2013.9.27 Now playing
Drama, Mystery / 140 / Korean
Aspiring novelist Shin-hyo gives up trying to become a writer and tries to kill himself. He fails, but the attempt puts him in a coma. When he finally wakes up 27 years later, Shin-hyo finds his books have become famous. However, the books that made him famous have been heavily reworked since his original writing, so Shin-hyo decides he wants to find out who edited them and why.
His investigation leads him to a group of young novelists, led by one of the greatest writers of the day. There, he narrows down the suspects to three people - Sung-hwan, the son of a famous writer; Jae-hye, a woman who was dedicated to Shin-hyo even when he was a failed writer; and Kyung-mi, a successful young novelist who has been ignored by the literary world.
This is a sprawling, dense work, much like a Russian novel with a long list of characters. The first half of the movie weaves together Shin-hyo’s stories, making it difficult to distinguish what is real and what is not.
In the second half of the movie, after Shin-hyo wakes up from the coma, the film meanders and loses flow.
The director, Shin Yeon-sik, is well known for his low-budget, high-quality films. Through the conversations between characters, the director shows his intention and thoughts.
Drama / 98 / English
“Blue Jasmine” depicts the decline and fall of wealthy socialite Jasmine (Cate Blanchett), broke and left with just her Chanel and Prada bags. After years of privilege, Jasmine is brought down to her lowest depths after her husband Hal (Alec Baldwin) is sent to prison for cheating his investors and subsequently kills himself. Without any options, Jasmine moves in with her sister Ginger (Sally Hawkins) in San Francisco. Even with nothing left, though, Jasmine still acts like she is rich.
That’s when she meets a possible savior at a party, the wealthy Dwight (Peter Sarsgaard). Jasmine spins elaborate stories hoping to hook Dwight, but soon they fall apart.
Woody Allen’s 44th movie, “Blue Jasmine” has more than a few similarities to “A Streetcar Named Desire,” but it is also earning Allen some of his best reviews in years.
Blanchett is also winning a lot of major praise for her portrayal of the difficult, deluded Jasmine.
Are You Ready? (12)
Documentary / 87 / Korean
“Are You Ready?” presents an usual look at North and South Korea and potential reunification through a Christian perspective.
After Kim Il Sung took control of North Korea, it was the North’s sizeable Christian population that rebelled against his regime, getting locked up, tortured and killed for their struggle. Despite the North’s long hostility to Christianity, an underground network of churches still exists. “Are You Ready?” explores the history and the presence of Christianity in Korea.
The film asks the audience, specifically the Christians, whether they are ready to love the North Koreans.
First-time director Hur Won talks a lot about the unity of the Korean Peninsula through the church. To gain information about the underground church in North Korea, he had to contact missionaries in China and America. He even shot in several locations in North Korea. Above all, though, he had to be discreet, with an emphasis on avoiding harm to people in the North.
The film is obviously directed by a Christian and made for Christians. Without an understanding of Korean Christianity, it is very hard to follow much of the story. It depicts North Korean refugees as special envoys sent from heaven to help unification - obviously, this calls for a religious perspective.
However, the movie is a breath of fresh air, at least for being a rare religious documentary.
Animation / 95 / English
Pixar is back with a tale of its much-loved monsters for the first time in 12 years. “Monsters Inc.” introduced the world to the lovably scary duo of Mike the giant green eyeball (voiced by Billy Crystal) and the big, hairy Sully (John Goodman), as well as the rest of the monster universe. It turns out that the monster world is powered on the fears of children, so “scarers” like Mike and Sully generated power by appearing from behind the closet doors in children’s bedrooms.
“Monsters University” is a prequel, looking at how Mike and Sully met in college. We learn how Mike wanted to be a top scarer from childhood, but, with his round shape and big eye, he was just too cute to make human children afraid.
In contrast, Sully is a scaring star from day one, but that only makes him overconfident and without finesse.
Both get rejected from the cool fraternity of Oozma Kappa, so instead join Roar Omega Roar and try to get some revenge.
Even though “Monsters University” falls a bit short of Pixar’s best, the film still boasts plenty of gorgeous animation and a lot of laughs.
Horror / 112 / English
Loosely based on a true story, “The Conjuring” is a surprisingly effective horror story reminiscent of “The Amityville Horror” or “Poltergeist.” It’s the story of a family that moves into a beautiful but terrifying haunted house, and the paranormal investigators who try to help them deal with the foul spirits.
The film is set in 1971, when the Perron family move into an old, desolate house in the distant countryside in Rhode Island. Of course, it isn’t long before strange things start happening - and not long after that, strange turns to horrific. By the time the family realizes how deeply they’re in trouble, the evil spirit has latched onto them; even if they had the money to move, the ghost would only follow them.
So they enlist the help of Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga), two experts in all things supernatural. But even for these old pros, the evil plaguing the Perrons is remarkably strong and dangerous.
The Spy (15)
Comedy, Action / 121 / Korean
In a Korean take on the Hollywood film “True Lies” (which in turn was a remake from a French movie), Sol Kyung-gu plays a deadly agent, Chul-su, who has kept his dangerous job a secret from his flight attendant wife, Young-hee (Moon So-ri), for years.
But when Chul-su suddenly takes off on a secret mission to Thailand at the same time Young-hee had scheduled a visit to a fertility clinic, his wife erupts in anger. Coincidentally, however, Young-hee also chooses Thailand as her destination to let off a little steam.
While enjoying a few days in Bangkok, Young-hee meets a mysterious stranger, played by Daniel Henney, who takes serious interest in her. Chul-su sees this happening, but he cannot reveal himself because of his job and is forced to watch the handsome man flirting with his wife.
But as the stranger keeps bumping into Young-hee, Chul-su begins to realize there is more going on than meets the eye. As Chul-su tries to discover the truth without being identified, the farcical comedy quickly ratchets up.