Short Subjectives 

Capsule reviews of recently released movies

Opening Friday

· GARÇON STUPIDE 3 stars. (NR) See review.

· A GOOD WOMAN (PG) This adaptation of Oscar Wilde's play of the same name features Helen Hunt as a seductress who attracts the husband of a younger woman (the ubiquitous Scarlett Johansson).

· SOMETHING NEW (PG-13) See review.

· WHEN A STRANGER CALLS (PG-13) Increasingly ominous phone calls terrorize a baby sitter in this remake of the 1979 thriller (inspired by a famous urban legend). If it's a hit, they can remake the 1993 sequel, the brilliantly titled When a Stranger Calls Back.

· THE WHITE COUNTESS 2 stars. (R) A blind former diplomat (Ralph Fiennes) forms a wary romance with a Russian countess-turned-sometime-prostitute (Natasha Richardson) in 1930s Shanghai. The last in the Merchant-Ivory line of hoity-toity films (cut short with the death of producer Ismail Merchant), The White Countess presents a pair of intriguing characters and an exotic setting, but suffers from anemic passions and heavy-handed symbolism. -- Curt Holman

· THE WORLD'S FASTEST INDIAN 3 stars. See review.

Duly Noted

· FEBRUARY ONE (NR) This documentary of the Civil Rights Movement chronicles the influential challenges to Jim Crow laws in Greensboro, N.C., in the winter of 1960. Movies with a Mission. Sun., Feb. 5, 3 p.m. The APEX Museum, 135 Auburn Ave. Free. 770-234-5890.

· CORPSE BRIDE 3 stars. (PG) A sensitive groom (voiced by Johnny Depp) finds himself unwillingly wed to an alluring dead chick (Helena Bonham Carter) in Tim Burton's darkly comic animated musical. Nearly every frame of the film drips with inventive gothic invention, but Corpse Bride's songs, puns and plotting all pale in comparison to the director's previous stop-motion outing, The Nightmare Before Christmas. Thurs., Feb. 2, call for times. Cinefest, GSU University Center, Suite 211, 66 Courtland St. $5 ($3 until 5 p.m.). 404-651-3565. -- Holman

· INITIAL D (2005) (NR) Based on a popular Japanese manga, this change-of-pace car-racing movie depicts a nonchalant teen who becomes a champion mountain racer to give himself more time to sleep. Hong Kong Panorama. Fri., Feb. 3, 8 p.m. Woodruff Arts Center, Rich Theatre, 1280 Peachtree St. $5. 404-733-4570.

· MY SCHOOL PAL (1960) (NR) During World War II, a postman is declared insane for writing a letter to Hermann Goring asking him to stop the war. Directed by Robert Siodmak of Cobra Woman fame. The Rühmann Film Series. Wed., Feb. 8, 7 p.m. Goethe Institut Atlanta, 1197 Peachtree St. $3-$4. 404-894-2388.

· ONE NIGHT IN MONGKOK (2004) (NR) Derek Yee won Best Director and Best Screenplay honors at the 2005 Hong Kong Film Awards for this gritty crime story set on Christmas Eve in Mongkok, Hong Kong's seediest, most densely populated district. Hong Kong Panorama. Sat., Feb. 4, 8 p.m. Woodruff Arts Center, Rich Theatre, 1280 Peachtree St. $5. 404-733-4570.

· 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.

· TWISTED REALTIES (NR) This program features four short films directed by Cherokee County resident Herb Henderson: "Parental Fear," "The Unwelcome," "The Inheritance" and "Pillow Talk." Fri., Feb. 3, midnight. El Cine Mireles, 3378 Canton Road. $4.25-$6.25.

· WALLACE & GROMIT: THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT 3 stars. (G) Inane inventor Wallace (voiced by Peter Sallis) and his silent, sensible dog, Gromit, take on an oversized rabbit-monster before their town's beloved vegetable competition. Compared to Chicken Run and the claymation duo's short films, Were-Rabbit's script feels thin and puns feel forced, but the brilliant set-pieces wittily lampoon horror-film clichés. Thurs., Feb. 2. Cinefest, GSU University Center, Suite 211, 66 Courtland St. $5 ($3 until 5 p.m.). 404-651-3565. -- Holman


· ANNAPOLIS (PG-13) James Franco plays a young man "from the wrong side of the tracks" trying to succeed in the hyper-competitive Naval Academy. With Tyrese as his tough instructor, Annapolis looks like a WB Network version of An Officer and a Gentleman.

· BIG MOMMA'S HOUSE 2 (PG-13) Martin Lawrence reprises his role as an FBI agent with a penchant for dressing up like old ladies. This time "Big Momma" takes the job as a housekeeper/nanny to a suspected designer of deadly computer viruses.

· BREAKFAST ON PLUTO 4 stars. (R) Abandoned on the doorstep of a priest (Liam Neeson) as a baby, a young Irish transvestite (Cillian Murphy) takes a wide-eyed ramble through 1970s Ireland and England in search of his birth mother. Co-adapting Patrick McCabe's novel, director Neil Jordan veers from humor to drama and from realism to fantasy, as if Pluto's spirit is too big to be confined to a single genre. You never know what will turn the next corner of this picaresque comedy -- brutal IRA terrorists? Brendan Gleeson in a funny animal costume? -- that boasts rich period detail, an intriguingly pacifist viewpoint and Murphy's dreamily detached performance. -- Holman


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