Short Subjectives 

Capsule reviews of recently released movies

Opening Friday

· DOOGAL (G) In this computer-animated kid film, four unlikely heroes (including a dog who gives the film its title) embark on a quest to save the world. Expect to hear "The Daily Show's" Jon Stewart make self-deprecating references to his contribution as the evil wizard Zeebad.

· MADEA'S FAMILY REUNION (PG-13) Not to be confused with Big Momma's House 2, this sequel to the surprise hit Diary of a Mad Black Woman features Tyler Perry (who also wrote and directed the films) again donning drag as elderly African-American matriarch Madea.

· RUNNING SCARED (R) Paul Walker -- currently cast opposite a band of huskies in Eight Below -- takes a less wholesome role as a low-level mobster trying to recover a murder weapon before the cops or the capos find it. The Internet is buzzing over the film's alleged level of violent intensity.

· THE SYRIAN BRIDE (NR) In this Israeli dramedy, a bride-to-be dreads her arranged marriage to a Syrian television star because she'll never be able to return to her home in the Golan Heights after crossing the border.

· THE THREE BURIALS OF MELQUIADES ESTRADA 3 stars (R) See review.

Duly Noted

· EYES WIDE SHUT (1999) 2 stars (R) Then-spouses Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman play a wealthy married couple who embark on an urban odyssey of desire and paranoia when the husband's jealousy sends him deeper into New York's kinky (but improbably sterile) sexual underworld. In Stanley Kubrick's final film, the director's trademark icy formalism never quite connects to the theme of erotic obsession at the heart of the film (which received some posthumous tampering to make the risqué scenes less explicit). Thurs., Feb. 23, 8 p.m. Rich Theatre, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. Free. 404-352-4225. www.imagefv.org. -- Curt Holman

· THE GLAMOROUS WORLD OF THE ADLON HOTEL (1996) (NR) In the aftermath of World War II, the German-American heir to the Hotel Adlon becomes obsessed with his memories of Berlin's glory days. Berlin: Journey of a City. Wed., March 1, 7 p.m. Goethe Institut Atlanta, 1197 Peachtree St. $3-$4. 404-894-2388.

· DARWIN'S NIGHTMARE HHHHH (NR) See review.

· HWY 5 FILM FESTIVAL (NR) The first Hwy 5 Film Festival features 10 locally produced short films from such filmmakers as Tracy Martin, Chris Tsambis, Cara Price, Matt Ruggles and Taj Turner. Fri., Feb. 24, midnight. El Cine Mireles, 3378 Canton Road. $6.25. www.elcinemireles.com.

· LOST BOYS OF SUDAN (2003) 3 stars (NR) Documentarians Megan Mylan and Jon Shenk follow two of the thousands of Sudanese "lost boys" made orphaned refugees by the nation's decades of civil war. As American immigrants they discover that nothing comes cheap in the land of the free, and the film reveals some fascinating, unexpected examples of culture shock. As one of the young men thrives and the other treads water, the film resembles Hoop Dreams, but finds more sociological insight than dramatic intensity. Thurs., Feb. 23. Cinefest, GSU University Center, Suite 211, 66 Courtland St. $5 ($3 until 5 p.m.). 404-651-3565. www2.gsu.edu/~wwwcft. -- Holman

· THE POWER OF NIGHTMARES (NR) This documentary draws a parallel between the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in the Middle East and the burgeoning neoconservative political movement in the United States. Thurs., Feb. 23, 7 p.m. Arts Exchange, 750 Kalb St. Free. 404-215-0467. www.theartsexchange.org.

· PULSE 3 stars (NR) The latest example of "J-horror" -- or Japanese horror imports like The Ring -- follows two young people (Haruhiko Katô and Kumiko Aso) who discover a website that connects the living with ghosts -- and drives its users to suicide. Released five years ago in Japan, Pulse initially proves slow and familiar, and its cultural attitudes toward suicide probably don't fully translate to this side of the Pacific. The final section, however, strays from J-horror convention to generate a genuinely apocalyptic atmosphere that can set your pulse racing. Feb. 24-March 2. Cinefest, GSU University Center, Suite 211, 66 Courtland St. $5 ($3 until 5 p.m.). 404-651-3565. www2.gsu.edu/~wwwcft. -- 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.

Continuing

· 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.

· BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN 5 stars (R) Ang Lee's heart-wrenching Western one-ups the male tenderness and isolation of the traditional oater by basing this film on Annie Proulx's short story of two cowboys (Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal) who fall in love in 1963 Wyoming. Lee's film is lovely to look at and profoundly moving, touching on both the economic and spiritual isolation of the ranch hand's life and also the more universal alienation of being a man. Ledger is superb as an archetype of male interiority, an emotionally contained man who finds his slim fragments of happiness in short, infrequent meetings with Jack, who dreams of an impossible future for their doomed love affair. -- Felicia Feaster

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Recent Comments

  • Re: Fresh air

    • Local band Manchester Orchestra, who provided the soundtrack, probably would have appreciated a shout-out.

    • on June 29, 2016
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