Movies & TV » Film Clips

Short subjectives

Capsule reviews of films by CL critics

Opening Friday
CHANGING LANES (R) Atlanta commuters know exactly how intense changing lanes can be. In this drama about dehumanizing urban life, Ben Affleck's callow attorney and Samuel L. Jackson's desperate divorcee become savage enemies following a traffic accident.

FESTIVAL IN CANNES (PG-13) Henry Jaglom's trifling look at the Cannes Film Festival tells you little you don't already know about movie industry deal-making and heart-breaking, but it has an inoffensive, agreeable air. The film collapses in attempting to make grand statements about relationships, but Greta Scacchi, Ron Silver and Anouk Aimee give relaxed performances as movie professionals vying for each other's talents.--Curt Holman

FOR DA LUV OF MONEY (R) With one of those one-word names like "Madonna" or "Sauron," the actor Pierre plays a cash-strapped guy who becomes wildly popular when money from a robbery is stashed in his back yard. Aimed at fans of Friday, the low-budget comedy's biggest stars are ventriloquist Willie Tyler and Lester.

FRAILTY (R) Bill Paxton (Apollo 13, A Simple Plan) stars and directs in this unusual thriller about a small-town Texas father who believes he's been called by God to kill demons. Featuring elements of Southern gothic, Bible allegory and even black comedy, the script builds to some clever twists but still feels drawn-out, as if it could be cut to fit a one-hour "X-Files" slot without suffering.--CH

HUMAN NATURE (R) Being John Malkovich writer Charlie Kaufman pens an off-beat romantic satire involving a repressed anthropologist (Tim Robbins), a modern-day cave man (Rhys Ifans) and an author (Patricia Arquette) with a body-hair problem.

NEW BEST FRIEND (R) This crime drama features a college student from a poor background tries to be accepted by the rich-and-beautiful clique, with lethal consequences. Featuring Mia Kirschner, Dominique Swain and Taye Diggs.

THE OTHER SIDE OF HEAVEN (PG) An teenaged Idaho farm boy (Christopher Gorham) becomes a Mormon missionary in the South Seas in this lush film based on a true story.

THE SWEETEST THING (R) Writer Nancy Pimental has a "South Park" background, and may inject some raunchy jokes in this conventional-sounding romantic comedy starring Cameron Diaz as a ditzy blonde who takes a road trip to catch up with Mr. Right (Thomas Jane).

Duly Noted
BOB LE FLAMBEUR (1955) (NR) Jean-Pierre Melville's romantic crime drama pays homage to American B-movies while anticipating the loose style of the French New Wave. The title character is a semi-reformed hoodlum tempted to go on one last heist. French Film Yesterday and Today. April 12, 8 p.m., Rich Auditorium, Woodruff Arts Center. $5.

THE CHESS PLAYERS (1977) (Not Rated) Two aristocrats play an obsessive chess game while India's lower ranks fight cocks in the city streets in filmmaking master Satyajit Ray's scathing indictment of the apathy of Indians in 1856 which led to the takeover of Lucknow by the British. Garish and often impossibly slow, this is not Ray's best work, but it is certainly one of his most politically complex and socially engaged films. Indian Film Festival. April 13, 7 p.m., Rich Auditorium, Woodruff Arts Center. $5.

THE EARTH WILL SWALLOW YOU (NR) Touring with Widespread Panic in 2000, Christopher and Geoffrey Hanson compiled nearly 500 hours of footage for this concert film and retrospective of the Athens band's 17-year career. Following the screening will be a live performance by the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, who also appear in the movie. April 12, 8 p.m. Coca-Cola Roxy Theatre, 3110 Roswell Road. $20. 404-249-6400.

4 LITTLE GIRLS (1997) (R) Spike Lee's Oscar-nominated documentary provides a chilling and tear-jerking account of the 1963 Birmingham church bombing that took the lives of four African-American girls and galvanized the Civil Rights Movement. Showing with Ian Moore's short film "Between the World and Me." Eyewitness: Lynching and Racial Violence in America. April 11, 7 p.m., Martin Luther King Jr. Historic Site, 450 Auburn Ave. Free.--CH

GODASS (NR) A punk-obsessed young girl (Nika Feldman) discovers that her gay "uncle" is in fact her biological father. Esther Bell first film provides an authentic immersion in the 1988 punk rock subculture of South Carolina and New York, but can't rise above its thin storyline and technical limitations. Present by IMAGE Film & Video Center, April 10, 8 p.m. The Echo Lounge, 551 Flat Shoals Avenue. $5, free for IMAGE members. 404-352-4225.--CH

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.--CH

Add a comment