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Short Subjectives 

Capsule reviews of recently released movies

Opening Friday

· ARMY OF SHADOWS (1969) 4 stars (Not rated) See review.

· THE BLACK DAHLIA (R) See review.

· EVERYONE'S HERO 2 stars (G) What to say about a film set during the Depression that somehow works in references to J. Edgar Hoover and Eleanor Roosevelt-is-ugly jokes alongside mochuccinos and the requisite bathroom humor? In this pedestrian kid's adventure story accessorized with pop tunes, plucky 8-year-old Yankee Irving travels across the country to return Babe Ruth's stolen bat, save his father's job, learn to play baseball and, oh, in the last five minutes learn the meaning of family. Along for the ride is a wisecracking talking baseball (Rob Reiner) and a sassy bat (Whoopi Goldberg). The fact Christopher Reeve was directing the film at the time of his death may nevertheless make this business-as-usual kiddy product a sentimental favorite. -- Felicia Feaster

· GRIDIRON GANG (PG-13) Wrestler The Rock plays a juvenile detention counselor who uses football (not wrestling?) to inspire his charges to seek a better life.

· HALF NELSON 4 stars (R) See review.

· THE LAST KISS (R) Zach Braff stars in this adaptation of the Italian film of the same name about relationship problems and turning 30. Crash's award-winning writer Paul Haggis wrote the screenplay.

· 13 (TZAMETI) 4 stars (NR) See review.

Duly Noted

· ART SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL 1 star (R) 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Minghella) with his conceptual-art centric NYC art school, in truth the film is just a sex-obsessed, wisecracking and out-of-date revisitation of the tone and quality of the crass teen sex comedies of the '80s. Sept. 14. $5 ($3 until 5 p.m.). Cinefest, GSU University Center, Suite 211, 66 Courtland St. 404-651-3565. www2.gsu.edu/~wwwcft. -- Feaster

· BITTER DREAM (2005) (NR) This blend of fact and fiction captures the professions that surround an ancient shrine and neighboring cemetery. Iranian Film Today. $7. Sat., Sept. 16, 8 p.m., Woodruff Arts Center, Rich Theatre, 1280 Peachtree St. 404-733-4570. www.high.org.

· GOODBYE, FRANZISKA! (1940) Comic moments lighten this melodrama about newlyweds separated by WWII. Wed., Sept. 20, 7 p.m. Goethe-Institut Atlanta, 1197 Peachtree Rd. $4. 404-892-2388. info@atlanta.goethe.org.

· HARD CANDY (R) A teenage girl arranges for a rendezvous with a thirtysomething photographer -- but the sinister appearances can be deceiving. Sept. 15-21. $5 ($3 until 5 p.m.). Cinefest, GSU University Center, Suite 211, 66 Courtland St. 404-651-3565. www2.gsu.edu/~wwwcft.

· 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.

· STUDENT SHORTS PROGRAM (NR) Five documentary shorts by teen, student and graduate student filmmakers address such problems as drugs, segregation and graffiti in Atlanta. Thu., Sept. 21, 7:30 p.m. Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, 450 Auburn Ave. Free. 404-352-4225. www.imagefv.org.

· WAKE UP AREZOO! (2005) (NR) This Iranian drama recaptures the events of the 2003 earthquake in Bam, which left 43,000 people dead and lead to extraordinary examples of heroism and sacrifice. Iranian Film Today. $7. Fri., Sept. 15. 8 p.m., Woodruff Arts Center, Rich Theatre. 1280 Peachtree St. 404-733-4570. www.high.org.

Continuing

· ANOTHER GAY MOVIE (NR) This comedy puts a gay spin on the premise of American Pie as four gay high school teens vow to lose their virginity before going to college.

· BROKEN BRIDGES (PG-13) Country music star Toby Keith plays -- not surprisingly -- a fading country music star who returns to his hometown and meets his 16 year-old daughter for the first time.

· THE COVENANT (PG-13) Renny Harlin directs this occult thriller about four teenagers who harbor a supernatural secret.

· CRANK (R) A hit man (Jason Statham) must track down who injected him with a poison that will kill him if his heart rate drops below a certain rate. Sort of like Speed, only instead of a fast-moving bus, it's a fast-moving... guy.

· THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA 3 stars (PG-13) Anne Hathaway plays a recent grad and aspiring journalist who gets a job at the high-fashion Runway magazine where she is tortured by boss-from-hell Meryl Streep, whose wondrously snarky performance steals the show. -- Feaster

· FACTOTUM 4 stars (R) Matt Dillon follows his Oscar-nominated turn as Crash's racist cop with an even more subtle and compelling portrayal of Hank Chinaski, the fictional alter ego of legendary author/barfly Charles Bukowski. With deadpan humor, Norwegian director Bent Hamer tails Chinaski from one dreary blue collar job after another, until the aspiring writer's pursuit of booze and women takes on a kind of integrity. Dillon's understated magnetism finds support from Marisa Tomei and Lili Taylor as Chinaski's floozy girlfriends, and at times the film becomes a rock-bottom romance among the down and out. -- Curt Holman

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