JEEPERS CREEPERS 2 (R) In the follow-up to last year's shlocky sleeper hit, the winged, demonic cannibal returns to menace a basketball team and their cheerleaders marooned on a school bus. The burning question is, when does The Creeper fight Freddy and Jason?
THE LEGEND OF JOHNNY LINGO (G) The ads suggest Whale Rider Lite or maybe Male Rider, but this offering is more family-friendly and less heavy-handed in its messages, aimed at young viewers of both genders. Filmed in New Zealand and the Cook Islands, the story of the foundling Tama unfolds like Dickens with prettier scenery until it shifts into Cinderella mode for the climax and a surprisingly moving finale. --Steve Warren
QUAI DES ORFeEVRES (1947) (NR) A saucy little masterpiece of French crime fiction, Henri-Georges Clouzot's prize-winner at the 1947 Venice Film Festival paints an unforgettably dank portrait of the Parisian post-war underground. The fates of hoods, music hall singers and taxi drivers intertwine when jealous husband Maurice (Bernard Blier) is accused of offing the man (Charles Dullin) believed to have bedded his cream-puff wife Jenny Lamour (Suzy Delair), a dishy chanteuse. Not to be missed for either its cynicism or for the rays of human warmth that manage to penetrate Clouzot's noir vision. At Madstone Theatre Parkside. --Felicia Feaster
STEP INTO LIQUID (R) Despite the icky-sounding title, Dana Brown's surfing documentary features stunning photography and is sure to appeal to fans of Blue Crush. At Landmark Midtown Cinema.
ALI ZAOUA: PRINCE OF THE STREETS (2000) (NR) Director-co-writer Nabil Ayouch offers a bittersweet yet life-affirming portrait of street kids in the Moroccan port city of Casablanca. Moroccan Film Week. Aug. 29-Sept. 4, Cinefest, GSU Student Center, Suite 211, 66 Courtland St. $5 ($3 until 5 p.m.). 404-651-3565.
THE BIG LEBOWSKI (1998) (R) An aging slacker (Jeff Bridges) and his bowling buddies (John Goodman, Steve Buscemi) become embroiled in a kidnapping plot among Los Angeles' rich and artsy. For their follow-up to the Oscar-winning Fargo, the Coen Brothers seem to have emptied their notebooks of amusing one-liners and weird images for a finished product that's well-polished but utterly inconsequential. Aug. 29-30, midnight. Lefont Plaza Theatre, 1049 Ponce de Leon, 404-873-1939. www.lefonttheaters.com
A DOOR TO THE SKY (1989) (NR) With her father dying, a Moroccan woman leaves her cosmopolitan life in Paris to return her old-fashioned family in Fez, only to rediscover her Islamic faith. Moroccan Film Week. Aug. 29-Sept. 4, Cinefest, GSU Student Center, Suite 211, 66 Courtland St. $5 ($3 until 5 p.m.). 404-651-3565.
DRIVE INVASION 2003 (NR) The Starlight Six Drive-In's annual celebration of cult films, classic cars, rock bands and BBQ returns with two special nights of movies. Saturday pays tribute to producer David F. Friedman with the nudie adventure Trader Hornee and two splatter thrillers, Bloodfeast and Two Thousand Maniacs! Sunday's special guest is actress Mary Woronov, who stars in the Ramones musical Rock 'n' Roll High School, the ultraviolent sports satire Death Race 2000 and the showbiz spoof Hollywood Boulevard. Both evenings feature exotic movie trailers and classic cartoons. Aug. 30-31 with films beginning at 9 p.m. 2000 Moreland Ave. $6 for films only (after 9:30 p.m.), $18 per day, $30 for two-day pass. 404-627-5786. www.starlightdrivein.com.
JANDEK ON CORWOOD A documentary about a mysterious Texas musician who's been releasing albums on his own label for 25 years, yet actively cultivates a cover of anonymity. Aug. 31, 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Co-sponsored by the local band the Indicators and the Center for Creative Aspiration. 1448 Iverson St. $3.
RAISING VICTOR VARGAS (R) This tender, charming first feature from director Peter Sollett, set in a poor Lower East Side neighborhood, features a cast of engaging young actors led by Victor Rasuk as a self-styled barrio Don Juan who, surprisingly, catches the eye of the local beauty played by Judy Marte. Beneath a touching teenage love story is a sensitive portrait of the fear of abandonment that haunts these children's lives, and the vulnerability that still defines them, despite their teenage cool. Aug 28, Cinefest, GSU Student Center, Suite 211, 66 Courtland St. $5 ($3 until 5 p.m.). 404-651-3565. --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. Midnight Fri. at Lefont Plaza Theatre and Sat. at Marietta Star Cinema.
RUSSIAN ARK (2002) (NR) Nothing short of a masterpiece, Alexander Sokurov's sublime, dreamy, brilliant survey of the opulence and despair of Russia's history was shot entirely within the confines of the Hermitage Museum and in a single continuous steadicam shot using a High Def video camera in almost constant movement. Aug 28, Cinefest, GSU Student Center, Suite 211, 66 Courtland St. $5 ($3 until 5 p.m.). 404-651-3565. --FF
VIDEO ARTISTS FROM BRAZIL (NR) Eyedrum devotes an evening to the experimental, at times highly symbolic work of Brazilian video artists Carlo Sansolo and Erika Fraenkel. Aug. 27, 8:30 p.m. Eyedrum. 290 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. $3. 404-522-0655. www.eyedrum.org.
AMERICAN WEDDING (R) The third slice of American Pie trilogy finds Jason Biggs' pie-fornicator preparing to walk down the aisle with Alyson Hannigan's flute-fetishist. As bellowing Steve Stifler, beetle-browed Seann William Scott hogs the screen time without showing much comedic ability beyond making faces and raising his voice. But Biggs and Hannigan remain charmingly horny, and compared to Pie 2, American Wedding showers gags in quantity, even if their quality can be a crap shoot. Sometimes literally. --CH
AND NOW LADIES & GENTLEMEN (PG-13) This improbable, often patently silly jet-setting romantic thriller from French director Claude Lelouch (A Man and a Woman) features a typically soigne Jeremy Irons as a jewel thief who dresses in absurd disguises. His discovery that he has a brain malady that causes blackouts puts a crimp in his style, but allows him to connect with a lovely French nightclub chanteuse (Patricia Kaas) who suffers from amnesia. The plotline is pure froth, but there is something about Lelouch's reliance on close-ups and the continually shifting storyline that makes the film watchable. --FF
CAMP (PG-13) At times raucous and entertaining, but more often ridiculous, this cheesy comedy was inspired by the real life upstate New York camp where budding thespians like Jennifer Jason Leigh learned to emote. Camp puts a knowing gay-culture gloss on the cornball Meatballs-genre in its tale of gay boys, shy girls and four-eyed black kids who come together each summer to express their mutual adoration for show tunes and jazz hands. At Landmark Midtown Cinema. --FF
DIRTY PRETTY THINGS (R) This is not the finest moment for director Stephen Frears (High Fidelity, Dangerous Liaisons). Based on an interesting premise about a kidneys-for-passports black market operated from a seedy London hotel, this Hollywood-style thriller centers on a principled African immigrant determined to expose the ring. A bland romance between the principled former doctor (Chiwetel Ejiofar) and a Turkish immigrant (Audrey Tautou) weighs the film down. Frears emphasizes thriller cliches over a sustained examination of the feelings of immigrants. At every turn, Things promises something meaningful, and never delivers it. --FF
FREDDY VS. JASON (R) Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) calls on hockey-masked Jason Voorhees to help him terrorize teens in Springwood. But when Jason's killing spree oversteps Freddy's turf, it's scissors vs. rock in a B-movie boogeymen fantasy match. Director Ronny Yu manages to make an appropriate -- and entertaining -- homage to both the Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street franchises. --Tray Butler
GRIND (PG-13) Everyone should have an adventure the summer after graduating high school. Most high school graduates are too intelligent for Grind, but it's aimed at their younger brothers. Four buddies (Mike Vogel, Vince Vieluf, Adam Brody and Joey Kern) chase their dream from Chicago to Santa Monica in this movie about wannabe professional skateboarders, made by wannabe professional filmmakers. Viewers young enough to enjoy it may find the movie and its message original; for the rest of us it's the same old Grind. --SW
IMAX THEATER: Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure (NR) The greatest survival story of the 20th century lends itself to IMAX treatment. Kevin Spacey narrates Sir Ernest Shackleton's attempt to cross Antarctica by dogsled without his usual sarcasm but without overselling it either. The visuals combine Frank Hurley's original photographs and film footage, which retain amazing clarity, with recreations of the original expedition. Coral Reef Adventure (NR) A Fijian, concerned that a local reef is dying, hooks up with underwater filmmakers Howard and Michele Hall, who diagnose a combination of ocean warming, overfishing and residue from upriver logging. Enjoy the kick-ass photography and CSN songs, but tune out Liam Neeson's narration that tries to hang ecological baggage on a narrative too flimsy to support it. Through Sept. 1. Fernbank Museum of Natural History IMAX Theater, 767 Clifton Road. 404-929-6300. www.fernbank.edu. --SW
JOHNNY ENGLISH (PG) After the vulgarity of the Austin Powers franchise, this PG-rated romp about a bungling British spy (hilarious Rowan Atkinson) seems like a quaint throwback. It doesn't hurt that two of the screenwriters were responsible for Die Another Day, the best James Bond outing in ages -- clearly, these men know the genre and how to best tweak it. A car chase scene proves to be equally clever as the much-ballyhooed ones in The Matrix Reloaded and T3, and John Malkovich shows he's game by playing the "fruity" French villain. In a season of heavily hyped titles, it's nice to find a small-scale picture that delivers on its promise without making a big deal about it. --MB
LE DIVORCE (PG-13) A shrewd, tasty little comedy about the cultural divide between America and France, this Merchant/Ivory production concerns Roxy (Naomi Watts), an American poet in Paris, who discovers Old World sexism in the French legal system when her husband deserts her for his mistress. Kate Hudson is her sister, dispatched from Santa Barbara to look after the newly pregnant Roxy. While Roxy stews, Isabel (Hudson) begins an adulterous affair with a right-wing politician and falls in love with French social customs involving lingerie, sex, Hermees handbags and haute cuisine. --FF
THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN (PG-13) The Alan Moore/Kevin O'Neill comic book rests on the fool-proof concept of a Victorian superhero team comprised of literary characters like Captain Nemo and Dr. Jekyll. But Blade director Stephen Norrington makes a botch of it with overblown special effects, incoherent action scenes and a dumbed-down script that steamrolls the comic's book-smarts. Some cast members, like Sean Connery as explorer Allan Quatermain and Peta Wilson as Dracula's Mina Harker, bear up with wit and fortitude even as the film's clever Englishness gets Americanized in the worst way. --CH
LEGALLY BLONDE 2: RED, WHITE AND BLONDE (PG-13) What kind of shoes go with the Beltway? Reese Witherspoon reprises her ingenious comic creation Elle Woods, a ditzy but detail-oriented fashion slave who goes to Washington as an unlikely animal rights activist. Neither Legally Blonde film really lives up to Witherspoon's acting, and the sequel trots out more canine costumes for laughs and inspirational cliches for cheap sentiment. At least Bob Newhart and Mary Lynn Rajskub provide amusing comic foils. --CH
THE MAGDALENE SISTERS (R) Actor/director Peter Mullan's film is hyperbolic and at every turn rigged to inspire outrage. But it is also a highly effective, darkly engrossing condemnation of the checkered history of religious abuses of power. The drama takes place at one of Ireland's "Magdalene Asylums," which operated from the 19th century until 1996 as a virtual prison for girls accused of "moral crimes" ranging from being raped, to out-of-wedlock childbirth to flirtatiousness. Mullan's women-in-prison formula follows three young girls who are nearly destroyed by the sadism of the nuns who oversee their work in the asylum's grueling laundries. At Lefont Garden Hills Cinema. --FF
MANNA FROM HEAVEN No stars (PG) One more piece of evidence in the case for "just because it's 'indie' doesn't make it good." This contrived, hopelessly dopey comedy was produced, written and directed by a family of women who are clearly hoping to ride the My Big Fat Greek Wedding gravy train. How a bunch of Harvard and Yale grads came up with a plotline that rivals the most bottom-of-the-barrel sitcom is a mystery. A conniving Buffalo family who came into some money is pressured by their nun sister (Ursula Burton) to pay it back by putting on a dance contest and raffle. A film that makes you question the existence of God. At Marietta Star Cinema. --FF
MARCI X (R) Lisa Kudrow plays Marci, a Jewish-American Princess suddenly saddled with running her father's controversial record company. Rapper Damon Wayans' new release incurs the wrath of Sen. Christine Baranski, but he and Marci hit it off and get it on. The costumes are more consistently hilarious than Paul Rudnick's hit-and-miss script, which operates on the premise that comedies don't have to make sense. There are enough solid laughs in Marci X for a good movie. It's too bad they've been wasted on this one. --SW
MASKED AND ANONYMOUS (PG-13) Like other vanity projects, this Bob Dylan co-written opus has the stink of narcissism all over it. The same magnetic but self-absorbed aura that established the cult of Dylan in Don't Look Back remains in this post-apocalyptic political allegory with very little to truly say. Dylan is a washed up singer attempting to resurrect his career with an ill-conceived benefit concert. The stars who signed on -- including Jessica Lange, Jeff Bridges, John Goodman and Mickey Rourke -- might have thought they'd find safety in numbers but get an overburdened sinking ship. At Landmark Midtown Cinema. --FF
THE MEDALLION (PG-13) This season's Jackie Chan picture finds the aging martial arts virtuoso trapped in a disaster of a Hong Kong film. Chan plays a HK police officer who teams with Interpol agents Lee Evans and Claire Forlani to protect a child, who possesses a magical/mystical medallion, from a megalomaniacal ne'er-do-well (Julian Sands). The heavily edited and manipulated action scenes can't redeem Evans' lame Jerry-Lewis -meets-French Stewart slapstick or Chan and Forlani's romantic hamming. For Chan fans only. --AS
MY BOSS'S DAUGHTER (PG-13) The old Risky Business plan gets a bad-taste makeover in David Zucker's faux Farrelly farce that may have been funny on paper but falls flat on the screen. Tom (Ashton Kutcher) wants to get ahead at work and date Lisa (Tara Reid), the daughter of his boss (Terence Stamp). Things seem to fall into place when Tom's asked to mind Stamp's pet owl. After drugs, thugs and would-be zanies run into the house and the owl flies out, the house can be repaired but the movie can't. --SW
NORTHFORK (PG-13) If Ingmar Bergman made Northfork it would be hailed as a masterpiece, but when a film is in English, Americans expect to understand it (unless David Lynch made it). Written by twins Mark and Michael Polish (Michael directed), it takes place in 1955 during the 48 hours before a hydroelectric dam floods Northfork, Montana. Government agents encourage the remaining citizens to leave, while four reappearing angels may exist only in the dreams of a dying orphan. The visually amazing film too often seems like weirdness for its own sake. At Madstone Theatre Parkside. --SW
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