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2013.3.8 Now Playing

Psycho-metry (19)

Mystery / 108 / Korean

What would you do if you could see past events just by touching people or objects?

The new thriller “Psycho-metry” by Kwon Ho-young begins as a little girl is kidnapped in the district where Detective Yang Choon-dong (Kim Kang-woo) works. As the detective realizes that the case is similar to the drawings of a painter that he saw in the street one day, he visits Kim Joon (Kim Bum) who has psychometry, extra-sensory perception of unknown history unveiled by making physical contact with an object. The painter has been hard on himself because his ability led to his mother’s death. But Yang gives him a distraction. By encouraging Kim to use the talent, the detective begins to follow the criminal.

The movie’s director has been consistent in his choice of strange and unfamiliar themes . This new film continues his trademark style of weaving together an intriguing plot with elements of fantasy.

Jury (12)

Drama / 24 / Korean

“Jury,” the first movie by Kim Dong-ho, is a short with an all-star cast. It features the Busan International Film Festival committee and captures realistic moments from film festivals.

The 24-minute movie is centered on five judges from different backgrounds who evaluate films participating in the festival.

The actor and actresses use their own names in the movie.

Judge Jung In-ki claims that films should move people’s hearts, while Kang Soo-yeon says messages are more important than emotional appeal. Tony Rayns strictly criticizes the Korean movie industry, and Katsue Tomiyama cannot communicate particularly well with his fellow judges or others at the festival’s events due to his poor English. Looking at this chaos, Ahn Seong-gi, the head of the committee, cannot make any decisions.

Director Kim’s purpose was to let viewers enjoy the movie without thinking too much and to reveal that judges are not so serious at all while selecting winning pieces.

The movie was previously invited to the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival and the 38th Seoul Independent Film Festival, somewhat ironically in the non- competitive section.

Oz: The Great and Powerful (All)

Action, Fantasy / 130 / English

This prequel to L. Frank Baum’s “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” and the 1939 film classic “The Wizard of Oz” is Disney’s latest fantasy blockbuster gamble after last year’s John Carter was a domestic flop.

In it, small-time huckster Oscar “Oz” Diggs (James Franco) is transported from Kansas to the Land of Oz, where he thinks he’s hit the big league as the residents of this new world think he is their savior.

Three witches, Glinda, Evanora and Theodora, however, doubt his claim to the legend. He must figure out who is on his side and use his illusions, deception and magic to save the Land from a familiar Wicked Witch.

We all know that the Wizard is a fraud and there’s no surprise to that reveal. What the film attempts to do is explain why he became that man, and ask just which among these three witches is the wicked one.

Reception has been somewhat positive but mixed overall. Critics agree that while it might not be the smartest fantasy movie ever produced, it is certainly vibrant and mesmerizing to take in, especially given its 3-D treatment.

Entertainment Weekly’s Chris Nashawady says, “While [Raimi’s] Oz is like retinal crack, he never seduces our hearts and minds.” The movie will at least provide an entertaining distraction in the lead-up to the first wave of effects-laden summer hits.

Jack the Giant Killer (12)

Adventure, Fantasy / 114 / English

Director Brian Singer’s (“X-Men,” “The Usual Suspects”) latest film sees Jack (Nicholas Hoult) stumble into a world of giants bent on reclaiming the world they once ruled in a series of CGI-heavy action sequences and epic battles.

Jack, a commoner of the realm, is the answer to Princess Isabelle’s (Eleanor Tomlinson) prayers, who is unfortunately promised to nobleman Roderick (Stanley Tucci) but yearns for a way out. Romantic aspirations are ruined when a magic bean stalk sends the princess skyward into a land of curmudgeonly giants who want to invade earth.

Their two-headed giant general (Bill Nighy and John Kassir) has to contend with Jack, Roderick and a band of knights led by Elmont (Ewan MacGregor) sent to reclaim the princess. Everything culminates in a pitched special effects battle involving catapults and bean stalks that take full advantage of the film’s 3-D technology.

The movie is, of course, a modern retelling of the old English folktale “Jack and the Beanstalk,” the latest in a series of CGI-infused fantasy films and edgy reimagined fairy tales like “Snow White and the Huntsman.”

You would be right to be confused seeing Nicholas Hoult’s face on another flick vying for your won on subway advertisements.

He also plays the protagonist in the zombie romance movie “Warm Bodies.” Impressions from critics so far would seem to indicate that your won would be best spent on the latter.

Fans of Singer’s “X-Men” and “Superman” films that enjoyed watching him work on those large-scale fantasy romps will have plenty of eye candy to chew on in “Jack the Giant Killer.”

You’ll just have to suffer through scenery-chewing delivery on a grand scale as well.

Flight (19)

Action, Drama / 139 / English

In this action thriller by director Robert Zemeckis, Oscar winner Denzel Washington plays Whip Whitaker, a magnetic pilot who is initially heralded as a national hero after saving almost everyone on a flight that malfunctioned midair and began to nosedive.

The nail-biting eight minutes of life-or-death in the control room features an ingenious maneuver by Whitaker which falls outside the realm of aeronautical reality and could only be possible in movies but is entertaining nonetheless.

However, the audience discovers shortly after the scene that the seemingly straightforward heroic drama is more than meets the eye when a series of revelations is made surrounding the personal lifestyle choices of the pilot, who is hounded by the media everywhere he goes.

The conundrum involved in identifying the culprit of the plane crash that killed six people raises poignant moral and ethical questions that linger long after the credits roll.

The movie features several on-screen talents like Don Cheadle, Kelly Reilly, Melissa Leon and Bruce Greenwald alongside Washington, and it was also nominated for two Oscars - Best Actor (for Washington) and Best Original Screenplay.
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