2013.1.28 NOW PLAYINGA Gift from Room 7 (15)
Comedy / 127 / Korean
“A Gift from Room 7” centers around a mentally challenged man, Yong-gu (Ryu Seung-ryong), who is wrongly convicted of murdering a child while purchasing a gift for his beloved daughter Ye-seung (Gal So-won).
He is thrown into a cell called “Room 7” in a maximum-security prison where a group of notorious criminals reside.
The prisoners are dumbfounded by Yong-gu, who acts like a 6-year-old child. As time passes, they start to become accustomed to his pureness and take care of him.
His cellmates come to learn that Yong-gu is the “father” of a lovely little girl, Ye-seung (Gal So-won). However, it is impossible to meet his little daughter, due to strict prison rules . Yong-gu keeps telling his new friends that he wants to meet her.
His fellow companions decide to help Yong-gu out by bringing Ye-seung into the cell.
This very human comedy, directed by Lee Hwan-kyung, is a warm-hearted adventure. The movie portrays the world that director Lee dreams of and the dedicated fatherhood ingrained in Yong-gu. In addition, Park Shin-hye took the role of adult Ye-seung, and there are many other supporting actors such as Oh Dal-su, Park Won-sang, Kim Jung-tae and Jeong Man-sik that inject comical twists into the human drama.
Crime / 95 / English
If you’re on a date, there are certain movies that should definitely be avoided. “Deadfall,” a 2012 crime drama film directed by Stefan Ruzowitzky, is one such film. Starring Eric Bana, Olivia Wilde and Charlie Hunnam, it’s a cold and bleak thriller with plenty of twists and turns, but little in the way of sunny escapist entertainment.
Addison (Bana) and Liza (Wilde) run away after a bungled casino heist. The two make a run for the Canadian border in the middle of a blizzard after their driver and a state trooper die in a crash.
Ex-con Jay (Hunnam) is let out of prison and calls his parents to say he will be home this year for Thanksgiving. Jay meets with his former boxing coach and demands money owed to him. In an ensuing tussle, Jay seriously injures his former coach. Thinking he has killed him and will return to jail, Jay flees the scene.
Eventually, Jay finds Liza on the side of the road and the two make their way to his family’s Thanksgiving dinner together. Liza and Addison have an unlikely reunion there that will test their loyalty toward one another.
While it received mixed reviews upon its U.S. release last year, Robert Levi from AM New York gave it high praise, describing Deadfall as “a rare modern genre piece that doesn’t shy away from being impossibly bleak and downbeat.”
Horror / 100 / English
In 2008, Jeffrey (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) kills his business partners and wife before driving away with his young daughters Victoria and Lilly.
His car slides off an icy road and crashes.
Surviving the crash, Jeffrey takes the children into an abandoned cabin, where he prepares a fire.
Just as he is about to kill one of his daughters, an ominous figure pushes him out the door. The film revolves around who - or what - pushed him away.
Five years later, Annabel and Jeffrey’s brother, Lucas, are faced with the challenge of raising his young nieces who are believed to have been surviving in the cabin, until they mention “mama.”
Mama is cowritten and directed by Andres Muschietti and stars Jessica
Chastain, who’s currently up for a Best Actress Oscar for her powerful role in “Zero Dark Thirty.”
Add cult figure Guillermo del Toro serving as executive producer and you have a recipe for a gratifying, if predictable, genre flick.
The film has received decent reviews and guarantees a good time for fans of the genre.
Rotten Tomatoes summed it up with “if you’re into old school scares over cheap gore, you’ll be able to get over Mama’s confusing script and contrived plot devices.”
Dragon Hunters (All)
Animation / 82 / French, Korean (dubbed)
Originally titled “Chasseurs de Dragons,” this 2008 computer-animated fantasy film is based on the French TV series “Dragon Hunter.”
In the lands of Lord Arnold, disaster is about to strike as the mythical dragon World Gobbler’s return approaches.
Lord Arnold was once a brave warrior who frequently did battle with the fearsome dragon that terrorizes and destroys everything and anyone in its path. But his feeble condition is no match for the gargantuan beast and no one seems to have the courage to save his homeland except his grand-niece Zoe, who hopes to be a dragon hunter one day.
As if fate had intended it, Zoe meets Lian Chu and a cunning scam artist, Gwizdo, who save her from monsters after she gets lost in a forest. When they take her back to Arnold, bounded by honor and the promise of gold, Lian Chu and Gwizdo find themselves hired by the lord to slay the beast, oblivious to Zoe, who has snuck along on the adventure to live out her dreams of dragon-slaying.
Though the plot is predictable, the stunning visual experience makes the film an unforgettable one.
Dazzling images of cities made up of floating islands and various landmasses suspended in air stand out as characters hop from one city to the next during the film’s battles.
Korean actor Jang Gwang is the voice of Lian Chu, while Park Ji-yoon appears as the voice of Zoe and comedian Kim Ki-ri plays Gwizdo.
Columbus Circle (15)
Thriller, Mystery, Crime / 86 / English
On her 18th birthday, billionaire heiress Abigail (Selma Blair) receives a staggering inheritance from her late father, an affluent industrialist. That same day, Abigail escapes from the probing lenses of the paparazzi to her luxurious penthouse, overlooking Columbus Circle in Manhattan, where she stays for the next 20 years.
One day, Abigail’s elderly neighbor dies under mysterious circumstances, and homicide detective Frank Giardello (Giovanni Ribisi) comes knocking on Abigail’s door looking for answers. This puts her seclusive life in jeopardy as the police begin their investigation.
After things return to normal, new tenants, Lillian (Amy Smart) and Charles (Jason Lee), move in directly across from her unit.
This doesn’t sit well with Abigail, who placed several bids to acquire the whole unit for herself.
In the weeks that follow, Abigail starts to use her peephole to scrutinize her new neighbors’ every move.
And the moment she intervenes in a fight between the couple, her nightmare begins.