2012.7.6 NOW PLAYING
Thriller / 109 / Korean
“Deranged” is a thriller centered on an epidemic of drowning in Korea. Jae-hyuk (Kim Myeong-min) is a pharmaceutical worker for a medical supplies company. When a series of bodies are found floating in the Han River, the public discovers that the deaths are related to a mortal outbreak of virus-infected mutant parasitic horsehair worms called Yeongashi that are capable of controlling the human brain.
The reason why the bodies were found in the river was that those who were infected with the virus acquired symptoms of hunger and thirst and jumped into the water to fight the extreme dehydration. Jae-hyuk sets out to find the antidote for the virus with his brother, Detective Jae-pil (Kim Dong-wan), and comes across some disturbing information that leads him to uncover a conspiracy behind the outbreak.
Written and directed by distinguished comedy screenwriter Park Jeong-woo of “Attack the Gas Station!” (1999), “Kick the Moon” (2001) and “Big Bang” (2007), “Deranged” is a story of a man who is desperate to find a cure to save his infected family and prevent the spread of the horrid virus.
Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller / 95 / English
“The Cabin in the Woods” is a horror parody that follows the age-old story of the genre: five teenagers decide to spend a weekend at a secluded cabin in the woods where things, of course, go terribly wrong. However, the film is not just another horror spoof; the movie is full of unexpected twists and plays on the popular cliches of the genre to deliver a horrifyingly hilarious, smart film.
The story follows the college friends - played by popular faces including Chris Hemsworth, Kristen Connolly and Jesse Williams - as they try to enjoy a weekend getaway. However, it’s not long before they discover the hidden secrets of the house and realize they are not alone - in fact, they are being watched.
Together, veteran writer Josh Whedon and director Drew Goddard put an inventive spin on the horror genre, packing the film with familiar movie monsters, mythological gods and superheroes. While some fans have not taken to the film’s over-the-top composite of genres, characters and gore, others have appreciated the approach. However, critics and fans alike have praised the film’s clever script and its satirical deconstruction of the horror genre.
Mystery, Thriller / 110 / English
Set in 19th-century Baltimore, “The Raven” is a fictionalized story of the last days of renowned American poet and author Edgar Allen Poe and his hunt for a serial killer whose murders reflect those of his stories. John Cusack plays Poe who, as time went by, has become a social outcast and a broke drunkard whose written pieces have not been circulated for a while.
When Poe is brought in to see Inspector Emmett Fields, he discovers that someone is using his stories as an inspiration for the horrific murders.
As the pursuit intensifies by the minute, Poe’s own love, Emily Hamilton (Alice Eve), becomes the main target for the killer. While the plot of the film is fictional, the writers based it on some of the true accounts that surrounded Poe’s mysterious death. The movie has received rave reviews from viewers who have praised the story’s compelling imagination and the actors’ high-quality performances.
Romance, Fantasy, Comedy / 94 / English
After London, Barcelona and Rome, Woody Allen has returned with another cinematic treat. Eponymously set in nocturnal Paris, Allen’s serenade to his beloved City of Light is a time-traveling, escapist fantasy in which Allen’s film stand-in Gil (Owen Wilson), a wide-eyed Hollywood screenwriter, journeys to the Golden Twenties and meets the cohort of the Lost Generation and further to la Belle Epoque and meets with Toulouse-Lautrec, Degas and Gaugin at the Moulin Rouge.
The opening montage from Giverny’s impressionist water lily pond to the cobbled-stoned streets of Montmartre sets the romantic tone from the start with Django Reinhardt gently playing in the background, swelling the hearts of Francophiles all over with barely-containable excitement.
The protagonist, who has a reverent respect for the high culture, is misunderstood and feels out of place in the company of his yuppie fiancee Inez (Rachel McAdams) and her neoliberal parents. When asked to join Inez’s even more pretentious friends, Gil, who is deeply suspicious of intellectual snobbery, saunters off alone into the Paris night streets.
When the bell of the nearby cathedral signals midnight, he is swept off in a vintage Peugeot to a jazz-flowing, flappers-replete fete to join his literary heros Gertrude Stein, Hemingway, Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald and Djuna Barnes, along with Cole Porter, and their European peers Picasso, Dali and Bunuel.
Gil relishes in the dream-like refuge from the post-9/11 America and yearns for his nightly escape to the ’20s literary expatriate community in Paris.
Filtered through the innocent imagination of a young writer, Paris that Allen portrays inspires nostalgia for the past audience has not lived.
While satirically poking fun at the hopeless idealism of his younger self, through “Midnight in Paris,” Allen shows that you can be both romantic and astutely ironic.
Wuthering Heights (15)
Romance, Drama / 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. Even 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 have been 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 wonder 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.