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Short subjectives 

Capsule reviews of films by CL critics

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BAD COMPANY (PG-13) Taking an explosive comic actor like Chris Rock sticking him in an action film this dull is like buying a ridiculously expensive sports car and solely using it to drive to the grocery store down the block. This studio-generated claptrap features a street-smart small-timer (Rock) who poses as his own twin brother, a murdered CIA agent tracking (what else?) a nuclear weapon making the rounds on the international black market. Anthony Hopkins co-stars. -- Matt Brunson

THE BOURNE IDENTITY (PG-13) Go director Doug Liman's spy thriller starts well, with amnesiac Matt Damon discovering that he's got spy skills and hitmen on his trail. But the film forgets the best plot twists of Robert Ludlum's original novel and falls into a repetitious cycle: Chris Cooper's nasty CIA man yells at underlings, Damon hesitantly romances love interest Franka Potente, and action scenes unfold in a workmanlike manner.--CH

THE COUNTRY BEARS (G) Disney turns its Country Bear Jamboree ride into a live-action oddity, in which a talking bear cub (voiced by Haley Joel Osment), raised by humans, rediscovers his ursine roots upon meeting the title musicians, here depicted as a roots-rock band a la Lynyrd Skynyrd. Don Henley and John Hiatt provide singing voices, while Elton John and Willie Nelson appear as themselves.

THE CROCODILE HUNTER: COLLISION COURSE (PG) Giving Animal Planet's nature host Steve Irwin his own movie seems as misguided as giving the Food Network's Emeril his own sitcom. Here Irwin plays his excitable self as he tries to protect a croc that has swallowed a chunk of a spy satellite coveted by secret agents.

EIGHT LEGGED FREAKS (PG-13) There's never been a truly great "spider" movie, and except for some isolated scenes, this PG-13-rated piffle is ultimately as threatening as Snuggles the Fabric Softener Bear. Even arachnophobes shouldn't have a hard time sleeping after sitting through this jokey yarn about a small town overrun by overgrown creepy-crawlies.--MB

THE FAST RUNNER (NR) The first ever film in the Inuit language offers a timeless tale of jealousy, revenge and redemption. Set a thousand years ago inside the Arctic Circle, a good-natured hunter (Natar Ungalaaq) must resist the evil infecting a rival villager, building to an already-celebrated sequence in which the stark naked hero is pursued across an endless field of jagged ice. Too long at nearly three hours, it's still an archetypal story with details so precise it's like a documentary made with a time machine.--CH

HALLOWEEN RESURRECTION (R) Michael Meyers -- the killer in the white mask, not the Austin Powers stars -- returns in a sequel partially inspired by MTV's scare-the-slackers reality show "Fear." Featuring Busta Rhymes, Tyra Banks and Jamie Lee Curtis, returning for yet another "final battle."

HEY ARNOLD! THE MOVIE (PG) The flat-headed hero of the Nickelodeon cartoon series takes the big screen to fight a real estate developer who wants to build a shopping mall on Arnold's neighborhood. Sounds like a hard sell in Atlanta.

IMAX Australia: Land Beyond Time (NR) Check out the kangaroos, koalas and other denizens of Down Under in this travelogue of the world's biggest island. Through July 31. Cirque du Soleil (NR) See dizzying acrobatics in the IMAX film of the renowned French circus. Fridays through Sept. 15. Kilimanjaro: To the Roof of Africa (Not Rated) Everest director David Breashears' latest IMAX documentary follows an expedition through five distinct climate zones to the top of Africa's highest point. Through Sept. 20. Fernbank Museum of Natural History IMAX Theater, 767 Clifton Road.

INSOMNIA (R) Memento director Christopher Nolan switches from memory loss to sleep deprivation in this smart police thriller about a celebrated detective (Al Pacino) becoming increasingly complicit with a dispassionate murderer (Robin Williams). Pacino and Williams each effectively turn down the volume for their cat-and-mouse games. While most noir films act under cover of darkness, Insomnia takes place in an Alaskan town where the sun literally never sets, providing a supple metaphor for the pangs of conscience.--CH

K-19: THE WIDOWMAKER (PG-13) If there's anything to add the venerable sub-genre of sub flicks, hack director Kathryn Bigelow and writers Christopher Kyle and Louis Nowra don't come close to finding it, preferring to trot out a creaky vessel stitched together from past underwater adventures. Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson employ now-you-hear-them-now-you-don't accents as the two top dogs on a Soviet submarine sent out to sea under perilous conditions during the height of the Cold War. A half-hearted Mutiny On the Bounty knock-off ensues.--MB

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