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2013.2.8 Now Playing

The Etudes of Love (15)

Romance, Comedy / 102 / Korean

Are you looking for something to fend off the cold of this long winter? Here comes a steamy love story.

“The Etudes of Love” tells the story of tumultuous, on-and-off relationships centering around Su-jeong (Jung Da-hye).

Su-jeong, who always dreams of the perfect romance, meets three men during a year. Her boyfriend Sang-cheol (Yeon Je-wook) is a sex-obsessed young man whose mind tilts toward getting Su-jeong in bed. She is disappointed with him and starts a new relationship with Jeong-su (Seo Ji-seok), who seems to be kind and gentle. However, she finally develops feelings for the mysterious landlord Seok-tae (Lee Sang-il).

Sexual elements are softened in most Korean movies, but the film still manages to explore various aspects of the relationships.

The film is the debut feature for Lee Yoon-hyung following his short “A Big Loser Has A Big Gun”(2005)

A Gift from Room 7 (15)

Comedy / 127 / Korean

“A Gift from Room 7” centers around an intellectually disabled 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.

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. 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. 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. This relatable story is certainly worth seeing.

A Good Day to Die Hard (15)

Action / 97 / English

Iconoclastic, reluctant hero cop John McClane (Bruce Willis) finds himself on foreign ground for the first time after traveling to Moscow to help his troubled son Jack (Jai Courtney), unaware that Jack is in reality a highly trained CIA operative intent on preventing a nuclear weapons heist. With Russian gangsters in pursuit, and racing against a countdown to war, the two McClanes discover that it’s their differences that will make them unstoppable heroes.

Six years after successfully restarting the most important character of his long career in Hollywood, Willis sadly has to watch it all crash and burn again with this loud, dumb and yawn-worthy fifth chapter. While its predecessor “Live Free or Die Hard” accomplished a winning mix of old-school heroics with new-age sensibilities, this sequel is firmly stuck in the past. The film does nothing to differentiate itself from the gamut of recent mindless violent fare and is unfortunately another entry in a growing list of less-exciting action flicks this year.

Beasts of the Southern Wild (12)

Drama, Fantasy / 93 / English

An adventurous 6-year-old girl, Hushpuppy (Quvenzhane Wallis) lives with her father Wink (Dwight Henry) in the Bathtub, a fictional southern delta community at the edge of the world. Wink’s tough-love approach to parenting prepares Hushpuppy for the unraveling of the universe; for a time when he’s no longer there to protect her. When Wink contracts a mysterious illness, nature starts going wild, temperatures rise and the ice caps melt, unleashing an army of prehistoric creatures known as aurochs. With waters rising, the aurochs coming and Wink’s health deteriorating, Hushpuppy goes in search of her long-lost mother. “Beasts of the Southern Wild” is a fantastical, emotionally charged journey and makes a strong case for filmmaking that values imagination over profits. Director Benh Zeitlin took a risk in casting untrained actors who had never appeared in a film before, but the risk has clearly paid off in the form of some truly powerful performances. Nominated for four Academy Awards, including best picture, this film is sure to move and exhilarate those who venture to see it.

Monsters, Inc. 3D (All)

Animation, Family / 92 / English

A city of monsters without humans, Monstropolis revolves around the city’s power company named Monsters, Inc. The lovable, confident, tough, furry blue behemoth-like giant monster named Sulley (John Goodman) and his wisecracking best friend Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal) discover what happens when the real world interacts with theirs in the form of a 2-year-old baby girl named Boo, who accidentally sneaks into the monster world with Sulley. It’s then up to Sulley and Mike to send Boo back in her door before anybody finds out, especially the two evil villains Randall (Steve Buscemi) and Mr. Waternoose (James Coburn), the chairman and chief executive officer of Monsters, Inc. Mary Gibbs, who plays Boo, was so young that it proved difficult to get her to stand in the recording studio and act her lines. Instead, they simply followed her around with a microphone and cut Boo’s lines together from the things she said while she played. With the film now in 3-D, the filmmakers have created a wonderful reality - the reality of Monstropolis whisks us far, far away on a magic carpet ride of fantasy. If anything, this classic children’s film has improved with age, and although it didn’t necessarily need a 3-D upgrade, it does look better than ever and really pops out of the screen. Look out for “Monsters University,” the sequel coming out later this year.

The Impossible (12)

Drama, Action, Adventure / 113 / English

Based on a heart-wrenching true story of one family who managed to survive the destructive 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, “The Impossible” is an English-Spanish co-production that has earned Naomi Watts lead actress nominations for both the Golden Globes and Academy Awards.

In this heart-wrenching tale, Maria (Watts), Henry (Ewan McGregor) and their three sons, Lucas, Tomas and Simon, decide to spend their Christmas vacation at a tropical resort in Thailand. The family begins to relax when, without warning, they’re faced with the deadliest tsunami in human history.

A towering wave wipes out the coast and scatters the family, causing mass destruction in its wake. Injured and separated from each other, the family perseveres through the chaos and turmoil of post-tsunami Thailand to reunite amid a sea of wounded, dying or dead tourists and locals.

This emotional film features some standout performances from its cast without becoming overly dramatic or sentimental.

It’s certain to leave an impression on audiences.
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