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Short subjectives 

Capsule reviews of films by CL critics

Opening Wednesday
BONES (R) Snoop Dogg turns hell hound in this horror flick about an undead hustler (Dogg) preying on four unwitting young people. Can psychic Pam Grier save the day?

Opening Friday
K-PAX (PG-13) The title could be a Christian radio station or a mysterious hygiene product, but it's actually the name of the planet an enigmatic mental patient (Oscar-winner Kevin Spacey) claims to hail from. His incredulous psychiatrist is played by Jeff Bridges, who starred in the similarly themed Starman and The Fisher King.

LIFE AS A HOUSE (R) A yuppie tearjerker about the healing power of good real estate. Kevin Kline stars as a father dying of cancer who wants to build his dream house before he goes, thus erasing his father's negative influence (and dilapidated wooden shack) and creating something beautiful and new to heal his damaged relationship with his rebellious, drug-addicted teenage son. Life often feels personal for Winkler, and it may strike a chord for viewers, too, but there is something too saccharine and easy in this Hollywood treatment of domestic crisis. --FELICIA FEASTER

ON THE LINE (PG) Who's your favorite member of N'Sync, Lance Bass or Joey Fantone? Figure it out during this date comedy about a single guy (Bass) trying to track down his dream gal (Emmanuelle Chiquri). If you prefer one of the other Syncers, that's just too damn bad.

OUR LADY OF THE ASSASSINS (R) French director Barbet Schroder (who was in fact born in Teheran) takes a break from American crime stories like Reversal of Fortune for this Spanish-language tale of a gay writer's affair with a gangster in Medellin, Columbia.

13 GHOSTS (R) It's spelled "Thir13een Ghosts" in the ads, which may be the most memorable part of this flick about a haunted house made mostly of glass. From the makers of 1999's already-forgotten remake of The House on Haunted Hill, it features Tony Shalhoub, F. Murray Abraham, Matthew Lillard and Shannon Elizabeth.

Duly Noted
THE ART OF AMALIA David Byrne wears his hat as an international music advocate by introducing this documentary on the career of Amalia Rodrigues, Portugal's greatest diva, and the musical style called "Fado."GSU's cinefest, Oct. 19-25.

THE PENALTY Criminal mastermind Lon Chaney seeks revenge on the doctor who amputated his legs. Shown with a 1913 short, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hydge This co-presentation with the Silent Film Society of Atlanta features live musical accompaniment by members of The Flakes. GSU's cinefest, Oct. 26, 8 p.m.

VAMPIRE HUNTER D: BLOODLUST Japanese animation's answer to vampire slayers like Buffy or Blade, "D" seeks to rescue a hung maiden held by a vicious bloodsucker in this sequel to 1985's entertaining Vampire Hunter D. GSU's cinefest, Oct. 26-Nov. 1

WELCOME TO ANATEVKA (G) Ruth Leitman (director of Alma and Wildwood, N.J.) and James Jernigan offer a behind-the-scenes look at the Atlanta Jewish Community Center's production of Fiddler on the Roof using theater professionals, high school students and 22 developmentally disabled adults. Some of disabled actors we see more in snapshots than sustained portraits, but the difficulties of two particular actresses give the film suspense while making it about more than the platitudes of the uplifting, rewarding aspects. Oct. 24 at 6:30 and 8 p.m. The Lefont Plaza, 1049 Ponce de Leon Ave., $15 ($12 for IMAGE members). -- CH

BABYLONIAN DREADS This thriller produced locally by ScreenPlayers Production and Devine Film and Video depicts two Atlanta detectives pursuing a criminal mastermind in the year 2002. Oct. 26 at 8 p.m., The Roxy Theater, 3110 Roswell Road, $8.

REFLECTIONS IN THE WATER. IMAGE Film & Video Center presents two Atlanta documentarians diving into fresh-water themes: Steven Panayioto's The Erie Canal, the pilot to "The Forgotten Wonders" television series, and Fran Burst-Terranella's The Chattahoochee River: Muddied Waters, Clear Solutions. Oct. 29 at 7 p.m., Georgia Pacific Auditorium, 133 Peachtree St. Free.

AIMEE & JAGUAR (NR) Based on the true story of an anti-Semitic mother and wife of a Nazi soldier who falls deliriously in love with a Jew in 1943 Berlin as Allied bombs shower the city, this German film reads like the plotline of a Fassbinder film. Though this unconventional love story gets a fairly conventional treatment by first time director Max Farberbock, the film sustains interest courtesy of the marvelous performances by Maria Schrader and Juliane Kohler as the love-struck lesbians. Oct. 24 at 7:30 p.m. Goethe-Institut Atlanta, Colony Square, 1197 Peachtree St., $4 for non-members. -- FF

WE THREE KINGS Inspired by This is Spinal Tap, this locally-produced music "mockumentary" follows three Elvis impersonators (Ralph Price and producers David Crownover and Lavon Lacey) in their bid for stardom.Oct. 25 at 8 p.m. Tara Cinema. $10.

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