2012.6.29 NOW Playing

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2012.6.29 NOW Playing


Two Weddings and a Funeral (15)

Comedy / 106 / Korean

It still takes courage to make a statement about homosexual marriage through public media today in Korean society.

For director Kim Jo Gwang-su who dared to declare himself homosexual, it is a different story.

He comes back to face the world with his fourth LGBT-themed film, “Two Weddings and a Funeral.” The plot of his new film revolves around Min-su, a homosexual man whose parents keep bugging him to find a woman to marry, offers a deal to a homosexual woman, Hyo-jin, to have a “fake marriage.” Hyo-jin who wants to adopt a child accepts the offer.

While feigning a happy marriage to others, they each have their lovers next door. Their fake marriage goes quite smoothly until Min-su’s parents started to make unexpected visits to their house.

The film removes the prejudice that all homosexual-themed films are dark and heavy. While conveying the core message about homosexual marriage, the film draws the dark reality from bright and honest perspective.

Will this film pave the way for the society to change their look on those who are born with a different sexual orientation? Will this be an opportunity for those to gain hope and courage in facing harsh reality?

Comedy King (15)

Comedy / 118 / Korean

If you are sick of feeling helpless in achieving your life goals in this harsh society, do not look any further and follow the guidance of Heo Go-soo (Sung Dong-il), the legendary master of flattery, and use this skill of flattery to get what you want. This is exactly what Dong-sik (Song Sae-byeok) does, a stiff insurance worker, who with the aid of Heo becomes the king of insurance salesmen.

Dong-sik is an ordinary man who works at an insurance company. As his relationship with his girlfriend goes kaput and his father is being chased by a loan shark, Dong-sik is in grave need of a good energizer.

One day, this naive worker meets the master of flattery, and the rest is history. With actors such as Song and Sung, who are widely known for their comical roles in a number of previous movies, viewers have no doubt that they will spend two hours of utter merriment in front of the silver screen. “Comedy King” is directed by Jeong Seung-koo, who was formerly an assistant director of “Secret Sunshine” (2007), which won an award at the Cannes Film Festival. This is the directorial debut of Jeong and strives to send out a message to the audience that this movie is not merely a light comedy but a bitter satire about the current state of Korean society.


The Concubine (19)

Romance, Drama / 122 / Korean

Following her steamy romantic scenes from the movie “The Servant” (2010), actress Jo Yeo-jeong has starred in yet another period film, “The Concubine,” directed by Kim Dae-seung. Kim began his career on the silver screen as the protege of legendary Korean director Im Kwon-taek, serving as assistant director for films including “Seopyeonje” (1993) and “The Taebaek Mountains” (1994) before making his debut with his own features such as “Bungee Jumping of Their Own” (2000) and “Blood Rain” (2005), which have been screened at international film festivals in Tokyo, Seattle, Brisbane and Montreal.

“The Concubine” is an erotic historical film set in the Joseon Dynasty. It centers around Hwa-yeon (Jo Yeo-jeong), who decides to enter the royal palace as one of the king’s concubines in order to escape poverty, Kwon-yoo (Kim Min-jun), a man torn between love and revenge, and King Seong-won (Kim Dong-wook), who has his heart set on Hwa-yeon despite the countless women available to him. These three characters form a love triangle which is ruled by dangerous passion. The struggle to survive within the tight-spaced boundaries of the palace is intense, and only those who are strong enough to overcome the hell-like milieu can survive. Viewers have praised the film for its in-depth depiction of love and the striking imagery of ardor between the characters. Overall, “The Concubine” is a film devoted to the vivacity and intimacy of love that, at the end of the day, we all desire.


Wuthering Heights (15)

Drama, Romance / 129 / English

Starring Kaya Scodelario and James Howson, director Andrea Arnold’s 2011 film adaptation of the 1846 novel by Emily Bronte is only one of 14 stage and screen adaptations made over the years. Indeed there have been many variations of Bronte’s only published work, but most are set within ranges of the purists-satiating, dialogue-heavy BBC versions, typical of Merchant-Ivory films. In contrast, Arnold’s take on the English classic is safely described as avant-garde and bullishly bold - making it, perhaps, unrecognizable to even Bronte herself. The lack of background music and shooting in hand-held camera are only the surface of what is iconoclastic about this film.

For the role of Heathcliff, a black actor was cast highlighting the character’s status as a second-class citizen in the film with his race rather than social status. With lines uttered that are so outside the bounds of what may be expected of the popular gothic novel, the film is enough to enrage the purists out of the theater.

While unusual and bizarre, Arnold at the helm may be exactly what Bronte’s “Wuthering Heights” needed. The English classic is unusually raw and intense in material and setting compared to works by fellow great female English novelists of her time - Charlotte Bronte, her sister, and Jane Austen.

It is worthy of consideration to evaluate if Arnold’s distinctive approach of the grim tale of the all-consuming, tumultuous and ultimately doomed love set in the harsh and isolated Yorkshire moors is just what the novel has been waiting for.


Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (All)

Comedy, Kids / 93 / English

Alex the lion, Marty the zebra, Gloria the hippo and Melman the giraffe are still struggling to get back to their beloved New York City - along with the penguins and chimpanzees. Now stranded in Europe, they go undercover as a traveling circus in Monte Carlo while dodging the captain of the local animal control unit.

Though this is the third installation in the animated series, it is the first in 3-D. Voices are performed by an all-star cast that includes Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith, Sacha Baron Cohen and Martin Short.

Critical reception has been fair to middling, with a score of 76 percent on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. While some have knocked the functional plot and hyperglycemic level of eye candy so native to kid flicks today, others have called “Madagascar 3” the best in the series, praising its wit and stunts. The kids will probably love it, and the parents won’t find it half bad either.
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