Short subjectives 

Capsule reviews of films by CL critics

Opening Friday
AMERICAN OUTLAWS Jesse James (Colin Farrell) and brother Frank (Gabriel Macht) are two brothers from Missouri who lead a gang that robs banks, trains and stagecoaches throughout the West in the late 1800s, becoming the era's most legendary bandits. Scott Caan plays Cole Younger who competes for leadership of the gang; Ali Larter plays Jesse's girlfriend. Directed by Les Mayfield.

APOCALYPSE NOW REDUX 1/2 (R) Closer to Francis Ford Coppola's original intention for his film, this Apocalypse, featuring 53 additional minutes and scenes that had previously been mere legend in film circles, enhances the myth of this stunning Vietnam war film but does not necessarily make for a better film. -- FELICIA FEASTER

RAT RACE 1/2 (PG-13) This throwback to slapstick chase comedies like It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World has some talented comic actors and a few great gags amid a lot of thud and blunder. Whoopi Goldberg, Cuba Gooding Jr., Seth Green, Rowan Atkinson and others engage in a noisy, frantic contest to get $2 million, but the most inspired bits feature Jon Lovitz and John Cleese, the latter wearing hypnotically huge, white dentures. --CURT HOLMAN

GHOST WORLD 1/2 (R) Terry Zwigoff follows his superb documentary on underground cartoonist R. Crumb with a sharp feature based on Daniel Clowes' comic book serial about hip best friends (Thora Birch and Scarlet Johansson) who drift apart after high school graduation. The film hilariously shows young people faced with the insipid mediocrity of consumer culture vs. the loneliness of personal authenticity, embodied by Steve Buscemi as a hapless record collector. The kind of film David Lynch or Woody Allen should be trying to make, Ghost World provides ideal performances from its leads while refusing to offer easy solutions to their dilemma. -- CH

Duly Noted
EVIL DEAD 2: DEAD BY DAWN (1987) (R) Starring cult favorite Bruce Campbell and directed by Sam Raimi, director of Darkman, Army Of Darkness and the upcoming film version of Spiderman. A young man named Ash takes his girlfriend Linda to a secluded cabin and plays back a professor's tape-recorded recitation of passages from the Book of the Dead. The spell calls up an evil force from the woods, which turns Linda into a monstrous Deadite and threatens to do the same to Ash. Aug. 17 at midnight at the Marietta Star Cinema.

THE KING IS ALIVE 1/2 (R). It's "Survivor" meets Shakespeare when a group of tourists, stranded in an African desert, stage King Lear as a means of distracting themselves from their desperate situation. Gorgeously shot under the Dogma 95 principles of cinematic "purity," it has the makings of a forbidding foreign film, yet proves compelling and accessible, with finely sustained tensions and raw performances from the likes of Janet McTeer and Jennifer Jason Leigh. Presented by the Peachtree Film Society Aug. 19 at General Parkway Pointe. --CH

THE PRODUCERS (1968) Down-on-his-luck theatrical producer Max Biyalistok (Zero Mostel) is forced to romance rich old ladies to finance his efforts. When timid accountant Leo Bloom (Gene Wilder) reviews Max's books, the two hit upon a way to make a fortune by producing a sure-fire flop. Written and directed by Mel Brooks. Aug. 17-23 at GSU's cinéfest.

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., and Saturday at midnight at Blackwell Star Cinema, 3378 Canton Road, Marietta.

A.I.: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (PG-13) Steven Spielberg brings to light a long-developed Stanley Kubrick project about an android boy (Haley Joel Osment) who aspires to be human. Spielberg gives the first act a poetic precision evocative of the late filmmaker's cerebral style, but subsequent sections uncomfortably blend elements of Pinocchio and Blade Runner, losing some of its pristine storytelling control. -- CH

ALL ABOUT ADAM (R) Adam (Stuart Townsend) meets a waitress (Kate Hudson) and then proceeds to seduce her, her two sisters and even her brother. Also starring A.I.'s Frances O'Connor. Directed by Gerard Stembridge, written for the screen by Gerard Stembridge.

AMERICAN PIE 2 1/2 This follow-up to the 1999 hit reunites over a dozen characters. This sequel is more of a boys' night then a nostalgic sequal -- Tara Reid, Mena Suvari and Natasha Lyonne have little more than cameos here. Four friends -- hapless Jim (Jason Biggs), obnoxious Stifler (Seann William Scott), cute Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas), soft-spoken Oz (Chris Klein) and brainy Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) -- back together after a year in college, ready to enjoy a summer at the beach. --MATT BRUNSON


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