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Short subjectives

Capsule reviews of films by CL critics

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Opening Friday
THE ADVENTURES OF PLUTO NASH (PG-13) In this long-delayed futuristic comedy, the moon has been crassly colonized and Eddie Murphy plays the owner of its hottest nightclub, at odds with lunar gangsters. Featuring Randy Quaid, Peter Boyle and Jay Mohr.

BLUE CRUSH (PG-13) Kate Bosworth and Girlfight's Michelle Rodriguez star in this flick about surfer chicks that aspires to be more like a female Point Break than a revamped Gidget Goes Hawaiian.

THE GOOD GIRL (R) For their follow-up to Chuck and Buck, director Miguel Arteta and writer/actor Mike White offer an underwritten, white-trash version of Madame Bovary. Jennifer Aniston plays a small-town department store employee torn between fidelity to her pothead husband (John C. Reilly) and passion with a brooding younger man (Jake Gyllenhaal). Instead of finding pathos in its roles' ignorance, the film merely condescends to them, and Aniston never conveys the anguish and desperation as the character of the sarcastic title. At AMC Phipps Plaza. --Curt Holman

THE KID STAYS IN THE PICTURE (R) A pulpy, highly entertaining piece of personal mythmaking colliding with a self-referential film about Hollywood-style delusion, this sorta-documentary charts the glorious rise and ouch-that-hurt fall of notorious and revered mega '70s producer Robert Evans. At Lefont Garden Hills Cinema. --Felicia Feaster

THE NOTORIOUS C.H.O. (NR) Clever comedian Margaret Cho goes bawdier in a performance she claims was inspired by the nasty, larger-than-life sistas of rap music. Recorded in a performance at Seattle's Paramount Theater, Cho's naughty probes of her over-used orifices and the nooks and crannies of her mind is sometimes funny, sometimes not, but will certainly appeal to devout fans of the good girl-gone-outlaw Cho persona. At Tara Cinema.--FF

POSSESSION (PG-13) A pair of young English professors (Gwyneth Paltrow and Aaron Eckhart) unearth a secret affair between two famed Victorian poets (Jeremy Northam and Jennifer Ehle) in caustic director Neil LaBute's attempted change of pace. Whenever he strays from the film's literary mystery, he gets bogged down in gratuitous American-British put-downs and facile insights into the human heart, with one plot point hinging on whether Paltrow will literally let her hair down.--CH

Duly Noted
BERSERK (1967) (NR) Joan Crawford plays the sadistic owner of a British circus who gets boffo box office when her performers "accidentally" die during shows. Eventually she goes you-know-what. Mondo Movie Nite. Aug. 18 at dusk. Starlight Six Drive-In Theatre, 2000 Moreland Ave. $6.

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 at Lefont Plaza Theatre, Saturday at midnight at the Marietta Star Cinema.

STRAIGHT-JACKET (1964) (NR) Psycho scripter Robert Bloch presents Joan Crawford as a former asylum inmate concerned that she'll back-slide to her old ax-wielding ways. Mondo Movie Nite. Aug. 18 at dusk. Starlight Six Drive-In Theatre, 2000 Moreland Ave. $6.

2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1969) (NR) In cinema's greatest science-fiction film, human evolution makes its first step when we (in the person of an enterprising ape-man) can use tools to kill. It continues when our tools (in the person of a crazed computer) can kill us. Coca-Cola Summer Film Festival. Aug. 19 at 8 p.m. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. $6.50.--CH

WEEKEND OF DARKNESS Turner Classic Movies, AT&T Worldnet and the Rialto Center for the Performing Arts present three classic noir double features. Friday pays tribute to the dark, double-crossing novels of James M. Cain with The Postman Always Rings Twice and Double Indemnity. On Saturday Humphrey Bogart plays classic hard-boiled sleuths in Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon and Raymond Chandler's The Big Sleep. Sunday features the still-striking Kiss Me Deadly with Ralph Meeker as Mike Hammer, and The Sweet Smell of Success, which uses film noir style for its peek at showbiz's sleazy underbelly. Weekend of Darkness. Aug. 16-18 at 5 and 7 p.m. Rialto Center, 80 Forsyth St, $6-8. 404-651-4727.--CH

Continuing
BLOOD WORK (R) For a good while, Blood Work looks like Clint Eastwood's best picture in years, with the star-director-producer playing a former FBI agent who, after getting a heart transplant, seeks to solve the murder of the person whose ticker he received. Watching an undying screen icon like Eastwood acknowledge his own mortality adds a resonance to this picture, but heading into the final turn, the movie turns preposterous, culminating in a routine climax that goes on forever. --Matt Brunson

CIRCUIT (NR) A gay police officer becomes increasingly caught up in the sex and drugs of the West Hollywood party circuit. The trailer is like a flashing red neon sign reading "Go-go Boys Galore!"

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