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Capsule reviews of recently reviewed films 

Happily N'Ever After, White Noise: The Light

Opening Friday

CODE NAME THE CLEANER (PG-13) Cedric the Entertainer stars as an ordinary guy who, after being stricken by amnesia, is mistaken for an undercover agent. This action/comedy co-stars Lucy Liu and Nicolette Sheridan of "Desperate Housewives."

HAPPILY N'EVER AFTER (PG) Not to be mistaken for the Shrek movies, this animated comedy features a pair of star-crossed lovers (voices by real-life couple Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr.) who resist an alliance of storybook villains to take over Fairy Tale Land. Other voice talents include Andy Dick, Wallace Shawn and George Carlin.

FREEDOM WRITERS (PG-13) In this drama inspired by a real person, two-time Best Actress Oscar winner Hilary Swank plays a young teacher who inspires a class of young, at-risk students to learn tolerance and pursue education beyond high school.

MISS POTTER 2 stars (PG) See review.

PERFUME (R) See review.

WHITE NOISE: THE LIGHT (PG-13) This follow-up to the Michael Keaton supernatural thriller White Noise features a man (Nathan Fillion) who undergoes a near-death experience and discovers that he knows when people are about to die. The cast will appeal to fans of cult TV series, since Fillion starred on "Firefly" and Katee Sackhoff plays Starbuck on "Battlestar Galactica."

Duly Noted

JET LI'S FEARLESS (PG-13) Acclaimed martial arts megastar Jet Li kicks and punches for the last time -- allegedly -- in this visually opulent period-piece action flick. Jan. 8-25. Cinefest, GSU University Center, Suite 211, 66 Courtland St. $5 ($3 until 5 p.m.). 404-651-3565.

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.


APOCALYPTO 2 stars (R) A young Mayan villager (Rudy Youngblood) faces unspeakable horrors after being captured and marked for ritual sacrifice. Mel Gibson's all-subtitled historical action film generates enough momentum to distract from speculation about the movie star's apparent anti-Semitism, but renews questions about his sadomasochistic tendencies as a filmmaker. Despite some loose themes about the decline and fall of civilizations, Apocalypto proves mostly an exercise in violence and torture, although admittedly the final act's extended chase scene is well executed. ­-- Curt Holman

BABEL 4 stars (R) A freak mishap has far-reaching repercussions that effect the lives of a pair of American tourists (Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett), two young Moroccan shepherds, a Mexican nanny (Adriana Barraza) and a deaf Japanese teenager (Rinko Kikuchi). Amores Perros director Alejandro González Iñárritu presents another gripping, gritty and well-acted set of intersecting narratives that feature raw performances (particularly from Rinko Kikuchi) and moments of nearly unbearable suspense. On reflection, Iñárritu's themes of language, globalization and human connection don't quite come together, but Babel's passion and visceral image give it power that transcends borders. -- Holman

BLACK CHRISTMAS (R) Michelle Trachtenberg and Lacey Chabert star in this remake of the 1975 thriller (also known as Silent Night, Evil Night) about a slasher stalking a sorority house.

BLOOD DIAMOND 3 stars (R) A white soldier-turned smuggler (Leonardo DiCaprio) and a black fisherman (Djimon Hounsou) become unwilling partners in the effort to recover a huge, uncut diamond amid the chaos of a civil war in Sierra Leone. Glory's Edward Zwick directs a crisply paced, superbly photographed film, replete with magnificent vistas and harrowing action scenes. Despite the film's justified indignation over "conflict diamonds," however, the plot proves utterly familiar and the horrific black-on-black violence will more probably stick with the audience more than contempt for the Western corporations that profit from it. -- Holman

BORAT: CULTURE LEARNINGS OF AMERICA FOR MAKE BENEFIT GLORIOUS NATION OF KAZAKHSTAN 4 stars (R) British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen pranks the United States by traveling the nation in his guise as Borat Sagdiyev, a disarmingly cheerful but sexist, anti-Semitic and colossally ignorant journalist from Kazakhstan. -- Holman

CASINO ROYALE 3 stars (PG-13) A necessary revision in the post-Austin Powers age, Martin Campbell's (GoldenEye) adaptation of Ian Fleming's first novel in his spy series begins at the beginning, with the British spy making his first kills, achieving 007 status and establishing the Bond mystique. -- Felicia Feaster

CHARLOTTE'S WEB 3 stars (G) Like a marketing genius, a friendly spider (voiced by Julia Roberts) used web-based messages to boost the profile -- and spare the life -- of a runty but good-hearted young pig named Wilbur (Dominic Scott Kay). This live-action adaptation of the classic children's book features barnyard, bodily-function humor that would have been unthinkable in author E.B. White's day. -- Holman

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