2014.5.9 Now PlayingDetachment (19)
Oscar-winning actor Adrien Brody plays substitute teacher Henry Barthes at a public high school in New York full of troubled kids with nowhere to vent their anger. Having been a troublemaker himself, Henry refuses to become a regular teacher. He proves that he has a knack for calming down angst-ridden students, and though he and his kids try to stay detached from each other at first, they begin to develop a strong relationship based on mutual trust after several dramatic episodes.
The message of “Detachment” will no doubt resonate with Korean viewers as most Koreans have an opinion on the ills of the public education system.
Director Tony Kaye of “American History X” (1998) scrutinizes the flawed schooling structure in America by focusing on the different stories of individual characters. Marcia Gay Harden and Lucy Liu joined Brody in supporting roles.
The film is a little late in coming to Korea as it premiered in the United States back in 2011. It also competed in the 24th Tokyo International Film Festival that year.
A Few Best Men (15)
Comedy / 97 / English
This Australian-British comedy explores an unusual vacation to Australia taken by David (Xavier Samuel), along with three of his best friends, to marry a local woman named Mia, whom he fell in love with during a previous vacation down under. David hopes his best friends will behave well as the best men at his wedding ceremony, but shortly after they arrive in Oz they predictably get caught up in mayhem.
The movie should appeal to Korean viewers, who have shown a strong fondness for “Britishness” over the past decade, thanks to romance films from Richard Curtis of “Love Actually.”
Last Vegas (15)
Four Hollywood legends hit Las Vegas to “party like it’s 1985” in this movie. Starring Oscar winners Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Michael Douglas and Kevin Kline, the film’s plot focuses on a vacation taken by best friends who haven’t been able to enjoy each other’s company for years.
As Billy (Douglas) announces his plan to marry his 32-year-old girlfriend, the grandpas decide to attend his wedding in Sin City, determined to forget about the restraints of reality. However, as soon as they land in Vegas, the friends become dumbfounded by the strip’s dazzling lights and soon rediscover pieces of their glory days together.
“Last Vegas” will easily remind viewers of the popular travel reality show “Grandpas over Flowers,” which shows elderly men traveling to foreign places to rediscover the true meaning of life. Director Jon Turteltaub, who also directed the 1993 hit film “Cool Runnings,” once again presents a story of a heartfelt friendship.
The Heart of the Oak (ALL)
Filmmakers Angel Izquierdo and Ricardo Ramon explored European myths and legends to come up with a fantasy narrative about dragon guardians for this animated feature film. The Dragon Empire has become frozen, just like in the recent hit Disney film, but the only way to thaw the icy land is to find a mysterious sword, which is only identified by local legends that have developed over time. As Igor-Khan, who has long been confined in the ice fortress, attempts to dominate the Dragon Empire with evil intentions, Elfy the dragon, the little elf Robin and Kevin face a series of problems. The production team noted that the story is not a mere depiction of the “dragon and princess story.” Rather, each character reflects our own universe, which helps both old and young audiences relate to the story.
The Fatal Encounter (15)
Drama / 135 / Korean
After establishing himself successfully in the television drama industry, director Lee Jae-kyu moved on to the silver screen to depict King Jeongjo, the 22nd ruler of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910).
Based on historical records, Lee explores the 24 hours of a sultry night in 1777, when barely a year had passed since the young king came to the throne.
King Jeongjo stays vigilant at night, fearing constant threats from masked assassins. Conspiracy hovers around the royal palace, and Jeongjo cannot trust his own family because there has been too much political drama throughout the years.
Yet the king still believes that he can reform the old paradigm of Joseon society, and with strong conviction he seeks a way to change it.
Actor Hyun Bin’s interpretation of King Jeongjo is original in that, compared to his predecessors, he tries to convey the masculinity of the king.
Experienced actor Jo Jae-hyun plays an integral role in the plot, while Jung Jae-yeong, of the recent thriller “Broken,” supports the story with a significant performance as the king’s servant.
Le Week-End (15)
Comedy, drama / 99 / English
Love stories about middle-aged couples is a popular theme in theaters these days, as shown in the currently screening U.S. film “The Face of Love” and the cheerful domestic movie “The Venus Talk.”
Celebrating their 30th anniversary of marriage, Nick (Jim Broadbent) and Meg (Lindsay Duncan) revisit Paris, where they enjoyed their romantic honeymoon. However, after 30 years of living together, you cannot find a hint of romance between them, and Paris is far from how they remember it - probably because they are no longer blinded by love. Just when you think the complaining and quarreling will not cease between the two, they start to find ways to reconnect with each other; this time in a deeper and more fundamental way.
“Le Week-End” is directed by Roger Michell, who is famous for his amiable rom-com “Notting Hill” (1999).
The Target (15)
Actor Ryu Seung-ryong has challenged himself in the new action flick “The Target,” which was one of the most anticipated films to open in April.
Yeo-hoon (Ryu) gets involved in a mysterious murder case and is now being chased by detectives for a crime he didn’t commit.
Doctor Tae-joon (Lee Jin-wook), who is happily married to a lovely wife (Jo Yeo-jeong), gets a phone call asking him to release Yeo-hoon from the hospital. If he fails, his wife will be killed.
But Yeo-hoon escapes the detectives and vows to help Tae-joon get his wife back safely. The plot, which is based on the 1967 American film “Point Blank,” is a fast-paced depiction of the 36-hour chase with full action scenes.
The detectives are played by veteran actors Yoo Jun-sang and Kim Sung-ryung.
Ryu is acclaimed as an actor for playing versatile roles such as “Miracle in Cell No.7,” where he played a mentally ill father, and in the costumed drama “Masquerade” (2012), where he took on a comical role as the king’s adviser. “The Target” is Ryu’s first attempt at an action film, and industry insiders are excitedly waiting to see what he has to offer in this genre.