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Short Subjectives 

Capsule reviews of films by CL critics

CL rates its movies on a five-star system:
must see
highly recommended
worth seeing
don't bother
even if you're on an airplane, walk out

Opening Friday

THE BAD NEWS BEARS (PG-13) Director Richard Linklater follows School of Rock, an original comedy about a naughty grown-up leading an improbable group of kids, with this remake of the sports comedy with the same formula. Billy Bob Thornton takes over for Walter Matthau as a crusty coach who leads losers to Little League victory.

THE DEVIL'S REJECTS (R) The wait is over: Musician Rob Zombie has written and directed another movie, taking up where House of 1000 Corpses left off. I guess House of 1001 Corpses wasn't as good a title.

HUSTLE & FLOW (R) See review.

THE ISLAND (PG-13) See review.


3-IRON (R) South Korean director Kim Ki-duk's drama is an oddball flight of fancy about a pretty rebel on a motorcycle (Jae Hee) who squats in a succession of Seoul apartments while their occupants are away. He hooks up with a beautiful, physically abused married woman (Lee Seung-yeon) who joins him on his trespassing sleepovers. In his eerily serene, quiet film, Kim Ki-duk's lovers never speak to each other, though that is just one strange aspect of a curious and curiouser sugary-spooky story that feels like equal parts ghost tale and Hello Kitty. — Felicia Feaster

Duly Noted

COTTON COMES TO HARLEM (1970) (R) Ossie Davis directed this blaxploitation comedy-thriller based on Chester Himes' novel about two black cops, Coffin Ed Johnson (Raymond St. Jacques) and Gravedigger Jones (Godfrey Cambridge). On a double bill with the 1976 black horror melodrama J.D.'s Revenge. Mondo Movie Night, July 24 at dusk. Starlight Drive-In Theatre, 2000 Moreland Ave. $6. 404-627-5786.

LAST BEST CHANCE (NR) This docudrama examines America's vulnerabilities by depicting how al-Qaeda operatives could smuggle nuclear material into the United States. The screening features a speech by former U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn. Thurs., July 21, 7:30 p.m. Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta, 1911 Cliff Valley Way. Free. 404-524-5999.

MOOLAAD (NR) You wouldn't necessarily think a film about female villagers in Burkina Faso standing up against ritual genital mutilation would be a gripping drama, but in the hands of legendary African director Ousmane Sembene, it is. The 81-year-old director, whose films are marked by a powerful understanding of the ability of gender and money to shape destiny, specializes in stories so pared down but emotionally potent they take on the dimension of myth. Sembene's film is shocking, gripping and an eye-opening look at how easily tradition and faith can be used for social control. Pan African Film Festival. Sun., July 24, 2 p.m. Rich Theatre, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. $7.50-$20 ($35 pass). 404-730-7315. — FF

PAN AFRICAN FILM FESTIVAL (NR) This festival of black-themed films from around the world features nearly 60 short and feature-length movies, including Angola's cinema verite drama The Hero, the slavery documentary 500 Years Later, and the family dramedy On the One. Fri.-Sun., July 22-24, 2 p.m. Rich Theatre, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. $7.50-$20 ($35 pass). 404-730-7315.

PURPLE RAIN (1984) (R) The family and romantic angst might put you to sleep, but the music will get you to your feet in Prince's very, very loosely autobiographical rising-rock star movie. Featuring such hits as "Let's Go Crazy" and "When Doves Cry," as well as fun performances from Prince's musical archrivals, Morris Day and the Time. Fri.-Sat., July 22-23, midnight. Landmark Midtown Art Cinema, 931 Monroe Drive. 678-495-1424. — Curt Holman

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.

SAHARA (PG-13) There is something about the cocky, thrill-seeking, globe-trotting adventurer Dirk Pitt (Matthew McConaughey), with his ability to stamp out the world's problems in a single blow, that seems, well, ill-timed considering the mounting crises of African genocide and the war in Iraq raging abroad. In this cartoonish adaptation of Clive Cussler's novel, Pitt is a former Navy SEAL-turned-international treasure hunter with the cool of James Bond and the chops of an Army-of-one. He's in Africa hunting a long-lost Civil War battleship and helping a World Health Organization doctor (Penelope Cruz) find the source of a plague killing local villagers in this theme park ride of a movie. Flicks on 5th. Wed., July 27, 9 p.m. Centergy Plaza, Technology Square, 75 Fifth Street. Free. 404-894-2805. — FF

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