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Capsule reviews of films by CL critics

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MULHOLLAND DRIVE (R) A typical feast of Lynchian dreamwork, Mulholland Drive is also a disappointment for its deeply troubling storyline involving a naive Nancy Drew blonde (Naomi Watts) trying to help a haunted, amnesiac brunette, with silly Hollywood subplots that recall the increasingly absurdist dissolution of "Twin Peaks." GSU's cinefest, April 5-11.--FF

THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW (1975) (R) The cult classic of cult classics, the musical horror spoof follows an all-American couple (Susan Sarandon and Barry Bostwick) to the castle of Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Tim Curry), a drag-queen/mad scientist from another galaxy. It's all fun and games until Meatloaf gets killed. Dress as your favorite character and participate in this musical on acid. Fridays at midnight, Lefont Plaza Theatre, 1049 Ponce de Leon Ave., and Saturday at midnight at the Marietta Star Cinema, 1355 Roswell Road, Marietta.

THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS (PG-13) Director Wes Anderson maintains the idiosyncratic brilliance of Rushmore with a pixilated portrait of an ingenious but dysfunctional family. The likable cast centers around Gene Hackman's rascally paterfamilias, but it's more a film about its textures -- nearly subliminal sight gags, wall-to-wall pop from the '60s and '70s, fictional locales in an idealized Manhattan -- that subtly and overtly suggest the experience of reading a novel, especially the kind John Irving likes to write. GSU's cinefest, April 12-18.--CH

STORYTELLING (R) Director Todd Solondz (Welcome to the Dollhouse, Happiness) is still beating a dead horse in showing suburbia as the consummate intellectual wasteland, but he manages to at least offer some shifting plot twists, interesting characters and a self-damning message this go around. Divided into two separate stories about a "truth" open to interpretation, the film skewers political correctness in its first half, and heartless documentary filmmakers in the second. GSU's cinefest, April 12-18.--FF

Continuing
ALL ABOUT THE BENJAMINS (R) A tough bounty hunter (Ice Cube, who also co-wrote the film) and a wisecracking bail jumper (Mike Epps) join forces to fleece some diamond thieves in this action comedy named for the P. Diddy song. Featuring Anthony Michael Hall and Lil' Bow Wow.

AMELIE (R) A popular and critical hit in France, this not-to-be-missed sweet-as-pie, stylistic knockout is a dazzling live-action cartoon for grown-ups. The ultra-cute Audrey Tautou is a do-gooding sprite living in a magical Montmartre who dedicates herself to helping others. From Jean-Pierre Jeunet, the director of The City of Lost Children and Delicatessen. -- FF

A BEAUTIFUL MIND (PG-13) In an either bold or ignorant move, director Ron Howard may have made the first action-adventure film about schizophrenia. Russell Crowe stars in this story of real life Princeton mathematician John Nash who won the Nobel Prize, but also suffered from mental illness. Howard allows emotional button-pushing to triumph over character development and insight in this earnest but flat entry in Hollywood's disability canon.--FF

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (G) The only animated feature ever to be nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award -- and one of the best classic-style musicals of the past 20 years -- Disney's 1991 animated gem gets a polish to fit the scalle of a really, really big IMAX screen. Mall of Georgia IMAX Theater, I-85 at Buford Drive, Buford. -- CH

BIG TROUBLE (PG-13) Director Barry Sonnenfeld makes a dismal attempt to recreate the rat-tat-tat patter and inspired casting of Get Shorty in this insufferable adaptation of Dave Barry's novel. Depicting how a mysterious suitcase effects the lives of a dozen characters, the screwball antics are annoying rather than amusing, although Dennis Farina and Janeane Garofalo arguably come off best. --Matt Brunson

BLACK HAWK DOWN (R) Ridley Scott directs a harrowing soldier's-eye view of 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. --CH

BLADE 2 (R) With arteries being punctured left and right and vampires disintegrating after getting blasted by silver bullets, this is as disreputable a genre film as Queen of the Damned, but a helluva lot more fun. It tops its 1998 predecessor thanks in no small part to director Guillermo Del Toro of The Devil's Backbone, although Wesley Snipes' half-human, half-vampire renegade still proves a dull superhero. --MB

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