2012.6.1 NOW Playing

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2012.6.1 NOW Playing


In Another Country (19)

Drama / 89 / Korean

French actress Isabelle Huppert, one of four women to have won two Best Actress awards at the Cannes Film Festival, starred this time in Korean movie “In Another Country” (2012) directed by Hong Sang-soo.

The director of “Virgin Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors” (2000) and “The Day He Arrives” (2011) has now had his films featured at the Cannes festival eight times.

The movie centers on a young film student, Won-ju (Jung Yoo-mi), and her mother, Park Sook (Yoon Yeo-jeong), who run away to a small seaside town called Mohang, where they escape from mounting debts.

While relaxing in the peaceful environment, Won-ju writes a script in which three “charming” French women all named Anne visit the town of Mohang. The first Anne is a successful film director; the second is a married woman secretly in an affair with a Korean man; and the third is a divorced woman whose husband left for a Korean woman.

Each Anne in the script stays at a small hotel with the assistance of the owner’s daughter and meets a lifeguard (Yoo Jun-sang), who often wanders around the beach near the hotel.


Children of Heaven (12)

Drama / 100 / Korean

“Children of Heaven” (2012) was directed by Park Heung-sik, who has a strong reputation for producing heart-touching films, as shown in his movies “I Wish I Had a Wife” (2000) and “My Mother The Mermaid” (2004). In his latest film, Park again puts forth an emotional story, this time at a middle school where a temporary teacher is called on to take care of troubled students.

This movie attracts special attention as its production was funded by the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education. It raises awareness of the issues teenagers often face, such as school violence. In the movie Yoo-jin (You Da-in), the temporary teacher, leads a group of troubled students including Jung-hoon (Park Ji-bin), who was kicked off the soccer team for violent behavior, and Sung-ah (Kim Bo-ra), who smokes cigarettes on the street, to create a musical group and perform in the up-coming talent show.

The musical training gives the students confidence as they gain a sense of accomplishment that they have never felt before. Despite the troubles the students cause and their negative influence at school, the movie shows sympathy toward the teenagers and turns the perspective around to educate the school system to build a friendly environment that encourages support.

Park said that the expected typical story line was avoided. Although the message the movie ultimately conveys to the audience might seem typical, the individuality of this film is separates it from other teen movies as it approaches the students and sympathetically.


Blue Valentine (19)

Drama, Romance / 114 / English

Starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams, “Blue Valentine” was quick to excite and draw much attention from many fans of romantic films with much anticipation for the likes of “My Week with Marilyn” (2011), “Crazy, Stupid, Love” (2011) and “The Notebook” (2004).

They were seriously misled as the romantic drama film directed by Derek Cianfrance turned out to be a heart-wrenching tale of a dissolution of marriage that shifts back and forth in time from the sweet beginnings of their courtship through desperate and futile acts to salvage the long-gone love and finally to the bitter, heartrending end.

This critically-acclaimed Independent film evokes strong emotions and memories of loss of love and family as it moves slowly through an intense, doomed relationship. The movie is shot in Super 16mm and Red One to contrast, rather artistically, the pre-conjugal bliss and post-marital devastation. The acting by Gosling and Williams is also superb demanding the premier screening honor at the Sundance Film Festival and many accolades for best actor and actress at many award ceremonies including the Academy Awards for Williams. The movie starts off peacefully with Dean (Gosling) playing with his young daughter in search of a house dog and also a rather aloof mother Cindy (Williams) at the breakfast scene. The movie takes several trips to the past in series of flashback that reveal complications arising from their matrimony and past relationships. The two take a trip away to rekindle their passion hoping to keep the marriage together .?.?.

The movie is not an easy watch as it trudges along heavy emotional experience but is sure to invoke rare intensity that leaves you engaged and well-warned with its cautionary tale of love gone wrong.


Men in Black 3 (12)

Sci-fi, Comedy / 106 / English

Agents J (Will Smith) and K (Tommy Lee Jones) have to save the planet again, but this time they’re traveling back in time to the 1960s. Their particular task is to save a younger version of Agent K (Josh Brolin) from being rubbed out of history by extraterrestrials. Reviews are mixed. Critics have been especially delighted with Brolin’s idiosyncratic rendition of a character 40 years younger than the one made famous by Tommy Lee Jones, as well as Will Smith’s perpetual charisma. Some have scratched their heads at the film’s very existence - 10 years after the last installment in a franchise that is now showing its age - and comment that the jokes and screenplay, though decent enough, feel a little lifeless. Nonetheless, the film remains true to series’ big, cartoony spirit and merits a watch for those who appreciate that.

Machine Gun Preacher (15)

Action, Drama / 123 / English

AScottish heartthrob Gerard Butler stars in this 2011 biopic film “Machine Gun Preacher” about Sam Childers, a biking preacher-defender of orphans in Africa. At the helm is talented German-Swiss director-screenwriter Marc Forster who has brought to life many thought-provoking films like “The Kite Runner” (2007) and “Stranger than Fiction” (2006) as well as Hollywood blockbusters like “Monster’s Ball” (2001) and the 22 Bond film, “Quantum of Solace” (2008). The film is adapted from Childers’ memoir “Another Man’s War” and largely follows the footsteps taken by Childers himself. Sam Childers, an alcoholic drug-using biker with a stripper wife, is recently released from prison and goes through a major transformation which leaves him a devout Christian. Upon taking a missionary trip to Uganda and Sudan to build homes for refugees and offer medical help in the war zone as part of his new calling as a Christian, he learns of the terrible predicament in which Sudanese children find themselves as they sleep outside huddled around a building of a relief station, far away from their own village at their parents’ urging because of the dire safety issues posed by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). That evening, LRA promptly burns down the village and brutally murders many civilians.
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