2011.10.7 NOW PLAYINGThe Client (15)
“The Client” presents a battle of wits between a defense lawyer his old rival, who seems to be playing dirty.
Han Cheol-min (Jang Hyuk) comes home on his anniversary with flowers for his wife only to discover that she has been murdered and he is the primary suspect. Despite the fact that her body is never found and the evidence circumstantial, the public is quick to label Han a killer and he engages the services of defense attorney Kang Sung-hee (Ha Jung-woo).
It’s a difficult case, but Kang is confident that he will prevail, regardless of the fact that his defendant is an enigmatic character with OCD who can’t always express his thoughts clearly.
Fortunately for him, no murder weapon was recovered, but neither does Han have an alibi.
To make matters worse, the prosecutor handling Han’s case, Ahn Min-ho (Park Hee-soon), is also Kang’s archrival, and he is determined to bring both attorney and client down.
“The Client” is Korea’s first courtroom drama since the passage of a law implementing jury trials in 2008. It was directed by Sohn Young-sung, who also helmed “One Night Stand” (2010) and “The Pit and The Pendelum” (2008).
The Debt (15)
Directed by the man with the same name as the former head coach with the Oakland Raiders, John Madden’s “The Debt” tells the story of three young Israeli Mossad agents who are on a secret mission to capture and kill a notorious Nazi war criminal. Josef Mengele, the “Surgeon of Birkenau,” conducted a series experiments on inmates at Auschwitz that left thousands dead or disfigured, or both. The team goes to East Germany to capture Dieter Vogel, a man suspected of being the aforementioned doctor.
The film flashes back to the event but is set in the present, where a man claiming to be the very same Nazi has for some reason decided to surface in Ukraine. One of the three agents, played in the present by Helen Mirren, Tom Wilkinson and Ciaran Hinds, must go and find out what is going on.
Of course, the director isn’t really NFL legend John Madden, it is British director John Madden of “Shakespeare in Love”(1998) and “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin” (2001) fame.
When Jack Mabry (Robert De Niro) reluctantly accepts a final assignment to reassess inmate Gerald “Stone” Creeson (Edward Norton) shortly before his retirement, Mabry’s career as a parole officer takes a dramatic turn.
Stone’s wife, Lucetta (Milla Jovovich), promises to do everything in her power to get her husband out of prison, which leads her to seduce Mabry and tangle the already complex scenario into a dark, disturbing and heavy story.
Director John Curran (“We Don’t Live Here Anymore”) assembled a veteran cast for “Stone.” Norton (“Fight Club,” “Red Dragon”) has found his characters in prison before, including his character in “American History X.”
This suspenseful thriller revolving around compromised ethics should satisfy drama enthusiasts.
Action, Mystery / 105 / English
When Nathan (Taylor Launter), who has always felt distanced from his parents, discovers that he was kidnapped as a child, he begins to uncover a vast conspiracy and must go on the run in order to survive.
Alfred Molina (“Raiders of the Lost Ark”) delivers perhaps the best line of the movie when he tells Nathan “they weren’t your real parents,” which comes off a tad dismissive when our hero has just asked who killed them.
This angers young Nathan (or whatever his name is). Then, right on cue, all hell breaks loose.
Automatic weapons, glass flying everywhere, helicopters, obligatory shots of computer screens showing little dots bleeping, car chases, fights on trains (an homage to Bond perhaps?) and general mayhem - with an attractive woman thrown in for good measure.
At the start of the movie, there are only four people who know “Nathan’s” real identity, but after his parents get wasted by gun-toting assassins, only two remain.
This is a dirty martini of a film. It’s one measure of “Kickboxer,” two measures of Jason Bourne, a measure of vodka and a dash of Bond. Shake (not stir) that up and you get yourself a run-of-the-mill action-film martini.
Maybe it would better to get an actual dirty martini (dirty on the side) and watch some Bond or Bourne.
Action, Drama / 119 / Korean
“Countdown” follows two shadowy characters in an all-out, life or death, race against the clock.
Tae Gun-ho (Jung Jae-young) is a ruthless debt collector with a perfect record. But karma catches up with him when he learns he has liver cancer and must have a transplant within 10 days.
Lacking a suitable donor, and running out of time, Tae takes matters in his own hands and tracks down the one person who may be able to save him - the beautiful con artist Cha Ha-yeon (Jeon Do-youn). Years ago Cha was the recipient of another donated organ - a heart from Tae’s son.
Now, she is in jail but soon to be released. Cha accepts Tae’s request, but asks for something in return. She wants Tae to track down Jo Myeong-seok (Lee Kyeong-yeong), the man who put her in jail, so she can settle the score. Tae faces off with Cha’s enemies as he tries to fulfill his end of the bargain and when he does he goes back to Cha so she can make good on hers.
The Three Musketeers (12)
The 3-D “Three Musketeers,” due out this month, brings a 17th-century tale of adventure, bravery and heroism into 2011. Based on Alexandre Dumas’ historical novel, the film showcases the musketeers who risked their lives to protect French royalty.
But this version is not your everyday recounting of history. The influence of steampunk, a subgenre that introduces elements of fantasy or science fiction into stories from the steam-engine era, on director Paul Anderson is visible. So, pay close attention because you never know what the film might throw at you. It’s certainly more exciting than your average history lesson. Luke Evans (Aramis), Matthew Macfadyen (Athos) and Ray Stevenson (Porthos) make an impressive trio.
The decision to film this movie in 3-D was an especially apt one as its setting in prerevolution France offers impressive sights that deserve close examination. The brightly-colored flowing gowns of the female characters pop through the 3-D lenses as do other details like the castles where several scenes are set.
And, of course, the classic themes of romance, exploration and valor that the film draws from Dumas’ novel are timeless and will not fail to impress.