CASA DE LOS BABYS (R) In an unnamed Latin American country, six women (Maggie Gyllenhaal, Daryl Hannah, Marcia Gay Harden, Susan Lynch, Mary Steenburgen and Lili Taylor) wait to adopt a baby at the local orphanage. As always, indie auteur John Sayles takes a sensitive, intellectual approach to his subject matter, exploring the cruel economic imbalance between needy American mothers and their more desperate Latina counterparts. But Sayles also indulges in a trademark tendency to emphasize social commentary over character development and bite off too much material for one film.--Felicia Feaster
DEMONLOVER (NR) Like a wolf in the fold, Connie Nielsen plays a businesswoman secretly trying to sabotage her conglomerate's impending deal with Japanese animated porno studio. Director Olivier Assayas looks through Nielsen's cold eyes to witness corporate treachery, media saturation and sexual dehumanization. If only Assayas had sustained a coherent story, Demonlover could have been one of the year's most relevant and provocative films. At Midtown Art Cinema. --Curt Holman
DR. STRANGELOVE (1964) (NR) "You can't fight in here -- this is the war room!" Peter Sellers gives three hilarious performances in Stanley Kubrick's Cold War satire, yet the film's poker-faced plausibility gives it much of its staying power. At Madstone Parkside Theaters.--CH
THE GIRL FROM PARIS (NR) A hokey setup initially promises to consign this film to that special circle of trite Euro export hell. But first-time director Christian Carion's generation gap story of an energetic Parisian girl (Mathilde Seigner) who chucks city life to become a goat farmer and her adversarial relationship with the old school farmer (Michel Serrault) whose farm she buys gradually ripens into a subtle, thoughtful exploration of the riches and loneliness of farm life. At Madstone Parkside Theaters.--FF
GOOD BOY! (PG) A dog from outer space befriends a human boy and marshals terrestrial canines in this family film featuring the voices of Matthew Broderick, Carl Reiner and Vanessa Redgrave.
HOUSE OF THE DEAD (R) If you enjoy shooting zombies in the House of the Dead video game, maybe you'll like watching actors shoot zombies in this big-screen adaptation that includes such character actors as Clint Howard and Jurgen Prochnow.
INTOLERABLE CRUELTY (PG-13) The Coen Brothers make a detour toward the mainstream in this barbed romantic comedy about a slick divorce lawyer (George Clooney) who falls for the ex-wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones) of one of his clients. Featuring Geoffrey Rush, Billy Bob Thornton and Cedric the Entertainer.
KILL BILL VOLUME 1 (R) Quentin Tarantino's geek side returns with a vengeance in the first half of his loving yet overblown salute to kung fu movies and other cult revenge flicks. A blonde assassin (Uma Thurman) tracks down the former colleagues who betrayed her, and while Tarantino strives for the grandiosity of Sergio Leone spaghetti westerns, he undercuts himself with ironic jokes closer to McG's Charlie's Angels. It's up to Uma to carry the film -- and she does, conveying a toughness oddly comparable to Lee Marvin. Volume 2 is due in February.--CH
KM. 0 (NR) Madrid's geographical center is the setting for this ensemble piece by Yolanda Garcia Serrano and Juan Luis Iborra. One afternoon and evening, 14 Madrilenos pass by, many of them pairing up for sex (romantic or commercial) or just drinks and conversation. The characters are as varied (in age, gender, orientation, etc.) as their situations, some serious and some funny, and it's all quite pleasant. At Midtown Art Cinema.--Steve Warren
AS THE DEVIL CAME AT NIGHT (1957) (NR) During WWII Germany, a detective faces suppression from the authorities when he tries to expose a mass murderer. Post-War German Classics. Oct. 15, 7 p.m. Goethe Institut Inter Nationes, 1197 Peachtree St., Colony Square. $4. 404-892-2388.
BANGKOK DANGEROUS (R) The Pang Brothers, directors of The Eye, pay homage to John Woo and Wong Kar-Wai in this stylish action flick about a deaf-mute hitman working in the title city. Oct. 9, Cinefest, GSU Student Center, Suite 211, 66 Courtland St. $5 ($3 until 5 p.m.). 404-651-3565.
CUBAN RAFTERS (2002) (NR) Carles Bosch and Jose Domenech's documentary captures the immigrant experience by following seven Cubans as they dare to travel from Havana to Florida by raft, and end up at points as diverse as American suburbs and Guantanamo Bay. Films at the High, Latin American Film Festival. Oct. 10, 8 p.m., Woodruff Arts Center, Rich Auditorium. $5. 404-733-4570. www.high.org
THE EYE (R) More supernatural drama than horror flick, the Pang Brothers' film is a second-rate, Chinese rehash of The Sixth Sense. Young Mun (Lee Sin-Je), who's been blind since infancy, has her sight restored surgically and starts seeing ghosts. The search for the donor whose corneas gave Mun back her vision leads to Bangkok, where The Eye finally becomes its own movie -- and a damn good one. It will be too little, too late for some viewers while others leave happy, remembering only the final 20 minutes. Oct. 9, Cinefest, GSU Student Center, Suite 211, 66 Courtland St. $5 ($3 until 5 p.m.). 404-651-3565.--SW
FIRE (NR) Deepa Mehta writes and directs this film about a young woman in New Delhi who finds escape from her loveless arranged marriage in the arms of another woman. Oct. 10-16, Cinefest, GSU Student Center, Suite 211, 66 Courtland St. $5 ($3 until 5 p.m.). 404-651-3565.
A HOUSE WITH A VIEW OF THE SEA (2001) (NR) In the Venezuelan Andes in 1958, a traveling photographer exacerbates tensions between the families in an isolated community. Films at the High, Latin American Film Festival. Oct. 11, 8 p.m., Woodruff Arts Center, Rich Auditorium. $5. 404-733-4570. www.high.org.
IG FEST 2003 (NR) Independent Georgia presents its second Music, Art and Film Festival Oct. 14-19, which includes evenings of experimental, student and music-themed movies at venues in East Atlanta Village and other locations. Programs include Downstream Film Festival's experimental films at Eyedrum Oct. 14, The Unsatisfied at Raw Gallery Performance Space Oct. 15, Fucked Up Lover and Stories from the Road at Gravity Pub Oct. 15, student films at Flat Iron Oct. 16, Downstream Film Festival's Short Attention Theater at Gravity Pub Oct. 17-18, and a closing night program of Elvis: That's the Way It Is and Led Zeppelin's Song Remains the Same at the Starlight Drive-In Oct. 19. Oct. 14-19 at multiple Atlanta locations. $30 for five-day pass. www.indiega.org.
NOSFERATU (1922) (NR) For decades filmmakers have imitated and paid homage to this silent version of the Dracula story, but Max Schreck's grotesque vampire and F.W. Murnau's haunting, expressionistic direction have never been surpassed. Presented by the Silent Film Society of Atlanta with live musical accompaniment by Shane Morton. Oct. 10, 8 p.m. Eyedrum. 290 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. $5. 404-522-0655. www.eyedrum.org.--CH
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.
AMERICAN SPLENDOR (R) Harvey Pekar's comic book American Splendor holds a mirror up to his mundane life as a Cleveland file clerk. Filmmakers Shari Stringer Berman and Robert Pulcini hold a mirror to the mirror and create dizzying reflections in a film that features the real Pekar as narrator and a superbly cast Paul Giamatti playing him. At times the film's use of animation and word balloons feels like self-conscious gimmickry, but Berman and Pulcini justifiably focus on the tension between the real Pekar and his comic book persona, and Hope Davis delightfully captures the bohemian quirks of Pekar's neurotic but loving third wife.--CH
CARNAGE (NR) French writer-director Delphine Gleize dramatizes the aftermath of a bullfight, in which body parts of the slain bull effect the lives of disparate characters in Spain, France and Belgium. Thing 13 Conversations About One Toro. At Lefont Garden Hills Cinema.
CONCERT FOR GEORGE (NR) This concert film recorded on the first anniversary of George Harrison's death features the likes of Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty celebrating the music of the former Beatle.
DON'T TEMPT ME (NO NEWS FROM GOD) (NR) This captivating Spanish film shifts gears roughly four times in its first 20 minutes. Heaven appears as a lush film-noir fantasyland run by the French, while the British-operated Hell is a stark and claustrophobic prison camp. On earth devilish Penélope Cruz spars with angelic Victoria Abril to claim the soul of a weather-beaten boxer (Demiàn Bichir), but eventually the two spirits must team up to fulfill their missions.--Tray Butler
DRACULA: PAGES FROM A VIRGIN'S DIARY (NR) Audiences terrified of ballet need have no fear of Guy Maddin's screen version of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet's Dracula. Instead of a PBS-style documentary, Maddin turns the dance piece into a surreal homage to silent movies, especially Nosferatu. Ballet purists may not approve as Maddin creates a hypnotic rhythm of editing and camera movement, in counterpoint to the dancers, while offering a subtly comic, Freudian take on the vampire mythos. At Madstone Theaters Parkside--CH
DUPLEX (PG-13) Danny DeVito is a sick, twisted, evil little man - my kind of guy. In the same (mean) spirit as Throw Momma from the Train, his live-action Road Runner cartoon pits a yuppie couple (Ben Stiller and Drew Barrymore) against the "sweet little old lady" (Eileen Essell) who lives upstairs in their Brooklyn duplex. As she drives them crazy they try everything, up to and including murder, to get rid of her. Ask Miramax why they kept this gut-buster on the shelf for over a year.--SW
I CAPTURE THE CASTLE (R) In Tim Fywell's romantic drama depicts an eccentric family struggling for love and survival while living in a castle in 1930s England.
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. Through Dec. 6. Pulse: A Stomp Odyssey (NR) This world music sampler with the emphasis on percussion was filmed on five continents by the creators of the stage musical Stomp. The Stomp cast is augmented by a dozen acts representing the sounds that have influenced them, performing for about two minutes each. For all the time, money and effort involved the result should have been better. Through Feb. 6. Fernbank Museum of Natural History IMAX Theater, 767 Clifton Road. 404-929-6300. www.fernbank.edu.--SW
LOST IN TRANSLATION (R) Director Sofia Coppola's (The Virgin Suicides) much-anticipated second film brings together Bill Murray and indie flick ingénue Scarlett Johansson as accidental tourists in Tokyo. Both insomniacs, and both at crisis points in their marriages, the two start a unique friendship that takes through from karaoke clubs to titty bars in a soft-focus search for connection and meaning. Coppola strings together enough tiny brilliant moments to overcome the film's nearly absent plot and produces a sophomore effort almost as sparkling as her first.--TB
LUTHER (PG-13) Joseph Fiennes plays a rebellious priest whose feud with Roman Catholicism lead to the founding of the Lutheran church. Featuring Peter Ustinov and Alfred Molina.
MADAME SATA (NR) This uneven bio picture centers on the sordid beginnings in Rio de Janeiro's slums of one of the Brazilian carnival's stars, drag queen Joao Francisco dos Santos (Lazaro Ramos). Brazilian-born, New York University-educated director Karim Aïinouz puts a hip, gay-cinema gloss on Joao Francisco's life, but fails to address more essential matters of creating an engaging story and a hero worth caring about. The film unfortunately also does little to convey Joao Francisco's particular appeal as a performer, especially considering Aïinouz's editing style which often relies on fragmented close-ups to convey the emotional texture of events, rather than their realistic qualities. At Landmark Midtown Art Cinema--FF
MAMBO ITALIANO (R) Paul Sorvino and Ginette Reno anchor a stereotypical Italian-Canadian family in a gay rewrite of My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Their son Angelo (Luke Kirby) moves out and sets up housekeeping with Nino (Peter Miller), a cop who's not as ready to be out as Angelo is. This formulaic feel-good movie relies too heavily on stereotypes, but has more going for it than that. At Landmark Midtown Art Cinema.--SW
MILLENNIUM ACTRESS (PG) Anime auteur Satoshi Kon revisits the themes of his cult hit Perfect Blue, including the tension between media celebrity and reality, with this story of a film crew interviewing a septuagenarian film actress and finding themselves reliving past experiences along with her. At Landmark Midtown Art Cinema.
OUT OF TIME (PG-13) Carl Franklin returns to his One False Move roots in this neo-noir with beautiful widescreen cinematography and a star turn by Denzel Washington as a Florida police chief who becomes the chief patsy in a double homicide. It never raises above the status of an enjoyable popcorn movie, but that still puts it ahead of overblown effects flicks and pretentious indies.--SW
THE RUNDOWN (PG-13) This sadistic but fun flick with surprisingly coherent action sequences introduces a new action-comedy team in The Rock and Seann William Scott. The Rock seeks to bring Scott back from South America, where he's searching for a golden artifact that could also buy the locals' freedom from ugly (but funny) American Christopher Walken.
SECONDHAND LIONS (PG) Secondhand plots, anyone? Robert Duvall, Michael Caine and Haley Joel Osment play two uncles and the boy dumped on them for a summer. Writer-director Tim McCanlies combines tall tales, a child coming of age among eccentric relatives and greedy relatives hovering over a huge inheritance. Caine's never at his best trying to drawl (remember Hurry Sundown?) but he's okay and the other two are great. Be prepared for heavy, family-friendly sentimentality mixed with considerable humor.--SW
THE SCHOOL OF ROCK (PG-13) As fraudulent substitute teacher Dewey Finn, Jack Black offers an endlessly hilarious, PG-13 version of his Tenacious D persona, a posturing, legend-in-his-own-mind rock star. When Dewey teaches his class of private school fifth-graders how to be head-bangers, School of Rock takes the mush-mouthed clichés of a zillion "underdog" movies and cranks them up to 11. With Slacker director Richard Linklater and Chuck & Buck actor/scripter Mike White, Black offers the kind of formula film that gives the formula a good name.--CH
UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN (PG-13) Devastated divorcee Diane Lane travels to Italy at the behest of lesbian best friend Sandra Oh. There she buys an old villa and starts a new life while the audiences get a mini-tour of the country. Audrey Wells adapted the book by Frances Mayes and directed Lane in a tour de force that's aimed at women but should be painless for most men.--SW
UNDERWORLD (R) Kate Beckinsale's pistol-packing vampire gets the hots -- or whatever vampires get -- for werewolf-to-be Scott Speedman, in defiance of their species' century-spanning feud. Less Romeo meets Juliet than Anne Rice meets The Matrix, this sleekly-shot but confusing supernatural shoot-em-up scarcely even gives us a good look at the werewolves. It's like watching a drawn-out Marilyn Manson video, but the final third becomes so absurd, it's fun to howl at.--CH
THE WEATHER UNDERGROUND (PG-13) Acclaimed documentarians Sam Green and Bill Siegel chronicle both the passions and the violence that accompanied the 1960s' radical activists the Weather Underground. At Marietta Star Cinema.
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