2012.8.3 NOW Playing
Romance, Comedy / 123 / Korean
Quite an unusual film has appeared on the silver screen. Rather than searching what is the latest “it” lipstick and slimming down her weight with incessant dieting in order to catch her man’s heart, the heroine of this movie is trying to fatten up by drinking loads of milkshakes and devouring ramen noodles and fried foods as if her life depended on them.
This is the story of top model Do Ah-ra (Lee So-jeong), who after hearing from a fortune teller that her crush prefers chubby women, decides to put on excess weight and risk her high-flying career. This movie makes the audience reflect back to the lead in the hit comedy “200-Pound Beauty” (2006), where the protagonist undergoes full-body plastic surgery and liposuction both for herself and her man.
As society becomes more superficial, “Chubby Revolution” attempts to address the issue of fixating on appearances. The movie is indeed about the ups and downs of the process of gaining weight, but it is also the director’s way of addressing the social prejudice against plus-size women with humor. The director, Min Doo-sik, who debuted with the teen film “Jungle Fish 2” (2011) based on the TV series of the same name, added that he wanted to deliver the story and alert people of this social phenomenon. With such an unique plot, the movie piques curiosity among many, especially female, audiences.
Comedy, Drama, Musical / 123 / English
A former dancer and physical comedy choreographer, Adam Shakman, has adopted the rock jukebox Broadway musical “Rock of Ages” into a big- screen feature.
Set in the 1980s of skin-hugging leather, acid-washed denim and puffed hair, the plot centers on the romance between a small-town girl Sherrie (Julianne Hough) and city boy Drew (Diego Boneta) who dream of making it big in Hollywood. Their love, however, faces challenges as Sherrie struggles to stay sensible in the excessive rock ’n’ roll scene and finds herself attracted instead to rock star Stacee Jaxx (Tom Cruise).
Audience will be hit with nostalgia for the past as this rock ’n’ roll love story is told through the past hits of Whitesnake, Bon Jovi, Poision, Twisted Sister and many more.
The reception from viewers has been mixed, but the performance of Cruise as a wacky rock star is sure to entertain.
Comedy, Drama / 110 / English
Starring heartthrobs with chiseled abs - Channing Tatum, Matthew McConaughey, Alex Pettyfer, Matt Bomer and Manganiello - “Magic Mike” is sure to attract a slew of female viewers for no other reason than the cast itself.
Inspired by Tatum’s own real-life experiences prior to his acting debut, the story follows “Magic Mike” (Tatum), an experienced stripper who takes an inexperienced dancer, “The Kid” (Pettyfer), under his wing. Mike teaches his new prodigy the art of stripping while also teaching him how to party, make a quick buck and pick up women.
The movie delves into the world of male stripping and sheds light on some surprising aspects about the nightclub scene. The reviews and reception of the film have been mixed, mostly due to the nature of its subject matter. Though the plot is about male erotic dancers, this film is much more - it is a story about ambition, friendship, loyalty and love. Clearly a “guilty pleasure” film, it is energetic, emotional, humorous and fulfills its promise to titillate.
The athletic dance numbers, inventive choreography and superb acting have been critically acclaimed (and howled at by giddy audience).
While some appreciate the raunchy, exotic moves others will be disappointed by the movie’s in-you-face indecency.
However, the film does not pretend to be something that it’s not and if you are in the mood for an entertaining chick flick, you certainly will not be disappointed.
We Need to Talk About Kevin (19)
Drama, Thriller / 112 / English
A suspenseful psychological thriller adapted from Lionel Shriver’s novel of the same name, “We Need to Talk About Kevin” is about a mother’s struggle to love her disturbed and increasingly violent son.
After a certain “incident” involving her son Kevin, Eva retreats into a solitary life, away from hostile neighbors, and looks back at her memories and struggles as the mother of an increasingly violent and psychopathic son. The film follows Eva’s flashbacks into Kevin’s disturbing early childhood behavior that progresses into a violent adolescence and her internal conflicts about her culpability as a mother. The film not only explores the mother-son relationship, but delves into nature versus nurture.
Haunting and deeply emotional, “We Need to Talk About Kevin” questions innate good and evil and aims to humanize those considered “unforgivable.” However, the film has been criticized for being too fragmented and unnecessarily unsettling. But it certainly delivers its promise of being bone chillingly disturbing. Swinton’s superb performance deserves applause as she perfectly channels the psychological distress of a woman who faces a mother’s worst nightmare.
The Thieves (15)
Action, Drama / 135 / Korean
“The Thieves” is the upcoming summer blockbuster directed by critically acclaimed director Choi Dong-hun who had also led “Tazza: The High Rollers” (2006) and “The Big Swindle” (2004).
The plot centers around a gang of thieves called in by a legendary thief Macao Park (Kim Yoon-seok) to Macau in order to steal a rare blue diamond worth $20 million. The gang works in partnership with a group of Hong Kong thieves, but they all have their own agenda to keep the diamond for themselves. No one knows who will succeed in capturing the treasured gem and live to see another day.
The film has been highly anticipated as it stars some of the biggest names in Korean cinema, including Kim Hye-su, Lee Jung-jae and Jeon-ji hyun, as well as Hong Kong stars Angelica Lee and Simon Yam. “The Thieves” has been compared to Hollywood blockbuster “Ocean’s Eleven” (2001) in that both involve a showcase of high-profile actors and grand theft, yet director Choi believes that whereas the gang members in “Ocean’s Eleven” work in harmony, the gang members in “The Thieves” crave individual achievement and the action featured in the Korean version is invested with more emotion.
Mystery, Thriller / 86 / Korean
“Two Moons” is directed by Kim Dong-bin, who has directed such horror films as “The Ring Virus”(1999). Park Han-byul stars as So-hee in “Two Moons” and has experience in the horror films “Whispering Corridors 3: Wishing Stairs”(2003) and “Yoga School” (2009).
Blood and hair-raising sounds replaced by a solid storyline and atmospheric synesthesia to the characters, “Two Moons” is sure be a perfect chiller for a scorcher of a summer.