2014.1.24 Now Playing
Comedy, Drama / 121 / Korean
The hottest rookies of the Korean entertainment scene are back in a retro romance story. Director Lee Yeon-woo, who debuted with a 16mm short film, follows the unpredictable teenage romance of Chungcheong in the 1980s. One interesting thing about this film is its setting; compared with Jeolla and Gyeongsang, Chungcheong is a province known for its unique sense of humor and cynicism, and the lives of its residents have rarely been explored in Korean films.
Park Bo-young, the lead actress of “A Werewolf Boy,” plays Young-sook - the queen bee of the town - who eventually falls in love with Lee Jong-suk. Lee is once again clad in a school uniform, but shows his different side by becoming a playboy character named Joong-gil, whom school girls would die for. After vain attempts to win Joong-gil’s heart, Young-sook encounters a whole new drama as the new girl from Seoul, So-hee (Lee Se-young), moves to the town.
“Boiling Youth” is expected to add variety to the Korean box office, where brutal- or political-themed films topped the charts for several weeks.
The film will invoke nostalgia for kids who grew up in the 1980s, while the humorous and light-hearted plot will certainly appeal to today’s boiling youth as well.
Comedy, Drama / 124 / Korean
Oh Mal-soon (Na Mun-hee), a typical Korean “granny” in her 70s, finds out that her children plan to put her in a sanatorium. Dismayed, she wanders around town and takes the supposedly last picture of her life in a mysterious photo studio. When she comes out of the studio, Mal-soon is dumbfounded by her own reflection in the mirror: a fresh, young 20-year-old woman.
The film unfolds a great deal of trouble caused by Mal-soon’s age reversal, including her hilarious love triangle with the young and the old men. Although the general theme of the story has been overused by scores of other films like “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” the actors’ performances will still lure many film lovers around the country.
Shim Eun-gyung, from the Korean films “Sunny” and “Gwanghae,” plays the younger version of Mal-soon and once again sports her extraordinary talent to move the hearts of viewers. Shim is backed by supporting roles, including Sung Dong-il, Kim Seul-gi from tvN’s “Saturday Night Live Korea” and Jin-young from B1A4.
Comedy / 111 / English
Former mob boss Giovanni Manzoni (Robert De Niro), who snitched on his mafia friend to the FBI, and his wife and two children are relocated to a drowsy town in France under a witness protection program. What the family has to do is simple - keep their heads down from the Mafia back in the United States. But for the Manzoni family, it’s not as easy as it sounds because all four members just can’t handle their franticness.
Giovanni’s wife, Maggie (Michelle Pfeiffer), blows up a supermarket after she overhears the cashier and his friends trash-talking Americans. The two children - Belle and Warren - go to school but end up beating up a guy with a tennis racket and selling pills and cigarettes to classmates. So much for staying under cover.
Although the movie features some typical traits of comedy in the first part, the genre shifts to French noir when the family’s hideout gets unveiled to the Mafia, and some tense chase fights follow.
Directed by Luc Besson, of “Leon” (1994) and “The Fifth Element” (1997) fame, the film delivers the message of good and evil along with ludicrous comedy actions.
Museum Hours (15)
Drama / 106 / English
Those who appreciate works of art will surely appreciate the upcoming Austrian-American movie “Museum Hour,” directed by Jem Cohen.
The film explores the value of art, culture, life and friendship through a connection of two strangers - Johann (Bobby Sommer) and Anne (Mary Margaret O’Hara).
Johann used to be a rock band’s road manager but is now a museum attendant at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna who dwells on paintings and the visitors. He enjoys the quiet time he has on his hands, observing the paintings to find new details.
One day, Anne, a Canadian visitor who came to Vienna to take care of her dying cousin, asks Johann for directions. From that day on, he guides her through the museum before showing her the city and its culture. The movie unveils some secret spots in Vienna.
Rather than focusing on the plot and conflict, the director delegates the characters with the responsibility to guide the story. The two develop a special relationship, though not a romantic one, and continue their talking and walking on the streets of Vienna. Anne asks and Johann answers, along with his voice over narration continuing throughout the film
The semi-documentary film premiered at the 2012 Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland and was invited to some renowned film festivals as well.
Animation, Adventure / 108 / English
The kingdom of Arendelle is under a wintery spell, and it’s going to take a brave young princess named Anna and her friend Kristoff - along with Olaf, a topsy-turvy talking snowman - to bring it back to normal.
However, it’s not an evil witch that’s put the kingdom under such a spell; it’s Anna’s older sister, Elsa. Since birth, Elsa has had the ability to create ice and snow, a talent that has kept her from getting close to her sister. When a not-so-trustworthy prince proposes to Anna, Elsa refuses to give her blessing. An argument between the two sisters erupts and Elsa accidentally reveals her powers, which spooks the citizens and forces her to run away to the mountains. There, she creates an ice fortress and an arctic storm that covers most of Arendelle. Anna sets off after her sister, hoping to thaw the kingdom and their relationship.
Since its release in the United States in November, “Frozen” has become Disney’s second-highest grossing animated film ever and a critical triumph, as reviewers say the film goes back to the roots of Disney’s storytelling and music.
With all of its humorous dialogue, the action-adventure musical is entertaining for both kids and adults - especially when Olaf the sidekick makes his quips. The film is also a step forward for Disney, turning the princesses from just damsels in distress into full-fledged heroines in charge of their own destinies, putting romance in the back seat and opting for loyalty and friendship.
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has announced that from Jan. 29, every last Wednesday of the month will be called “The Day of Culture.”
On this day, movie tickets for screenings between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. will be reduced in price. Tickets that usually cost 8,000 won ($7.40) will be slashed to 5,000 won at CGV, Lotte Cinema and Megabox theaters as well as at some independent theaters around the nation.
For more details go to www.mcst.go.kr