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Short subjectives

Capsule reviews of films by CL critics


Opening Friday
BAD COMPANY (PG-13) Too bad Eddie Griffin already took the title Undercover Brother: Here Chris Rock plays a wisecracking chess hustler drafted by a CIA spymaster (Anthony Hopkins) to replace his twin brother, a murdered secret agent. Joel Schumacher directs the action comedy.

DIVINE SECRETS OF THE YA-YA SISTERHOOD (PG-13) Thelma & Louise screenwriter Callie Khouri makes her directorial debut with an equally zeitgeisty melodrama about the dark secret of motherhood in her adaptation of Rebecca Wells' popular novel. The Ya-Yas (Fionnula Flanagan, Maggie Smith, Shirley Knight) are priceless as a trio of salty Southern broads who try to mend the damaged mother-daughter relationship acted out by a typically dull Sandra Bullock and a luminous Ellen Burstyn as her mother.--Felicia Feaster

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 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. Code Talkers with Col. Bruce Hampton perform after the film. June 8 at 8 p.m. Roxy Theatre, 3110 Roswell Road. $15. 404-249-6400.

FRESH The closing night of the Fifth Class multimedia exhibition features short films as well as music, theatrical and spoken word performances. June 7 from 8 p.m.-2 a.m. NoNo, 595 North Ave. Donations accepted at the door.

THE PALM BEACH STORY (1951) (NR) Preston Sturges' giddy romantic farce finds Claudette Colbert on the run from her loving husband Joel McCrea and getting caught up with a trainload of drunken millionaires en route to Florida. American Comedy Classics. June 7 at 8 p.m. Rich Auditorium, Woodruff Arts Center. $5.--Curt Holman

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.

SHOCK CORRIDOR (1963) (NR) A journalist undercover in a mental institution begins losing his bearings in this melodramatic expose produced, written and directed by Samuel Fuller. Atlanta Film Festival. June 8, 2:30 p.m., Regal Hollywood Cinemas. $7.50 ($6 for IMAGE members).

STRANGERS ON A TRAIN (1951) (NR) Robert Walker plays one of cinema's silkiest villians, a sociopathic playboy who has a chance meeting with Farley Granger's tennis pro, and suggests that each murder the other's worst enemy. Don't blame Throw Momma From the Train on the Hitchcock classic. Screen on the Green. June 11 at sundown. Piedmark Park ball fields at 12th and 14th streets. Free.--CH
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. -- FF

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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