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Capsule reviews of films by CL critics

Opening Friday
The Center of the World (R ). Aspiring for a Last Tango in Paris for the dotcom generation, Wayne Wang directs a steamy tale of a rich hacker who pays a stripper to be his consort for a weekend in Vegas. The film frankly explores how sex can be both a form of communication and a substitute for it, but at times proves little more than skin deep. --CURT HOLMAN

MUMMY RETURNS (PG-13) In 1933, eight years after legionnaire Rick O'Connell and Egyptologist Evelyn fought the 3,000-year-old enemy named Imhotep, the mummy is resurrected in the British Museum of London and sets out on his quest for immortality. The O'Connells, who have since married and had a son, return to Egypt and into the realm of another enemy, the Scorpion King (The Rock), a warrior frozen in time with secrets and strengths more powerful than Imhotep, to save the world from evil.

TOWN & COUNTRY (R) Goldie Hawn, Gary Shandling, Diane Keaton and Warren Beatty are moneyed Manhattan marrieds engaged in infidelity (and questionable judgment in choosing film scripts) in this horrendously unfunny comedy of middle-aged peccadilloes. --FELICIA FEASTER

WITH A FRIEND LIKE HARRY (R ) By chance a harried young father meets long-forgotten schoolmate Harry (Sergi Lopez), who ingratiates himself into his life and offers some lethal means of solving his domestic problems. For awhile you're uncertain if the poker-faced French thriller will escalate toward laughter or dread, which makes it intriguing, if perhaps too restrained for its own good. --CH

Duly Noted
ATLANTA MOVIE NIGHT AT CARNIVAL Nomad Pictures' co-op film event screens three locally produced movies, including Hoochies on May 3, Urban Heat on May 10 and Severed on May 17. Club Carnival, 210 Pharr Road at 8 p.m.

BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA A kung fu action comedy starring Kurt Russell as an Uzi-toting truck driver. Midnight movie May 10-11 at GSU's cinéfest.

CHINGACHGOOK, THE GREAT SNAKE Based on James Fennimore Cooper's The Deerslayer, The Great Snake is the tale of Chingachgook, a young Delaware Indian who joins his fellow tribesmen to fight on the side of the English in the 1740 battle against the French colonists until he realizes the Europeans plan to expel and exterminate the Native Americans in the end. May 2 at 7 p.m. Goethe-Institut Atlanta.

CHUTNEY POPCORN A lesbian decides to be a surrogate mom for her do-gooder sister to win her mother's approval, but first she must get the OK from her girlfriend. April 27-May 3 at GSU's cinéfest.

EVEREST The month of May is "Everest Month" at Fernbank, featuring lectures and book signings by Sherpa Jamling Norgay and screenings of the 1996 IMAX film documenting an expedition to the top of Mt. Everest. May 5-6, 12-13, 19-20 at 6 p.m. Fernbank Museum of Natural History.

"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.

RUBY IN PARADISE In conjunction with retrospective screenings of now famous local filmmakers, the Atlanta Film and Video Festival presents Director Victor Nuñez' story of a working-class woman (Ashley Judd) from rural Tennessee who finds a fresh start in a second-rate Florida resort town. May 10 at 8 p.m. Rich Auditorium, Woodruff Arts Center.

TOUCH OF EVIL Charlton Heston plays a Mexican investigator who takes a break from his honeymoon to track down the murderer of a rich land developer in this classic film noir directed by Orson Welles. May 4-10 at GSU's cinéfest.

THE TRIAL Directed by Orson Welles and adapted from Franz Kafka's novel, The Trial stars Anthony Perkins as Joseph, a man who is arrested for unknown reasons, is allowed to remain free and go to work but still has to stand trial and deal with the verdict. May 4-10 at GSU's cinéfest.

WATER DROPS ON BURNING ROCKS 1/2 (NR) A sticky, perverse little chamber piece written by Rainer Werner Fassbinder in 1964 and adapted with a kinkiness the late German director would surely appreciate, by French filmmaker Francois Ozon, this story focuses on a sexual Svengali whose powers of seduction extend to both men and women who he mindfucks with equal aplomb. May 9 at 8 PM at the Rich Auditorium, High Museum of Art --FF

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