2013.11.15 NOW PLAYINGThe Five (19)
Thriller, Drama / 123 / Korean
Eun-ah (Kim Sun-a) had a happy family before the serial killer Jae-wook (On Joo-wan) murdered her daughter and husband and left her mutilated. After her recovery, she grows fixated on taking revenge on him. But faced with such a dangerous adversary, Eun-ah gathers four people, each with a different skill, to help her kill Jae-wook. In exchange, Eun-ah promises each person something they desperately need - her organs. Each accomplice is also very sick and needs a transplant.
“The Five” is the latest Korean online comic strip to make it to the big screen, following such stories as “Secretly Greatly,” “26 Years,” “The Neighbors” and “Moss.” While many adaptations have been hits, “The Five” suffers quite a bit from its translation to the cinema. On the Internet, there are no limits to the length and depth a story can cover. But in order to make its two-hour running time, “The Five” needed to tighten the story up so much that it is choppy and hard to follow.
Terminator 2: Judgement Day (15)
Sci-fi, Action / 185 / English
It’s hard to believe it’s been almost 30 years since the release of the first “Terminator” film, but this 1991 sequel is sure to feed the nostalgia of some cyborg-hungry fans. The follow-up catches up with Sara Connor (Linda Hamilton) and her son John (Edward Furlong) as they try to escape a powerful new Terminator T-1000 (Robert Patrick), sent back from a post-apocalyptic future to kill the now 10-year-old John in order to prevent a human uprising. Yet they aren’t alone as the familiar face of the old Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) joins them with his new mission: protect the Connors. The action-packed, bullet-filled film features plenty of chases and classic one-liners - “Come with me if you want to live” and “Hasta la vista, baby” - along with explosions galore.
Hand in Hand (19)
Romance / 85 / French
A simple kiss between two very different people hurls them into a bizarre situation where they are stuck together, unable to leave each other’s side. Handsome, but scruffy skateboarder Joakim Fox (Jeremie Elkaim) meets the snooty French dance instructor Helene Marchal (Valerie Lermericer) by chance while completing some work for an opera house. The two kiss, and a magical spell binds them together. Rather than romance, though, the spell brings the couple mostly headaches. They try to act like nothing’s wrong, revealing their condition only to the ones closest to them: Joakim’s sister Vero, played by the film’s writer-director Valerie Donzelli, and Helene’s partner Constance. Joakim and Helene provide some awkwardly amusing dance moves while trying to deal with the frustrations of being an unhappy couple. Donzelli is known for her ability to mesh touching romance with quirky situations, and “Hand in Hand” offers a vibrant parade of both.
Black Gospel (ALL)
Semi-documentary / 93 / Korean
Three best friends - actor and singer Yang Dong-keun, actor Jeong Joon and actress Kim You-mi - join with members of “Heritage,” the one and only gospel group in Korea, and fly to Harlem in New York to track down the origin of gospel music.
African-American gospel music is known for its pulsating rhythms and joyous sounds. It was also the root for several other genres of music such as the blues, jazz and R&B.
Under the guidance of Dr. Ouida W. Harding, the group stayed in New York for a month, trying to understand the core of the music and the people that sing it. Not a documentary or a religious film or a drama, “Black Gospel” is a concert-like experience that most will find quite moving.
Thor 2: The Dark World (12)
Action, Adventure / 112 / English
The Norse god with the boomeranging hammer is back. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) once again comes to the rescue of the nine realms, and this time Jane (Natalie Portman) is coming along as Thor makes his way in and out of portals.
Trouble presents itself in the form of a dark elf from Svartalfheim named Malekith, and if Thor wants to save the universe and his girl, he must turn to the one person that he’s been most hurt by: his half-brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston).
Along with plenty of action, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) taps into his sensitive side as he tries to work out where he stands with his half-brother, who betrayed him in the prequel.
As the title suggests, there is darkness aplenty, but there are some comedic moments, too, especially when Jane travels to Asgard and meet Thor’s parents for the first time.
Loki, being the bitter, jealous, cynical underdog, delivers some witty remarks and magic spells that are laugh-out-loud funny.
Although playing less significant roles, Anthony Hopkins as King Odin and Renee Russo as Queen Frigga of Asgard also bring a nice touch of ethereal beauty against the hammer-throwing action and you kind of sit there wishing there was an Asgard spin-off.
Drama, Action / 113 / Korean
Although marketed as “Commitment” abroad, the director of the film, Park Hong-soo, said the Korean title “The Alumni” was the best way to describe the plot, which is about a North Korean teenage spy who enrolls at a South Korean high school.
Ri Myung-hoon (Choi Seung-hyun, aka the K-pop star T.O.P) takes the name Kang Dae-ho in the South and leads a double life. By day, he’s a quiet school kid, but by night he’s an assassin.
Back in the North, the life of Myung-hoon’s sister, Hye-in (Kim You-jung) hangs by a thread, and the handsome spy must obey his superiors - that is, kill on command - if he wants to see Hye-in again.
Although he tries his best to stay out of trouble at school, he can’t help but stand out when he befriends a girl who has the same name as his sister (Han Ye-ri).
The first half of the movie depicts Myung-hoon, a boy trained in deadly martial arts in the North, as he struggles to adjust to life in the baffling world of high school. But it isn’t long before his identity takes him out of the school yard and into unbelievable danger.
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.
Ryan Stone (Bullock), a biomedical engineer, and Matt Kowalski (Clooney), a veteran astronaut, are on a mission to repair a satellite when debris from an explosion destroys their space station and transportation. Stranded in space, they are forced to dig deep and think fast to make it home.
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 shown before.
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.
Seoul Cinema www.seoulcinema.com
Sponge House cafe.naver.com/
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