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Short Subjectives 

Capsule reviews of recently released movies

Opening Friday

· CARS (G) Having found huge hits with talking toys, bugs and fish, those swell computer animators at Pixar give voices to automobiles in their latest family comedy. A hot-shot race car (Owen Wilson) gets waylaid in a sleepy town on Route 66 and receives life lessons from a rusted tow truck (Larry the Cable Guy) and a 1951 Hudson Hornet (Paul Newman).

· AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH 3 stars. (PG) See interview.

· A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION 2 stars. (PG-13) See review.

Duly Noted

· ATLANTA FILM FESTIVAL (NR) See cover story.

· CAMPUS MOVIEFEST (NR) The best entries from this year's Campus MovieFest -- in which 25,000 students created short films in one week -- will be showcased. Sat., June 10, noon. Georgia State University Speakers Auditorium, 33 Gilmer St. www.campusmoviefest.com.

· C.S.A.: THE CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA 5 stars. (NR) The South wins the Civil War in Kevin Willmott's scorchingly satirical mockumentary. Presented as a Ken Burns-style history film broadcast in the present-day Confederacy, the film switches between 150 years of convincing alternative history and the outrageous commercial breaks of a modern slave-holding nation (like a promo for a "Cops"-style show about capturing runaway slaves). Willmott demonstrates a sense of humor worthy of "Chappelle's Show" and a keen awareness that racism in the "real" America runs deeper than we'd like to admit. Thurs., June 8. Cinefest, GSU University Center, Suite 211, 66 Courtland St. $5 ($3 until 5 p.m.). 404-651-3565. www2.gsu.edu/~wwwcft. -- Curt Holman

· HARAKIRI (1962) (NR) The acclaimed Tatsuya Nakadai plays a penniless samurai who begs a powerful lord for assistance in committing ritual suicide and recounts the tale of his disillusioned life. Rebel Samurai. Sat., June 10, 8 p.m. Woodruff Arts Center, Rich Theatre, 1280 Peachtree St. Free. 404-733-4570. www.high.org.

· LIBERATED ZONE (2004) (NR) An economically depressed town in Eastern Germany sees a reversal of fortune thanks to the arrival of a soccer star, but his romantic entanglements cause increasing problems. Wed., June 14, 7 p.m. Goethe Institut Atlanta, 1197 Peachtree St. $3-$4. 404-894-2388.

· RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (1981) 5 stars. (PG) All popcorn movies aspire to the nonstop pace and exhilarating sense of fun in every frame of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas' tribute to old cliffhanger serials. Harrison Ford has never been better, and that's Alfred "Doc Ock" Molina as the quickly dispatched "Throw me the whip!" guy in the first sequence. Coca-Cola Summer Film Festival. Mon., June 12, 8 p.m. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. $7. 404-881-2100. www.foxtheatre.org. -- 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.

· THE WIZ (1978) (NR) Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell and Richard Pryor star in this ill-received, African-American musical take on The Wizard of Oz. It probably deserves a second viewing as either underrated entertainment or unintentional camp. Screen on the Green. Thurs., June 8, sunset. Free. Piedmont Park Meadow near 10th Street and Monroe Drive. Free. 404-878-2600.

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.

· 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' comic. Ostensibly following the growing disillusionment of an art school freshman (Max Minghella) with his conceptual-art-centric NYC 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. -- Felicia Feaster

· THE BREAK-UP (PG-13) See review.

· 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 in human spirituality.

· THE DA VINCI CODE 2 stars. (PG-13) In Ron Howard's sluggish adaptation of the oft-imitated best seller, Tom Hanks plays a symbolism professor who becomes embroiled in a mystery that reaches back to the Last Supper. The original novel used a secondhand Robert Ludlum plot to link some gossipy bits of religious and art history, but the long, draggy film takes the thin characters too seriously and finds no conspiratorial fun in its overheated content. -- Holman

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