BROADWAY: THE GOLDEN AGE (NR) See review, right.
CODE 46 (R) See Michael Winterbottom, director of 24 Hour Party People, helm a sci-fi thriller in which the illicit love affair of one couple (Tim Robbins and Samantha Morton) defies the segregated society of the near future.
EXORCIST: THE BEGINNING (R) This prequel to the famed horror flick provides the backstory of elderly exorcist Father Merrin (now played by Stellan Skarsgaard), who wrestles with demons in post-World War II Africa.
INTIMATE STRANGERS (R) In a distinctly Hitchcockian vein, French director Patrice Leconte (Man on the Train) puts a deft, thoughtful spin on thriller conventions in his story of a beautiful, troubled woman (Sandrine Bonnaire) who confesses her myriad sexual frustrations to the repressed, romantically unfulfilled tax lawyer (Fabrice Luchini) she mistakes for her psychoanalyst. -- Felicia Feaster
THE MOTHER (R) Director Roger Michell turns away from Brit-fluff like Notting Hill for this meaty tale, scripted by Hanif Kureishi, about a sixtysomething grandmother (Anne Reid), whose husband's death inspires her sexual awakening. But for all its liberating, enlightened treatment of geriatric sensuality, the film features an assortment of obnoxious, unsympathetic characters who challenge you to truly care about their emotional predicaments. The plotline comes straight out of Jerry Springer, but with all the trappings of thoughtful art cinema. -- FF
SHE HATE ME (R) See review on page 71.
WE DON'T LIVE HERE ANYMORE (R) See review on page 70.
WITHOUT A PADDLE (PG-13) Three 30-year-old boys (Seth Green, Matthew Lillard, Dax Shepard) postpone maturity by searching for the money D.B. Cooper supposedly carried when he disappeared. The best thing you can say about this comedy is that it represents a step up for the director of Little Nicky. Deliverance references abound, including an appearance by Burt Reynolds as a mountain man. Alternating between being not quite serious and not quite funny -- but trying harder to be funny -- Without a Paddle could be a decent movie when it grows up. -- SW
THE DARK CRYSTAL (1983) (PG) Fantasy fans take note: Muppet creators Jim Henson and Frank Oz direct this elaborate epic about a pair of hobbit-like "Gelflings" who tangle with evil weirdoes over a world-conquering chunk of crystal. Fri.-Sat., Aug. 20-21, midnight. Landmark Midtown Art Cinema, 931 Monroe Drive.
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 blond 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. On a double bill with Volume II. Coca-Cola Summer Film Festival. Sun., Aug. 22, 7 p.m. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. $8. 404-881-2100. www.foxtheatre.org. -- CH
KILL BILL VOLUME 2 (R) When the Bride (Uma Thurman) announced her plan to kill Bill in last fall's first volume of Quentin Tarantino's revenge epic, who expected her to talk him to death? Tarantino trades swords for words in the second part, which plays like a deliberately paced, character-driven commentary on the kind of schlocky films he celebrated in Volume 1. Darryl Hannah's glam, one-eyed assassin and a flashback to '70s-style kung fu training provide kitschy kicks, but the emphasis rests on Thurman and David Carradine's soft-spoken, drawn-out conversations of a love gone wrong. On a double bill with Volume I. Coca-Cola Summer Film Festival. Sun., Aug. 22, 7 p.m. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. $8. 404-881-2100. www.foxtheatre.org. -- CH
SHREK 2 (PG) Big green ogre Shrek (voice of Mike Myers) and his bride Fiona (Cameron Diaz) learn that her seething father (John Cleese) and a scheming fairy godmother (a hilarious Jennifer Saunders of "Absolutely Fabulous") want to ruin their marriage. The sequel emphasizes quantity of jokes over quality, although some definitely hit, especially when Antonio Banderas' Puss In Boots is onscreen. But most of the pop references feel too safe and familiar, as if entirely written by DreamWorks' publicity department. Area theaters and Coca-Cola Summer Film Festival, Thurs., Aug. 19, 8 p.m. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. $8. 404-881-2100. www.foxtheatre.org. --CH
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