2014.6.6 Now PlayingHigh Heel (19)
Action Noir / Korean / 124
Director, writer and producer Jang Jin teamed up with Cha Seung-won in his new film “High Heel” seven years after their last collaboration “My Son.”
Jang, one of the best storytellers of our time, explores the tale of a formidable detective named Yoon Ji-wook (Cha), who struggles to find his real gender identity. Ji-wook has established himself as a notorious member of the police, but when his deep secret is exposed to Heo Gon (Oh Jung-se), conflicts enfold.
The detective tries to suppress his femininity by reinforcing his masculine side. Under Jang, the seemingly unlikely plot transforms into a unique noir film with a creative mise-en-scene, and the filmmaker then explores how transgender individuals can fit into the mainstream society.
Through “High Heel,” model-turned-actor Cha Seung-won has finally has found his strength after 17 years in the film industry.
Night Train to Lisbon (15)
Mystery, Romance / 111 / German
Based on Swiss writer Pascal Mercier’s novel of the same title, director Bille August portrays the enigmatic meeting of an ancient-language professor Raimund Gregoriu (Jeremy Irons) and a young woman clad in a red leather coat trying to leap into the river.
The professor manages to pull her away, but he fails to get any detailed information about her because she leaves right away. He then discovers a memo inside the pocket of the red coat, which has a ticket to Lisbon inside.
Edge of Tomorrow (12)
It seems like just another Hollywood summer blockbuster, but under the direction of Doug Liman, “Edge of Tomorrow” develops a unique color of its own.
Tom Cruise plays Major William Cage in the story based on Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s military-themed science-fiction novel “All You Need Is Kill.”
Set in the near future, when an alien race has hit Earth in an unrelenting assault, Cage is deployed on a suicide mission and is killed within minutes.
But, strangely enough, Cage finds himself inexplicably thrown into a time loop - forcing him to live out the same brutal combat over and over, fighting and dying again and again.
The film’s production team features Hollywood’s dream team, ranging from production designer Oliver Scholl of “Jumper” (2008) to Oscar-nominated visual effects supervisor Nick Davis of “The Dark Knight” (2008). The music was done by Christophe Beck of “Frozen” (2013).
No Tears for the Dead (19)
Jang dong-gun is back in a genre he is best known for, complete with a sob story about an American dream gone wrong and an accent to go with it.
Directed by Lee Jung-bum who brought us the 2010 hit “The Man from Nowhere,” the story is again based on an assassin.
Jang plays Gon, a killer who experienced some traumatic events during his childhood when he was living in the United States.
When a job goes wrong, Gon has a sort of mid-life crisis in which he’s not sure if he can ever atone for his many wrongdoings.
Although it’s a little difficult to understand why an assassin would face ethical dilemmas about taking lives after doing it for years, it’s quite easy to follow the plot of this exaggerated action flick.
Lee confessed that his latest project was quite a burden as it is his first successor to “The Man from Nowhere,” and this movie shows just how right he was in that assumption.
Jang is great with a pistol, and is even greater at dodging the shrapnel that comes at him, but it’s hard to buy into his traumas from the past. The opening sequence is promising enough, but despite the international casting of villains and flashbacks, the sequence of the storytelling doesn’t deliver.
Mystery, Horror / 105/ English
Summer is near and it’s time for some spine-chilling horror movies. One that might suit your taste is “Oculus,” which centers on a supernatural phenomenon that is a horror-movie must: the mirror.
Ten years ago, Tim (Brenton Thwaites) was convicted of the murder of his parents, and his sister Kaylie (Karen Gillan) wants to get to the bottom of the brutal case.
Kaylie finds out that the owners of Lasser Glass, an antique mirror installed in their house, have all died due to horrible accidents and she becomes convinced that her parents’ death had something to do with it.
The trend in horror movies these days has shifted from the appearance of grotesque ghosts or demons to realistic supernatural phenomenons, as shown in box-office hits like the “Paranormal Activity” series and “The Conjuring.”
X-Men: Days of Future Past (15)
After Captain America and his colleagues swept Mapo District, western Seoul, in April, Spider-Man came shortly after to continue the craze.
However, as their name might hint, the X-Men are neither as patriotic as Captain America nor are they as cute as Peter Parker.
But these mutant superheroes, led by Professor X (James McAvoy), have been Korea’s most beloved movie characters for a long time. In this new sequel, the ultimate X-Men are assembled in order to fight a war for the survival of the species.
Bryan Singer, who also directed “X-Men: First Class” in 2011, continues the work but puts the heroes back into the past to fight in a battle that will save the future. Heralded as one of the best X-Men series, the film was No. 1 at the box office for two consecutive weeks since opening.
Despite opening just two weeks ago, it’s attracted three million viewers already.
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 on love - for other people. The mail he writes may be full of fluttery and 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 that 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.