2014.4.18 Now Playing

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2014.4.18 Now Playing

God’s Eye View (12)


Drama / 89 / Korean

Inspired by the 2007 incident when members from the Saemmul Community Church were abducted by the Taliban in Afghanistan, “God’s Eye View” also marks the first new film by veteran director Lee Jang-ho in 19 years.

Guided by a greedy and secular missionary, Jo Yo-han (Oh Kwang-rok), eight Koreans travel to an Islamic country to do voluntary missionary work. However, not long after they arrive, they are kidnapped by local rebels.

The Islamic rebels give two options to the Korean government: release their leader, who was jailed for antistate acts years ago, or come up with 500,000 pounds ($841,000) in ransom money.

When negotiations seem to break down, the kidnappers force the Koreans to choose between renouncing their faith or dying for it.

Grand Piano (15)

Thriller / 90 / English

Piano virtuoso Tom Selznick (Elijah Wood) announces his retirement due to stage fright, which developed suddenly after he made a big mistake on stage. However, after five years, he gets a chance to return to the music scene after his teacher dies. In fact, Selznick receives an offer to play his late mentor’s grand piano. When he arrives at Chicago Symphony Hall, he sees the venue is packed with people waiting to hear Selznick play again, which reignites his anxiety. But his loving wife Emma (Kerry Bishe) tries to keep him going.

The performance seems to be going well, but partway through the concert he discovers a threatening message written on his score: “Play one wrong note and you die.” He then notices the red dot of a sniper’s site on his hands, signaling the killer is nearby. Next up, he must play “La Cinquette,” a piece known for being incredibly difficult, or else his wife and children could be killed.

Need for Speed (15)

Action, Crime / 130 / English

For fans of fast cars, the latest DreamWorks film offers plenty of high-octane thrills.

Based on a famous racing video game, the movie focuses on a quest for revenge by Tobey (Aaron Paul), who lost a race to his rival Dino (Dominic Cooper) three years ago and then was imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit. In addition, he lost his close friend during the deadly race.

Tobey’s plan is to beat Dino in a street race held in San Francisco - the race is totally illegal, but the prize is an incredible car. Tobey’s schedule is tight because the race is on in just two days and he is still 4,000 kilometers, or 2,485 miles, away.

To make matters worse, Dino has put a bounty on Tobey’s head to prevent him from making it to the race.

Now, Tobey is being chased by bounty hunters as well as the police. Will he be able to successfully carry out his revenge?

Philomena (12)


Drama / 98 / English

Based on a true story, “Philomena” unravels the search for a woman’s son, who she gave up for adoption.

The search party consists of Philomena (Judi Dench), the mother, and Martin (Steve Coogan) who is an ex-BBC reporter.

The movie begins with Martin awash in cynicism and depression after being laid off from work. At first he turns down the offer to cover Philomena’s story, a woman who had a baby when she was a teenager and kept it secret for 50 years. However, the story lingers in his mind and soon he decides to take up the challenge.

Together, they start on a long journey to search for her son, finding out that he was adopted by an American family. Philomena goes to the United States hoping to meet her son at least once.

On the journey, the unlikely pair forms a friendship and also gets to discover some unexpected truths about her long-lost son.

Divergent (15)


Action, Sci-fi / 139 / English

Fans of teenage rebellion and the love that somehow seems to blossom in the face of anarchy will no doubt be captivated by the “Divergent” series.

The premise is easy enough to understand: In a near dystopian future, the world is divided into factions based on characteristics. Abnegation is for the selfless, Erudite is for the smart, Dauntless for the courageous, Amity for the peaceful and Candor for the truthful. Whatever faction you belong to, that is the value you must uphold before all others. “Divergent” is the story of Tris (Shailene Woodley), a teenage girl who was born in Abnegation but who does not feel that faction is a good fit for her. So when she turns 16, she takes a test that is supposed to find the right faction - but for Tris, there is no right faction, so she is labelled a “Divergent.”

With multiple factions to choose from, Tris picks Dauntless. But being a Divergent is dangerous, and soon Tris finds her life under threat. Lucky for her, a handsome guy by the name of Four (Theo James) is willing to help.

The latest young adult franchise “Divergent” is similar to Stephanie Meyer’s series “Hunger Games” and “The Host.”

Innocent Thing (19)


Suspense, Horror / 117 / Korean

Jang Hyuk is back in a role that shows more of his sensitive side rather than his chiseled six-pack abs.

The 38-year-old actor stars as Joon-gi, a physical education teacher at a girls’ middle school. Although he’s used to playful advances from the barely pubescent girls, things take a dangerous turn when Young-eun (Cho Bo-ah) falls hard for her teacher.

There’s something about Young-eun that is different from the other girls, and it seems Joon-gi just can’t get away from his pupil no matter where he goes. It doesn’t help that his wife Seo-yeon (Sunwoo Sun), who is very pregnant with the couple’s first child, starts inviting Young-eun to the couple’s home.

Caught somewhere between his nostalgia for youth and the reality that he’s about to become a father, Joon-gi is conflicted.

New to the big screen, Cho oozes sex appeal with a hint of charm, complete with a fixation on strawberry milk.

Son of God (12)

Drama / 138 / English

Just in time for the Easter season, the story of Jesus unfolds on the big screen. Based on the History Channel’s series “The Bible,” the film boasts a skilled behind-the-scenes team with documentary specialist Christopher Spencer at its helm.

The music directors Lorne Balfe and Hans Zimmer are renowned for a long list of hits, including “The Dark Knight,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” and “12 Years a Slave,” so at least on paper the production should be solid. Sadly, though, it feels like a TV movie that should have stayed on the boob tube.

In comparison to “Noah,” which caused an uproar among Christian communities for its liberal interpretation of the Bible, “Son of God” does not rock the boat at all. Compared to “The Passion of the Christ,” which was released 10 years ago, it doesn’t bring anything new. It did, however, get attention for casting actor Diogo Morgado as Jesus, causing CNN to ask: “Is Jesus Too Sexy?”

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