2014.2.7 Now playing
Documentary / 77 / Korean
This movie asks viewers, “What is your place?” It is a question that filmmaker Emmanuel Moon-chil Park examines while documenting his own family’s journey.
Park was born in Toronto, but his family emigrated to Korea when he was 11 years old. The family had a hard time adjusting to Korea’s hierarchical social structure, especially Kim’s father, who left for Mongolia to perform volunteer work. Then the director’s younger sister Moon-sook comes back from Canada with the surprise that she is going to be a single mother.
These incidents inspired Park to direct his first feature-length documentary.
The film explores the difficulties of raising a child as an unwed mother in Korea, as well as how a family deals with cultural dislocation and social judgment but ultimately comes together despite their differences.
English Vinglish (ALL)
Comedy, Drama / 133 / Indian
Shashi (Sridevi) is a diligent housewife who cooks well, cleans well and takes good care of the children. It seem like an ideal life for a housewife, but Shashi feels insecure and dissatisfied, more like a servant than a member of the family. “My wife was born to make laddu,” says her husband proudly to visitors.
To gain some self-respect, Shashi decides to study English while she is visiting New York, signing up for a four-week cram course at a language institute. At the school, Shashi studies, but she also makes friends and learns a new culture.
Shashi overcomes her fears and finally explores the city.
Her transformation is joyful to watch. She becomes a confident and sassy woman who struts down the Manhattan streets wearing a trench coat over her sari and holding a take-out coffee in her hand.
The film is lighthearted and provides plenty of cinematic scenes of New York to feast your eyes on.
Action / 111 / Chinese
Hong Kong action hero Jackie Chan is back with a new installment in the long-running and iconic “Police Story” series, this time with a more down-to-earth style.
Unlike the first four movies, which focused more on Chan’s action abilities and comedic plots, this new story is more like a standalone episode within the series. It has a bitter and gritty ambience, with fewer laughs than audiences have come to expect.
Zhong Wen (Jackie Chan) travels to Beijing to try to reconnect with his estranged daughter, to whom he has not spoken with in six months. Zhong finds her in a nightclub and learns that she is in a relationship with Wu Jiang (Liu Ye), the club’s owner.
Then Zhong blacks out, and when he wakes up, the situation has completely changed. The aging police officer finds he was been taken hostage and is tied up in the club with his daughter for reasons he does not understand.
From there, he must battle his way out of the club to save himself and his daughter. But gradually it becomes clear that Wu has a much bigger agenda in mind, something involving a botched robbery five years earlier.
“Police Story 2013” mostly leaves behind the kind of action scenes that audiences loved in the first films in the series.
But this new story does cast a new light on the Hong Kong actor, showing how he’s able to maintain a presence without overly relying on action.
Frozen Ground (19)
Thriller / 90 / English
Films that are based on real incidents are always popular, particularly the ones based on real-life serial killers.
“Frozen Ground” is a crime thriller about the Alaskan serial killer Robert Hansen, who murdered as many as 21 women and is currently serving a 461-year prison sentence.
In Anchorage, Alaska, several women have gone missing, but the cases were never solved. Detective Jack Halcombe (Nicholas Cage) is investigating yet another murder when he meets Cindy (Vanessa Hudgens), a teenage prostitute who was raped, tortured and nearly killed.
Halcombe is convinced the cases are all related, but the misogynist police force is unconvinced by the testimony of a prostitute, particularly one accusing an upstanding citizen like Hansen (John Cusack). Hansen was a likeable baker, but for more than 13 years, he abducted, tortured and killed many women, burying them in the wilderness far from the city.
Documentary / 74 / English
Dinosaurs have long been a fascinating subject for novelists and filmmakers. Based on fossil evidence from hundreds of millions of years ago, “Dinotasia” presents a wide range of terrible lizards in the form of a quasi-adventure documentary.
The animated movie was originally presented as a four-part series for the Discovery Channel called “Dinosaur Revolution.” “Dinotasia” is realistic and extravagant, giving audiences a peek at the tough life of dinosaurs. We see them in love, fighting and at peace.
The movie is also narrated by Werner Herzog, the renowned German director.
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 Sung Dong-il, Kim Seul-gi from tvN’s “Saturday Night Live Korea” and Jin-young from B1A4.
Announcement: The CJ Culture Foundation presents the 3rd CJ Animated Film Exhibition from today until Sunday at the CGV Sinchon Artreon, western Seoul.
In addition to animated films, this year’s event includes animation based on online comics.
“The artists being profiled in the showcase will be the next superstars of Korean animation,” said Yeon Sang-ho, director of the acclaimed animated film “Leafie, a Hen Into the Wild” (2011).
Entrance to the exhibition is free.
For more information and tickets, visit CJ’s website: www.cjazit.org (Korean only).
The CJ Culture Foundation supports young artists through various projects, such as “Tune Up,” a program for rookie musicians, “Creative Minds,” for playwrights, and “Project S” for screenwriters.