2014.5.16 Now PlayingObsessed (19)
“Obsessed” is set in 1969 near the end of the Vietnam War. Colonel Jin-pyung (Song Seung-heon), who fought with valor during the war, is looking forward to being promoted to general. His beautiful wife, Sook-jin (Jo Yeo-jung), is an aspirational woman who cares deeply about her family’s reputation around the village.
One day, Woo-jin (On Joo-wan), one of Jin-pyung’s subordinates, moves into the village with his wife, Ga-heun (Lim Ji-yeon), and Jin-pyung falls in love with her at once. The spark between them is ignited instantly, and a scandal that can never be forgotten begins.
The movie has garnered attention for its provocative and sensual teaser photos and trailer, with the curiosity of audiences and critics piqued by the fact that this will be Song’s first try at acting in a sex scene.
Kim Dae-woo, who has completed a number of successful R-rated romance films such as “Forbidden Quest” (2006) and “The Servant” (2010), directs “Obsessed.”
Mad Sad Bad (19)
Drama/ 116/ Korean
Comprised of three shorts, Mad Sad Bad was the opener for the Jeonju International Film Festival this year.
It is the first locally produced 3-D omnibus film and the use of the technology attempts to bring something new to the table.
Director Ryu Seung-wan, Han Ji-seung and Kim Tae-yong all professed to have found 3-D production a difficult task in this project.
While this is shown, the stories themselves are intriguing.
Starting with “Ghost,” based on an infamous Sinchon murder from two years ago, Ryu dissects the dynamics of an online community group and its members’ real lives.
In “I Saw You”, Park Ki-woong, of “Secretly, Greatly” fame, gives a stellar performance as a factory manager who supervises and yet loathes zombies.
Having been infected by the disease once before, Park is a scrupulous supervisor who is trying to recall something from his past, creating humor and suspense at the same time.
Finally, there’s “Picnic”, a crowd pleaser starring the adorable 7-year-old actress Kim Su-ahn. Playing Soo-min, the older sister of an autistic boy, Kim will make viewers flit between breaking into tears and laughter.
Ginger & Rosa (15)
Somewhat under the influence of jazz, the 1960s in London is a time full of chaos and romantic sentiment.
Ginger (Elle Fanning) and Rosa (Alice Englert), like many other teenage girls, are soul mates who share all parts of their lives - from hairstyles and fashion to music and dreams.
However, as time passes and the girls get older, the interests of the two start to diverge.
Ginger, always the most serious of the duo, gets caught up in social issues such as the nuclear bomb problem and spends her time marching on the streets in a protest. Rosa, meanwhile, gets involved in an unexpected romantic relationship.
With Ginger discontented with Rosa’s seeming detachment from reality, will the two be able to maintain their once-inseparable friendship?
The movie is directed by the acclaimed Sarry Potter of “Orlando” (1992). Elle Fanning, the younger sister of the more widely known actress Dakota Fanning, has proven herself a competent performer through this film. The 16-year-old girl shows a wide range of emotions in the film, transforming from a giddy adventurous teenager to a solitary, heartbroken young woman.
Drama/ 126/ English
Spike Jonze’s latest feature, “Her,” explores a new form of romantic relationship: falling in love with a computer.
Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) is a ghostwriter who pens personal letters - most of them based around love - for other people. The mail he writes may be full of fluttery, delicate sentiments, but for Theodore, who is separated from his wife Catherine (Rooney Mara), reality cannot be lonelier.
One day he buys an operating system who calls itself Samantha (Scarlett Johansson). The computer is not just an automatic talking device but has a personality and is a conscious being. As Theodore becomes more engaged in an intimate relationship with Samantha, he finds himself falling in love with her. But, of course, no further intimacy can be pursued for she has no physical existence.
The movie has had positive reviews from the international press for its intriguing theme and visually stunning portrait of a future Los Angeles, in which the movie is set. Scarlett Johansson’s sultry voice is also not to be missed.
20 Feet from Stardom (15)
A documentary by award-winning director Morgan Neville, of “Troubadours” (2010), “20 Feet from Stardom” traces the lives of backup singers who are forever destined to be overshadowed by soloists.
But without these singers, outstanding performances of the past would not have been possible. The documentary sheds light on the discouraging - and also hopeful - stories of these people.
The documentary follows Darlene Love, who was once a muse for Phil Spector, the producer of the Beatles, but later became a cleaning lady to make the ends meet. There is also the hopeful story of Lisa Fischer, who stood on stage with Sting, the Rolling Stones and Christ Botti as a backup singer, and also managed to win a Grammy award with one of her singles.
World-famous musicians such as Bruce Springsteen and Stevie Wonder are also featured in the film in close-up interviews. The documentary won the award for Best Documentary Feature at the 86th Academy Awards earlier this year.
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, 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.