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Short Subjectives 

Capsule reviews of recently released movies

Opening Friday

· THE CELESTINE PROPHECY (PG) In this adaptation of James Redfield's best-selling novel, rainforest explorers discover ancient scrolls that could usher in a new age of human spirituality.

· THE DA VINCI CODE (PG-13) In this week's other, bigger film based on a spiritually themed hit novel, Tom Hanks plays a symbolism expert who pieces together a worldwide, centuries-old mystery based on clues hidden in the work of Leonardo da Vinci. The film wasn't pre-screened for critics at press time -- could it be some sort of ... conspiracy?

· OVER THE HEDGE 2 stars. (PG) See review.

· SEE NO EVIL (R) Pro-wrestler Kane stars in this violent thriller about a psychotic shut-in who stalks eight petty criminals in an abandoned hotel. Directed by the appropriately named Gregory Dark.

· SOMERSAULT 3 stars. (Not rated) See review.

Duly Noted

· A DOULA STORY (NR) Alone, many of them never nurtured themselves, pregnant inner-city Chicago teenagers face terrible odds in the gripping documentary A Doula Story. Their champion is a former teenage mother herself, Loretha Weisinger, who helps her young charges prepare for motherhood, labor and the long road ahead as a "doula," the Greek word for "birth attendant" in director Daniel Alpert's awe-inspiring portrait of this guardian angel and superwoman. Free. Thurs., May 18, 7:30 p.m. Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site Screening Room, 450 Auburn Ave. 404-331-5190. www.imagefv.org. -- Felicia Feaster

· JOHN AND JANE (2005) (NR) This documentary promises a humorous and unsettling portrait of India's call-center industry and the ramifications of global outsourcing. Film Festival of India. Fri., May 19, 8 p.m. Woodruff Arts Center, Rich Theatre, 1280 Peachtree St. Free. 404-733-4570. www.high.org.

· NIGHT WATCH 3 stars. (R) Supernatural beings, vaguely like vampires, extend their centuries-long good vs. evil struggle to the twilight slums of modern-day Moscow in the first film of director Timur Bekmambetov's trilogy. Between the convoluted occult rules and Bekmambetov's excessive fondness for camera trickery, Night Watch should be an unholy mess. Against the odds, the film's pulpy sense of energy and vision of grubby, hungover Russia give it a strange appeal, especially compared to the Underworld movies. Through May 25. Cinefest, GSU University Center, Suite 211, 66 Courtland St. $5 ($3 until 5 p.m.). 404-651-3565. www2.gsu.edu/~wwwcft. -- Curt Holman

· PARINEETA (1953) (NR) In this Hindi film, an orphaned girl grows up with a budding young musician and the pair fall in love without quite realizing it. Wed., May 23, 7 p.m. Goethe Institut Atlanta, 1197 Peachtree St. $3-$4. 404-894-2388.

· RAINCOAT (2004) (NR) Two estranged lovers reunite 15 years later in this chamber drama that takes place on a rainy afternoon. Film Festival of India. Sat., May 20, 8 p.m. Woodruff Arts Center, Rich Theatre, 1280 Peachtree St. Free. 404-733-4570. www.high.org.

· 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

· AKEELAH AND THE BEE (PG) The spate of spelling bee films (Spellbound, Bee Season) continues with this tale of a girl (Keke Palmer) from Los Angeles attempting to compete in the National Spelling Bee. The cast includes What's Love Got to Do With It? co-stars Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne.

· AMERICAN DREAMZ 2 stars. (PG-13) A befuddled U.S. president (Dennis Quaid doing a droll but superficial Dubya) and a reluctant suicide bomber (Sam Golzari) find themselves on a collision-course meeting via a televised singing contest clearly inspired by "American Idol." Dreamz features likable performers (including Hugh Grant as the caustic, self-loathing host), quotable jokes and a clever wrap-up, but disappointingly goes after easy targets in predictable way s. Writer-director Paul Weitz (American Pie, About a Boy) consistently avoids opportunities to put some real teeth in his satire. -- Holman

· AN AMERICAN HAUNTING 1 star. (PG-13) See review.

· ART SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL 1 star. (R) Hard to believe the man who brought us the heartfelt alienation of the R. Crumb documentary Crumb and the profound teen misanthropy of Ghost World has veered so badly off course in his blandly cynical adaptation of graphic novelist (and Ghost World collaborator) Daniel Clowes's comic. Ostensibly following the growing disillusionment of an art school freshman (Max Minghella) with his conceptual-art centric NYC art school, in truth the film is just a sex-obsessed, wisecracking and out-of-date revisitation of the tone and quality of the crass teen sex comedies of the '80s. -- Feaster

· L'ENFANT 4 stars. (R) The socially conscious Dardenne brothers Luc and Jean-Pierre started as documentary makers, a sensibility and aesthetic they bring to the shaky camera work and fly-on-the-wall realism of their fiction films. This Palme d'Or winner at the Cannes Film Festival tracks an 18-year-old mother and her 20-year-old petty criminal boyfriend who are juggling new parenthood and a life on the streets. You feel like you are there on the streets with them, undergoing the same degradation and epiphanies and the effect is devastating. -- Feaster

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