2011.5.6 NOW PLAYING

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2011.5.6 NOW PLAYING

The Last Blossom (15)


Drama/ 125 / Korean

Based on the novel by screenwriter Noh Hee-kyung and the 1996 drama “The Most Beautiful Goodbye,” this film tells the moving story of an ambitious yet family-oriented woman who has to say goodbye to her family.

The people in In-hee’s (Bae Chong-ok) life have always taken her for granted. There’s her husband, Jeong-chol (Kim Kap-soo), a doctor who always prioritized his career over family life, her daughter Yeon-soo (Park Ha-seon) and son Jeong-soo (Ryu Deok-hwan), both of whom have become increasingly harsh towards their mother. And then there’s Jeong-chol’s mother (Kim Ji-young), who has Alzheimer’s disease. But when they all learn that In-hee, who they thought would always be there for them, has been diagnosed with a terminal illness and doesn’t have much time left to live, they come together for the first time to give her the support they’ve always denied her.

Directed by Min Kyu-dong, who is known for his work on “My Lovely Week” (2005) - which received the Jury Special Prize at the 13th Icheon Chunsa Film Festival - “The Last Blossom” has received rave reviews from moviegoers and critics for its delicate depiction of family love.

When the television drama series version hit the airwaves in 1996, it instantly became a sensation for its stars’ meaty performances.

In Love and War (15)


Drama / 135 / Korean

Marking the 61st anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War, the film “In Love and War” hopes to shed light on the war’s impact on innocent civilians.

Directed by Park Kun-yong, who made his directorial debut with “Lifting King Kong” in 2009, “In Love and War” was inspired by an anecdote about the screenwriter’s grandmother.

During the Korean War, a group of North Korean soldiers stayed for a couple of days at the grandmother’s house and one young soldier, touched by the villagers’ hospitality, said he wanted to stay.

The movie follows this story line and adds another subplot about a star-crossed couple.

Kim Joo-hyuk is an officer of the North Korean People’s Army who arrives in a small town, where he meets Jeong Ryeo-won, a smart young woman who is loved and trusted by the townspeople. The couple strives to stay together, despite being on different sides of the war.

The townspeople, meanwhile, struggle to deal with the arrival of the North Koreans and eventually side with the soldiers in order to survive.

The Suicide Forecast (15)

Comedy / 124 / Korean

Insurance agency magnate Byung-woo (Ryoo Seung-bum), who once dreamed of becoming a successful insurance consultant, thought that his life was smooth-sailing - even if it cost someone’s life. But when he is charged with helping one of his customers commit suicide as he tries to build his client list, he is left with only 15 days to cancel all of the unjust contracts he had made with customers in the past.

While Byung-woo struggles to keep his customers from ending their own lives, in the process he gradually becomes swayed by their genuine, innocent lives.

Directed by the novice director Jo Jin-mo, film cast not only includes veteran actors such as Ryoo Seung-bum and Sung Dong-il but also singer Younha.

Fast Five (15)


Action / 130 / English

If you watched and enjoyed the first four installments of the “Fast and the Furious” franchise, this one will not leave you wondering where the story is going next.

There will likely be no major plot points or twists to confuse you and you will be able to guess how it turns out before the “turn off your mobile phone” warning is finished. It is essentially the same film in a different location. Add a dash of so-called celebrity in the form of muscle head Dwayne Johnson, a?k?a The Rock, and you have a “new” movie.

Set in the sunny surrounds of Rio de Janeiro, the gang is looking to dish out some justice on a vicious crime boss who has framed Vin Diesel and company for murder, and while they are at it they will sort him out for exploiting slum-dwellers.

The film has done very well at the box office and a potential reason, in financial terms at least, is that it is practically devoid of blood. There is sure to be lots of fighting, smashing, crunching and top quality car chases, with a few of the aforementioned slums getting razed, but no blood or anything grotesque. The film won’t win an Oscar but it is what it is and it pretends to be nothing else. It’s high-octane, hair-raising celluloid pleasure. Don’t think, just enjoy, as Johnson and Diesel duke it out, muscles and bald heads glistening in the Rio sun.

I Am Father (18)

Crime / 99 / Korean

This movie follows a revenge plot that depicts how paternal love drives fathers to go beyond their limits.

Detective Jong-sik (Kim Seung-woo), whose daughter Min-ji (Kim Sae-ron) needs a heart transplant that he can’t afford, receives a bribe to cover up a murder case involving the boss of an organ trafficking organization in order to save his daughter, whose life is hanging by a thread.

But in order to cover up the crime, the detective has to put an innocent man - Sang-man (Son Byung-ho) - in jail. As if that weren’t enough, Sang-man learns in jail that his daughter has died. He vows to take revenge on Jong-sik, and when he gets out of jail he starts putting his plan into action. Meanwhile, Jong-sik has found out that his daughter’s donor is Sang-man’s wife, setting up the final conflict between the two.

The film was directed by Jeon Man-bae, who is also known for directing “The Romantic President” (2002), and features veteran actors like Kim Seung-woo and rising child actress Kim Se-ron, who also starred in “The Man from Nowhere” with actor Won Bin.

Water for Elephants (15)


Drama / 120 / English

Jacob (Robert Pattinson) is studying at Cornell University to become a veterinarian when his parents suddenly die in a car crash. With no money and no family remaining, he drops out, joins a circus, befriends a performing elephant and falls in love with Marlena (Reese Witherspoon), the circus’ star performer.

Marlena is charismatic and a strong woman.

But in this 1930s circus, the ringmaster (August, played by Christoph Waltz) is king.

Marlena is married to August, an obsessive and angry man who completes the complicated love triangle in “Water for Elephants.”

So while the film, based on the novel of the same name, has some kind of plot set up in this unique setting, most reviewers have knocked the film down more than a few notches because of a lack of chemistry between Pattinson and Witherspoon, so much so that they see their love affair as not believable.

Waltz, though, gets to play another seemingly charming man with a side of crazy, something he did excellently as Col. Hans Landa in “Inglourious Basterds,” a role he won an Oscar for in 2010.
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