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Short Subjectives 

Capsule reviews of films by CL critics

Opening Friday

dot the i (R) See review on p. 57.



(PG) See review on p. 61.

LOOK AT ME (PG-13) This Cannes Film Festival Best Screenplay winner depicts the relationship between a celebrity novelist and his overweight, insecure daughter, who tries to use singing to assert her own identity.

XXX: STATE OF THE UNION (PG-13) With Vin Diesel branching out as the Pacifier, Ice Cube plays another ¨extreme¨ secret agent in this sequel to XXX, concerning militaristic crazies trying to take over the U.S. government. Sure, like that could ever happen.

Duly Noted

HARDWOOD (NR) Hubert Davis´ Oscar-nominated short documentary examines his family life and the choices of his father, former Harlem Globetrotter Mel ¨Trick¨ Davis. Fri., April 29, 8 p.m., and Sat., April 30, 5 p.m. Southwest Art Center, 915 New Hope Road. Free. 404-505-3220.

NAKED FAME (2004) (NR) Christopher Long´s documentary follows gay porno star Colton Ford as he tries to leave adult films behind and pursue a career as a singer/songwriter. Fri.-Sat., April 29-30, midnight. Landmark Midtown Art Cinema, 931 Monroe Drive.

ONG-BAK: THE THAI WARRIOR (R) You may not think you want to see a subtitled movie about Thai kickboxing, but believe me, you do. Watching Tony Jaa punch, flip and propel himself through this pulpy, fast-paced tale gives you a heady thrill of discovery akin to the groundbreaking, head-breaking early work of Bruce Lee or Jackie Chan. Apart from the exotic opening scene (a kind of extreme Capture the Flag game in a tree), the plot won´t win any prizes for originality, but with such brutal brawls and exuberant chase scenes, Ong-Bak is a kick in the head. April 29-May 5. Cinefest, GSU University Center, Suite 211, 66 Courtland St. 404-651-3565. Holman

QUAI DES ORFÈVRES (1947) (NR) Considered ¨the French Hitchcock,¨ director Henri-Georges Clouzot (The Wages of Fear) puts something close to genuine human warmth in this often-overlooked, newly restored little gem of crime fiction, which features lesbians, vicious cops and the fraternal reality of the French underclass. French Film Yesterday and Today. Sat., April 30, 8 p.m. Woodruff Arts Center, Rich Auditorium, 1280 Peachtree St. $5. 404-733-4570. – Felicia Feaster

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.

A VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT (R) A young Frenchwoman (Amelie´s Audrey Tautou) launches an obsessive search for her lover (Gaspard Ulliel), officially declared lost in the no man´s land of World War I. Amelie director Jean-Pierre Jeunet applies his visionary intricacy to a sprawling account that alternates between quirky comedy and graphic wartime horrors. Jeunet´s approach sacrifices some emotional depth for novelistic breadth, but by its end the film fills us with a sense of awe that encompasses the world at its most terrible and beautiful. On a double-bill with When the Cat´s Away. Thurs., April 28. Cinefest, GSU University Center, Suite 211, 66 Courtland St. 404-651-3565.


THE AMITYVILLE HORROR (R) Who knew that the 1979 Amityville Horror flick was so good, it demanded a remake? The new version about the haunted Long Island residence, ¨based on a true story,¨ stars Ryan Reynolds, Melissa George and Philip Baker Hall.

THE BALLAD OF JACK AND ROSE His ´60s commune failed years ago, but Jack (Daniel Day-Lewis) and his teenage daughter Rose (Camilla Belle) are still clinging to their off-the-grid, back-to-nature life despite the construction of a suburban housing development on their remote island. A richly detailed character study about a father and daughter unable to imagine a reality outside themselves and the dangerous consequences that entails, Rebecca Miller´s drama starring her husband Day-Lewis is an exquisitely sad, deeply felt film. – FF

BEAUTY SHOP (PG-13) Barbershop it ain´t, though it recycles almost every plot point from that Ice Cube comedy. But Beauty Shop has its own frothy appeal held together by the warm, charismatic presence of Queen Latifah as a hair entrepreneur who quits a chic salon to open her own beauty shop in the ´hood. The scenes where her diverse staff gleefully riff, vamp and insult over the hot rollers offer something to hold onto amidst an uninspiring plot involving Latifah´s efforts to hold onto the salon when the Man comes calling. It´s all lighter-than-air, but it´s hard not to be charmed by all the assembled intergenerational girl power and fizzy energy. – FF

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