2011.7.22 NOW PLAYING

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2011.7.22 NOW PLAYING

Leafie, A Hen into the Wild (all)


Animation, Family, Adventure / 93 / Korean

Based on a bestselling preteen novel of the same title that has sold more than 1 million copies in Korea, “Leafie, A Hen into the Wild” is about a laying hen named Leafie who is destined to live the “same old” repetitive life confined on the chicken farm.

Her fate changes when she escapes from the chicken farm and hatches a duck egg. With the duckling (who believes Leafie to be his mother), sets off on a journey into the wild with her new son to find her freedom.

In an industry dominated by U.S. studios like Disney, Pixar and DreamWorks and Japanese studios such as Studio Ghibli, few animated Korean films have made it to the box office in recent years. But “Leafie, A Hen into the Wild,” which was nearly six years in the making, challenges the status quo. Working with a group of talented Korean illustrators who have created animation for Pixar and Disney, the images resemble a painting.

Voicing the main characters are veteran actors Choi Min-sik from “I Saw the Devil” (2010), and actress Moon So-ri from “Forever the Moment” (2007). The duckling is played by rising teen actor Yu Seung-ho, best known for his childhood role in “The Way Home” (2002).

The film opens July 28, just in time for children’s summer break season.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (all)

Action, Drama / 130 / English

A decade after “The Sorcerer’s Stone,” the magic of Harry Potter still awes, and this time viewers will enjoy the spell of 3-D wizardry. While the slower-paced Part I left some disappointed last fall, the epic, action-packed finale will surely satisfy audiences, young or old, muggles or half-bloods.

Director David Yates, who previously helmed “The Goblet of Fire,” “The Half-Blood Prince” and “The Deathly Hallows: Part I,” does his last Potter-related film justice. When riding your Firebolt (or Nimbus 2000, if you’re lucky) to the theater, don’t forget to bring a handkerchief.

Rio (all)


Animation / 96 / English

Fresh off his role as Mark Zuckerberg in “The Social Network,” Jesse Eisenberg decided he’d go a little bit lighter in “Rio,” the latest 3-D animated film out in theaters.

Eisenberg voices a male macaw living with a family in the suburbs of Minnesota. Blu, as he is called, is asked by an ornithologist to go to Rio de Janeiro, find a mate and preserve the species.

He is reluctant but eventually makes it there and falls in love with a free-spirited member of his species, Jewel (Anne Hathaway). But amid the partying and excitement in the Brazilian city, they get captured by bird smugglers intent on making a profit on exotic tropical birds.

They eventually escape, but have to work together with an oddball cast of characters to help ensure the smugglers can’t do it again.

George Lopez, Jemaine Clement and Jake T. Austin also provide voices for “Rio.” The film has already made more than $400 million worldwide and was met with generally positive reviews in the U.S.

The Front Line (15)

Action, Drama / 133 / Korean

With a large budget of 10 billion won ($9.5 million), “The Front Line” takes place during the height of the Korean War, two years prior to the signing of the armistice. Korea has seen many war movies in the past few years, but “The Front Line” is based on a real story - in fact, a rather curious one.

In February 1951, a South Korean company commander is found killed, not by enemy bullets, but by those of his own army. Suspecting that there may be soldiers communicating with the North, the military brass sends Kang Eun-pyo (Shin Ha-Kyun) to investigate the situation.

What Kang finds there, however, is not the answer to the case, but even more questions. The mystery mounts as he finds his long lost friend Kim Su-hyuk (Go Soo), now leading the company in question, and thus at the center of the case.

Captain America: The First Avenger (12)


Action / 125 / English

In the latest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the series responsible for previous summer blockbusters “The Incredible Hulk,” “Iron Man,” “Iron Man 2” and “Thor,” director Joe Johnston (“Jurassic Park III”) brings back the true nature of the comic-book heroes who gripped American youth in the midst of World War II.

“Captain America: The First Avenger” not only sets the stage for next year’s release of “The Avengers,” which will feature all of the previous Marvel films’ star heroes, but it sets a higher standard that “Thor” and “The Incredible Hulk” simply failed to achieve.

For those super-hero fanatics who were left disgraced by Ryan Reynolds’ performance in “The Green Lantern,” Chris Evans (as Steve Rogers) will restore faith in cinematic renditions of childhood heroes.

When Rogers enlists in an experimental program in the U.S. Army during World War II, he is suddenly transformed into Captain America - a Super Soldier with extraordinary strength, speed, reflexes, durability and healing. The Red Skull (Hugo Weaving), the leader of the villainous HYDRA organization, is a Nazi agent who threatens to demolish the Ally war effort and dominate the world.

Johnston’s old-school approach to “The First Avenger” will likely satisfy true comic fans. The film provides more historical depth than the previous installments, which seemed to be too distracted with special effects to fully appreciate the historical significance of the Marvel series.

Bruce Lee, My Brother (all)


Biography, Drama / 129 / English

“Bruce Lee, My Brother” is a twist in the retelling of the Bruce Lee story in that this one tells the story of the martial arts superstar from his birth in San Francisco to his formative years growing up in Hong Kong.

The trailer for the film promises much of the same high-kicking, fast-punching action that is forever associated with Lee, as well as the high-pitched warbling that comes with every move.

The film differentiates itself from other films based on his life by delving into the Lee family, his parents’ stories, his childhood in Hong Kong, his youth, his first film, his first love and ultimately how he matured from “Sai-fon” into Bruce Lee.

Directed by Wai Man Yip and Manfred Wong, who also wrote the screenplay, the two have a combined total of just 15 films under their directorial belts but included on that list is the well-received “The Warlords,” which Yip co-directed with Peter Chan.

Starring Cantopop star Aarif Rahman in the lead role and Tony Leung Ka Fai, a veteran of more than 100 films, this movie takes a nostalgic look at the Hong Kong of the 40s and 50s. Subtitled “Genesis of the Dragon,” the film promises to give Bruce Lee fans an opportunity to see how Lee lived and why he left Hong Kong.
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