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Short subjectives 

Capsule reviews of films by CL critics

Page 6 of 6

THIRTEEN CONVERSATIONS ABOUT ONE THING (R) Director Jill Sprecher follows in the seemingly random footsteps of Short Cuts and Magnolia exploring the meaning of life and luck through four intersecting New York stories. Alan Arkin's subplot, about a claims adjuster aggravated by a subordinate's optimism, reveals obsessive behavior and bureaucratic oppression with the acuity of a Russian novelist. But the lack of subtlety and natural-sounding dialogue undermine the narrative ambitions.--CH

ULTIMATE X (PG) See extreme sports on the Mall of Georgia's extremely large IMAX screen in this documentary of ESPN's Summer X games, which includes skateboarders, BMX riders, motocrossers, and street lugers. Rated PG "for daredevil sports action and mild language." Mall of Georgia IMAX Theater, I-85 at Buford Drive, Buford.

UNDERCOVER BROTHER (PG-13) Can you dig it? Beating the Austin Powers films at their own game, this highly amusing blaxploitation spoof casts Eddie Griffin as the title character, "a Soul Train reject with a Robin Hood complex" who joins up with the B.R.O.T.H.E.R.H.O.O.D. to take down The Man. Even at a mere 88 minutes, this slight film tempts fate, but the big laughs are tumultuous enough to barrel right over the slow patches.--MB

UNFAITHFUL (R) For much of his career, director Adrian Lyne has had sex on the brain, turning out huff'n'puff features both good and bad. This one derives most of its power from Diane Lane's standout performance as a content housewife who risks everything for a fling with a hunky Frenchman (Olivier Martinez). As the suspicious husband, Richard Gere does some of his best work, and this cautionary tale about the illusion of eternal bliss ends with a wonderfully ambiguous final shot.--MB

WINDTALKERS (R) Marked by surprisingly unspectacular battle scenes and little of that patented John Woo energy, this drama fictionalizes the case of the real life codetalkers -- Native Americans who transmitted an unbreakable code based on the Navaho language during WWII. Nicolas Cage and Christian SSlater -- each trying to out-butch the other -- are two of the Marines who must keep two Native American codetalkers from falling into enemy hands. --FF

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