2012.1.27 NOW Playing

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2012.1.27 NOW Playing

Papa (12)

Comedy / 118 / Korean

Chun-sub (Park yong-woo) is a hot-shot manager in the entertainment industry who thinks he has the Midas touch, but things go bad for him when he follows a Korean star who has escaped to Atlanta to avoid working. In his effort to chase the star down, Chun-sub overstays his visa and must save himself. When he meets a widow with six kids (and five marriages), he thinks he’s found his solution and suggests they marry. But shortly after they wed, the new bride gets into a fatal accident that leaves Chun-sub in charge of his six new, racially diverse, children.

As the eldest of the bunch, Jun (Go A-ra) acts as the interpreter and cares for her brothers and sisters, who also include: a boy who learned Korean by watching dramas, the cynical second daughter, who is Spanish; a pair of cheerful twins who rap; and the youngest, a girl.

One day, Chun-sub discovers that Jun is a singing sensation when he hears her performing in church. Hoping to win some prize money to help support his new family, he suggests that she audition for a talent show. Jun refuses at first and the resulting hijinks keep things moving.

It is the first Korean comedy filmed entirely on location in the United States.

Never Ending Story (15)

Romance, Fantasy / 114 / Korean

This film looks at death from the point of view of a couple diagnosed with cancer.

Taekwondo master Gang Dong-ju’s (Um Tae-woong) biggest pleasure is buying lottery tickets in hopes of one day hitting the jackpot. In reality, however, he’s an incompetent young man who barely makes ends meet and mooches off his younger brother.

But Dong-ju’s life changes radically when he is diagnosed with brain cancer and given just three months to live. On the day he gets his diagnosis, he meets Oh Song-gyeong (Jung Ryeo-won) who has just received the same diagnosis.

When their doctor’s appointments bring them into regular contact, the two fall in love and decide to live their remaining days together. With time running out, the two plan their funerals and spend time searching for clothes and coffins.

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (All)

Action, Adventure / 94 / English

Those who remember the “Land Before Time” dinosaur fantasy flicks fondly will get a kick out of the 3-D family-friendly adventure “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island,” which takes viewers on a fun ? if sometimes too exaggerated ? tropical adventure.

Budding teenage actor Josh Hutcherson returns for the sequel to “Journey to the Center of the Earth,” but is joined by an entirely new cast of characters for this trip to a Jules Verne-inspired island hidden in the middle of the ocean.

In theory, this film should be a perfect fit for 3-D, and in many ways, it does fit the bill. Nature on the mystical island is backward, with miniature elephants small enough to be carried and gigantic insects large enough to carry the cast on their backs. The bright colors and quick movements of the animals, which are shown off as the cast makes pit stops around the island, will certainly please the target demographic. The must-have chase scenes will keep them on their seats, too.

Those less distracted by the effects, though, and perhaps more interested in what the characters have to say, will find themselves disappointed. Dialogue is often short and superficial, led by the father figure played by Dwayne Johnson, also known as “The Rock” from his wrestling days. Though his efforts to be a stand-up father figure for Hutcherson’s character are admirable, his less-than-sophisticated humor sabotages him from the start. Though this film could be an impressive showcase of the latest in 3-D theater technology, it’s more likely to be remembered for The Rock’s cheesy romantic advice, especially the cringe-worthy scene when he bounces berries off his pecks.

Wonderful Radio (15)

Drama / 120 / Korean

In her heyday, Jin-ah (Lee Min-jeong) was a popular singer, but all she has left now is her manager (Lee Gwang-soo) and her job as a radio disc jockey for “Wonderful Radio,” a program on the verge of getting canned. Fiery and outspoken, Jin-ah is an unrestrained DJ who spouts everything that enters her head on air and changes song requests at whim.

One day, the station brings in a new producer, Jae-hyuk (Lee Jeong-jin), as a last attempt to raise the program’s dismally low ratings. He wants to revamp “Wonderful Radio,” while Jin-ah suggests they instead add a new segment in which listeners share their life stories and favorite songs on air.

To her disappointment, the first broadcast is a wreck, but the program soon begins to take off as one listener’s heartwarming story encourages more listeners to tune in.

We Bought a Zoo (All)

Family / 124 / English

In 2006 Benjamin Mee and his family bought the dilapidated Dartmoor zoo in England and prepared to reopen it to the public. The story caught the attention of the BBC and was shown on TV in December 2007. Hollywood could smell a movie and snapped up the rights to Mee’s book “We Bought a Zoo: The Amazing True Story of a Young Family.” Enter Cameron Crowe, Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson. The zoo moved to California and a family-friendly movie was born.

The film focuses on Benjamin Mee, a recent widower who decides to buy a new house that has an attached zoo. Along with his family, 14-year-old son Dylan and 7-year-old daughter Rosie, he moves into Rosemoor Wildlife Park. Scarlett Johansson plays zoo keeper and love interest Kelly. There are typical teenage tantrums from Dylan, while Rosie seems thrilled at the idea of living in such close proximity to lions and tigers.

As was the case for the real life Benjamin, being a widower seems to make him much more desirable to women but he fights off these middle aged desperados and their edible gifts and instead focuses on his children and the inevitable struggle that comes with opening and sustaining a zoo.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (18)

Mystery, Drama / 158 / English

Disgraced journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) is given a chance at career resurrection when he is asked to locate a young heiress who went missing nearly 40 years before.

Computer hacker and asocial Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara) is eventually brought on to assist him - though at times roles reverse as she begins to both unravel the mystery and execute personal demons with efficient and often bloody adroitness.

David Fincher’s latest directorial work comes two years on the tail of the Swedish adaptation, and less than a decade after the posthumous publication of Swedish novelist Stieg Larsson’s “Millennium Trilogy,” on which the film is based and which sold 50 million copies in 46 countries, becoming a worldwide literary blockbuster. The movie seems likely to set on a similar course, with strong deliveries from Daniel Craig and a star-forging breakout performance from Rooney Mara.
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