2013.11.1 NOW PLAYINGLove Skill (19)
Romance / 91 / Korean
Su-jin (Hong Soo-ah) and Ji-young (Han Soo-ah) are best friends who have different opinions on the definition of destiny.
When it comes to love, Su-jin wants to wait for Prince Charming to come into her life, while Ji-young believes that every guy she meets is her destiny.
One day, Ji-young is told that she will meet Prince Charming in an unfamiliar place. Then, she unexpectedly wins a trip to Cebu in the Philippines.
As anticipated, Su-jin and Ji-young meet Tae-hoon (Seo Ji-suk), who is rich, good-looking and charming, and they both claim him as their Prince Charming.
Despite the film’s title, the film doesn’t seem to offer the audience any skill involving love, but instead delivers repetitive cliches and a predictable plot.
Some critics have even referred to the movie as a guidebook to the Philippines since most of the scenes are filmed there. However, except for the breathtaking scenery, there is little else to enjoy, except for the catfights between the two beauties.
Norah Noh (ALL)
Documentary / 93 / Korean
“Norah Noh” tells the story of Korean fashion designer Noh Myeong-ja, the first person in Korea to design miniskirts and underwear. At age 85, she is still designing clothing.
The documentary is one of the few about world-renowned designers and is filmed in the same style as “Coco Before Chanel” (2009) and “Yves Saint Laurent - L’amour fou” (2011).
Noh struggled to establish identities for women through fashion. In 1956, she became the first person to hold a fashion show in Korea. In 1974, she launched her own brand on the first floor of Macy’s - a first for a Korean designer.
The film encourages women to shed their traditional roles as mothers, wives or daughters and to look for real identities by examining Noh’s life.
She faced an unwanted marriage, divorce and a gap between reality and her dreams when she was young. But she never gave up.
The film not only explores her life, but it also interprets Korean fashion history in a much broader perspective.
Meanwhile, actress Cho Min-soo lent her image to the film’s poster to show her support even though she didn’t appear in the film.
She said she was touched by Noh’s pioneering and independent character.
No Breathing (15)
Drama, Romance / 118 / Korean
Boasting some of Hallyu’s finest actors, including Seo In-guk, Lee Jong-suk and Girls’ Generation’s Yuri, the film has a lot to deliver.
The movie focuses on the world of competitive swimming, and with director Cho Young-sun admitting that he based his two leads on Olympic gold medalist Park Tae-hwan, there are so many alluring factors.
But at times, promises turn out to be fluff - as this film illustrates so well. The title is named after a technique in which swimmers - yep you guessed it - do not breathe in order to save time.
Don’t be fooled by the swimming scenes, though, as the movie is more about the inner turmoil faced by Won-il (Seo) and Woo-sang (Lee) in their turbulent teenage years.
For the most part, the movie plays out like a Korean drama about teenage dilemmas, and there is very little in the way of plot, depth or even swimming jargon - except for the title.
But at least fans of Seo and Lee will get some visual treats as the boys walk around during most of the film in their swimming gear. The two admitted to having watched their diets to get their athletic figures, and on that front, they did well. While the two leads’ characters are one-dimensional, the film has its hidden gems in roles played by other newbie actors.
Drama / 117 / French
Originally released in 1990, this is the cult classic femme fatal story of Nikita (Anne Parillaud) who is hired as a contract killer for a secret French government agency. After a bank robbery goes wrong, Nikita is sentenced to life in prison. While inside, she is drugged and awakens to find a man who tells her she has two options: die or become an assassin.
Nikita reluctantly chooses the latter and begins training in an underground facility, dropping her scrappy street-fighting style and turning into a sleek gunwoman who adopts her femininity while retaining her childish charm.
Nikita begins adjusting to everyday life, even falling for a local grocery man, but it isn’t long until she’s asked to complete her first assignment.
Masterfully shot by the director Luc Besson, who’s directed more than 50 films including “The Fifth Element” (1997) and “The Lady” (2011), “Nikita” is part coming-of-age, part drama that shows a vulnerable character dealing with situations out of her control.
Snowflake, the White Gorilla (ALL)
Adventure, Animation / 98 / Korean
Snowflake is a young, playful gorilla transported from the jungle to the Barcelona zoo.
However, he quickly finds out that life isn’t exactly peachy in the world of captivity.
As the only white gorilla, Snowflake becomes frustrated when the other gorillas don’t accept him as their own, calling him a monster.
When a traveling circus comes to town, Snowflake decides to escape and find a witch who can turn his white fur black. With his friends, Ailur, a feisty red panda, and Paula, a charming little girl, Snowflake sets out on an adventure through the hustle and bustle of the city.
Yet danger isn’t far off as an obsessed man seeks to capture Snowflake for his special powers, believing that the young gorilla can cure his string of unbelievable bad luck.
The film blends both animation and reality as Snowflake and his friends, which are computer generated, interact with actors and actual environments. “Snowflake” is a heart-warming tale of acceptance and friendship.
Sci-fi, Drama / 90 / English
Sandra Bullock dazzles in this space odyssey about two astronauts whose lives are put in jeopardy after an accident in space.
In orbit around the Earth, some 600 kilometers (372 miles) above the surface, with no sound and no air, human perseverance and vulnerability are put to the test.
The film starts off with Ryan Stone (Bullock), a biomedical engineer, and Matt Kowalski (Clooney), a veteran astronaut, on a mission to repair a satellite.
When things take a turn for the worse and debris from an explosion destroys their space station and transportation, they are forced to dig deep and think fast to make it across the vast emptiness of space to the safety of another space station.
Just 90 minutes long, with no elaborate sub-plots or other distractions, director Alfonso Cuaron has been nearly universally praised for his amazing film, with its incredible visuals and a more realistic presentation of space than ever before.
Indeed, it has a 98 percent “freshness” rating on the Web site RottenTomatoes.com.
Made for the big screen and the 3-D experience, the IMAX version of “Gravity” has especially been praised by critics worldwide.
*More information is available on the Web sites listed below
Arthouse Momo www.cineart.co.kr
CJ CGV www.cgv.co.kr
Daehan Cinema www.daehancinema.co.kr
Hypertheque Nada www.dsartcenter.co.kr
Land Cinema www.landcinema.co.kr
Lotte Cinema www.lottecinema.co.kr
Primus Cinema www.primuscinema.com
Sangsang Madang www.sangsangmadang. com/cinema
Seoul Cinema www.seoulcinema.com
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