Short subjectives 

Capsule reviews of films by CL critics

Opening Wednesday
THE DEEP END 1/2 (R) Though it was a hit at this year's Sundance Film Festival, this tale of consuming mother love in which Tilda Swinton does everything in her power -- including covering up a murder -- to protect her son, feels like a conservative throw-back to Mildred Pierce-era stories of masochistic, maternal sacrifice dressed up in flashy au courant garb. --FELICIA FEASTER

Opening Friday
CAPTAIN CORELLI'S MANDOLIN 1/2 (R) This adaptation of Louis de Bernieres' novel finds Nicolas Cage affecting the worst Italian accent since Nick Nolte struggled his way through Lorenzo's Oil nine years ago. Still, his no more miscast than his co-stars, Penelope Cruz and Christian Bale, who play Greeks residing on the island of Cephallonia during World War II. Cage plays a music-loving officer whose company is stationed on Cephallonia as the war rages on around them. The initial antagonism between the Greeks and the Italians eventually subsides, all the more so when the Germans turn up and start killing everyone in sight. Director John Madden may have helmed Shakespeare In Love, but he's never able to jumpstart the romance between Cage and Cruz; his instincts work better in the second half, when the harsh realities of war are brought to the island residents' front doorstep. -- MATT BRUNSON

CURSE OF THE JADE SCORPION 1/2 (PG-13) Maybe Woody Allen should consider taking a year off. This sleight homage to '40s era detective stories is only mildly entertaining at best. Allen plays a detective for an insurance agency who butts heads with the company's new efficiency expert (Helen Hunt). When a hypnotist at a company party puts the sparring partners under his spell, the seeds for both love and larceny are planted in their subconscious minds. From that set-up follows a relatively predictable comedy of errors. In the end, you can't help wondering: Where are the sexual politics? Where is the clever storyline? Where are the lovable neuroses? Apparently they all took the year off. -- SUZANNE VAN ATTEN

GHOST OF MARS: (R) There's something rotten on Mars. It's hundreds of years in the future, and Mars has been colonized to alleviate over-population on Earth. There Lt. Ballard (Natasha Henstridge) of the Mars Police Force is leading a prisoner transport squad to Shining Canyon, a once-thriving mining operation, to take "the most wanted man on the planet" (Ice Cube) to trial. But What they find there is deserted buildings and mutilated corpses. The mining operation has tapped into an ancient civilization below the planet's surface and unleashed an evil force. John Carpenter directed and co-wrote. Pam Grier and Joanna Cassidy costar.

JAY & SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK (R). Kevin Smith provides a light-hearted coda to his "New Jersey" trilogy of films with this low-brow, cameo-heavy road movie that boasts some hilarious spoofs on classic and current films. The foul-mouthed Laurel & Hardy team of Jay (Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob (Smith) offers a few gay jokes too many, but if the film isn't as good as Pee Wee's Big Adventure, it's at least better than Beavis & Butt-Head Do America. -- CURT HOLMAN

SUMMER CATCH (PG-13) Freddie Prinze Jr., that one-man movie-making machine for the teen set, is at it again with his latest vehicle to make young hearts flutter. Here he's a blue-collar boy trying to make it in the Big Leagues. The first townie to earn a slot in Cape Cod's elite Baseball League, he's finally got his chance to make it, but, as the press notes say, "the temptation to score off the field is almost as intense as the pressure to perform on the diamond." Beverly D'Angelo is the resident "Mrs. Robinson" and Jessica Biel ("7th Heaven") plays a sexy Vassar grad.

Duly Noted
CLERKS (1994) (R) Kevin Smith's directorial debut is a about as low as a low-budget film can be, but what it lacks in production values it makes up in originality and humor. Nearly hit with an X rating because of its crude language and frank, graphic sex talk, the film follows a day in the life of two slackers in New Jersey, one who works in a convenience store and who works in the video store next door. Blackwell Star Cinema in Marietta, at 7:15 p.m. daily through Aug. 23. -- SVA

CHASING AMY (1997) (R) Ben Affleck stars as a comic book artist who falls in love with a lesbian (Joey Lauren Adams). Directed by Kevin Smith. Blackwell Star Cinema in Marietta, 9:40 p.m. daily through Aug. 23.

FENE FILM SYMPOSIUM Independent films, videos, documentaries and shorts by local talent will be screened. Studio Central, Aug. 24 from 5-9 p.m. 770-694-6795. 404-522-4399.

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Recent Comments

  • 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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