2012.9.14 NOW Playing

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2012.9.14 NOW Playing


Gwanghae (15)

Historical Drama / 131 / Korean

The 15th ruler of Korea’s Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), King Gwanghae (Lee Byung-hun), is constantly put at risk of assassination. So he orders his councilor Heo-gyun (Ryoo Seung-ryong) to find him a double in order to avoid death. Heo-gyun finds Ha-sun, also played by Lee, a poor acrobat and relentless joker who looks like the King.

As predicted, Gwanghae is poisoned and Ha-sun is persuaded to take the role of the king until the real one recovers. As Ha-sun is more compassionate than Gwanghae, the affection and appreciation he shows toward the youngest servants does much to improve the morale in the palace.

After a while, Gwanghae’s double takes control of the nation with real insight and fair judgment. Even the councilor is amazed by Ha-sun and is ultimately convinced that he is a better leader than Gwanghae after realizing that Ha-sun is genuinely concerned for the people. Meanwhile, the king’s main opposition, Park Chung-seo (Kim Myung-gon) notices the sudden changes in the king’s behavior and investigates.

The movie is directed by Choo Chang-min, whose other acclaimed works include “Mapado” (2005) and “Lost in Love” (2006), and written by Hwang Jo-yoon, who co-wrote the winner of the 57th Cannes Film Festival’s Grand Prix, “Old Boy” (2003).


Starbuck (15)

Comedy /103 / French

It would be shocking enough to suddenly realize you have a child, but what if you were told you had hundreds of children and many of them wanted to reveal your identity?

This is the mess 42-year-old slacker David (Patrick Huard) has gotten himself into, still living the life of an irresponsible adolescent in the new Canadian comedy “Starbuck,” which premiered yesterday in Korea.

With the news of his girlfriend’s pregnancy, a dead-end job and an overdue loan from a gang, David is finally determined to get his life back together. His path to maturity gets bumpy, however, when David’s past resurfaces.

David discovers he is a sperm bank legend, having fathered 533 children, of whom 142 have filed a class action lawsuit to identify him as their biological father under the pseudonym Starbuck.

David then opts to take the matter into his own hands, deciding to become a covert guardian angel to his children, visiting them one by one. “Starbuck” has been acknowledged as the most successful Quebec-made movie within the province in 2011.

If you feel intimidated by French, you can wait for the much anticipated Hollywood remake, starring Vince Vaughn as David.


The Tree (12)

Drama, Romance / 100 / English

Based on the novel “Our Father Who Art in the Tree” written by a renowned Australian author Judy Pacoe, “The Tree,” or “L’Arbre,” is a joint French and Australian production.

Trying to cope with the sudden death of her husband, Dawn (Charlotte Gainsbourg) is burdened with raising four children alone.

Eight-year-old Simone (Morgana Davies), who believes she was her father’s favorite, is convinced that she hears her father whispering through the massive tree next to the house.

Dawn, aware of Simone’s belief, finds solace in her imagination and starts to believe in it herself. The tree strengthens the two, but is soon threatened by Dawn’s growing relationship with the local plumber, George (Marton Csokas).

At the same time, the tree’s enormous roots slowly begin to encroach on the house’s foundation and plumbing even onto a neighbor’s property, who demand the tree be chopped down.

Is the tree spirit therapeutic that will help the family move on or is it a an obsession that can harm the family?

“The Tree” is a mellow story of a family coming to terms with the loss and moving on but by no means without light moments. You can look forward to unforgettable acting by Morgana Davies, an award winner for outstanding performance by the Film Critics Circle of Australia for her role as Simone.


El Bulli: Cooking in Progress (15)

Documentary / 108 / Spanish

Get your taste buds rolling as you take a look inside the cooking laboratory in Barcelona, Spain, where innovation and creativity goes beyond taste.

Spanish chef Ferran Adria is known as the best, most innovative and craziest cook in the world. He closes his three Michelin star restaurant, El Bulli, for six months every year to prepare the menu for the next season with his culinary team.

German director Gereon Wetzel goes behind the scenes to explore the process of creating the culinary art, the strenuous effort that is put forth and approaches to perfecting a cuisine that merges with conceptual art that makes El Bulli’s food good for the eyes and mouth.

Not until the end, however, is the audience presented with the eccentric yet luscious artwork of the chosen dishes.

Film Threat calls the documentary “an inside look at something very few have ever had the pleasure of experiencing.” The film is not merely about the creation of new menu with the yummy factor, but detailed study of food as avant-garde art.

“El Bulli: Cooking in Progress” offers an in-depth view at one of the most highly regarded restaurants, and the research and experimentation that takes to prepare a 30-course menu for that striking first bite.

Love Never Dies (12)

Musical, Drama, Romance / 121 / English

If you’ve experienced the magic of the famous romantic musical “The Phantom of the Opera,” you don’t want to miss the action of this successful sequel, “Love Never Dies,” also composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber. He began working on the musical in 1990, but it was not until 2007 that he began to write the music.

Ten years following his vanishing without a trace at the Paris Opera House, the Phantom (Ben Lewis) invites a renowned soprano Christine Daae (Anna O’Byrne) to his new vivacious amusement resort in Coney Island.

Christine shows up with her husband and children to enter the world of phantom once again.

The night is full of unexpected events, as Christine is left puzzled after the Phantom professes his everlasting love for her while Raoul (Simon Gleeson) fights to keep her and Meg Giry’s (Sharon Millerchip) secret love for the Phantom is revealed.

The Phantom presents a new song titled “Love Never Dies” to Christine, giving her an ultimatum. The choice is up to her - perform the song on stage and accept the Phantom’s love or leave the stage to continue her life with Raoul.

One movie critic praised the film for featuring a spectacular opening, scenery, costumes, lighting and acting by the two leads. You can revel in the striking musical performance and wait in suspense for the love story to unfold before your eyes.

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