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Short subjectives

Capsule reviews of films by CL critics


Opening Friday
NINE QUEENS (R) This Argentinean drama written and directed by Fabian Bielinsky depicts con men bluffing and triple-crossing each other on their way to increasingly larger swindles. Fans of David Mamet films like House of Games and The Spanish Prisoner take note.

THE SUM OF ALL FEARS (PG-13) A well-crafted throwback to the thrillers of the Cold War era, this Tom Clancy adaptation brings back our fears of potential nuclear conflict. At first, Ben Affleck seems over his head as CIA analyst Jack Ryan (a role played by Alec Baldwin and Harrison Ford), but he ingratiates himself while trying to unravel a terrorist conspiracy against America. The transcontinental plotting can be murky, but the third act features spectacular disasters and the chilling sensation of events spinning out of control.-- Curt Holman

TIME OUT (R) An affectless French family man (Aurelien Recoing) loses his job and goes to elaborate lengths to conceal his unemployment. It sounds like something "Seinfeld's" George Costanza would do, but director Laurent Cantet uses the premise for a quietly engrossing account of the humiliation of joblessness and the alienating influences of working life.--CH

UNDERCOVER BROTHER (R) The ubiquitous Eddie Griffin ("The New Guy") stars as a crimestopper with a lotta soul and the Afro to prove it. Based on an online animated cartoon series. Don't expect high art, although it looks to be a better blaxploitation spoof than Austin Powers in Goldmember.

Duly Noted
ATLANTA FILM FESTIVAL IMAGE Film & Video Center's 26th annual film festival presents 150 features, documentaries, cartoons and short films from around Atlanta and around the world. May 31-June 7, Regal Hollywood Cinemas and area theaters. $7.50 ($6 for IMAGE members) for individual tickets. For complete schedule information, see

THE LAST WAVE (1977) (PG) Richard Chamberlain plays an Australian lawyer defending an aborigine accused of murder in Peter Weir's skin-crawling thriller. The film's eerie water imagery builds to an apocalyptic final shot. Atlanta Film Festival. June 2, 9:30 p.m., Regal Hollywood Cinemas. $7.50 ($6 for IMAGE members).--CH

ON THE TOWN (1949) (NR) Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly romp through "New York, New York" in the classic musical about sailors on leave. Features the real locations and a sizzling turn from Ann Miller. Screen on the Green. June 4 at sundown. Piedmark Park ballfield at 12th and 14th Streets. Free.--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.

VIDEO & FILM NIGHT Eyedrum Gallery offers its monthly showcase of short film and video work by Atlanta artists. May 29, 9 p.m. Eyedrum Art and Music Gallery, 290 Martin Luther King Drive, Suite 8. $3 suggested donation.

ABOUT A BOY (PG-13) The adaptation of Nick Hornby's novel lacks the character insight and pop savvy of the film of Hornby's High Fidelity, but still charms. The title refers to both thirtysomething Will (Hugh Grant) and 12 year-old Marcus (Nicholas Hoult), whose unlikely friendship gives both lessons in how to grow up. At times manipulative and overly jokey, it makes a few unconventional twists, including its pragmatic theme of the virtue of conformity. --CH

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. -- Felicia Feaster

A BEAUTIFUL MIND (PG-13) In an either bold or ignorant move, director Ron Howard may have made the first action-adventure film about schizophrenia. Russell Crowe stars in this story of real life Princeton mathematician John Nash who won the Nobel Prize, but also suffered from mental illness. Howard allows emotional button-pushing to triumph over character development and insight in this earnest but flat entry in Hollywood's disability canon.--FF

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (G) The only animated feature ever to be nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award -- and one of the best classic-style musicals of the past 20 years -- Disney's 1991 animated gem gets a polish to fit the scalle of a really, really big IMAX screen. Mall of Georgia IMAX Theater, I-85 at Buford Drive, Buford. -- CH

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