2014.3.21 Now PlayingTotal Messed Family (19)
Five years ago, the teenager Baek Tae-bong (Kim Min-ki) ran away from home, declaring his independence. But living on his own was too hard, so now Tae-bong returns - but he comes back with his pregnant girlfriend Ro-mi (Yeo Min-joo).
Told from the perspective of Tae-bong’s younger sister, Sae-joo (Han Bo-bae), we learn that family patriarch Baek Won-man (Son Byung-ho) has ruled the house for 20 years. But with the return of his son, he worries that he’ll lose his position as the head of the family.
A series of fights between the father and the son result in Won-man ending up in the corner of the room with his hands tied behind his back, while Tae-bong enjoys his dinner with his girlfriend.
But Won-man is not ready to lose his position so easily, so he calls the police on his son, telling them that his son is engaged in teenage prostitution.
Despite that rather dramatic storyline, the film actually has a lot of comedy, too, and focuses on the warm love of a family.
The movie is based on a novel of the same title by Kim Young-ha.
Go, Stop, Murder (15)
Professor Ahn (Kim Hong-pa) is a mathematician by day but a gambler by night, playing at a private gambling house in the countryside.
One day, he discovers that the 12 different cards in a deck of hwatu, or “flower card” (the cards used to play the popular game go-stop), represent the social security numbers of someone facing imminent death. Enthralled, he asks fellow player Sang-i (Lee Seung-jun) to join him to prove his hypothesis. Soon, they are using this magical power to kill random people around town.
The film’s title “Go, Stop, Murder” is a pun by the director and screenwriter Kim Joon-kwon that combines the popular card game and the characters’ lives. The film premiered at the 2013 Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival.
Love Is in the Air (19)
Comedy, Romance / 96 / French
When ex-lovers encounter each other by coincidence, is it a nightmare or can it be fate?
Antoine (Nicolas Bedos), a lothario who is proud of the nickname “the ex of all of Paris,” hurriedly gets on a plane for a job interview in Paris. Julie (Ludivine Sagnier), an ambitious artist from New York, is excited to head for Paris to marry her boyfriend. Antoine and Julie used to be a couple years ago, but now they are forced to sit beside each other on a six-hour flight.
Antoine starts talking about the old days when they were a couple. Of course, Julie doesn’t want to hear about it - to her, everything was messed up when she was with Antoine.
As the plane takes off, the movie features a series of flashbacks that lead us back to the good and bad moments they shared.
It seems that they are still in love with each other, but their relationship was also deeply dysfunctional. Which force will win out by the end of their trans-Atlantic flight?
Romance / 117 / English
Loosely based on the 19th-century English novel, “Tess of the d’Urbervilles” by Thomas Hardy, this Michael Winterbottom film moves the classic story to modern India.
Trishna (Freida Pinto) is the eldest daughter, working as a hotel maid to support her family when her father gets injured in an accident. Jay (Riz Ahmed), the son of a wealthy hotel owner back in England, gets mesmerized by her and offers her a job at one of his father’s hotels. However, due to Jay’s father’s disapproval, Trishna has to go back home.
But later Jay comes back for her and takes her to Mumbai, where they can escape his father’s eyes. There, Jay sets her up in a luxury apartment and makes her his public girlfriend. It seems like a happily-ever-after ending, but the happiness doesn’t last long.
As time passes, Trishna realizes that the reality of their differences in social status can never be overcome. Then, when Trishna reveals one of her biggest secrets, the couple’s relationship seems like it can never go back to how it used to be.
On Nov. 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated during a motorcade celebrating his arrival. For the 50th anniversary of the event, the tragic story was once again adapted into a film (it was released in the United States last fall).
Written and directed by Peter Landesman, the movie recounts the event based on historical facts, putting more emphasis on the surrounding people who were affected by the president’s death rather than on the mystery of the assassination itself.
In the movie’s early part, it intertwines original film footages with the newly made clips, taking the audience right back to where the calamity happened in a documentary-like feature.
The film also features some surprisingly big names, including Marcia Gay Harden, Zac Ephron, Paul Giamatti, Billy Bob Thornton and Ron Livingston. Tom Hanks was one of the film’s producers.
Elegant Lies (12)
Drama / 117 / Korean
This is a heartbreaking tale of how a mom and her daughter deal with the death of the family’s second child.
Single mom Hyun-sook (Kim Hee-ae) works hard to put her kids through school. On the surface, the two kids Man-ji (Ko Ah-sung) and Cheon-ji (Kim Hyang-gi) seem like your typical teenagers. So when Cheon-ji kills herself, the family is overcome more by shock than grief. At first, the mother and older sister seem to get by OK, even managing to move houses in a bid to start afresh. But as time passes, the veneer of happiness gives way and the two learn to deal with the grief in their own way.
Directed by Lee Han of “Punch” (2011) and “Lover’s Concerto” (2002), Lee once again looks at the secret lives and thoughts of teenagers.
Melodramatic to its core, the film carries a subtle yet strong message about family, relationships and life.
Dallas Buyers Club (19)
In this Oscar-winning film, based on a true story from the 1980s, Matthew McConaughey plays Texas electrician Ron Woodroof, who used to like alcohol and women but one day is diagnosed with HIV by Dr. Eve Saks (Jennifer Garner). Woodroof is left with only 30 days to live. He starts taking the drugs prescribed by the doctor, but realizes that they aren’t helping. Instead, he smuggles an unauthorized drug into the United States to help him and others suffering from the same disease. With a transvestite business partner named Rayon (Jared Leto), Ron forms the Dallas Buyers Club and demand goes through the roof.
Soon, however, Ron faces resentment from the medical and pharmaceutical industries and his operation faces being shut down. Both McConaughey and Leto are outstanding in their depictions of broken men who try to hold on to hope.