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Short subjectives

Capsule reviews of films by CL critics

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Opening Friday
BARBERSHOP (PG-13) Ice Cube goes for a day-in-the-life-of-the-'hood vibe comparable to his trilogy of Friday films, but this modest comedy centered around a Chicago hair-cuttery feels trimmed of laughs. The labored slapstick with two accident-prone ATM thieves and the squabbles between the barbers are about as thin as a comb-over. As the oldest and most outspoken barber, Cedric the Entertainer makes a lonely effort to give the film some old-school personality.--CH

STEALING HARVARD (PG-13) Jason Lee of Almost Famous plays a dad who turns to a life of crime to pay for his daughter's tuition to Harvard. The comedy features such small-screen stars as Tom Green, Megan Mullally and John C. McGinley. Directed by Bruce McCullough of "The Kids in the Hall."



Duly Noted
CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF (1956) (NR) Hollywood's somewhat watered-down version of the classic Tennessee Williams play gets an otherwise superlative film version, with terrific performances by Paul Newman, Elizabeth Taylor and Burl Ives as Big Daddy. Communal Classics. Sept. 16 at 8:30 p.m., Commune, 1198 Howell Mill Road. Free. 404-609-5000..

EQUINOX FLOWER (HIGANBANA) (1959) (NR) A minor accomplishment by a major talent, Yasujiro Ozu, who lends his inimitable style and sensibility to this gently satirical 1958 melodrama about a liberal and level-headed dad who loses his cool when his thoroughly modern daughter wants to pick her own mate. The direction is rock-solid, and the details delicious, but Ozu's later output might come off a bit brittle if you haven't acquired the taste. Japanese Film Festival. Sept. 12 at 7:30 p.m. 205 White Hall, Emory University. 404-727-6761.--Eddy Von Mueller

GANGSTER NO. 1 (NR) Malcolm McDowell's role as a brutal British mob boss falls well short of giving him a Sexy Beast-style comeback. Paul Bettany is well-cast as McDowell's never-named younger self, but the flashy depiction of Mod London can't disguise the film's reliance on tired mob movie cliches. Peachtree Film Society. Sept. 16 at 6 p.m., Cinevision Screening Room, 3300 Northeast Expressway, Building 2. $7.50 (members $6.50). 770-729-8487.--CH

THE GIRL IN THE SNEAKERS (NR) A remarkably grim portrait of a spoiled, naive Tehran teenager who runs away from home and finds a world of profound misery and exploitation on that city's streets. This eye-opening film shows the lose-lose situation of women in contemporary Iran who suffer within its narrow role for women, and also when they choose to leave society's protective paternalism. Films at the High. Iranian Film Today. Sept. 14, 8 p.m., Rich Auditorium, Woodruff Arts Center.--Felicia Feaster

HIP-HOP FLICKZ AND CLASSIC RAP VIDEOS (NR) Two decades ago, director Charlie Ahearn teamed with promoter Fab Five Freddy Braithwaite to create the venerable B-Boy document Wild Style, and hip-hop cultures evolution has been reflected in film and videos ever since. This event features "golden era" (1985-1992) videos from KRS-One, Grand Puba, Public Enemy and Run-D.M.C. Feature films to be screened will be taken by popular vote at www.nationtime.com. Sept. 14 at noon, Auburn Avenue Research Library on African-American Culture and History, 101 Auburn Ave. Free.--Matt Hutchinson

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. Midnight Fri. at Lefont Plaza Theatre and Sat. at Marietta Star Cinema.

THAT WAS THE GDR (1993) (NR) In "I Was a Citizen of the GDR," the first of a two-part documentary, former citizens of East Germany reveal their feelings and experiences in interviews that touch on the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall and the suppressions of the 1968 "Prague Spring." Sept. 11 at 7 p.m., Goethe-Institut Atlanta. $4.



Continuing
THE ADVENTURES OF PLUTO NASH (PG-13) This long-shelved Eddie Murphy comedy cost $100 million to make and grossed a paltry $2 million on opening weekend. Yet the sad thing about this abysmal effort, which finds Murphy running a nightclub on the moon in the year 2087, isn't that it's terrible -- it's that it's terrible without even being enjoyable in a bad-movie sorta way. As for the comedy quotient, I counted exactlly two laughs, which breaks down to $50 million per chuckle -- definitely not a sound return on investment. -- Matt Brunson

AUSTIN POWERS IN GOLDMEMBER (PG-13) Having exhausted whatever satirical possibilities they had left in their first unnecessary sequel, Mike Myers and director Jay Roach simply making fun of themselves in this third rehash about the groovy secret agent. An inspired opening sequence is as hilarious as anything you've seen in a very long time, but from there it all goes right into the toilet -- literally. Beyonce Knowles' sexual potential as Foxxy Cleopatra is wasted in favor of estranged father-son hooey with Michaael Caine.--Bert Osborne

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