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Short Subjectives


Opening Friday

· MUNICH 4 stars. (R) See review.

· THE RINGER (PG-13) Renowned jackass Johnny Knoxville stars in this Farrelly Brothers' produced tale of a man who attempts to "fix" the Special Olympics.

Opening Sunday

· MRS. HENDERSON PRESENTS (R) Judi Dench plays a theater proprietor who wins fame and notoriety by staging nude revues in London throughout World War II. Director Stephen Frears has helmed such disparate fare as Dangerous Liaisons, The Grifters and High Fidelity.

· THE PRODUCERS (PG-13) See review.

· RUMOR HAS IT... 1 star. (PG-13) See review.

· WOLF CREEK (R) See review.

Duly Noted

· 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.


· AEON FLUX (PG-13) Oscar-winner Charlize Theron fleshes out (and how) MTV's ass-kicking animated commando Aeon Flux in this incoherently structured, futuristic action flick. Though the film features some clever visual motifs and high-tech gadgets (Flux's explosive marbles, a four-handed sidekick), the bad acting and confused themes evoke such hippy-dippy sci-fi throwbacks as Zardoz and Barbarella. -- Holman

· BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN 5 stars. (R) Ang Lee's heart-wrenching Western one-ups the male tenderness and isolation of the traditional oater by basing his film on Annie Proulx's short story of two cowboys (Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal) who fall in love in 1963 Wyoming. Lee's film is lovely to look at and profoundly moving, touching on both the economic and spiritual isolation of the ranch hand's life and also the more universal alienation of being a man. Ledger is superb as an archetype of male interiority, an emotionally-contained man who finds his slim fragments of happiness in short, infrequent meetings with Jack, who dreams of an impossible future for their doomed love affair. -- Feaster

· BROOKLYN LOBSTER (NR) Writer/director Kevin Jordan presents this family-vs.-business parable about a longtime family lobster farm, starring Danny Aiello and Jane Curtin.

· CAPOTE 5 stars. (R) Shrugging off the limitations of the usual biopic story arc, Bennett Miller's absorbing, thought-provoking, extremely well-crafted first fiction film (he directed the documentary The Cruise) focuses on a small but significant portion of Capote's life during the researching of his groundbreaking work of true crime nonfiction In Cold Blood, and the unhealthy mutual dependency that develops between the writer and one of the killers (Clifton Collins) of a Kansas farm family. -- Felicia Feaster

· CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN 2 (PG) This sequel to the Steve Martin vehicle about a family teeming with 12 kids involves a rivalry between a similarly crowded brood, led by Eugene Levy.

· CHICKEN LITTLE 1 star. (G) In this computer-animated catastrophe, Chicken Little (Zach Braff) of nursery-rhyme fame warns the cuddly critters of Oaky Oaks of an imminent alien invasion. Disney Animation flailingly emulates the pop references of the Shrek movies and, after about five minutes, stomps all over its promising jokes. In the spirit of such monickers as Foxy Loxy and Turkey Lurkey, Chicken Little would be better named Sucky Clucky. -- Holman

· THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE 2 stars. (PG) Four plucky English youngsters step through an enchanted wardrobe and take sides in a magical kingdom's war between good and evil. Initially charming, the lavish adaptation of the C.S. Lewis book struggles to balance the source material's blend of English whimsy, epic violence and Christian allegory (complete with a cameo appearance from Father Christmas). Despite plenty of elaborately memorable images, Narnia feels more sterile than spiritual. -- Holman

· DERAILED 1 star. (R) The inaugural feature from the Weinstein Company recalls the formation of TriStar Pictures back in the '80s, when the quality of its initial slate was so dreadful that one critic suggested the company should change its name to OneStar. The film features Clive Owen and Jennifer Aniston as unhappily married business drones whose attempt at an affair gets interrupted by a French thug (Vincent Cassel) with blackmail on his mind. I figured out the major plot twist even before stepping into the theater, yet this movie is so fundamentally brain-dead on so many levels that predictability turns out to be the least of its problems. -- Matt Brunson

· THE FAMILY STONE 3 stars. (PG-13) Entertaining though uneven, this home-for-the-holidays-trauma fest has up-tight New York City executive Sarah Jessica Parker accompanying fiancé Dermont Mulroney home to Connecticut to meet his family. The WASPy, bohemian Stones take an immediate, often incomprehensible dislike to Meredith and spend the duration of the film raking her over the coals until the tale suddenly switches direction and becomes a celebration rather than an indictment of familial togetherness. -- Feaster

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