Short Subjectives 

Capsule reviews of films by CL critics

Opening Friday
BLACK HAWK DOWN (PG-13) Ridley Scott directs a harrowing soldier's-eye view for the disastrous mission in Somalia that cost the lives of 19 U.S. troops. With a huge cast and non-stop battle scenes, characterization is nearly absent, and we scarcely get to know the soldiers played by the likes of Josh Hartnett, Eric Bana, Ewan McGregor and Tom Sizemore. But in the global environment following Sept. 11, the film gets credit for showing in frightening detail what could be a worst-case scenario of the War on Terrorism. --Curt Holman

KUNG POW: ENTER THE FIST (PG-13) This film's target audience won't remember What's Up, Tiger Lily? Woody Allen's kooky 1966 redub of a Japanese spy movie. Here Ace Ventura II director Steve Oedekerk takes the 1976 chop-sockey flick Savage Killers and gives it a comic spin, editing himself into the action as an improbable avenger.

SNOW DOGS (PG) Cuba Gooding Jr. plays a Miami dentist who inherits a team of Alaskan sled dogs in this comedy that can be expected to start with fish-out-of-water gags and end with sports-underdog motifs a la The Mighty Ducks. The trailer ends with the pooches actually talking, and one can only hope that's just an end-of-film joke.

Duly Noted
DESPERATE HOURS The five-day Atlanta Jewish Film Festival opens with the Southeastern premiere of this film that chronicles Turkey's acts of resistance to the Holocaust. Writer and executive producer Michael Berenbaum will be in attendance.Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, Jan. 22 at 7:30 p.m., AMC Phipps Plaza. 404-949-0658.

FAT GIRL (NR) Controversial director Catherine Breillat hits sensational pay dirt yet again in this disturbing but meaning-rich tale of two teenage sisters, one fat and one beautiful, and their very different experiences of sex. With one of the most shocking endings ever imagined in film history. GSU's cinefest, Jan. 22-24. --Felicia Feaster

JUST FOOLING AROUND Award-winning German animator Jochen Kuhn presents a light satire on the art world as the young painter Edward proves unable to complete his paintings, to the consternation of his muse and model.New Films From Germany, co-sponsored by the Goethe-Institut Atlanta. Jan. 18 at 8 p.m., Rich Auditorium, Woodruff Arts Center. $5.

LOLITA (NR) Another of Stanley Kubrick's brilliantly dispassionate, incisive dissections of the utterly hopeless, selfish human animal. This 1962 adapatation of Vladimir Nabokov's novel features a deliciously frosty, calculating James Mason as a British academic who falls in love with his landlord's (Shelley Winters) underage daughter (Sue Lyon) with the inspired, kooky Peter Sellers as his nemesis. A masterpiece of black comedy and genuine pathos. Films at the High, The Incomparable James Mason" film series. Jan. 19 at 8 p.m., Rich Auditorium, Woodruff Arts Center. $5. --FF

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 hitherto unseen footage.) GSU's cinefest, Jan. 11-18. --CH

OUR SONG (R) Writer-director Jim McKay's portrayal of three African-American teenage girls is so naturalistic you'd swear it's a documentary. Three friends in New York's Crown Heights neighborhood spend a summer practicing in a marching band, wrestling with issues of poverty and pregnancy and gradually growing apart in a credible, incisive portrait of teen melancholy, full of true moments and lovely performances. Peachtree Film Society, Jan. 20 at 6 p.m., General Cinema Parkway Pointe. $7.50 ($6.50 for non-members). 770-729-8487. --CH

PHILIP ON FILM Legendary composer Philip Glass and his ensemble perform live accompaniment to a series of film screenings: a slate of new Shorts by Atom Egoyan, Peter Greenaway, Shirin Neshat, Godfrey Reggio and Michael Rovner Jan. 20 at Symphony Hall; Tod Browning's 1931 Dracula (with the Kronos Quartet) Jan. 21 at Symphony Hall; Reggio's Powaqqatsi Jan. 22 at Symphony Hall, Jean Cocteau's 1946 La Belle et la Béte (Beauty and Beast) Jan. 25 at the Fox Theatre and Reggio's Koyannisqatsi Jan. 26 at the Fox. Presented by the Woodruff Arts Center and the Fox Theatre. All screenings at 8 p.m. Tickets $20-$35. Glass pass $100. 404-817-8700.

RALPH BUNCHE: AN AMERICAN ODYSSEY 1/2 (NR) Heralded as the first person of color to break into the American mainstream in a field other than sports or entertainment, Ralph Bunche was a key player in the formation of the United Nations. The story of his rise from a working-class Detroit family to international statesman is rendered with gravity -- and slow stretches -- in this biopic by Emmy Award-winning filmmaker William Greaves. IMAGE Film & Video Center. Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site Screening Room, 450 Auburn Ave., Jan. 17 at 7:30 p.m. Free. --Tray Butler

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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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