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Short subjectives

Capsule reviews of films by CL critics

Opening Friday
BIG TROUBLE (PG-13) Barry Sonnefeld's caper comedy based on a novel by humorist Dave Barry features a bomb and an airplane, and was consequently postponed from its fall release following Sept. 11. The cast includes Tim Allen, Rene Russo, Andy Richter, Patrick "The Tick" Warburton and Johnny "Jackass" Knoxville.

HIGH CRIMES (PG-13) It's A Few Good Men vs. one angry woman when Ashley Judd's attorney confronts a military tribunal to save her unjustly accused husband (Jim Caviezel) in this courtroom thriller co-starring Morgan Freeman.

NATIONAL LAMPOON'S VAN WILDER (R) Ryan Reynolds plays the title character, a party-hearty seventh-year college student in this chaotic campus comedy. National Lampoon attempts to pass the cinematic torch by casting Tim Matheson of Animal House as Van Wilder's father.

Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN (NR) A heart-broken woman takes off on a road trip with two randy teenage boys and the trio talk, laugh, bicker and have sex. How director Alfonso Cuaron turns this seemingly trite scenario into a metaphysical meditation on life, fate, death, the sublime and torturous aspects of sex, and the class divisions of modern Mexico is a thing of beauty. --Felicia FeasterDuly Noted
THE MAKING OF THE MAHATMA (1995) (NR) Director Shyam Benegal will be on hand to introduce his complex portrait of Gandhi (Rajit Kapur) in his South African years. The English-language script by South Africa's Fatima Meer shows how Gandhi evolved from being a minor, Westernized barrister into an committed human rights advocate.Indian Film Festival. April 6, 8 p.m., Rich Auditorium, Woodruff Arts Center. $5.

THE MAN WHO WASN'T THERE (R) Film noir has been good to Coen Brothers, although one hopes that their latest, an homage to James M. Cain, gets it out of their system so they can explore fresh cinematic modes. Billy Bob Thornton effectively plays a taciturn barber whose wife (Fargo's Frances McDormand) may be having an affair with her boss (James Gandolfini), spurring a disastrous blackmail scheme. With less humor than any Coen Brothers film, it takes a hypnotic, clinical look at moral decay, captured in sleek black-and-white. GSU's cinefest, April 5-11. --Curt Holman

A MATTER OF TASTE (2000) (NR) A wealthy businessman hires a handsome young waiter to be his personal food taster in this sly psychological thriller that becomes a game of obsession, control and identity in the jet set. French Film Yesterday and Today. April 5, 8 p.m., Rich Auditorium, Woodruff Arts Center. $5.

MULHOLLAND DRIVE (R) A typical feast of Lynchian dreamwork, Mulholland Drive is also a disappointment for its deeply troubling storyline involving a naive Nancy Drew blonde (Naomi Watts) trying to help a haunted, amnesiac brunette, with silly Hollywood subplots that recall the increasingly absurdist dissolution of "Twin Peaks." GSU's cinefest, April 5-11. --FF

ROSEWOOD (R) John Singleton's under-rated if not flawless turn-of-the-century drama depicts how a white lynch mob burned a thriving African-American town to the ground. Featuring Ving Rhames, Jon Voight and Don Cheadle. Eyewitness: Lynching and Racial Violence in America. April 4, 6 p.m., 208 White Hall, 480 Kilgo St., Emory University Free. --CH

THE RULING CLASS (1972) (PG) Peter O'Toole gives his finest performance as an English nobleman who thinks he's Jesus, gets "cured" and comes to believe he's Jack the Ripper. Some static camerawork betrays the theatrical origins of this lengthy but ingenious satire on England's hidebound institutions. GSU's cinefest, Mar. 29- April 4.--CH

THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW (1975) (R) The cult classic of cult classics, the musical 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 the Marietta Star Cinema, 1355 Roswell Road, Marietta.

TOUCHING THE UNCANNY (NR) Subtitled "The Sinister Spaces of Animated Horror," this event screened by Nina Martin, a film professor at Emory University, examines the chilling effects of stop-motion animated horror films, including the work of Emile Cohl and the Quay Brothers. April 5, 9 p.m. Eyedrum Art and Music Gallery, Suite 8, 290 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. Free.Continuing
ALL ABOUT THE BENJAMINS (R) A tough bounty hunter (Ice Cube, who also co-wrote the film) and a wisecracking bail jumper (Mike Epps) join forces to fleece some diamond thieves in this action comedy named for the P. Diddy song. Featuring Anthony Michael Hall and Lil' Bow Wow.

AMELIE (R) A popular and critical hit in France, this not-to-be-missed sweet-as-pie, stylistic knockout is a dazzling live-action cartoon for grown-ups. The ultra-cute Audrey Tautou is a do-gooding sprite living in a magical Montmartre who dedicates herself to helping others. From Jean-Pierre Jeunet, the director of The City of Lost Children and Delicatessen. --FF

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