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Short subjectives

Capsule reviews of films by CL critics

Opening Wednesday
BLACK KNIGHT (PG-13) Sort of "A South Central Homeboy in King Arthur's Court," Martin Lawrence goes medieval as a theme park employee zapped back to the 14th century. Knowing that, you can pretty much anticipate the film's every step, with the only surprise being the noble performance of The Full Monty's Tom Wilkinson as an embittered knight. Lawrence gets mileage of OK jokes like his pseudonym "Sir Skywalker," but he'd do well to emulate Eddie Murphy and go for a quiet laugh every once in a while. Look for Atlanta actor Dikran Tulaine, who has few lines but plenty of screen time, as one of the rebels. -- CURT HOLMAN

OUT COLD (PG-13) No one I recognize is in the commercials, but supposedly Lee "The Six Million Dollar Man" Majors is on hand for this slovenly teen comedy about snowboarding and other "extreme" pastimes.

SPY GAME (R) Having directed Brad Pitt in The River Runs Through It, Robert Redford now acts alongside him as a spymaster showing the ropes to Pitt's talented newcomer. Reportedly about a third of the film takes place in the Middle East, which might hurt its box office prospects, but expect director Tony Scott to give it plenty of flash.

SIDEWALKS OF NEW YORK 1/2 (R) Ed Burns' stab at grown-up filmmaking is Jiffy Pop cinema: Just add heat to an assortment of tried and true conventions, most of them cribbed from the self-derivative Woody Allen. Burns uses a faux-documentary form to chart the romantic ups and downs of a variety of Manhattanites who make you care less about their bedroom antics. If you're that desperate for pretentious sex play, just rent Husbands and Wives again. --FELICIA FEASTER

Duly Noted
HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH (R) A fantastic, not-to-be-missed debut film from John Cameron Mitchell (adapting his off-Broadway play) who stars in this audacious rock musical as an East German transsexual nursing a broken heart as he plays abysmal rock gigs in restaurants and ice cream parlors across the country.GSU's cinefest, Nov. 23-29.--FF

KOMIKER The title translates as "comedian," and here the manager of a nursing home (Serge Gratzer) embezzles money to launch the career of an impoverished funnyman (Roni Beck), only to fall under police suspicion. Directed by Markus Imboden.Films of Switzerland, Geothe-Institut Atlanta, 1197 Peachtree St., Nov. 28 at 7:30 p.m., $4 for non-members.

MIDDLE EASTERN WOMEN: A FILM FESTIVAL Georgia State University, Agnes Scott College and Spellman College come together Nov. 26-29 to present 19 films and videos about the state of women in the Middle East. The 26th includes Women of the Arab World, Under One Sky and A Veiled Revolution from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. and 2-5 p.m. at the GSU Student Center. A highlight is Beneath the Veil (8 p.m. Nov. 27 at the Agnes Scott College Dining Hall), this year's impeccably-timed made-for broadcast documentary about the plight of women in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. All showings are free and open to the public. Call 404-651-4633 for information.

PLANET OF THE APES 1/2 (PG-13). The best quality of Tim Burton's "revisit" to the classic 1968 film are the apes themselves, which have expressive, realistic make-up, cleverly conceived body language and fine representations from Tim Roth and Helena Bonham Carter. But though Burton reaches for an epic scope, the storytelling feels rushed and sloppy, with its anti-racism message presented with the heaviest possible hand.GSU's cinefest, Nov. 23-29.--CH

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.

WET HOT AMERICAN SUMMER 1/2 (R) Inane, puerile comedy you'll probably hate yourself for laughing at, this spoof of late '70s/early '80s teen sex comedies like Meatballs follows the campers and counselors of Camp Firewood on the last, endless day of camp. Director David Wain and co-writer Michael Showalter take an obvious delight in exploiting the various absurdities of this reprobate genre, delivering a brand of non sequitur, ridiculous comedy that tickles the preadolescent funny-bone as much as it mocks genre conventions.GSU's cinefest, Nov. 16-22. -- FF

ADVENTURES OF FELIX (PG-13) An unemployed, HIV-positive but happy-go-lucky young Frenchman hitchhikes from Normandy to Marseilles, assembling a surrogate family of strangers en route. Drinking in sights from the English Channel to the Mediterrenean, the film offers gorgeous vistas worthy of a dozen travelogues, while giving the charismatic title character enough frailties and dimensions to make him more than a cheerful bon vivant. --CH

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