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Short Subjectives 

Capsule reviews of films by CL critics

Opening Friday
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS (PG-13) Billy Bob Thornton plays a high school football coach who leads a team in Odessa, Texas, to the state championship. Based on the best-selling book of the same name.

HEAD IN THE CLOUDS (R) This 1950s-style, Hollywood-glossy romantic epic is as shallow as the characters it tries belatedly to make us care about. Don't expect art and you may enjoy it. Guy (Stuart Townsend) falls for free-spirited Gilda (Charlize Theron) when she bursts into his Cambridge dorm room in 1933 and never gets over her, despite her lack of political consciousness. Penelope Cruz plays Gilda's "protégé" (nudge nudge, wink wink), who shares Guy's ideals. Head in the Clouds runs too long on too little momentum but may be perfect for a generation that wants their romance heavy on sex and light on emotional involvement. -- Steve Warren

RAISE YOUR VOICE (PG) A small-town girl (Hilary Duff) who dreams of becoming a singing star enrolls at a prestigious music school over her parents' objections. Rebecca De Mornay and "Sex and the City's" John Corbett co-star.

RIDING THE BULLET (PG-13) Stephen King's short story of the same name riffs on the old urban legend of the ghostly hitchhiker. The film version stars Jonathan Jackson and David Arquette.

TAXI (PG-13) Jimmy Fallon plays an accident-prone police detective who, after losing his driver's license, enlists a sassy cabbie (Queen Latifah) to help him run down a trio of gorgeous bank robbers, led by supermodel Gisele Bundchen. Based on a French film of the same name.

TYING THE KNOT (NR) See review

Duly Noted
BEST OF THE ATLANTA FILM FESTIVAL (NR) The Atlanta Film Festival presents an evening of audience faves and award-winning short films from the 28th annual event, including the documentary "LSD A Go Go" and the Oscar-winning animated short "Harvie Krumpet," narrated by Geoffrey Rush. Oct. 14-15, 7 p.m. Cinefest, GSU University Center, Suite 211, 66 Courtland St. $5. 404-352-4225.

GIVE ME YOUR HAND (2004) (NR) Fans of Buena Vista Social Club will be intrigued by this documentary on the surprisingly vibrant Cuban community, which gives special attention to its traditional music. Latin American Film Festival. Sat., Oct. 9, 8 p.m. Woodruff Arts Center, Rich Auditorium, 1280 Peachtree St. $5. 404-733-4570.

LADY COUNTRY DOCTOR (1958) (NR) The residents of a remote German village fly into a tizzy when a woman takes over the practice of their deceased country doctor. The German Heimatfilm of the '50s. Oct. 13, 7 p.m. Goethe Institut Inter Nationes, 1197 Peachtree St., Colony Square. $4. 404-892-2388.

THE MAN WHO COPIED (2003) (NR) A voyeuristic copy machine guy becomes obsessed with the woman across the street and dabbles in counterfeiting in this lighthearted film from Brazil. Latin American Film Festival. Fri., Oct. 8, 8 p.m. Woodruff Arts Center, Rich Auditorium, 1280 Peachtree St., and Oct. 13, 7:30 p.m., Lefont Midtown Art Cinema, 931 Monroe Drive. $5. 404-733-4570.

THE MEDIA PROJECT (NR) The filmmaking program for students 15-19 years old presents the latest batch of short films. Tues., Oct. 5, 6:30 p.m., Atlanta-Fulton County Library, 1 Margaret Mitchell Square. Free. 404-352-4225.

OTOMO (1999) In this film based on a true story, a West African immigrant in Germany encounters racism and police brutality. African Film Series. Thurs., Oct. 7, 7 p.m. Georgia Tech Global Learning & Conference Center, Room 236, 84 Fifth St. Free. 404-894-4233.

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 Meat Loaf gets killed. Dress as your favorite character and participate in this musical on acid. Midnight Fri. at Lefont Plaza Theatre and Sat. at Peachtree Cinema & Games, Norcross.

SAVED! (PG-13) Director Brian Dannelly may think he lassoed himself some first-rate gonzo satire, but this drama of hypocritical Christian high school students toothlessly mimics the biting wit of Alexander Payne (Election). The unfunny dramedy tippy-toes to avoid outright blasphemy in depicting the out-of-wedlock pregnancy of a good girl (Jena Malone) after she tries to "cure" her boyfriend of homosexuality. The only real relief from this airless morality lesson is a wry performance by Macaulay Culkin as a paraplegic student flirting with his wild side, and a hilarious turn by Martin Donovan as hip-hop Pastor Skip. Thurs., Oct. 7. Cinefest, GSU University Center, Suite 211, 66 Courtland St. 404-651-3565. -- Felicia Feaster

SEEING OTHER PEOPLE (R) A bride-to-be (Julianne Nicholson) worried about her sexual inexperience suggests to her prospective husband (Jay Mohr) that they "see" other people in the weeks before the big day. This comedy from "The Simpsons" writer Wallace Wolodarsky features such popular TV actors as Lauren Graham, Bryan Cranston and Andy Richter. Oct. 8-14. Cinefest, GSU University Center, Suite 211, 66 Courtland St. 404-651-3565.

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