DEATH AT A FUNERAL (R) The ceremonial send-off for the patriarch of a dysfunctional family -- the backdrop for Frank Oz's dark comedy staring Matthew MacFadyen (Pride and Prejudice) and Rupert Graves (V For Vendetta) -- becomes less than dignified when a mysterious stranger threatens to reveal a dark secret regarding the deceased.
THE INVASION (PG-13) The extraterrestrial-onslaught plot of 1956's The Invasion of the Body Snatchers has been well-covered with this, its fourth incarnation, but never before have sexy stars Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig led the human resistance as they do in the latest attempt by Oliver Hirschbiegel.
LADY CHATTERLEY (NR) Pascale Ferran's screen adaptation of D.H. Lawrence's story stars Marina Hands and Jean-Louis Coullo'ch as two vastly different characters whose torrid love affair reawakens the life in their formerly stagnant existence.
NO END IN SIGHT (NR) See review.
SUPERBAD (R) See feature/review.
THE TEN (R) With an all-star cast including Jessica Alba, Winona Ryder and Adam Brody, filmmakers Ken Marino and David Wain illustrate the Ten Commandments with 10 sinfully funny interconnected skits.
ATLANTA UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL (NR) See review.
HOW TO COPE: PERFORMANCE, POSSESSION, POLITICS Frequent Small Meals' Andy Ditzler programs and hosts Film Love #46 focusing on the amazing performance art that can be born of oppression.
MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL 5 stars (1975) (NR) 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.) Midnight Series. Aug. 17. Midtown Art Cinema, 931 Monroe Drive. 678-495-1424. www.landmarktheatres.com. -- Curt Holman
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.
BECOMING JANE 3 stars (PG) Though it employs the familiar touches of a Jane Austen original, Becoming Jane never fully becomes the kind of Austen piece we know and love. In a pleasant, improbable manner, a feisty Jane (the porcelain Anne Hathaway) and her conflicted, Darcy-esque love interest (James McAvoy) dutifully deliver the expected wry banter and repressed affection to convince us of their love, yet the film's oddly somber tone, which lingers like English rain, hinders any real chance of doing justice to Austen's own bright mastery of wit and observation. -- Allison C. Keene
BLAME IT ON FIDEL (NR) Told from the point of view of 9-year-old Anna, documentary filmmaker Julie Gavras' fiction debut shows how children suffer when parents take political sensibilities too far. (Julie Gavras is the daughter of director Costa-Gavras of Missing and Z fame.)
THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM 3 stars (PG-13) In the third Bourne movie, amnesiac super-spy Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) crosses the globe to reclaim his memory and outwit his former CIA spymasters (including David Strathairn). Paul Greengrass also directed the trilogy's previous entry and again masterfully employs shaky camera work and soundtrack percussion to raise the audience's pulse rate; he could make doing laundry unbearably exciting. Nevertheless, given the identical plots (and impassive acting from Julia Stiles) in all three, it's no wonder Bourne can't remember anything. -- Holman
BRATZ (PG) With characters based on the popular dolls, Sean McNamara's comedy chronicles the trials of four teenage girls who share an enduring friendship.
BROKEN ENGLISH 4 stars (PG-13) Wacky girl Parker Posey shows a refreshing serious side as a lonely Manhattan singleton in the debut film by Zoe Cassavetes, daughter of renowned indie auteur John. Posey's emotionally enthralling performance (complemented by soulful French actor Melvil Poupaud's turn as her would-be boyfriend) and Cassavetes' truthful writing make this wonderfully low-key indie rise above the usual chick-flick fray. -- Felicia Feaster
BROOKLYN RULES (R) Michael (Freddie Prinze Jr.) narrates the story of growing up on the tough streets of Brooklyn in Michael Corrente's coming-of-age drama co-starring Alec Baldwin and Scott Caan.
CAPTIVITY (R) Elisha Cuthbert (The Girl Next Door, House of Wax) plays Jennifer, a fashion model abducted, held against her will and tortured in Roland Joffé's (The Killing Fields) thriller.
COLMA: THE MUSICAL 3 stars (NR) Three recent high school graduates (Jake Moreno, L.A. Renigen, and scripter/lyricist/composer H.P. Mendoza) long to escape their sleepy hometown of Colma, Calif., in this exuberant indie musical. The thin plot and self-involved, unlikable characters prevent Colma from becoming a cult classic, but Mendoza and director Richard Wong clearly have enough ideas and talent to support the idea that the future of the movie musical may be at the art house, not the cineplex. -- Holman
EL CANTANTE (R) Spanning roughly 30 years, Leon Ichaso's biopic drama chronicles the rise of the Puerto Rican salsa singer Hector Lavoy and stars Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez.
EVAN ALMIGHTY 2 stars (PG) In this superficial yarn, selfish freshman Congressman Evan Baxter (Steve Carell) finds his political career derailed by a holy decree from God (Morgan Freeman) to build an ark. A crass attempt to get the fundamentalists and progressives on the same page, this misguided comedy about environmentalism-through-Scripture suggests Close Encounters of the Third Kind meets Mr. Smith Goes to Washington without either film's integrity or skills. -- Feaster
GOYA'S GHOST 3 stars (R) Stellan Skarsgard portrays the 19th-century doom-tripping painter Francisco Goya, witness to war and political and religious evildoing in Milos Forman's historical epic. But it's Javier Bardem who brings real charisma and grit to his role as a religious zealot priest who takes advantage of an aristocratic Spanish girl (Natalie Portman) during the Inquisition. With his tendency for soap-opera drama in treating Goya's life, Forman's film might be even more interesting as a reflection of his auteurial fixation with institutional abuses of power. -- Feaster
HAIRSPRAY 4 stars (PG) Yes, it lacks the funky soul sounds of John Waters' original 1988 film of race and tail-shaking in 1962 Baltimore. But director and choreographer Adam Shankman clearly understands the value of keeping things moving in this rousing, infectiously toe-tapping film version of the Broadway musical. Shankman retains Waters' smart-aleck, golly-gee-for-grime spirit and manages to distract from the relative horror of John Travolta (in the Divine role) in a female skin suit. Nikki Blonsky is sassy as the chubby integrationist teenager Tracy Turnblad, but it's Christopher Walken as her joshing dad who often steals the show. -- Feaster
HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX 4 stars (PG-13) Harry Potter's (Daniel Radcliffe) attempts to defend against evil Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) are hindered when cruel but cutesy-voiced Dolores Umbridge (Imelda Staunton) seizes control of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Low on jokes and wonder, Phoenix offers the tightest, most focused film in the franchise, that plays like a taut, anti-authority thriller rich with political metaphors. It's The Empire Strikes Back of the franchise. -- Holman
HOT ROD (PG-13) "Saturday Night Live" newcomer Andy Samburg hits the big screen as a clumsy, moped-riding daredevil in "SNL" writer Akiva Schaffer's action/comedy.
I KNOW WHO KILLED ME (R) Lindsay Lohan stars in Chris Sivertson's thriller as a young woman abducted by a sadistic killer, then tortured and convinced that she is not who everyone else claims she is.
I NOW PRONOUNCE YOU CHUCK AND LARRY (PG-13) Adam Sandler and Kevin James star as straight firefighters posing as gay life partners to take advantage of the insurance benefits in Dennis Dugan's comedy.
IMAX THEATER The Alps Follow John Harlin III in MacGillivray Freeman's visually breathtaking documentary as he attempts to climb the same summit that proved fatal to his father 40 years ago. Coral Reef Adventure IMAX cameras travel farther than ever before to capture underwater images of the Pacific Ocean's beautiful coral reefs for this documentary. Fernbank Museum of Natural History IMAX Theater, 767 Clifton Road. 404-929-6300. www.fernbank.edu.
INTERVIEW 2 stars (R) As artificial and airless as some actorly exercise, Steve Buscemi's psychodrama pits a shallow TV actress (Sienna Miller) against a conceited political writer (Buscemi) who thinks it's slumming to profile an actress. The characters are a bore and the table-turning scenario not much better. -- Feaster
LA VIE EN ROSE 5 stars (PG-13) An extraordinary, transcendent biopicture treating the trauma-plagued life of parental neglect, drug addiction and loss but also the amazing artistic legacy of French national icon and chanteuse Edith Piaf. Olivier Dahan's direction is stunning and star Marion Cotillard disappears into the role with remarkable ease. -- Feaster
MY BEST FRIEND 4 stars (PG-13) Patrice Leconte's (Man on the Train) tale of a silly wager, in which a nonsocial antiques dealer (Daniel Auteuil) tries to prove he is likable by producing a best friend in 10 days, develops into a rueful commentary on the poignancy of human connection. The likable Dany Boon is the gregarious taxi driver who helps "teach" Auteuil how to be a friend. -- Feaster
NO RESERVATIONS 2 stars (PG) Catherine Zeta-Jones plays an uptight, perfectionist chef at a luxe Manhattan bistro (which of course translates to, in the logic of Hollywood single-woman dramedies, desperately unhappy) who is schooled in love and loosening up by an annoyingly groomed hipster sous chef Aaron Eckhart, wearing feathered hair and Crocs. Based on the German light comedy Mostly Martha. -- Feaster
RATATOUILLE 5 stars (G) Despite having a cast that's nearly half rodent, Ratatouille breaks from the Pixar formula of cute, funny action comedies about talking toys/bugs/cars/etc. for an ingenious, bittersweet culinary farce. The brilliant gags might tickle your sweet tooth, but the film also serves rich, hearty subtext about life's sensual pleasures and the necessity of personal evolution. And it looks good enough to eat. -- Holman
RESCUE DAWN 5 stars (PG-13) Werner Herzog's POW escape film feels more like his own classics of human confrontation with nature such as Aguirre, The Wrath of God and Fitzcarraldo than the usual action-movie, foreign-prison-break film. A captivating Christian Bale plays real-life German-American pilot Dieter Dengler, who was shot down over Laos and managed to make his way to freedom from a jungle POW camp. Utterly restrained and meditative, the film brings the nimble, metaphysical touch of an art-house master to an often gung-ho genre. -- Feaster
RUSH HOUR 3 1 star (PG-13) After an attempted assassination of the Chinese ambassador, the LAPD'S Chris Tucker and Chinese cop Jackie Chan bicker all the way to Paris. Fast-talking Tucker and fast-moving Chan make such a natural comic team that it's a shame three-time director Brett Ratner never built them a vehicle with witty jokes or racial insight. All three films are pretty crummy, interrupting the loud comedy and louder action with some decent stunt work from Chan (now 53 years old), but even the funny outtakes during the closing credits seem calculated. -- Holman
SICKO 5 stars (PG-13) Propumentarian Michael Moore thankfully tends to fade into the background in this impassioned film about America's health-care crisis. Apart from the occasional stunt, such as a trip to Cuba to highlight the advantages of nationalized health care, Moore instead lets the victims of America's bureaucracy-choked and bottom-line-minded health-care business show -- in chilling but also often humorous terms -- how adequate medical treatment has become a luxury item in this country. -- Feaster
THE SIMPSONS MOVIE 3 stars (PG-13) In the long-awaited film version of television's longest-running comedy, The Simpsons flee to Alaska when Homer (voiced by Dan Castellaneta) accidentally causes an environmental catastrophe. The movie offers far more laughs than you'd get from four current episodes of the once-brilliant show, yet the plot (involving a giant dome) turns out to be as lame and contrived as any present-day story line. The movie makes you laugh nonstop but miss the show in its heyday simultaneously. -- Holman
STARDUST 4 stars (PG-13) In mid-19th century England, a young man (Charlie Cox) sets off on a romantic errand in a magical kingdom and winds up falling in love with a fallen star who looks like Claire Danes. And who wouldn't? Stardust's beguiling blend of fantasy and humor proves both deeper and sexier than the similarly themed The Princess Bride, while spending less time winking at the audience (except for Robert De Niro's performance as an air pirate with a double life).-- Holman
SUNSHINE 2 stars (R) Director Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, 28 Days Later) dabbles with pre-Star Wars sci-fi in his serious-minded but unsteady account of eight scientists on a doomed space mission to reignite the sun before it snuffs out. Sunshine pays nail-bitingly close attention to the risks of space travel, but the last half hour flames out as the film jettisons scientific plausibility and visual coherence in favor of slasher-flick conventions and pseudo-mysticism. -- Holman
TALK TO ME 4 stars (R) Kasi Lemmons' (Eve's Bayou) by-turns thoughtful and highly amusing biopicture looks at the astounding career trajectory, in both its quick rise and idiosyncratic fall, of the outspoken, charismatic 1960s ex-con-turned-DJ Petey Greene (Don Cheadle) -- and radio exec Dewey Hughes (Chiewetel Ejiofor) -- who gave a voice to black Americans from his Washington, D.C., radio pulpit. Cheadle is mesmerizing and Lemmons' film is a needed reminder of both the smaller voices lost in the bluster of history, and a politically resonant expression of the need to speak out, now more than ever. -- FeasterTRANSFORMERS 3 stars (PG-13) Armageddon and Pearl Harbor director Michael Bay plays with the most expensive toys in the planet in this destructive live-action version of the Hasbro properties. The plot, themes and characterization are laughable at best (except for Shia LaBeouf's ingratiating, steadying work in the leading "human" role), but the special-effects extravaganza of giant robots whaling on each other is kind of awesome. -- Holman
THE TREATMENT 3 stars (R) A neurotic prep-school teacher (Chris Eigeman) falls for a beautiful widow (Famke Janssen), despite his preoccupation with his tough-love Freudian therapist (Ian Holm), who may or may not exist. The film's therapy-based comic conceit feels painfully out of date, but Eigeman's solid, shtick-free performance makes The Treatment feel like more than just another Woody Allen wannabe. -- Holman
UNDERDOG (PG) Comedic actor Jason Lee lends his voice to the rhyming canine who saves the day in Frederik Du Chau's comedy inspired by the original Saturday-morning cartoon.
WHO'S YOUR CADDY? (PG-13) The board president of a country club in the Carolinas strongly discourages an Atlanta rap mogul from joining, but the rapper and his entourage remain tenacious in Don Michael Paul's comedy.
In the latest 'Emory Looks at Hollywood' episode, Judith Evans Grubbs, Emory Professor of Roman…
"In the movies' worst scene..." should be "movie's"
--freelance copy editor, available for hire
I saw this headline before watching the movie yesterday, but this movie was way better…