvedkin's works. Le Train en Marche is also showing as part of "A Festival of Films by Chris Marker." March 29 at 8 p.m. 208 White Hall, Emory.

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