2011.12.9 Now Playing

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2011.12.9 Now Playing

Spellbound (12)


Romantic Comedy / 114 / Korean

“I see dead people” is a common phrase used in parody, but if it were true, as it is for the leading lady in “Spellbound,” it would be a shockingly terrifying trait to hold.

Ever since she was young, Yeo-ri (Son Ye-jin), has had the unnatural ability to see ghosts, and when they do appear, usually when she has company, unexpected things occur to the people around her. Yeo-ri chooses to isolate herself from the outside world but is approached by a street magician named Jo-goo (Lee Min-ki), who offers her a job in his show.

One year passes, and Yeo-ri ends up playing a part in the magician’s horror-themed act, in which she plays a ghost in a closet. Every day, Jo-goo’s staff successfully close the show and invite Yeo-ri for drinks, but she always rejects their offer. She is fully aware what will happen if she gets close to people.

When eventually Yeo-ri opens up to Jo-goo about her tragic and lonely life, things start to change for the both of them. Can Jo-Goo help her find a way out? Or will he be chased away by the ghosts like all of the other people in Yeo-ri’s life?

“Spellbound is directed by Hwang In-ho, who had also directed “Two Faces of My Girlfriend” (2007) and “Love Phobia” (2006).

Punch (12)

Drama / 107 / Korean

“Punch” is based on Kim Ryeo-ryeong’s novel “Wan-deuk-i,” which has sold more than 700,000 copies since it was published in 2008. Like the novel, the film is a coming-of-age story that revolves around a multiethnic family facing dire circumstances.

Wan-deuk (Yoo Ah-in) is in his second year of high school and lives with his father in extreme poverty. Although not a good student, he is a good fighter, a skill that will prove valuable to his future.

Wan-deuk has been able to endure his situation until now, but he is brought to the point of snapping when he learns of a long-held family secret: the mother who ran out on the two of them years ago is Filipino.At its heart, the film focuses on the relationship between Wan-deuk and his homeroom teacher, Dong-ju (Kim Yoon-seok). Although the two start the film bickering constantly, circumstances force them together and they soon become like family to one another. Wan-deuk’s life finally begins to change when he is encouraged to take up kickboxing. Through the sport, he begins to mature as a person and starts to develop his own dreams.

Arthur Christmas (All)


Animation, Family / 96 / English

It’s that time of year again when Santa checks his list, prepares his reindeer and sets off on a Christmas Eve journey to deliver presents to children all around the world. And naturally, your kids will have lots of questions about how Santa gets his work done. Well, now there’s a behind-the-scenes tour that can give them an exclusive look at the North Pole, including both the good and the bad.

The new animated flick, “Arthur Christmas,” shows how Santa has brought his operation into the 21st century, complete with a high-tech airship and a command center filled with hundreds of staff and a gift wrap army. But while the technology makes the Christmas Eve operation more precise and efficient, there’s always room for at least one mistake, and when one girl’s present is not delivered, Santa and his family argue, leaving Santa’s youngest son, Arthur, to fix the problem.

As Arthur travels the world struggling to deliver the present without assistance from his family, we learn the downside to technology and realize that many in Santa’s operation, even Santa himself, have lost touch with the Christmas spirit, viewing their work as an industrial operation more than one designed to make children happy.

But not to worry. Santa’s youngest son comes to the rescue, and though your children are sure cringe at Santa’s doubts about Christmas and the seemingly petty arguments he has with his family, the ending will make up for it all. Just make sure to have milk and cookies at home on Christmas Eve, as they’ll certainly want to put some out for Santa and his helpers after seeing all they go through to deliver presents each year.

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (15)


Action, Adventure / 132/ English

Tom Cruise returns as Ethan Hunt in the fourth installment of the Mission Impossible series. This time the IMF have been disavowed and that means that Crusie et al. are denied access to the myriad gadgets and gizmos they would normally use. And what they do have doesn’t always work. This is “Mission: Impossible” stripped down, defunded and reduced to surviving on what they have available when Ghost Protocol is initiated.

Hunt’s IMF is shut down when it is suspected of bombing the Kremlin and Hunt, Beji Dunn (Simon Pegg) and Jane Carter (Paula Patton) must go rogue in order to clear their name and, of course, prevent the end of the world.

The film has the prerequisite action scenes which sees Hunt scaling the outside of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, currently the tallest structure in the world.

Director Brad Bird makes his live-action directorial debut with the film, having previously directed a string of animated features.

Somewhat unbelievably, it has been 15 years since Cruise launched the franchise, and this one is just as good, containing all the elements fans of “Mission: Impossible” have come to expect.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 (15)


Fantasy, Drama / 117 / English

The fourth in the now-ubiquitous “Twilight” series, “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn,” starts with a major win for vampire fans, as Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) finally ties the knot with Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) till death does the couple part, which, for the vampire at least, means forever. But, of course, things are never so simple, and even though Jake Black (Taylor Lautner) does not interfere in the ceremony, all is not lost for the werewolves.

After a ravishingly romantic night with Edward, Bella notices that something is not quite right, and she realizes that she’s become pregnant with an unusually fast-growing fetus. As events in the film unfold, we watch Bella’s health rapidly deteriorate until she is near death and only one substance can save her - blood - in what is a clear sign of the transformation she is about to undergo.

And yet, Jake, ever blind in his love for Bella, refuses to leave her side, even as others in his pack swear to kill the woman he loves and her child as soon as she gives birth, fearing the creation of a new, all-powerful soldier for the vampires.

By the end of the film, Bella clearly takes sides in the age-old feud between the werewolves and vampires, whether she wants to or not. But her child takes on Bella’s role as the character stuck in between the two feuding species, as she is biologically related to the vampires but cared for by Jake as well.
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