Short Subjectives 

Capsule reviews of films by CL critics

Opening Friday

HAPPILY EVER AFTER (NR) Leave it to the French to come up with a truly revealing, profound, angst-wracked film about marital yearning and infidelity. Yvan Attal's film concerns three male friends dealing with various romantic discontents ranging from a wandering eye to a desire to settle down. Charlotte Gainsbourg (Attal's real-life wife) delivers the film's truly knockout performance as a wife and mother who expresses conflicting fight-or-flight tendencies as she watches her marriage crumbling. — Felicia Feaster

REBOUND (PG) If you worried that no underdog sports comedy would open this week, rest easy. Martin Lawrence plays a disgraced NBA coach who gets a shot at redemption when he makes winners out of an inept, ragtag team of middle-schoolers. See if it strays from the same formula as Kicking & Screaming and The Bad News Bears remake.


(NR) See review

Duly Noted

THE BOURNE IDENTITY (2002) (PG-13) Go director Doug Liman's espionage thriller starts well, with amnesiac Matt Damon discovering that he's got spy skills and hit men on his trail. But the film forgets the best plot twists of Robert Ludlum's original novel and falls into a repetitious cycle: Chris Cooper's nasty CIA man yells at underlings, Damon hesitantly romances love interest Franka Potente, and action scenes unfold in a workmanlike manner. The sequel is better. Flicks on 5th. Wed., July 6, 9 p.m. Centergy Plaza, Technology Square, 75 Fifth Street. Free. 404-894-2805. — Curt Holman

GREASE (1978) (PG) John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John play high-schoolers in the peppy, silly film version of the long-running musical about the idealized 1950s. Screen on the Green. Thurs., June 30. Dusk. Meadow at Piedmont Park, 10th Street and Monroe Avenue. Free. 404-878-2600.

THE OIL FACTOR (NR) Documentary filmmakers Gerard Ungerman and Audrey Brohy examine the influence of oil in the Bush administration's war on terror and other foreign policy decisions. Fri., July 1, 8:30 p.m. Little Five Points Community Center, 1083 Austin Ave. Free. 404-523-3471.

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.

THE SHINING (1980) (R) "Heeeere's Johnny!" Also, here's Stanley Kubrick and Jack Nicholson in the famed director's loose, chilly and seemingly endless adaptation of Steven King's haunted-hotel best-seller. It doesn't completely work, but Kubrick's moody images and Nicholson's madcap (emphasis on the "mad") performance of a blocked writer gone bonkers leave indelible stains on film history. Coca-Cola Summer Film Festival. Thurs., July 7, 8 p.m. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. $7. 404-817-8700. — CH

SPIRITED AWAY (2002) (PG) When her parents are turned into pigs, a Japanese girl enters the realm of spirits and deities to save them and herself. An Alice in Wonderland for the 21st century, this winner of the 2002 Best Animated Feature Oscar finds director Hayao Miyazaki (of Howl's Moving Castle) at the height of his powers, offering mature characterizations, sharp conflicts without violence and one of the strangest, least predictable coming-of-age stories you've ever set eyes on. Fri.-Sat., July 1-2, midnight. Landmark Midtown Art Cinema, 931 Monroe Drive. 678-495-1424. — CH


THE ADVENTURES OF SHARKBOY & LAVAGIRL IN 3-D (PG) Sin City director Robert Rodriguez switches back to the kid-friendly mode of his Spy Kids flicks with this tale of an imaginative 10-year-old who teams up with the young title heroes to fight the evil Mr. Electric on Planet Drool.

BATMAN BEGINS (PG-13) Memento director Christopher Nolan and American Psycho actor Christian Bale prove a perfectly-matched dynamic duo as they explore the psychological trauma that turned millionaire orphan Bruce Wayne into a masked vigilante. Nolan and Bale bring undeniably gritty intensity to the film's first half, but as it works to its conclusion, it's hard to overlook the silliness of the villains' Evil Scheme or the miscasting of too-cute Katie Holmes as a tough D.A. It's still the best Batman movie ever made, and the only one in which the Caped Crusader, instead of his villains, is the star. — CH

BEWITCHED (PG-13) As a fading movie star, Will Ferrell insists on casting an unthreatening amateur actress (a likably girlish Nicole Kidman) to play supernatural Samantha to his befuddled Darrin in an updated "Bewitched" sitcom — not realizing that she really is a witch trying to pass as human. Co-writer/director Nora Ephron makes the most of a talented cast (including many hip supporting players from "The Daily Show") and some fitfully funny showbiz satire. But rather than push the film's post-modern possibilities in exciting directions, Ephron falls back on the chick-flick courtship cliches she helped set in stone with films like Sleepless in Seattle. — CH



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