Short Subjectives 

Capsule reviews of films by CL critics

Opening Friday
AROUND THE BEND (R) Michael Caine, Christopher Walken and Josh Lucas star in this indie dramedy about the men of four generations who uncover their family secrets.


THE FINAL CUT (PG-13) The basic premise raises interesting questions but there are no interesting answers in this latest memory-erase movie, written and directed by Jordan-born Omar Naim. Future technology allows computer chips to be implanted in unborn children that will record everything that person sees. When they die, an editor fashions the survivors' favorite parts into a glossy memoir. An expert cutter, the appropriately named Hakman (Robin Williams) fights both his own demons and anti-implant activists, but there's no real payoff to reward your attention. -- Steve Warren


THE LAST SHOT (R) Matthew Broderick plays a first-time filmmaker who doesn't realize his movie is a front for an FBI sting operation, lead by Alec Baldwin's undercover agent. A funny premise and a talented cast (including Tony Shalhoub as a mobster and Toni Collette as a sexpot actress) give this one promise.

RECONSTRUCTION (NR) For those who like their straight-ahead storytelling filled with detours, this Danish puzzle extends the idea that love can change your life. Alex (Nikolaj Lie Kaas) spends one night with Aimee (Maria Bonnevie) and the next morning he can't get into his flat and no one knows him. Nothing has changed for Aimee, whose husband still neglects her for his work. Christoffer Boe directs and co-writes a film that turns not making sense into an advantage. Landmark Midtown Art Cinema. -- SW

SHALL WE DANCE (PG-13) Only subtlety is lost in the translation of the 1997 Japanese film about a contented married man (Richard Gere) who becomes happy when he takes ballroom dancing lessons from Jennifer Lopez. This remake, directed by Englishman Peter Chelsom, seems so thoroughly American it's surprising how little was actually changed. The lack of communication between Gere and wife Susan Sarandon doesn't ring true, while Audrey Wells' screenplay manages to be both deeper and more frivolous than the original. We'll show the Japanese they can't beat us at either end of the emotional spectrum! -- SW

STEPHEN KING'S 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.

TEAM AMERICA: WORLD POLICE (R) Trey Parker and Matt Stone, "South Park's" creators and our hungriest butchers of sacred cows, lampoons the war on terror and Hollywood's liberal activists in this raunchy, violent action comedy starring a cast of puppets. Yes, puppets.

THE YES MEN (R) 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.

BUSH'S BRAIN (2003) (NR) Joseph Mealey and Michael Paradies Shoob profile Karl Rove, White House political director and longtime Dubya puppeteer/attack dog. Shoob will be in attendance. Oct. 21, 9:30 p.m. Landmark Midtown Art Cinema, 931 Monroe Drive. $8. 404-352-4225.

CLERKS (1994) (R) Film fanatic Kevin Smith launched his indie directorial career (and even a short-lived animated series) with this no-budget comedy about horny, bitter, pop-obsessed cashiers. Smith's dialogue shows a flair for geek-speak, but it's hard to look past the crap acting and cruddy black-and-white film stock. Oct. 14-16, midnight. Landmark Midtown Art Cinema, 931 Monroe Drive. -- Curt Holman

FAHRENHEIT 9/11 (R) Michael Moore's fiery polemic about post-9/11 politics sheds more heat than light, but deserves attention for the questions it raises about some of the major issues of modern American history. Moore levels his trademark sarcasm at George W. Bush, but spends most of the film despairing over the economic forces that send young people into military service at the time of an unjustified war with Iraq. Despite its fuzzy reasoning and incomplete arguments (Moore never acknowledges Saddam Hussein's blood-drenched human rights record, for instance), it remains one of the most urgent and explosive documentaries ever made. Oct. 15-21. Cinefest, GSU University Center, Suite 211, 66 Courtland St. 404-651-3565. -- CH

THE GIRL OF THE MOORS (1958) (NR) This adaptation of a novel by Sweden's Selma Lagerloeff tells the story of impoverished Helga (Maria Emo), whose faith in life suffers great tests until she finds true love. The German Heimatfilm of the '50s. Oct. 20, 7 p.m. Goethe Institut Inter Nationes, 1197 Peachtree St., Colony Square. $4. 404-892-2388.


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

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