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Short Subjectives

Capsule reviews of recently reviewed films



· CRANK (R) A hitman (Jason Statham) must track down who injected him with a poison that will kill him if his heart rate drops below a certain rate. Sort of like Speed, only instead of a fast-moving bus, it's a fast-moving guy.

· CROSSOVER (PG-13) Two friends, both basketball hustlers with different long-term goals, enter an underground street ball game in this sports flick that features Anthony Mackie and Wayne Brady.

· FACTOTUM 4 stars (R) See review.

· IDIOCRACY (R) Office Space director and "Beavis & Butt-Head" creator Mike Judge helms this sci-fi satire about an average man (Luke Wilson) who sleeps for 1,000 years and awakens to discover that society has become so dumbed-down, he's now the smartest man on Earth.

· LASSIE 4 stars (PG) Like a kid's classic imagined by Ken Loach, the screen's favorite plucky collie returns in a socially aware drama. Set in Yorkshire on the eve of World War II, this heart-tugging charmer features Lassie as the beloved pet of a coal miner's son whose unemployed father is forced to sell the family dog to a local aristocrat. A true socialist, Lassie shows her allegiance to the working class by repeatedly running away from the rich folk, even when they move to Scotland. An emotionally pure, occasionally comic film that divides the world into those who are kind to animals and those who are not, this British-made Lassie features countless scenes of Lassie standing majestically on mountaintops or racing through green fields to reunite with her beloved working class moppet. It may be a little long for wee folk, but for the rest of us, this kid's yarn is a cut above the rest.­ -- Felicia Feaster

· MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL 5 stars They're Knights of the Round Table. They dance whene'er they're able. They do routines and chorus scenes with footwork impecc-able. It's a busy life in Camelot. They sing from the diaphragm a lot. (This re-release boasts a whopping "24 seconds" of unseen footage.) -- Curt Holman

· THE PROTECTOR (NR) An international mafia syndicate steals two beloved elephants from Kham (Ong-Bak's Tony Jaa), a Thai martial arts expert, who had planned to present the large animals to the king of Thailand. Kham must travel to foreign lands and take on the mafia to get the elephants back.

· THE QUIET 3 stars (R) But I'm A Cheerleader director Jamie Babbit's film is a moderately icky teen gothic told via the voice over narration of a deaf-mute girl (Camilla Belle). Dot (Belle) is taken in by a wealthy family when her father dies, but it's out of the frying pan and into the fire of this highly dysfunctional family ruled by the merciless law of beautiful, blonde ice queen Nina (Elisha Cuthbert) and her emotionally estranged parents (Edie Falco and Martin Donovan). Babbit's is an unconventional, imperfect but thematically ambitious thriller with something to say about the depths beneath its female characters' surfaces.­ -- Feaster

· QUINCEANERA 4 stars (R) See review.

· TRUST THE MAN 3 stars (R) See review.

· THE WAR TAPES (NR) Deborah Scranton's documentary derives from digital camera footage National Guard soldiers took to capture their perspective on the War in Iraq.

· THE WICKER MAN (R) In the Company of Men director Neil LaBute remakes the classic 1973 Christopher Lee horror flick about a mysterious pagan community. The remake stars Nicolas Cage, Ellen Burstyn, Leelee Sobieski and Molly Parker.


· ART SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL 1 star (R) Hard to believe the man who brought us the heartfelt alienation of the R. Crumb documentary Crumb and the profound teen misanthropy of Ghost World has veered so badly off course in his blandly cynical adaptation of graphic novelist (and Ghost World collaborator) Daniel Clowes's comic. Ostensibly following the growing disillusionment of an art school freshman (Max Minghella) with his conceptual art-centric NYC art school, the film is, in truth, just a sex-obsessed, wisecracking and out-of-date revisitation of the tone and quality of the crass teen sex comedies of the Eighties. Sep. 8-14. $5 ($3 until 5 p.m.). Cinefest, GSU University Center, Suite 211, 66 Courtland St. 404-651-3565. -- Feaster

· DISTRICT B-13 3 stars (R) In sort of a Euro-Disney version of Escape From New York, a high-jumping underworld Robin Hood (David Belle) and a two-fisted undercover cop (Cyril Raffaelli) break into a walled-off Parisian ghetto to disarm a neutron bomb. Written by La Femme Nikita director Luc Besson, this virtually plotless action flick never slows down enough to worry that it makes no sense. With fights and chases worthy of Jackie Chan, District B-13 turns out to be a deliriously fun guilty pleasure worthy of the drive-in, despite its French pedigree. Through Sep. 7. $5 ($3 until 5 p.m.). Cinefest, GSU University Center, Suite 211, 66 Courtland St. 404-651-3565. -- Holman

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