2008. 12.12 NOW PLAYING

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2008. 12.12 NOW PLAYING

Twilight (12)

Action, Fantasy, Romance / 121 min. / English

See review, left.

Tropic Thunder (18)

Comedy, Action / 107 min. / English

“Tropic Thunder” is the name of the latest film project for prima donna actors Tugg Speedman (Ben Stiller), Kirk Lazarus (Robert Downey Jr.) and Jeff Portnoy (Jack Black). But just five days into shooting the Vietnam War epic, the stars’ antics have stalled the film by a month.

Taking a hint from the war hero who penned the screenplay’s source material, Damien Cockburn (Steve Coogan), the inexperienced director, decides to thrust the actors into the wild and shoot “guerilla-style” to lend the project an air of authenticity.

But when a series of mishaps befalls the crew, surviving Vietnam’s jungles becomes reality to Speedman, Lazarus and Portnoy - whether they realize it or not.

Australia (12)

Adventure, Romance / 166 min. / English

Starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman, Australia is the fourth film from Baz Luhrmann, of “Romeo and Juliet” and “Moulin Rouge” fame. An English aristocrat, Lady Sarah Ashley, (Kidman) goes to Australia to sell off the sprawling outback property she’s inherited from her deceased husband.

But she soon finds that the 1,500 heads of cattle on the land are worth more than the plot itself, and thus embarks on a journey that spans hundreds of miles.

For help, Lady Ashley hires a rugged drover, or cowboy (Jackman), to accompany the cattle. Along the way, she ends up finding love - of the romantic variety with the drover, and of the maternal kind in Nullah, a mixed-race boy whom she seeks to adopt - all against the backdrop of World War II breaking out.

Eastern Promises (18)

Thriller, Crime / 100 min. / English

Anna (Naomi Watts), a midwife at a London hospital, witnesses the death of a Russian teenager in childbirth. Determined to find the baby’s family with nothing but the mother’s diary for clues, Anna descends into a Russian underworld, rife with crime and intrigue.

The diary takes Anna to a Russian restaurant run by a cold-blooded mafia boss called Semyon (Armin Mueller Stahl), where she meets Nikolai (Viggo Mortensen), Semyon’s driver.

As Anna continues to dig into the diary, she uncovers the ugly truth about the young mother. Enraged, Vory V Zakone begins to target her - just as Nikolai begins to get close to her.

Ponyo on the Cliff (All)

Adventure, Animation / 100 min. / Japanese

The goldfish princess Ponyo (Yuria Nara) thinks the sea has nothing to offer and dreams of living on land. A jellyfish ride to the surface lets Ponyo see a lot of unconventional scenery but it’s only a fleeting taste of another world.

Sosuke (Hiroki Doi), a 5-year-old boy, ends up rescuing Ponyo one day and takes her to land. There, she starts to make a living. However, the great adventure of Ponyo doesn’t last long as her father, Fujimoto, drags her back to where she belongs against her will.

But with a bit of luck - and the help of a big wave - she heads back to land.

This modern, creative take on “The Little Mermaid” features the touch of Japanese animation master Hayao Miyazaki. Watch the relationship between Ponyo and Sosuke unfold in this fantasy adventure.

Saw V (18)

Thriller, Horror / 92 min. / English

Although Jigsaw, the killer in the “Saw” franchise, died in Saw III, the saga continues. Director David Hackl navigates through this sequel with less gruesome torture scenes but more creative twists and turns.

FBI Agent Strahm (Scott Patterson) is working on an ongoing investigation into the Jigsaw killings, only to find himself targeted. For some reason, he can’t escape the feeling that another detective (Costas Mandylor) is linked to the carnage.

As the story progresses, a slew of new victims find themselves in the hands of Jigsaw’s successor. Through flashback sequences, Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) himself returns to the screen.

Blindness (18)

Thriller, Mystery / 121 min. / English

Jose Saramago’s renowned novel “Blindness” is brought to the screen by Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles. An epidemic of blindness suddenly strikes an unnamed city. As the disease spreads, the government decides to quarantine the afflicted.

Among them is a doctor (Mark Ruffalo). His wife (Julianne Moore), unable to live without him, feigns blindness and joins him in the grimy high-security institution where all the visually impaired are isolated.

The couple is desperate to survive in the unsanitary facility, which falls into chaos.

A Portrait of a Beauty (18)

Drama, Romance / 108 min. / Korean

Directed by Jeon Yoon-soo, “A Portrait of a Beauty” is adapted from the hit novel “Painter of the Wind,” which has also been turned into a TV drama of the same name.

Joseon-era painter Shin Yun-bok, who produced art under the pseudonym Hye-won, is portrayed here as a woman dressed as a man. Although history says the painter was indisputably a man, the film provides an interesting, sensual take on one of the most mysterious but admired figures in Korean art history.
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