2011.7.29 NOW PLAYING

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2011.7.29 NOW PLAYING

Link (15)


Thriller / 105 / Korean

If “Inception” made the controlling of dreams and thoughts come true, “Link” shows how telepathy between people could become a reality.

Lee Jae-hyun, the protagonist of “Link”, has a sister who is in a coma. He spends his life wishing to see his sister come back to life however his hope eventually dies out. While grief stricken Lee meets an attractive girl, Su-jeong, through his trusted friend, Gu Seong-wu.

Su-jeong and Jae-hyun not only build their friendship but they develop a link that let them share their five senses and even their thoughts.

As the link gets stronger, Jae-hyun becomes ever more addicted to Su-jeong’s power. This infatuation with the link endangers Jae-hyun.

Woody Han, the director, marks his debut for a full-length film with “Link.”

Han shows how satisfying humans’ desires can be hazardous throughout the film.

The artistic side was respected at this year’s Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival as the film was invited by the festival, which came to an end on Sunday. The film sold out all tickets during the festival period.

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.

Gantz (15)


Thriller, Action / 130 / Japanese

In what is likely one of the more bizarre film plots anyone will come across this year, “Gantz” is the first of two Japanese movies based on the popular manga by Hiroya Oku.

The plot is weird all right. Kei Kurono is a college student struggling with a terrible job market, and one day he sees an old friend of his, Masaru Kato, on a subway platform. But before they can exchange pleasantries, Kato jumps onto the tracks to save a man who has fallen in front of an oncoming train. Kurono goes after Kato but they both find themselves in the eyes of the fast-moving train.

They die, or so they think, as they get transported to a small apartment with a giant black sphere floating in the center of the room. Others who have recently died get transported there and the man who controls the sphere, and apparently the situation, orders them to kill waves of aliens in order to earn points. One hundred points get them out of the limbo they’ve fallen into, but anything less and, well, they die or worse, stay forever stuck in this crazy plane of existence.

“Gantz” is similar to movies like “Saw,” which pit people against each other in horrific games, but the ending of this one hints at something more mysterious to come. That, though, will have to wait until the second film.

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.

Patisserie Coin de rue (all)


Drama / 115 / Japanese

Don’t be fooled by the name, as French as it sounds “Patisserie Coin de rue” is in fact a Japanese film about a Tokyo pastry shop.

Also know as “Yougashiten Koandoru,” the film follows the fortunes of several characters as they interact through Patisserie Coin de rue, a pastry shop in Tokyo run by Yuriko and Julian, a husband-and-wife team, along with talented patissier Mariko and her fascinating creations.

Natsumi, the young daughter of a baker from Kagoshima, ends up working in the shop after tracing her boyfriend there, only to find out that he has already left.

Tomura, a famous pastry chef, who suddenly stopped baking one day eight years ago, completes the main cast. Aside from lecturing and writing a guidebook for pastry critics he is simply a regular customer at the bakery who consistently rejects offers to show off his skills.

The film gives both film and food fans a treat as the director looks at the inner workings of the Tokyo pasty shop, complete with mouth-watering creations.

Natsumi, the heroine of the piece, comically blunders her way through the first half of the film after being taken on as an apprentice but her comic antics are soon tempered when the plot takes a dark twist halfway through.

The film was directed by Yoshihiro Fukagawa, who is perhaps best known for “Into the White Night” (2010), a film based on the novel by Keigo Higashino.

In My Sleep (15)


Thriller, Mystery / 105 / English

Director Allen Wolf’s debut feature film captures the suspenseful life of Marcus (Philip Winchester), a young man who suffers from parasomnia - a sleeping disorder which causes him to do things in his sleep.

The mystery begins when Marcus regains consciousness in an unknown cemetery with a bloody knife lying next to his undressed body. He soon finds out that the wife of his best friend has been stabbed to death.

While suffering from crippling paranoia and recurring episodes related to his parasomnia, Marcus attempts to retrace his steps and investigate his nocturnal acts. Wolf’s film, released in the United States in April of last year, failed in the American box office.

The New York University graduate is hoping for a greater international appreciation of his work.
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