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Capsule reviews of films by CL critics

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Opening Friday
THE ANNIVERSARY PARTY 1/2 (R) Jennifer Jason Leigh and Alan Cumming wrote, directed and star in this zeitgeisty psychodrama of a hip Hollywood couple and their high-powered friends who find their evening of celebration turning into an Ecstasy-fueled meltdown where clothes come off, truths get told and everyone undoubtedly wakes up with an ugly "what did I say?" hangover. Though there is plenty of emoting on display, the film often feels like a keyhole glimpse into the reality of life in a Hollywood fishbowl, as well as the more universal anxieties about faithfulness, aging, children and career. -- FELICIA FEASTER

DR. DOLITTLE 2 (PG) This time around veterinarian Dr. Dolittle's (Eddie Murphy) mission is to save the forest and the endangered Pacific Western bear. But the species has no chance of surviving if the bear doesn't have a mate. Dolittle searches and finds Bruno, a big-hearted, loveable performing bear with a fondness for fast food. Dolittle's challenge: to reintegrate Bruno into the wild, help him make a love connection and save the forest. The trick: he has only three weeks to do it.

THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS 1/2 (PG-13). This loud, overblown B-movie about illegal street racing goes nowhere but gets there fast. Director Rob Cohen offers a handful of nail-biting set pieces, particularly the opening race and a climactic truck chase a la The Road Warrior. But though Vin Diesel makes a magnetic lead, Furious is bumper-to-bumper with bad dialogue, poor logic and clichéd characters. -- CURT HOLMAN

STARTUP.COM (PG). Documentary filmmakers Jehane Noujaim and Chris Hegedus trace the rise and fall of short-lived Internet company govWorks.com with a remarkable, fly-on-the-wall proximity to the partnership and strained friendship of the company's founders. But it leaves significant details about the business unexplained and offers no context about the Internet itself. -- CH

Duly Noted
BRIDGET JONES'S DIARY 1/2 (R) Renee Zellweger manages a convincing British accent and remains defiantly appealing as the loveable loser "singleton" Miss Jones despite this bland, conventional, American-targeted re-working of Helen Fielding's witty, rude best-selling diaries to the screen. Showing at the Coca-Cola Summer Film Festival at the Fox Theater, Sunday, June 24 at 7 p.m.-- FF

CHOCOLAT (R) Mysterious stranger Juliette Binoche, with her fatherless daughter in tow, blow into a painfully repressed French village in 1959. She opens a chocolate shop and proceeds to give the uptight townspeople, including Alfred Molina, Lena Olin, Peter Stormare, Judi Dench and Carrie-Anne Moss, a few lessons in living life to its fullest. Johnny Depp, dropping by as a dashing Irish bargeman, helps her out. Coca-Cola Summer Film Festival at the Fox Theater, June 20 at 8 p.m.

CINEMA PARADISO (1988) A coming-of-age tale about a young boy who befriends the projectionist at the local movie theater in post-war Italy. Films at the High. June 22 at 9:30 p.m. Free on the lawn at Woodruff Arts Center,1280 Peachtree St. Call 404-733-4570 for weather status report. -- SUZANNE VAN ATTEN

GODZILLA FESTIVAL Georgia State University's cinéfest celebrates vintage Godzilla with four films screening in June. The Japanese version of Godzilla (1954) and Rudan (1956) play through June 21. Godzilla on Monster Island (1972), Terror of Godzilla (1975) and Godzilla vs. the Cosmic Monster (1974) run June 22-28. At GSU's cinéfest.

RATCATCHER (R). A 12-year-old Glasgow boy learns difficult lessons in love and death in the acclaimed but chilly debut film of Lynne Ramsay. The film's grim tone mirrors the boy's emotional isolation, but Ratcatcher has a couple of weirdly beautiful moments, and remembers how alien the affairs of adults can seem to children. Peachtree Film Society, June 24 at 6 p.m. at General Cinema Parkway Pointe.

THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW (R)The cult classic of cult classics, the 1975 horror spoof follows an all-American couple (Susan Sarandon and Barry Bostwick) to the castle of Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Tim Curry), a drag-queen/mad scientist from another galaxy. It's all fun and games until Meatloaf gets killed. Dress as your favorite character and participate in this musical on acid. Fridays at midnight, Lefont Plaza Theatre, 1049 Ponce De Leon Ave, and at Blackwell Star Cinema, 3378 Canton Road in Marietta.

SPY KIDS (PG) Robert Rodriguez directs this film about the children of retired spies Antonio Banderas and Carla Gugino who go 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. Coca-Cola Summer Film Festival at the Fox Theater, June 24 at 3 p.m. -- STEVE WARREN

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