2014.4.25 Now PlayingShuttlecock (15)
After the surprising success of independent films like “Han Gong-ju,” “Shuttlecock” is yet another movie trying to continue the rare trend. Director Lee Yu-bin explores a story of step-siblings that are left behind after their parents die.
At first Min-jae (Lee Ju-seung) , Eun-ho (Kim Tae-yong) and Eun-ju (Kong Ye-ji) seemed okay and managed to live off the money they got from the insurance company. But after their older sister Eun-ju runs away with the rest of the cash, the already brittle family becomes seriously at risk. After vainly trying to trace down his sister over the Internet, high school rebel Min-jae takes off to find her by himself, but discovers his step-brother Eun-ho in the back of the truck.
Together they travel from Seoul to Korea’s southern coast on a quest for their missing sibling.
Drama, Thriller / 97 / English
Ethnically Arab nuclear expert Steve Arthur Younger (Michael Sheen) sends a videotape to the U.S. government, threatening that nuclear bombs are set to detonate in less than a week. To save innocent lives in America, FBI agent Helen Brody (Carrie-Anne Moss) launches an investigation to track down the bombs. As Younger explodes one bomb, the authorities arrest him and take him to a fierce interrogator known only as H, played by Samuel L. Jackson. As the FBI is unable to locate the remaining hidden bombs, they turn to H, allowing him to resort to “unthinkable” treatment of Younger.
The film, originally released in North America in 2010, raises questions on the true meaning of justice in the post-9/11 world. To what degree is it be acceptable to interrogate the terrorists?
Only God Forgives (19)
Crime, Drama / 90 / English
Julian (Ryan Gosling) runs a Muay Thai club in Bangkok. After his brother Billy is brutally murdered, he takes off to get revenge, but his quest becomes more complicated when he is told that Billy was killed by the father of the girl he had raped. Confronted with a moral dilemma, his mother Crystal comes to Bangkok to say farewell to her first son.
Danish filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn once said that “the original concept for the film was to make a movie about a man who wants to fight God.” The film apparently portrays biblical motifs throughout the plot, mixed with nasty scenes of violence. For some, the story will be too disturbing, but for others who have immersed themselves in Quentin Tarantino’s stories, the psychedelic revenge tale should appeal.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (12)
Action, Adventure / 142/ English
Although Chris Evans made a great buzz in Korea during his visit as Captain America, there was another superhero loved by local audiences: Spider-Man.
From the relaunch of the film series in 2012, Andrew Garfield has proven that he can add new color to the Spider-Man character, successfully removing the vestiges of Toby Maguire’s series. The new American heartthrob does seem to be used to his life as Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man, both on and off the silver screen. Since its reboot in 2012, the “Amazing Spider-Man” series has tried to distance itself from its predecessors, not only in the cast and production team, but also its perspective toward the hero and the city.
In the sequel, the villain has grown more formidable, just like how Peter has grown up from the past. Antagonist Electro is played by Jamie Foxx. As his friend Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) joins Peter, it becomes clear that Oscorp is once again behind every evil act.
Hang Gong-ju (19)
Based on a true story of sexual abuse, this poignant tale unfolds around the titular character Han Gong-ju, whose name in Korean translates into “One Princess.”
Played by Chun Woo-hee, Gong-ju is a delicate wisp of a girl whose past just won’t leave her alone. The girl does make an attempt to fit in, although she is always a bit wary of people, especially kids her own age.
Starting afresh at a new school she takes up swimming lessons. One day at the pool she is singing to herself when Eun-hee (Jung In-sung) hears her and records the song.
Eun-hee asks Gong-ju to join her a cappella group, but Gong-ju says she’s not interested. At Eun-hee’s insistence, Gong-ju opens up slowly and before long they become friends, singing together. But after one friend opens an online fan club for Gong-ju, Gong-ju totally loses it. For most Gong-ju is a riddle they just can’t solve, but soon Gong-ju’s past surfaces.
Recognized at various film festivals around the world, director Lee Su-jin shows he has got a knack for relating to female subjects. The film is shocking and confrontation, but it is also a must-see.
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 leader by the name of Four (Theo James) comes to her aid.
The Grand Budapest Hotel (19)
In this all-star whodunit by director Wes Anderson, you’ll be transported to a colorful world of pure imagination and delight.
With Tilda Swinton, Jude Law, Adrien Brody and Ralph Fiennes - among many more - each character comes with a unique story.
Their link is, of course, the luxurious Grand Budapest Hotel and its famous, if not a little too flamboyant concierge, Monsieur Gustave H. (Fiennes).
A hit with the older ladies that stay at the hotel, Gustave gets framed for the murder of wealthy dowager Madame D. (Swinton), who has left him a priceless painting upon her passing.
With Gustave locked up, it is up to the new lobby boy Zero (Tony Revolori) to clear his supervisor’s name with the help of managers of the ritzy hotels around Europe as well as his sweetheart Agatha (Saoirse Ronan).
The opulence of Europe between the two World Wars mingled with the dark, twisted humor promise a 100-minute ride that will leave an impression.
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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