2011.6.17 NOW PLAYINGWhite (15)
K-pop groups have taken Asia, and now Europe, by storm. But in the new Korean horror film “White,” they are the main characters.
Directed by indie filmmakers and twin brothers Kim Gok and Kim Sun, “White” centers on the girl group the Pink Dolls. Each of the four members in the group wants fame, but they struggle to get to the top.
The group consists of Eun-ju, who is not respected by her fellow band members; Shin-ji, who was a trainee for eight years before joining the group; Ah-rang, a cosmetic surgery addict; and Jenny, who doesn’t sing well but dreams of becoming the lead vocalist of the group.
One day, a strange video is delivered to the group and the four members are enchanted by a song called “White.” Although they don’t know who composed or sings the song, they love it so much that they decide to record a cover of it and it brings them instant stardom. But the song sets off a string of unfortunate events that could ultimately cut their careers short. The film depicts the competition and greed within the group as the Pink Dolls become famous and follows their quest to find the truth behind the cursed song.
According to film critics, “White” is a mix of horror and mystery but the film also entertains with its sumptuous score.
X-Men: First Class (12)
Action, Sci-fi / 132 / English
The “X-Men” movie franchise is back in play with the release of producer Bryan Singer’s and director Matthew Vaughn’s “X-Men: First Class.”
A prequel that explains the origins of how the mutants came to be, the new film has a formidable cast of characters led by James McAvoy as Charles Xavier (later Professor Charles Xavier) and Michael Fassbender as Erik Lehnsherr, the future Magneto.
The story introduces the audience to Xavier and Lehnsherr in the 1940s. Then they take part in a CIA operation in the 1960s to take down Sebastian Shaw, the main villain in “X-Men: First Class,” who is played by Kevin Bacon. The heart of the movie, though, explains how Xavier and Lehnsherr, who are friends in the movie, become estranged and choose opposing sides, laying the groundwork for the X-Men saga.
Super 8 (12)
J.J. Abrams, the man behind “Lost” and “Alias,” offers an exciting, mysterious monster movie with a retro twist. “Super 8,” which Abrams wrote and directed, is set in the summer of 1979 in the small steel town of Lillian, Ohio.
There, a group of young friends embark on shooting a movie on Super 8 film. But when a train derails after crashing into a truck, military officers show up, along with a host of inexplicable happenings: people and animals begin disappearing, and even cars are getting mysteriously thrown into the air. Soon, suspicions rise that the accident wasn’t really an accident at all.
What follows is a predictable, though fun, plot: big fight scenes with the mysterious monsters, and a resolution in the end that brings the truth to light and ties things together.
But what distinguishes “Super 8” is its homage to a bygone era - a time before the digital age and when small-town America wasn’t just nostalgia.
Steven Spielberg is the film’s producer, and comparisons could be drawn between Abrams’ “Super 8” and Spielberg’s classics like “E.T.” While “Super 8” never matches that level, Abrams, like his previous movie efforts (“Mission: Impossible III” and “Star Trek”) offers a satisfying flick to pass the hot summer days.
One hint: Be sure to stick around through the credits.
Drama, Thriller / 112 / Korean
The title of this film may bring to mind Herman Melville’s classic novel, but “Mobydick” is actually a chilling voyage through Korean history with enough conspiracy theories to make even the most nationalistic viewer question their government.
When a mysterious explosion destroys the fictional Balam Bridge on the outskirts of Seoul, veteran journalist Lee Bang-woo (Hwang Jung-min) picks up the story and runs with it.
Around the same time, he gets a visit from his old friend Yoon-hyuk (Jin Goo), who offers some highly classified information on the case - that the explosion was no accident and that the government caused it.
Thinking the case is no ordinary job, Lee calls on his fellow reporters Sohn Jin-ki (Kim Sang-ho) and Seong Hyo-kwan (Kim Min-hee) to investigate. But when their investigation uncovers conspiracy after conspiracy, the group begins to question the government and they begin to get threats that could endanger their investigation and their lives.
With a highly esteemed cast of prestigious Korea actors, including Hwang, who is famous for his role in the 2009 film “Private Eye,” this movie is bound to raise some eyebrows and could be the harbinger of Korean films to come.
Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil (All)
In this Little Red Riding Hood reworking, Grizzly and Stork are a pair of cops who have been called to the bungalow of Granny to investigate a disturbance of the peace. It seems there has been an incident involving Granny, her granddaughter Little Red Riding Hood, a Big Bad Wolf and a Woodsman.
As the detectives conduct interviews, they learn that Granny isn’t as old and defenseless as she seems, Red may have been up to no good, the Wolf may not be so big and bad and the Woodsman is not as sharp as his axe.
A well-known cast of actors, including Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Joan Cusack, Martin Short and Wayne Newton, lend their vocal talents to this sequel but are apparently not able to save the film.
“Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil” is the sequel to an unforgettable original and most reviews say this one doesn’t have any of the limited charm of the original.
The Illusionist (All)
“The Illusionist,” directed by Sylvain Chomet (“The Triplets of Belleville”) and an Academy Award nominee, sticks to the roots of adult animation. Its cel-shaded style and lack of 3-D is probably a huge breath of fresh air among animated films these days, but it’s the film’s story - a well-crafted tale of a down-on-his-luck magician - that makes magic.
The Illusionist isn’t the show-stopping magician he used to be. His shows in Paris don’t attract as many crowds as before, with rock stars starting to take the world by storm in the 1950s.
The aging performer packs his bags and makes his way to Britain, where he meets a young girl who believes his magic is real. They start to develop a father-daughter relationship as he does shows in odd places to buy her gifts. Regardless, The Illusionist can’t bring himself to admit to her that magic isn’t real.
But, of course, she gets older. And as she gets older, the two both mature in different ways that show that magic can be more than tricks performed on a stage.