2012.8.24 NOW Playing

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2012.8.24 NOW Playing


My Neighbor (19)

Thriller / 115 / Korean

A middle-school girl is brutally murdered by a serial killer. The dead girl’s stepmother, a gangster suspected of the murder, a mysterious man who lives alone and finally the serial killer’s new target all live in the same apartment building.

One by one, the neighbors start to suspect the mysterious guy, who pays hundreds of thousands of won in water bills, orders pizza every day.

The serial killer murders a young girl every 10 day, and as another deadly day approaches, a breathtaking chase between the one who wants to kill the girl and those who are trying to save her begins.

The film is based on the Webtoon of the same name by Kang Pool (Kang Do-young) serialized on portal site Daum in 2008. Kang Pool is one of the most popular cartoonists in Korea and his fifth work is being adapted for film, following “Apartment” (2006), “Ba:Bo” (2008), “Hello Schoolgirl” (2008) and “I Love You” (2011).

“My Neighbor” stars Kim Yun-jin from the ABC television series “Lost” and Kim Sae-ron from “The Man from Nowhere” (2010). Kim Sae-ron also sang the soundtrack of the film herself. The film is filled with vivid supporting roles like Ma Dong-suk, Chun Ho-jin and Lim Ha-ryong, who significantly contribute to imbuing the plot with tension.

The most peculiar characteristic of Kang Pool’s stories is that although they are thrillers, they always stirs people’s emotions. Being one of his major works, “My Neighbor” will be offering both sweat and tears to the audience.


Red Lights (15)

Drama, Thriller, Horror/ 113 / English

Psychologist Margaret Matheson (Sigourney Weaver) and her assistant Tom Buckley (Cillian Murphy) investigate paranormal experiences, debunking them as frauds. After world-renowned psychic Simon Silver (Robert DeNiro) resurfaces, who disappeared years after his toughest critic mysteriously disappeared, Buckley becomes obsessed with exposing him.

In the course of investigating Silver, several unexplainable phenomena happen to Buckley, only increasing his paranoia toward the case and Silver himself.

The film has had lukewarm-to-negative reviews, with critics saying the plot becomes a bit contrived in the second half, especially with the twist upon which movie hinges.

Such a flaw is lamentable, considering that most thrillers rely on the payoff inherent in a mind-blowing revelation, rather than cinematic tricks.

Still, Spanish writer-director Rodrigo Cortes also took the helm for the lauded 2010 thriller “Buried, and fans of that film may find something to love in this genre movie.

It certainly isn’t lacking in talent, and Murphy isn’t a stranger to the spotlight after his international debut in the zombie-apocalypse flick “28 Days Later” and his Golden-Globe-nominated performance as a transgender glam orphan in “Breakfast on Pluto.” DeNiro, Weaver and Murphy can’t cover up the flaws in the film, however enticing the image of DeNiro playing a mad, murderous psychic might be.


5th Quarter (All)

Drama / 90 / English

Based on a true story and events around the Wake Forest football team’s 2006 season, “5th Quarter” is an inspirational story which unveils how success can come from tragedy.

Luke Abbate (Stefan Guy), the younger brother of star football player Jon (Ryan Merriman), dies in a car crash due to irresponsible driving by a fellow student after a high school football practice. Following Luke’s death, two days after hospitalization, the Abbate family decides to donate his organs to be used in a nationwide organ transplant program in which five potential recipients were identified.

In his effort to cope with his brother’s death, Jon thinks about quitting football. He decides he can quit because it is not what his bother, who idolized him, would have wanted. Instead, he changes his jersey number to 5, Luke’s number in high school.

A tradition is developed in honor of Luke as well - Jon raises his hands with all five fingers outstretched to signal his family sitting in section five of the stands. Eventually, both teams and fans do the same, signifying the start of the final quarter, which was later named Luke’s Quarter, or the 5th Quarter.

Despite many trials the team faced, Wake Forest completed its most successful season in school history and the Abbate family established the Luke Abbate 5th Quarter Foundation to increase awareness of the reckless driving.


Janie Jones (15)

Drama / 107 / English

Alessandro Nivola and an Academy Award nominee Abigail Breslin combine their natural musical skills to deliver an endearing performance based on a true story.

Rocker Ethan Brand (Alessandro Nivola) is caught off guard when former-groupie (Elisabeth Shue), headed for rehab, pops in to drop off their 13-year-old daughter, Janie Jones (Abigail Breslin). Struggling to rebuild his career, he is forced to take Janie along on his tour.

With no feel for fatherhood, however, Ethan continues his hardcore rock ’n’ roll ways.

But when an onstage fight with bandmates leaves Ethan to fly solo, he ends up building a relationship with Janie, who is also a singer-songwriter herself.

Director David Rosenthal presents an emotional movie of how one man faces unexpected turns in life as he realizes fatherhood is not only about himself but of shared experience. A deepening relationship between a father and daughter will be touching for many audiences.

Total Recall (15)

Action, Sci-Fi / 121 / English

Starring Colin Farrell and Kate Beckinsale, director Len Wiseman’s 2012 film is a remake of the 1990 film of the same name by Paul Verhoeven, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. While the 1990 film grossed $261 million worldwide, Wiseman’s remake seems to be drawing a more lackluster response from audiences at home and abroad.

Perhaps it is the political overtones or the absence of the trip to Mars that happened in the original - censored possibly due to the successful NASA project to the Red Planet.

But the movie is different from the 1990 version in more ways than one, and not always to its benefit.

In this post-apocalyptic tale following a chemical war that devastated most of the world, a factory worker named Quaid (Farrell) visits a company that implants artificial memory and receives life-changing revelations involving his true identity and those of the beautiful women in his life.

After his rude awakening, assassination attempts and police chases quickly ensue, unfolding a secret plot of a coup of which Quaid was a part.

While the action sequence is impressive and entertaining enough, the film sorely lacks the wry humor or intelligent plot twists of successful sci-fi action films.
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