2010.12.31 NOW PLAYINGHeartbeat (15)
Kim Yun-jin of the ABC drama “Lost” returns to Korean film with a heart-throbbing drama that co-stars Park Hae-il (“Moss,” “The Host”).
Yeon-hee (Kim) has a daughter that needs a heart transplant to live.
At the same time, a woman comes to the hospital and is brain dead after a fall. Yeon-hee takes this as a chance from heaven and offers her son, Hui-do (Park), a large sum of money for his mother’s heart.
Hui-do declines the offer and decides to fight for his mother’s life, but he soon discovers that his mother’s sudden fall was not an accident after all.
As he digs deeper into the case, Yeon-hee plots to arrange a heart transplant for her daughter no matter what.
This is director Yun Jae-geun’s first feature film. He is known as the co-director of such films as 2007’s “My New Partner” and 2008’s “Hello Schoolgirl.”
The Last Godfather (12)
Comedy / 103 / English
Comedian-turned-filmmaker Shim Hyung-rae, who directed “D-War” (2007) and other sci-fi films, returns to his comedic roots with “The Last Godfather.” Shim wrote, directed, produced and stars in the film, which is a send up of “The Godfather.” In it, Shim revives the character “Younggu,” a legendary fool that he played on a comedy show in the 1980s and 90s.
The film is set in 1951 in New York and mob boss Don Carini (Harvey Keitel) has two announcements for his gang. The first is his retirement and the second is the hidden heir who will replace him.
Shockingly, his hidden son is the dim-witted Younggu (Shim), who is the child of a Korean woman Carini met long ago and was raised by American nuns. Although Younggu is nowhere close to being the next Godfather, Carini’s henchmen (Michael Rispoli and John Pinette) are forced to train Younggu to become his successor.
That job becomes more complicated when Younggu meets Nancy (Jocelin Donahue), the daughter of his father’s biggest rival.
The American (18)
“The American” is another attempt by George Clooney to tackle the suspense-thriller genre - he was the star of the 2007 movie “Michael Clayton” - but this film is perhaps too light on the action to live up to the hype.
Heavy on sharp, carefully filmed shots but with a restrained performance from Clooney, most critics agreed that the “The American” would be a mixed bag for most viewers.
Clooney stars as Jack, a lone American assassin constantly on the move while seeking out new hit jobs around the world.
One such job goes bad and he decides to hide out in a town in the Italian countryside.
At first, things seem peaceful when he befriends a priest, is asked to construct a weapon for a woman named Mathilde (Thekla Reuten) and gets romantically involved with the beautiful Clara (Violante Placido).
But things take a turn for the worst just as Jack’s getting adjusted to his life in Italy, when one of the three characters he befriended attempts to kill him. Anton Corbijn directs.
3-D Animation, Family, Comedy / 96 / English
From DreamWorks Animation (the animation studio behind the “Shrek” movies) comes “Megamind,” a 3-D animated quasi-spoof of the typical Hollywood superhero movie that features more depth and cleverness than expected.
Tom McGrath, of “Madagascar” and its sequel, directs the film. The movie also boasts an A-list roster of voice actors: Will Farrell is Megamind, the main character slash villain slash eventual hero; Brad Pitt is the voice of Metro Man, Megamind’s archnemesis; Tina Fey is Roxanne Ritchie, the spunky television reporter who is coveted by Metro Man and Megamind; and Jonah Hill voices Titan, an evildoer Megamind creates after Metro Man disappears.
Both Megamind and Metro Man come from a far away planet, reminiscent of the story of Superman, and land in Metro City. While Metro Man grows up in upper middle-class comfort, Megamind is reared in a prison. Their upbringings fit into the movie’s overarching narrative of questioning good versus evil.
The two become rivals, with Metro Man the showy superhero who does good and Megamind the failure-prone geeky evildoer who tries to vanquish the goody two-shoes.
Filled with current events references and smart-alecky lines, “Megamind” is a fun distraction for the winter months.