Short subjectives 

Capsule reviews of films by CL critics

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BULLY (Not Rated) America hide your children, that "wake up and smell the coffee" chicken hawk Larry Clark has done gone and made himself another movie full of ripe, nekkid teens and a bracing social message about how it's, like, wrong or something to kill your best friend even if he was meaner than a sackful of rattlesnakes. Based on fact. -- FF

CORKY ROMANO (PG-13) "Saturday Night Live's" Chris Kattan plays a zany veterinarian who passes as an FBI agent to save his Mafia family -- or is he passing as a mafioso to save his FBI family? Something like that. With Peter Falk, Fred Ward and Chris Penn.

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.-- FF

DIVIDED WE FALL 1/2 (PG-13) This Czechoslovakian comedy/drama about a husband and wife (played by an intensely likeable pair of actors, Boleslav Polivka and Anna Siskova) hiding a Jewish fugitive in their larder during World War II tries to deal in some of the messy moral ambiguities brought out in wartime, but more often just offers a thrilling comic romp in the Life is Beautiful tradition.-- FF

DON'T SAY A WORD (R) Michael Douglas seems bored as a New York psychiatrist whose daughter is snatched by crooks who demand he extract valuable information from the mind of one of his patients (Brittany Murphy), a catatonic woman with a murky past. Despite the potentially interest in Murphy's character,the film boils down to routine police procedurals (stretch), cars speeding through city streets (yawn), and Douglas trading climactic blows with the baddies (zzzzzz). -- MB

DOWN FROM THE MOUNTAIN (Not rated). The directors of classic rockumentaries Monterey Pop and Don't Look Back offer a concert film of music from and in the spirit of O Brother Where Art Thou? Showcasing bluegrass, gospel and blues musicians who couldn't get arrested in today's hats-and-headsets Country climate, Mountain resembles an unusually authentic and diverse "Austin City Limits," with highlights from Emmylou Harris, Ralph Stanley, the Fairfield Four and the late Bill Hartford.--CH

THE GLASS HOUSE (PG-13). Looking more like Helen Hunt every day, Leelee Sobieski plays a girl who, with brother Trevor Morgan, is orphaned when their parents die in a mysterious auto accident. Their legal guardians (Diane Lane and Stellan Skarsgard) prove to have sinister designs in this domestic thriller seemingly designed along the lines of The Hand That Rocks the Cradle.

HAIKU TUNNEL (R ) Jacob and Josh Kornbluth co-write, direct and act in a corporate satire about a temp (Josh) who's life turns upside down when he takes a permanent job at a huge company. Harry Shearer plays an office orientation leader.

HAPPY ACCIDENTS 1/2 (R) Brad Anderson's follow-up to his breezy indie romance Next Stop Wonderland is about a therapy-obsessed singleton (Marisa Tomei) who finds herself drawn to a loveably goofy regular guy (Vincent D'Onofrio) who claims to have traveled back in time from the year 2470 to meet her. This mildly cute but mostly trite romance is the kind of scatterbrained sci fi fluff beloved by Hollywood and faux-art filmmaker Hal Hartley. -- FF

HEARTS IN ATLANTIS PG-13. Based on a Stephen King novella, this blend of Stand By Me's golden-hued boyhood nostalgia and Dolores Claiborne's grimy working-class gothic is an often troubling, multifaceted coming-of-age that tells the story of the relationship between a reclusive psychic (Anthony Hopkins) and an 11-year-old kid (Anton Yelchin) during the summer of 1960.-- FF

IRON MONKEY (PG-13) A masked hero fights 19th century tyrrany in this Hong Kong film that's reminiscent of Zorro, Robin Hood, but mostly Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, as it has a similar setting and that film's high-flying action choreographer, Yuen Wo Ping, as director. Unlike recent Jackie Chan imports dubbed into English, this 1993 re-release is subtitled, although the gravity-defying fight scenes lose nothing in translation.--CURT HOLMAN

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. -- CH

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