Film Clips 

Capsule reviews of recently released movies

Opening Friday

ILLEGAL TENDER (R) From John Singleton, the producer of Four Brothers, and writer/director Franc Reyes comes a thriller about a woman and her teenage son who seek revenge on the people who killed her husband.


MR. BEAN'S HOLIDAY (G) See review.

MOLIÈRE (PG-13) Laurent Tirard's period drama is both romantic and comedic, staring Romain Duris as a 22-year-old Jean-Baptiste Poquelin fresh out of prison but long before he goes down in history as France's greatest dramatist.

THE NANNY DIARIES (PG-13) See review.


ROCKET SCIENCE 3 stars (R) A scheming high school debater (Anna Kendrick) encourages lovelorn Hal Hefner (Reece Daniel Thompson) to try out for the team, despite his debilitating stutter. At times Rocket Science's ironic, deadpan tone feels overly calculated, as if director Jeffrey Blitz tries too hard to emulate Napoleon Dynamite and the films of Wes Anderson. Nevertheless, Rocket Science's script takes surprising twists and satisfying resolutions, buoyed by the performances of its young cast (including Nicholas D'Agosto as a legendary but enigmatic debater) and the music of the Violent Femmes. -- Curt Holman

SEPTEMBER DAWN (R) Jon Voight stars as Jacob Samuelson in Christopher Cain's fictionalized love story set against the historical backdrop of the 1857 massacre of more than 100 men, women and children supposedly ordered by one of the nation's most controversial religious figures.

Duly Noted

ATLANTA UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL (NR) A variety of cinematic endeavors are shown at various venues throughout the city. See review

BEMANI Dariush Mehrjui depicts three isolated women on the Iraqi border in his film critique of oppressive patriarchal societies. Iranian Film Today Festival Aug. 24. The High, Rich Theatre, 15th and Peachtree streets. 404-733-5000.

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. Aug. 23. Eyedrum, 290 MLK Jr. Drive, Suite 8. 404-522-0655.

JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS (1963) (G) Silver Scream Spook Show. Aug. 25. The Plaza Theatre, 1049 Ponce de Leon Ave. 404-873-1939.

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.

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 Zoe Cassavetes' (daughter of renowned indie's-indie John) debut film. Posey's emotionally enthralling performance (complemented by soulful French actor Melvil Poupaud's turn as "the boyfriend") and Cassavetes' truthful writing make this wonderfully low-key film rise above the chick-flick offerings. -- 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


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