2012.2.17 NOW Playing

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2012.2.17 NOW Playing

Unbowed (15)

Drama / 100 / Korean

Following the success of “The Crucible,” based on a true story about a group of children with disabilities who suffer physical and sexual abuse at the hands of their teachers, is another film based on a true story that has riled the public.

The film tells the story of professor Kim Kyung-ho (Ahn Sung-ki), who was fired from his job when he challenged the validity of a math question on the Collage Scholastic Ability Test in 1995. After losing his job, Kim launches a lawsuit against the university but loses. Days after the ruling is handed down, Kim, with crossbow in hand, goes to the home of the judge who presided over the case. The two men fight until a security guard breaks them up. The judge, who has kept one of Kim’s arrows, calls the police to have his attacker arrested. When the police arrive, the judge claims Kim shot him as Kim maintains his innocence.

The film has set off a firestorm of criticism of the judiciary, which in the film defines Kim’s actions as acts of terrorism in order to maintain its authority. Though the judiciary initially kept silent about the film, it recently released a statement pointing to the differences between the film and the real case.

Prior to the film’s release, the professor depicted in the film, whose real name is Kim Myeong-ho, wrote a book about the trial, with details about his life since he was released from prison on Jan. 23 after serving a sentence of four years and 10 days.

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.

The Woman in Black (15)

Horror, Thriller / 95 / English

Daniel Radcliffe, better known as Harry Potter to most, has a go at breaking out of his wizard role in the horror-thriller “The Woman in Black” directed by second-time director James Watkins, whose directorial film debut came in 2008 in the form of horror film “Eden Lake”.

Based on the 1983 novel of the same name by Susan Hill, “The Woman in Black” follows Radcliffe’s lawyer character Arthur Kipps and his young son Joseph as they relocate in order for Kipps to begin work on his new assignment, handling the abandoned Eel Marsh House.

Of course, once Kipps starts working in the house he begins hearing strange noises and repeatedly spots a woman dressed in black.

Plenty of eerie atmosphere-packed scenes, long silences, foggy meadows and jump scenes ensue in a film that will surely satisfy anyone who loves horror but scoffs at excessive blood and gore.

What the film lacks in violence it makes up for with plenty of psychological teasing, as audiences follow Kipps in the terrifying mystery surrounding the woman in black and the town deaths she seems responsible for.

One for the Money (15)

Action, Comedy / 91 / English

Stephanie Plum’s work as a lingerie saleswoman in Newark taught her how to deal with the less-than-desirable members of the opposite sex. So when she loses her job ­­- and her fancy sports car - she looks for work where she can use those hard-earned skills. Naturally, Plum, played by the stunningly beautiful Katherine Heigl, lands a bounty hunter position at her cousin’s bail bond shop.

Her clumsiness with a gun and tendency to get caught in dangerous situations don’t seem to hinder her job performance much, as the men she’s after have more on their mind than escape when she walks through the door. In fact, the most interesting moments come not when Plum is in pursuit of fugitives, but rather when the criminals are pursuing her - romantically, that is.

Yet even when Plum’s high school sweetheart Joe Morelli (Jason O’Mara) ends up on her hit list, she keeps her eye on her commission and apprehends the bad guys. She works sources like a pro and navigates her ever more complicated family life, proving that you just might never know what work that department store saleswoman does on the side.

The Artist (12)

Comedy, Drama / 100 / Silent

Starring Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo, along with Hollywood stalwarts James Cromwell and John Goodman, “The Artist” follows the life of silent movie star George Valentin, and his little dog Uggie. The two are about to enter the age of the talkie and George is a bit nervous understandably nervous at the prospect of his livelihood being taken away. Enter Peppy Miller, a dancer who conversely is set to hit the big time. The film follows these two as they live through the early days of the talkies.

The Guardian film critic Peter Bradshaw said “Everything about ‘The Artist’ comes as close to perfection as I have ever seen,” and The New York Times called it “an irresistible reminder of nearly everything that makes the movies great.”

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (15)

Action / 95 / English

Nicolas Cage (played by puppeteer Glen Soziak) returns as Johnny Blaze in “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.”

After 17-year-old Johnny Blaze was approached by the devil and offered a deal to save his father’s life, the Ghost Rider was born.

At the end of the first installment in what is likely to become a trilogy, Johnny gets the chance to relinquish his power but refuses, instead choosing to keep it and use it for good.

Cursed, Johnny hides out in Eastern Europe until a young boy needs to be saved from the devil. Sooner or later Johnny’s skull turns into a flaming ball of brimstone and he rides off to kick some demonic ass.

Eva Mendes doesn’t return as Roxanne but is replaced in the attractive woman role by Italian Violante Placido.

The trailer is full, as you might expect, of fire and brimstone-type explosions where the flaming-skulled antihero sends sinners to hell. And if that isn’t enough he pees a fire stream and it’s in 3D.
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