Short Subjectives 

Capsule reviews of films by CL critics

Opening Wednesday
ALEXANDER (R) See review.

CHRISTMAS WITH THE KRANKS (PG) Jamie Lee Curtis and Tim Allen - who starred in the better-than-expected holiday flick The Santa Clause -- play a married couple who defy their neighborhood's tradition by refusing to celebrate Christmas. Based on a John Grisham book. No, really.

KINSEY (R) See review.

THE MACHINIST (R) See review.

Opening Friday
INCIDENT AT LOCH NESS (R) Zak Penn's documentary -- which might very well be a staged "mockumentary" -- follows German director Werner Herzog's disastrous attempt to make a nonfiction film about the Loch Ness Monster.

ZELARY (R) Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia offers a beautiful young nurse (Anna Geislerova) few places to hide when she is exposed as a member of the resistance. A tiny, rural village appears to be the answer, complete with a husband-by-necessity (Gyorgy Cserhalmi) and idiosyncratic townsfolk. Director Ondrej Trojan shows us the seamy side of bucolic splendor -- although there's much lounging about in the sunshine, everyone hits the vodka hard, which leads to unpleasantness. Though often predictable, the film benefits from the two leads' understated performances and the gorgeous photography of the Czech countryside. --Cary Jones

Duly Noted
DIG! (NR) Two bands with groovy retro-sampling sounds, the Dandy Warhols and the Brian Jonestown Massacre, become friends and then splinter into artistic rivals. The Dandys come from good, stable homes and the Massacre, from dysfunctional ones and drug abuse. The Dandys work hard at bohemian ambience. The Massacre live it. The Dandys hit it big. And the Massacre, fronted by a brilliant but unstable, tragic leader, Anton Newcombe, destroy nearly every chance at a record deal in a suicidal effort not to sell out. It's hard to look away from Ondi Timoner's fascinating, painful film of the ugly forces at work in a creative pursuit often ruled by money, ego and dangerous glamour. Nov. 29-Dec. 2. Cinefest, GSU University Center, Suite 211, 66 Courtland St. 404-651-3565. -- Felicia Feaster

END OF THE CENTURY: THE STORY OF THE RAMONES (NR) You don't have to be a Ramones fan to appreciate this documentary, only someone interested in youthful alienation, the whims of the record industry, rock history, the underground music scene of the '70s, anti-image making or glitter rock. This depressing yet wonderfully engaging documentary covers it all via the seminal but financially overlooked group who never shake the outsider status that dogged their punk progress from Queens to indie music adoration. Nov. 29-Dec 2. Cinefest, GSU University Center, Suite 211, 66 Courtland St. 404-651-3565. -- FF

THE GLOBAL BANQUET (NR) This documentary on the politics of food explores how a handful of multi-national corporations dominate the world food system and drive small family farmers out of existence in America and abroad. Nov. 30, 7 p.m. Macquarium Auditorium, 1800 Peachtree St. $5-$10. 404-873-3034.

LOCALS ONLY (NR) This screening features short works on film and video by Atlanta's aspiring auteurs. Dec. 1, 8 p.m. The Five Spot, 1123 Euclid Ave. 404-352-4225.

THE PRINCESS BRIDE (1987) (PG) Audiences of all ages "have fun storming the castle" with this wispy storybook romp with a surprisingly devoted cult following. Dashing Cary Elwes rescues Robin Wright from various villains, including a scene-stealing Wallace Shawn as a lisping Sicilian. Nov. 26-27, midnight. Landmark Midtown Art Cinema, 931 Monroe Drive. -- 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 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.

AFTER THE SUNSET (R) Pierce Brosnan's diamond thief pulls off one last score and retires to the Bahamas with his partner/girlfriend (Salma Hayek), only to be trailed cat-and-mouse-style by an FBI agent (Woody Harrelson). Despite Hayek's remarkable bikini-filling skills, the film's real strength is the downright cute interaction between Brosnan and Harrelson: though played for laughs, their homoerotic chemistry drives the movie. Rush Hour director Brett Ratner tries too hard to make After the Sunset a sultry and sexy tropical thriller, and instead mixes a frothy umbrella drink of a movie that goes down smooth, but provides no real kick. -- CJ

ALFIE (R) In 1966, Michael Caine rocketed to stardom by playing a misogynist playboy in glum working class England. Director Charles Shyer gives the remake a sunnier, bubblegum feel for more denial-prone times. A chick-flick cautionary tale about a decent-at-heart English chauffeur living in Manhattan who changes his lothario ways, this Alfie benefits immeasurably from Jude Law's comic timing and pretty-boy charm. -- FF


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