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Short Subjectives

Capsule reviews of films by CL critics

Opening Friday
ALFIE (R) See review.

BEING JULIA (R) Based on Someset Maugham's novel Theatre, this stage drama stars Annette Bening as London's leading actress in the 1930s and features such supporting players as Jeremy Irons, Michael Gambon and Juliet Stevenson.

DIG! (NR) See review.

EULOGY (R) Plenty of familiar faces -- including Debra Winger, Ray Romano, Hank Azaria, Rip Torn, Famke Janssen and Piper Laurie -- turn up for this dark comedy about a funeral that brings out a family's worst dysfunctions.


SIDEWAYS (R) See review.

UNDERTOW (R) See review.

Opening Wednesday

Duly Noted
ANCHORMAN (PG-13) In the mythic 1970s, preening San Diego anchorman Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) bristles when forced to share the news desk with female reporter Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate). Adam McKay's newsroom comedy pokes fun at easy targets like '70s fashion and sexism rather than sink its polished teeth into telejournalism. Farrell and his news team (particularly "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart's" Steve Carell) inject themselves into increasingly surreal and utterly hilarious situations as the film goes on. Nov. 5-11. Call for times. Cinefest, GSU University Center, Suite 211, 66 Courtland St. 404-651-3565. -- Curt Holman

BEDTIME STORIES FOR CROCODILES (2002) (NR) This darkly comic, surreal Mexican drama depicts an insomniac who finds himself drawn into the past lives of his father and grandfather. Latin American Film Festival. Sat., Nov. 6, 8 p.m. Woodruff Arts Center, Rich Auditorium, 1280 Peachtree St., and Nov. 10, 7:30 p.m., Landmark Midtown Art Cinema, 931 Monroe Drive. $5. 404-733-4570.

THE BLACK MAN FILM FESTIVAL (NR) This third annual festival of films "exploring the trials, triumphs and transformation of the black man" features videos from hip-hop artist Nas and Melvin Van Peebles' blaxploitation flick Sweet Sweetback's Baad Asssss Song. Sat., Nov. 6. Auburn Avenue Research Library, 101 Auburn Ave. Free. 404-432-2194.

BLACK FOREST GIRL (1950) (NR) Romantic intrigue and misunderstandings mark this comedy about a painter, a jeweler, a musical revue star and the forest girl of the title. The German Heimatfilm of the '50s. Nov. 10, 7 p.m. Goethe Institut Inter Nationes, 1197 Peachtree St., Colony Square. $4. 404-892-2388.

DAWN OF THE DEAD (R) All the flesh-eating fun of the original, without the heavy-handed social commentary. In this remake of George Romero's 1978 cult horror classic, five survivors (including Sarah Polley and Ving Rhames) of a fast-spreading zombie plague hole up in a shopping mall where they must battle the undead, and worse, mall security. Zack Snyder's "re-imagining" proves more fun and frightening than its predecessor, though fans of the original's gore factor might be disappointed. Thurs., Nov. 4. Call for times. Cinefest, GSU University Center, Suite 211, 66 Courtland St. 404-651-3565. -- Karen Kalb

I, ROBOT (PG-13) Flash-forward 30 years into the future, when keeping up with the Joneses means having an android as a personal assistant. A technophobic Chicago cop (Will Smith) thinks a city overrun with robots might pose a threat to humanity. Director Alex Proyas' CGI-saturated contribution to the robots-run-amok genre features a sleek, superficial production design that begs for a seamy underbelly. Though driven by spectacle, I, Robot balances deliciously overblown action sequences with intriguing plot twists and even a bit of futuristic philosophy. Nov. 5-11. Call for times. Cinefest, GSU University Center, Suite 211, 66 Courtland St. 404-651-3565. -- Cary Jones

THE PHOTOGRAPHER (2002) (NR) Often compared to France's Amelie, this stylish romantic comedy follows a photographer obsessed with the trends of earlier decades as he tries to create a lasting "fotonovela" (novel with pictures). Latin American Film Festival. Nov. 5, 8 p.m. Woodruff Arts Center, Rich Auditorium, 1280 Peachtree St. $5. 404-733-4570.

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 Meat Loaf gets killed. Dress as your favorite character and participate in this musical on acid. Midnight Fri. at Lefont Plaza Theatre and Sat. at Peachtree Cinema & Games, Norcross.

THE SHINING (1980) (R) As a frustrated writer who cracks up while caretaking for a haunted hotel, Jack Nicholson takes fiendish delight in domestic violence. Like every Stanley Kubrick film, this loose adaptation of Stephen King's novel features timeless, instantly familiar images that advance the vocabulary of film. Yet its glacial pace prevents it from being particularly scary. If all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, all build-up and no pay-off make The Shining a dull film. Fri.-Sat., Nov. 5-6, midnight. Landmark Midtown Art Cinema, 931 Monroe Drive. -- CH

BIRTH (R) Sexy Beast director Jonathan Glazer gets a little spooky in this nod to Rosemary's Baby's New York gothic. Nicole Kidman plays a widow approached on the eve of her second marriage by a creepy 10-year-old kid claiming to be her dead husband. The claustrophobic tone and supernatural flourishes seem cribbed from better movies, and many viewers will have to suspend major disbelief to buy scenes like the one where Kidman bends herself in half to soulfully kiss her miniature reincarnated husband. Some may find Birth intense and spooky, but others may have a hard time suppressing a laugh at Glazer's pretentious ghost story. -- Felicia Feaster

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