Short subjectives 

Capsule reviews of films by CL critics

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"THE MULLET" Previously aired on local cable access station MediaOne, episodes of "The Mullet" will be screened on the first Monday of the month at the Fountainhead Lounge. The TV show features short films like "The Uh-Huh Man," "The Real Life of Jimmy Mullet" and "The Fisherman and the Mullet." April 2-June 4 at 8 p.m. Fountainhead Lounge, East Atlanta.

THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW (R) The cult classic of cult classics, the 1975 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 Meatloaf gets killed. Dress as your favorite character and participate in this musical on acid. Fridays at midnight, Lefont Plaza Theatre, 1049 Ponce De Leon Ave.

SANS SOLEIL (Sunless) Filmed under the guise of a documentary, Sunless follows the travels of a fictional filmmaker, Sandor Krasna, through footage shot in Japan, Iceland, France and other locations as well as through letters to an anonymous woman, which are read as voice-overs. Shown as part of "A Festival of Films by Chris Marker." March 30 at 8 p.m. Rich Auditorium, Woodruff Arts Center.

BEFORE NIGHT FALLS (NR) *** '80s artist Julian Schnabel steps up to the filmmaking plate again after his promising 1996 Basquiat to deliver another noteworthy portrait of an idiosyncratic artist rebelling against convention. This time it's Cuban dissident writer and homosexual Reinaldo Arenas (Javier Bardem), who was aggressively persecuted by Castro's forces after the revolution for both his work and his sexuality. This bio-picture, featuring bizarre cameos from Johnny Depp and Sean Penn, is lyrically constructed, with a surreal rhythm that manages to span decades in Arenas' often brutal, lonely life without losing a sense of the artist's perspective. -- FF

BLOW DRY (R) ** 1/2 Certainly better than The Big Tease, last year's entry in the subgenre of hairdressing competition movies, this whimsical dramedy about young love and old grudges is aimed at fans of The Full Monty and Waking Ned Devine. But when you learn at the outset the leading lady is dying, you know it's not an all-out laughfest. In the Yorkshire town hosting the British Hairdressing Championships, Alan Rickman and Natasha Richardson were married until she ran off with his model (Rachel Griffiths) 10 years ago. Terminally ill Richardson wants to mend fences and enter the competition as a team with Rickman. -- STEVE WARREN

THE BROTHERS (R) ** 1/2 Director Gary Hardwick's screenplay is too schematic but that shouldn't hurt this comedy's popularity as a date movie. It's got laughs, tears, sex, moral dilemmas and enough romance for a month of Valentine's Days. The leads are late-twentysomethings at different stages of maturity regarding relationships. D.L. Hughley is married, Shemar Moore engaged, Morris Chestnut on the verge (with fine Gabrielle Union) and Bill Bellamy is totally commitment-shy. -- SW

CAST AWAY (PG-13) *** Director Robert Zemeckis and his Forrest Gump star Tom Hanks have created another crowd-pleaser in what begins as a modern-day Robinson Crusoe story but comes out looking like a "Survivor" spin-off. Dumped in the Pacific, Chuck Noland (Hanks) spends four-plus years on an otherwise uninhabited island, developing survival skills gradually and realistically. The plot eventually gets Hollywood-ized, but it's amazing how long Zemeckis resists commercial impulses, aside from the whole movie being such a commercial for Chuck's employer, FedEx, that failing an Oscar, it has a chance to win a Clio. -- SW

THE CAVEMAN'S VALENTINE *** Samuel L. Jackson plays a piano prodigy turned street lunatic who suspects a celebrated photographer (Colm Feore) of murder in this stylish oddity. It's hard to accept its sleuthing premise or narrative logic, but Jackson gives a vivid, charismatic performance and Eve's Bayou director Kasi Lemmons offers plenty of weird and haunting images. - CH

CHOCOLAT (PG-13) **1/2 Free-spirited Juliette Binoche opens a chocolate shop in a repressed village, setting up a didactic conflict of indulgence versus denial. The French locales, food and faces are lovingly photographed (the disarming ensemble includes Judi Dench, Johnny Depp and Alfred Molina), but it cannot equal the comparably themed but richer Babette's Feast. Chocolat melts in your hands, not in your heart. -- CH

CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON (PG-13) **** An enchanting tale set in early 19th-century China, Ang Lee's (Sense and Sensibility, The Ice Storm) atmospheric Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon rekindles the Hong Kong flame of gravity-defying martial arts action and tender sentiment. Lee invests the usual astounding acrobatics with his characters' pangs of regret, love and loss as two martial arts masters, (Chow Yun Fat and Michelle Yeoh) teach a spoiled young aristocrat (Zhang Ziyi) about the moral responsibilities of the Giang Hu martial arts way in this subversive, beautifully realized coming-of-age story. -- FF


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  • Re: Fresh air

    • Local band Manchester Orchestra, who provided the soundtrack, probably would have appreciated a shout-out.

    • on June 29, 2016
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