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Short subjectives

Capsule reviews of films by CL critics


Opening Friday
GREENFINGERS (PG). The latest English underdog comedy digs for the dramatic potential in a lovable group of convicts who find redemption through gardening. There's a seed of an idea here about killers learning to cultivate life instead of extinguishing it, but despite nice work from Clive Owen as an alienated convict and Helen Mirren as a fussy garden celebrity, the film views its potentially serious ideas though the most rosy-colored lenses possible.--CURT HOLMAN

ROCK STAR (R) Loosely based on the early '90s replacement of Judas Priest lead singer Rob Halford, Rock Star is the story of Chris Cole (Mark Wahlberg), a Pittsburgh office supply salesman who leads a tribute band for fictional British metal group Steel Dragon. When Steel Dragon needs to replace its vocalist, they try to make a diamond out of Cole. Even though Wahlberg does all right, what director Stephen Herek gets is not a gem but quite leaden. Jennifer Aniston also stars as Cole's girlfriend -- one of many characters in this cliched Cameron Crowe rip-off. -- TONY WARE

TWO CAN PLAY THAT GAME (R) Keith Chestnut and Vivica A. Fox costar in this romantic comedy about a man who's caught stepping out on his woman and the wily ways she tries to win him back.

Duly Noted
JIN-ROH: THE WORLD BRIGADE (2001) Japanese anime feature by Mamonu Oshii (Ghost in the Shell based on Little Red Riding Hood, about a soldier of the Capital Police and a member of an anti-government faction known as the Sect. Through Sept. 6 at GSU's cinefest.

NEW GREEK CINEMA FILM FESTIVAL This two week festival features screenings of four films Sept. 7-13, including The Canary Yellow Bicycle,(1999) about a community's efforts to thwart an elementary school teacher's attempt to help a child who is an illiterate social outcast in his class; The Mating Game (1999), about the complicated love lives of three sisters; In Good Company (2000), a zany comedy about a madman and a prisoner who get out on a five-day leave; and It's a Long Road (1998), a vignette of three stories about three people heading toward a turning point in their lives. Sept. 7-13 at GSU's cinefest.

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 Saturday at midnight at Blackwell Star Cinema, 3378 Canton Road, Marietta.

SMELL OF CAMPHOR, SCENT OF JASMINE 1/2 (Not Rated) A filmmaker making a documentary for Japanese television about Iranian funeral rites uses his research as an opportunity to rehearse for his own death in this rueful, at times darkly funny film about life's beginning and end. Iranian Film Today, Films at the High, Rich Auditorium, Woodruff Arts Center, Sept. 8 at 8 p.m. -- FELICIA FEASTER

A SUMMER IN LA GOULETTE (1996) This multinational comedy set in a beach town outside Tunis follows the antics of a group of 16-year-old girls who are driving their fathers (an Arab Muslim, a Tunisian Jew and a Sicilian Catholic) to distraction by their vow to each lose their virginity to a boy of a different religion. In Arabic, French and Italian with subtitles. Films at the High, Rich Auditorium, Woodruff Arts Center, Sept. 7 at 8 p.m.

A.I.: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (PG-13) Steven Spielberg brings to light a long-developed Stanley Kubrick project about an android boy (Haley Joel Osment) who aspires to be human. Spielberg gives the first act a poetic precision evocative of the late filmmaker's cerebral style, but subsequent sections uncomfortably blend elements of Pinocchio and Blade Runner, losing some of its pristine storytelling control. -- CURT HOLMAN

AMERICAN OUTLAWS Jesse James (Colin Farrell), and brother Frank (Gabriel Macht), two brothers from Missouri, led a gang that robbed banks, trains, and stagecoaches throughout the West from 1866 to 1881, and became one of the era's most legendary bandits. (Scott Caan plays Cole Younger who competed with Jesse for leadership of the gang; Ali Larter plays Jesse's girlfriend). Directed by Les Mayfield.

AMERICAN PIE 2 1/2 This follow-up to the 1999 hit reunites over a dozen characters. This sequel is more of a boys' night then a nostalgic sequel -- Tara Reid, Mena Suvari and Natasha Lyonne have little more than cameos here. Four friends -- hapless Jim (Jason Biggs), obnoxious Stifler (Seann William Scott), cute Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas), soft-spoken Oz (Chris Klein) and brainy Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) -- back together after a year in college, ready to enjoy a summer at the beach. -- MATT BRUNSON

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