2013.2.15 Now Playing

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2013.2.15 Now Playing

How to Use Guys with Secret Tips (15)

Romance, Comedy / 116 / Korean

With its release date set for Valentine’s Day, “How to Use Guys with Secret Tips” is a great date movie option.

The film is about the experiences of Choi Bo-na (Lee Si-young) as she transforms herself from dating novice to diva after watching a videotape that tells the secrets to winning men’s hearts.

Choi has worked as an assistant director on commercials for five years. She’s surrounded by hoards of men but never receives any attention from them.

One day, the mysterious Dr. Swarski (Park Yeoung-gyu) appears and hands her a videotape called “How to Use Guys with Secret Tips.” She watches it and reluctantly follows the guidelines. Her life takes a drastic turn as the men start to flock to her, including Hallyu star Lee Seung-jae (Oh Jung-se).

Drawing on his career in advertising, movie maker Lee Won-seok directs original scenes that include computer graphics as Bo-na’s daily life is described as though it’s part of the manual.

Silving Linings Playbook (19)

Drama, Comedy, Romance / 122 / English

The Academy is abuzz with director David Russell’s rom-com, which already bagged eight Academy nominations including the Big Five categories.

“Hunger Games” belle Jennifer Lawrence, 22, won best actress for her performance in “Playbook” at both the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild, setting out on what is sure to be a long and successful acting career.

The film centers around Pat (Bradley Cooper), a bipolar patient recently released from a mental health facility where he was admitted after an episode wherein he beat to near-death a man with whom his wife was having an affair.

After being released into his parents’ custody, he is determined to overcome his illness without resorting to medication to win back his now-estranged wife.

Meanwhile, he meets Tiffany (Lawrence), a troubled young widow recovering from sex addiction. The two recognize the neuroses in each other and in time heal their wounds. Pat’s path to recovery is often obstructed by relapses for which his family takes the brunt.

Despite setbacks, his dad (Robert De Niro) and other family members help Pat rebuild his life from scratch, a crucial theme of the film.

This heartwarming story resonates with many who, like Pat, have experienced the travails of life that at times can make them feel crazy, but who see hope in Pat’s long path to recovery.

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters (19)

Action, Fantasy, Horror / 87 / English

Forget the fairy tales you were told as a child, this “Hansel and Gretel” is not the classic tale you’re used to. In the beginning, the plot starts out familiarly - abandoned deep in the forest by their father, Hansel (Jeremy Renner) and Gretel (Gemma Arterton) are captured by an evil witch. You know what happens: the two manage to escape from the ordeal by shoving the witch into a burning oven.

Then things take a turn. Fifteen years later, the siblings are now bounty hunters armed with plenty of sex appeal and grit and are dedicated to ruthlessly exterminating all the witches they can find. One day, 11 children are abducted from the town of Augsburg. The townspeople beg Hansel and Gretel to hunt the witches down and bring the kids back home safely.

While reaction to the film has been generally negative, critics agree that the movie does manage to poke fun at other genre films, and fans of style - gory, violent style - over substance may have something to look forward to.

Marco Macaco (All)

Animation, Comedy, Adventure/ 80 / Korean

Monkey Marco Macaco dreams of being a cool cop solving major crimes when in reality he works as a beach officer with not much to do.

He hopes to win the heart of the beautiful Lulu until his rival, the charming Carlo, arrives on the island and catches the Lulu’s attention by building a gigantic monkey-shaped casino right on Marco’s beach.

Acting out of jealousy, Marco secretly investigates the strange casino and discovers that Carlo wants to take over the island and force Lulu to marry him.

Marco tries to arrest Carlo but problems arise. Bold and determined, Marco sets out on an action-packed rescue mission to save Lulu and the island.

Marco Macaco was originally produced last year in Denmark. In the Korean version, the voice of Marco is dubbed by Lee Kwang-soo; Lulu is Song Ji-hyo.

Monsters, Inc. 3D (All)

Animation, Family / 92 / Korean

A city of monsters without humans, Monstropolis revolves around the city’s power company: Monsters, Inc. The lovable blue behemoth 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 through her door before anybody finds out about her, 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 movie now in 3-D, the filmmakers have created a wonderful alternate reality in Monstropolis, whisking viewers 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.

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.
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