Short subjectives 

Capsule reviews of films by CL critics

Page 3 of 5

CRAZY AS HELL (R) If "ER" actor-turned-director Eriq La Salle had spent as much time researching the dynamics of a mental hospital and psychiatric protocol as he and the irritating Michael Beach do chewing the scenery, this might have resembled something closer to entertainment. As it is, not even a twist-ending (inspired by Adrian Lyne's Angel Heart) can explain this dull and pretentious thriller about an unorthodox psychiatrist (Beach) with a charismatic patient (La Salle) who claims to be Satan.--FF

8 WOMEN (R) A deliciously campy paean to the glitzy Hollywood melodramas and musicals of the past, French director Francois Ozon's whodunit features a cast of elite French actresses (including Emmanuelle Beart, Catherine Deneuve, Isabelle Huppert) stranded in a remote country house and trying to figure out who killed the only man on the premises.--FF

THE FOUR FEATHERS (PG-13) A.E.W. Mason's century-old novel has never been far removed from the minds of moviemakers, having been filmed on seven separate occasions. This 21st century model is a satisfactory (if shaky) heir to the throne, a visually robust retelling that reinstates a dash of the epic to the big screen. Heath Ledger is solid as the 19th century British officer who must redeem himself after being branded a coward, but Kate Hudson, displaying all the luminance of a 20-watt bulb after 999 hours of service, is miscast as the woman he loves.--MB

IGBY GOES DOWN (R) That's all well and good for Igby, but how about the rest of us? Kieran Culkin of The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys plays a teen who flees his eccentric parents (Susan Sarandon and Bill Pullman) to find love and other new experiences in New York. The cast of this bitter comedy includes Jeff Goldblum, Clare Danes and Ryan Phillipe.

IMAX Lewis & Clark: Great Journey West (NR) Jeff Bridges narrates this sweeping documentary that traces the famed explorers' 8,000-mile trek across America. Through March 14. Cirque du Soleil (NR) See dizzying acrobatics in the IMAX film of the renowned French circus. Fridays through Nov. 29. 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 Oct. 31. Fernbank Museum of Natural History IMAX Theater, 767 Clifton Road.

JONAH: A VEGGIETALES MOVIE (G) Who says Hollywood has no new ideas? Here we have an animated, musical interpretation of the Bible story, with Jonah portrayed by a talking asparagus -- no doubt to be swallowed by a vegetarian whale. It's the first feature film from a popular Christian video series for kids.

THE LAST KISS (R) This huge hit in Italy tracks the Peter Pan mishaps of a group of thirtysomething male friends as they try to recapture their fancy-free youth, abandoning babies and devoted girlfriends in the process. The film initially promises some misanthropic, screwball hybrid of Neil LaBute and American Pie, but director Gabriele Muccino soon reveals he has more adult, and thoughtful, matters on his mind in this analysis of a selfish, can't-see-the-good-in-front-of-their-eyes generation of men. At Lefont Plaza Theatre.--FF

THE MASTER OF DISGUISE (PG) Test your Dana Carvey tolerance in this comedy from the former cast member of "Saturday Night Live." Here plays a nebbishy quick change artist whose retinue includes old ladies, George W. Bush and a guy who looks like a turtle. Surely one of his alter egos must be funny. Right?

MEN IN BLACK II (PG-13) Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones return as attitudinal alien-busting secret agents in this mind-bogglingly, jaw-droppingly egregious sequel to their somewhat diverting 1997 cash cow. A negligible "plot" gives them something to squawk about amid the usual barrage of computer-generated effects, but the movie exists most appreciably to serve the greed of its responsible parties. The best to said of the monumental mess is that it's all over in a (suspiciously) brief 88 minutes. --BO

MOONLIGHT MILE (PG-13) It's hard to imagine anyone stealing a movie not only from rising star Jake Gyllenhaal but also from Oscar-winners Susan Sarandon, Dustin Hoffman and Holly Hunter, yet newcomer Ellen Pompeo pulls off the feat with aplomb. She's the main reasons to see this highly likable if somewhat calculated melodrama about a young man (Gyllenhaal) who, after the senseless slaying of his fiancee, moves into the home of her parents (Sarandon and Hoffman, each making returns to form) yet soon finds himself falling for a local bar owner (Pompeo).--MB

MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING (PG) While not as accomplished as Mira Nair's Monsoon Wedding,- this is nevertheless a gratifying romantic comedy that gently tweaks stereotypes even as its characters wallow in them. Adapted by Nia Vardalos from her own one-woman show, the film centers on the plight of a 30-year-old lonelyheart (Vardalos) who risks the wrath of her family when she falls for a non-Greek (John Corbett). --MB


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    • Local band Manchester Orchestra, who provided the soundtrack, probably would have appreciated a shout-out.

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