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IMAX Lost Worlds: Life in the Balance (Not Rated) Harrison Ford narrates an IMAX film exploration of the world's biological diversity, from the Poles to the Tropics, with an in-depth focus on the lush, remote plateaus of Venezuela. Majestic White Horses (NR) The pomp, history and legend of the famous Lipizzan horses of Austria and the Spanish Riding School of Vienna gets the really big screen treatment. Opening Nov. 23 at Fernbank Museum, 767 Clifton Road. Michael Jordan to the Max (NR) A look at Air Jordan's second (to date) "farewell" basketball season in 1997-98. Nov. 23 only. Ocean Oasis (NR) Though indifferently structured, this portrait of the ecology of Baja California and the Sea of Cortez captures undersea life as never before and surfaces briefly to check out the desert and the mountains. With incredible cinematography, even by Imax standards, the images are so sharp you can look tiny fish in the eye and read personalities into their facial expressions.Through Jan. 1, 2002. Fernbank Museum of Natural History IMAX Theater. -- STEVE WARREN
K-PAX (R) Offensively sanctimonious, flagrantly derivative and just plain dull (don't see K-PAX without NO-DOZ), this insufferable picture casts Kevin Spacey as a mental patient who thinks he's a space alien, with Jeff Bridges as his psychiatrist (in a cardboard role that's beneath him). The first half of the film plays like Patch Adams, while the second is more like a nightmare version of an actor's theater workshop. Spacey's performance is built on nothing but putrid platitudes and affected mannerisms -- frankly, I didn't think it was possible for him to ever be this bad. -- MB
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. --FF
THE MAN WHO WASN'T THERE (R). Film noir has been good to Coen Brothers, although one hopes that their latest, an homage to the work of James M. Cain, gets it out of their system so they can explore other cinematic modes. Billy Bob Thornton effectively plays a taciturn barber whose wife (Fargo's Frances McDormand) may be having an affair with her boss (James Gandolfini), but the barber's blackmail scheme spins out of control. It may have less humor than any Coen Brothers film, but it takes a hypnotic, clinical look at moral decay, captured in sleek black-and-white. --CH
MONSTERS INC. (G). Remember the Warner Bros. cartoons in which the coyote and sheepdog would carry lunchpails and punch time clocks? Pixar's latest feat of computer animation employs a similar blue-collar incongruity, depicting the endearing monsters who scare children, and the chaos that erupts when a human kid gets loose in their world. The script isn't as solid as the Toy Story movies', but the creepy-crawlies come in wildly imaginative shapes and hues, and the climactic chase is excitingly surreal. With the voices of John Goodman, Billy Crystal and Steve Buscemi.
MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL They're Knights of the Round Table. They dance whene'er they're able. They do routines and chorus scenes with footwork impecc-able. It's a busy life in Camelot. They sing from the diaphragm a lot. (This re-release boasts a whopping "24 seconds" of unseen footage.) Marietta Star Cinema. --CH
MULHOLLAND DRIVE (R) A typical feast of Lynchian dreamwork, Mulholland Drive is also a disappointment for its mix of a deeply troubling storyline involving a naive Nancy Drew blonde new to Hollywood trying to help a haunted, amnesiac brunette, with silly subplots that recall the increasingly absurdist dissolution of Lynch's television show "Twin Peaks." --FF
NOVOCAINE 1/2 (PG-13). Steve Martin plays a bland dentist drawn into a world of infidelity, drugs and murder in this darkly comic thriller. Though the film has an intriguing premise and one appreciates Martin's attempts to stretch, a la The Spanish Prisoner, here his cool detachment works against the audience's sympathies. Dialogue equating dental decay with moral rot sounds too neat, while the tooth-related twists that cap off the story are hard to swallow. --CH
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.
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