2012.11.23 NOW Playing
Drama / 100 / Korean
Based on a true story, this movie by Yoon Hak-ryeol tells the story of Kim Woo-soo, an orphan who lived off a tiny salary he earned from delivering Chinese food. Despite living in a single room and being extremely poor himself, Kim financially supported children in need. In 2011, Kim died after being struck by a car while making a delivery. Although he was immediately transferred to a nearby hospital, he died two days later. Kim’s good deeds came to light after his death at age 54.
Everything started when Kim was sentenced to a year in prison for attempted arson. Six months before he was due to be released, he found a pamphlet “Apple Tree” published by the Green Umbrella Children’s Foundation that said people should help each other even through their own hardships. That was when Kim started to donate 30,000 won ($27.60) every month to the children’s foundation. Later it was revealed that Kim had taken out a life insurance policy worth 40 million won that would be donated to the foundation. He had also signed up to be an organ donor.
Kim is played by actor Choi Soo-jong, who is returning to the silver screen after an 18-year hiatus.
Half Nelson (19)
Drama / 106 / English
Dan (Ryan Gosling) is a history teacher and a girls basketball coach at a junior high school in Brooklyn, New York. He goes against much of the conventional model of a teacher. His teaching style is one that is based on dialects, rejecting the standard curriculum of teaching history.
And despite being dynamic, smart and in control of the classroom, outside the walls of school it’s another story as Dan struggles with cocaine addiction.
When one of his students, 13-year-old Drey (Shareeka Epps) catches Dan smoking crack in the bathroom after school one day, Drey and Dan discover something unexpected about each other.
Drey herself is wrestling with the negligence of a workaholic single mother, an absent father and a brother is in prison for dealing drugs.
Drey and Dan start to build a friendship based on understanding each others’ struggles and guiding one another to cope with the problems with which they themselves have trouble. The movie’s title is a metaphor for a wrestling hold for which it is difficult to escape. Similarly, the movie is about struggle and overcoming it no matter how tough it may be. “Half Nelson” is a 2006 American drama film directed by Ryan Fleck, in theaters now.
Drama, Mystery / 101 / English
If you can’t get enough of Ryan Gosling, you’re in luck because here is another movie out for you.
Inspired by the most notorious unsolved missing person case in New York history involving the accused bizarre real estate heir Robert Durst, “All Good Things” is a love story and murder mystery. Set in the early 1970s, David Marks (Gosling) is the son of a powerful real estate tycoon. He meets a younger working-class student Katie McCarthy (Kirsten Dunst) and together they flee the hustle and bustle of New York to settle in Vermont.
However, David, the oldest son and the heir to his father’s business is lured back to New York. Upon their return, many changes occur. David’s constant mood swings and unwillingness to have children shock Katie and lead to her abortion. She eventually enters medical school and becomes more independent, while she and David grow further apart. As Katie sensed the aftereffects of a relationship gone sour, she alerts her close friends about a looming danger to her safety until one night she goes missing, and David is left as the prime suspect in her disappearance.
Thriller, Action / 104 / Danish
“ID:A” is a stylish Danish thriller.
A young woman (Tuva Novotny) wakes up in a river located in rural France with no recollection of how she got there. She is left wounded with a sack full of cash and a small handgun. She finds refuge in a hotel in a nearby small village and tries to recover her memories with the help of a local man.
She adopts the name Aliena and discovers, by way of her accent, that she is possibly Danish. Aware that she is being followed by several strange men, Aliena feels her life is being threatened and decides she needs to escape fast. She is determined to find her identity again and heads to Denmark.
After overhearing a recording sung by an opera singer named Just Ore, Aliena slowly begins to put together the pieces of her complicated past. Can she trust those who say they are her confidants? Who is the real Aliena? Will she eventually overcome her amnesia?
Action/Drama / 88 / English
Car chases with guns and explosions and an excess of loud noise, “Transit” is your typical action film. The Sidwell family started off their annual camping trip like everything was normal. But when they were hunted down by a group of violent bank robbers, their lives would never be the same again. The robbery puts their family values to the ultimate test and their survival depends very much on trust, cooperation and love for one another. The Sidwell family members already have their fill of personal drama, but now the picture is so much bigger. How far will the criminals go to steal their money?
“Transit” is a story about getting revenge on criminals while putting strain on the relationships of loved ones. At times, the scenes are repetitive and seem retard the progress of the plot. Although the action scenes are not overdone, it appears as though they act as time-fillers rather than actually contributing to the plot in any substantive way. So if you are after action-packed car chases, then this is the film for you. But do not expect a thought-provoking story.
Drama / 99 / Icelandic with English subtitles
Described as “mature and emotionally devastating,” this film is bound to make you reassess your life and relationships. “Eldfjall,” an original title of “Volcano,” was a huge success at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.
It is a story about a sad and bitter 67-year-old man who is at a crucial turning point in his life. Hannes and his wife have an oddly unique marriage that was drained of love over years of neglect.
But when drastic and life-changing events occur, Hannes has no choice but to adjust his old habits.
From the award winning director, Runar Runarsson, “Volcano” is full of stunning landscape shots of coastal and mountainous Iceland.
The characters are all deep and meaningful and sometimes hard to understand. But if you persist, this film will grab you in the end as Hannes re-discovers his romantic passion. Initially, this film does not appear to be a love story. But romantic realism is symbolically layered throughout the storyline, a nice and subtle touch.