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Short subjectives 

Capsule reviews of recently reviewed films

Opening Friday

BLOOD AND CHOCOLATE (PG-13) Two great tastes that taste great together. In this horror flick reminiscent of Underworld, a would-be werewolf (Agnes Bruckner) grapples with her supernatural destiny in modern-day Bucharest.

CATCH AND RELEASE (PG-13) See review.

CAVE OF THE YELLOW DOG 3 stars. (Not rated) See review.

EPIC MOVIE (PG-13) Some of the creators of the Scary Movie franchise branch out to poke fun at seemingly every big-budget movie from the past year or so, including The Chronicles of Narnia, Superman Returns, The Da Vinci Code and Snakes on a Plane. At least someone still remembers Snakes on a Plane.

SMOKIN' ACES (R) Smoke 'em if you've got 'em. Narc director Joe Carnahan helms this hip action flick that features Jeremy Piven of Entourage as "Aces," a Vegas performer whose decision to snitch incurs the wrath of various mob hitmen. The cast includes Ben Affleck, Andy Garcia, Ryan Reynolds and such unusual suspects as Jason Bateman and Alicia Keys.

VENUS 3 stars. (R) See review.

Duly Noted

AMERICAN HARDCORE 3 stars. (PG-13) Paul Rachman's documentary captures the American hardcore punk movement of the early 1980s by profiling such bands as Black Flag, the Minutemen and Corrosion of Conformity. Jan. 26-Feb. 1. Cinefest, GSU University Center, Suite 211, 66 Courtland St. $5 ($3 until 5 p.m.). 404-651-3565.

ATLANTA JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL (Not Rated) The seventh annual festival of Jewish life and culture reflected through world cinema features 38 features, documentaries and short films, including such intriguing fare as the legal drama Steel Toes with David Strathairn and the moody debut film Frozen Days. Through Jan. 28. Lefont Sandy Springs, 5920 Roswell Road, and Atlantic Station 16, 261 19th St. $9 for individual tickets. 404-949-0658. -- Curt Holman

BEFORE THE FALL (2004) (NR) In Germany of 1942, a 17-year-old aspiring boxer enrolls in a Nazi reformatory for the chance to escape his working-class background. Looking at History. Wed., Jan. 31, 7 p.m. Goethe Institut Atlanta, 1197 Peachtree St. $3-$4. 404-894-2388.

BIG PLANS (2005) (NR) In this comedy, a 38-year-old ex-con reunites with his old band, The Winstons (named for John Lennon's middle name), in an effort to reach out to his 8-year-old son. Fri., Jan. 26. 8 p.m. Woodruff Arts Center, Rich Theatre. 1280 Peachtree St. $7. 404-733-4570.

FILM LOVE: WARHOL (NR) See review on this page.

JET LI'S FEARLESS (PG-13) Acclaimed martial arts megastar Jet Li kicks and punches for the last time -- allegedly -- in this visually opulent period-piece action flick. Through Jan. 25. Cinefest, GSU University Center, Suite 211, 66 Courtland St. $5 ($3 until 5 p.m.). 404-651-3565.

MANSLAUGHTER (2005) (NR) In this hit Danish thriller, a college professor cheats on his wife with a radical leftist student, but becomes embroiled in violence and criminality. Sat., Jan. 27. 8 p.m., Woodruff Arts Center, Rich Theatre. 1280 Peachtree St. $7. 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.

20 MILLION MILES TO EARTH (1957) The Silver Scream Spookshow presents this cheesy classic monster flick with special effects by Ray Harryhausen. A reptilian "Ymir" from the planet Venus grows to menacing proportions in Italy. Damn tourists. Jan. 27, 1 and 9:30 p.m. Plaza Theatre, 1049 Ponce De Leon Ave., $6-$10. 404-873-1939.


ALPHA DOG (R) Nick Cassavetes directs this crime drama inspired by the life of Jesse James Hollywood, a drug dealer who became one of the youngest men ever on the FBI's Most Wanted List. The cast includes Emile Hirsch, Bruce Willis, Justin Timberlake and Harry Dean Stanton.

ARTHUR AND THE INVISIBLES (PG) In this half live-action, half computer-animated film from Luc Besson, a boy embarks on an adventure with tiny fairy-like beings to save his grandfather's house. The plot looks to overlap with The Ant Bully and features voice performances from celebrities as diverse as Madonna, Robert De Niro, Snoop Dogg and Jimmy Fallon.

BABEL 4 stars. (R) A freak mishap has far-reaching repercussions that effect the lives of a pair of American tourists (Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett), two young Moroccan shepherds, a Mexican nanny (Adriana Barraza) and a deaf Japanese teenager (Rinko Kikuchi). Amores Perros director Alejandro González Iñárritu presents another gripping, gritty and well-acted set of intersecting narratives that feature raw performances (particularly from Rinko Kikuchi) and moments of nearly unbearable suspense. On reflection, Iñárritu's themes of language, globalization and human connection don't quite come together, but Babel's passion and visceral image give it power that transcends borders. -- Curt Holman

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