EDGE OF DARKNESS 2 stars (R ) In his first film role in nearly eight years, Mel Gibson plays a Boston homicide detective who suspects his daughter (Bojana Novakovic) was assassinated by a sinister nuclear research corporation. Casino Royale director Martin Campbell punctuates long, moody scenes with eruptions of terrifying violence, but the script grows increasingly self-important and incoherent as it goes along. Gibsons Boston accent and slow-burn performance suggest Robert De Niro in cop mode, but the roles combination of rage and martyrdom will do little to counteract Gibsons image problems. Curt Holman
35 SHOTS OF RUM 3 stars (NR) French director Clair Denis delicate drama focuses on the tender relationship between a subway-driving father (Alex Descas) and his anthropology student daughter (Mati Diop). Deliberately paced and seemingly uneventful, the film builds to deeply felt epiphanies in subtle gestures that take the viewer by surprise. Denis ignores Parisian tourist spots to offer a lovely snapshot of Paris immigrant communities, where theres more going on than initially meets the eye. Holman
WHEN IN ROME 2 stars (PG-13) Workaholic Beth (Kristen Bell) travels to Rome for her younger sisters (Alexis Dziena) whirlwind marriage, where she meets and falls for best man Nick (Josh Duhamel). The lovelorn Beth ends up barefoot and drunk in the coin-filled fountain of amore outside the church, cursing the monument. She pockets four of the coins believing shes doing their owners a favor. Lightening strikes, though, and the coins tossers a Chris Angel wannabe (John Heder, whos looking more and more like Carrot Top), sausage CEO (Danny Devito), male model (Dax Shepard) and a struggling artist (Will Arnett) fall in love with her instead. If it sounds convoluted and ridiculous, thats because it is. Debbie Michaud
MOON 4 stars (R) Sam Rockwell and Kevin Spacey star in this film about space, the energy crisis, and an astronaut struggling far from home. Now through Jan. 31. Showtimes vary. Cinefest Film Theatre, Georgia State University, 66 Courtland St., Suite 240. 404-413-1798. www2.gsu.edu/~wwwcft.
BLACK DYNAMITE 4 stars (R) Mack daddy and one-man killing machine Black Dynamite (Michael Jai White) wages a vendetta against jive turkeys who killed his brother and peddled dope to kids. His righteous battles uncover a conspiracy that takes him from the 'hood all the way to "the Honky House." Giving credit where it's due, White's portrayal of Dynamite is effortless and shows a rarely seen comedic side. As the story progresses, the jokes start to get a bit stale, but the film revives itself as it reaches its oddly climactic ending. Although Black Dynamite successfully spoofs the campy essence of blaxploitation films of the '70s, it perfectly balances its riffs as an homage to the badass alpha-male leads and social-message vehicle the genre spawned. Feb. 1-7. Showtimes vary. Cinefest Film Theatre, Georgia State University, 66 Courtland St., Suite 240. 404-413-1798. www2.gsu.edu/~wwwcft. Edward Adams
WILD SAFARI: A SOUTH AFRICAN ADVENTURE Rhinos, and leapords and lions oh my! Come see this popular Fernbank fare boasting (mostly) weirder animals than we'll ever have the chance to see outside of the Atlanta Zoo. It's the safari without the danger of being eaten by an animal. Through Feb. 5. $8-$13. Showtimes vary. Fernbank Museum of Natural History, 767 Clifton Road. 404-929-6400. www.fernbankmuseum.org.
WILD OCEAN Viewers can start with the coast of South Africa and then go under the sea to understand various relationships on and off the shore, as well as understand how people are working to prevent the beauty that is the ocean. Now through March 11. $8-$13. Showtimes vary. Fernbank Museum of Natural History, 767 Clifton Road. 404-929-6400. www.fernbankmuseum.org.
VAN GOGH: BRUSH WITH GENIUS Come any old "starry night" and have a martini while you watch and learn things you never knew about the man behind the artist. I hear they even let you keep both ears. Double Feature with The Old Man and the Sea. Showing exclusively during Martinis & IMAX®.Through March 26. $10-$13. Fri., 8 and 10:15 p.m. Fernbank Museum of Natural History, 767 Clifton Road. 404-929-6400. www.fernbankmuseum.org.
THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA Come view one of Hemingway's greatest works the way he would want you to, with a drink in one hand. Or come enjoy it just the way he would, with a drink in both hands. Double Feature with Van Gogh: Brush of Genius. Showing exclusively during Martinis & IMAX®.Through March 26. $8-$13. Fri., 8 and 10:15 p.m. Fernbank Museum of Natural History, 767 Clifton Road. 404-929-6400. www.fernbankmuseum.org.
DANISH FILM FESTIVAL Judging from the movies at the High Museum's fifth annual Danish Film Festival, modern Danes especially enjoy violating the vow against genre films. While the Danish directors enjoy their guilty pleasures, they still appreciate the virtues of restraint. Jan. 22-30. Free-$7. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m. Rich Theatre, High Museum, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. 404-733-5000. www.high.org. Holman
PLANET OUTLAWS (1939) (NR) As part of the Plaza Theatres 1939 film festival in celebration of its 70th birthday, the Silver Scream Spook Show presents this vintage Buck Rogers serial (which was edited to feature length in 1953). Pilot Buck Rogers and his young sidekick Buddy find their 1938 mission interrupted and awaken 500 years in the future, at a time when dictator Killer Kane and his super-racketeers rule the world. Jan. 30, 1 and 10 p.m. Plaza Theatre, 1049 Ponce De Leon Ave. $8-$12. 404-873-1939. www.plazaatlanta.com.
BRIEF INTERVIEWS WITH HIDEOUS MEN 2 stars (R) The Office's" John Krasinski wrote, directed and co-stars in his adaptation of the book by the late David Foster Wallace, but wastes his cast's manpower on themes that could fit on the average tweet, with letters to spare. Holman
THE PROVIDENCE EFFECT 2 stars (NR) Director Rollin Binzer presents the remarkable achievement of Providence St. Mel, a K-12 school on Chicago's West Side. For decades, the school has taken impoverished students and turned them into college material, with 100 percent of the graduating seniors accepted to college. Holman
THAT EVENING SUN 3 stars (PG-13) In his early 80s, Hal Holbrook gives one of his best performances as a farmer who flees a rest home only to find his old homestead occupied by a brooding bully (Ray McKinnon). Despite a deliberate pace, That Evening Sun offers a rich, complex portrait of old age and the contemporary rural South. The Southeastern Film Critics Association bestowed on That Evening Sun the 2009 Gene Wyatt Award for Film With a Southern Theme. Holman
(Photo Warner Brothers)
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