2014.7.25 Now PlayingKundo: Age of the Rampant (15)
Ha Jung-woo is back as dim-witted yet lovable bandit Dol-chi.
In this Joseon-era take on “Robin Hood” Ha starts off as an 18-year-old butcher, Dolmuchi.
Corrupt, evil government officials abound, and of them, the most cunning is Jo-yoon (Kang Dong-won), a blue-blooded man who won’t let anything get in his way as he climbs to the top.
When Dolmuchi is embroiled in an assassination plot that sees him all but destroyed by Jo-yoon, he unearths a new persona: Dol-chi.
Out for Jo-yoon’s blood, Dol-chi joins a secret society of freedom fighters that hide out on Mount Jiri.
Flanked by his trusty gang members, played by familiar faces like Ma Dong-suk, Lee Sung-min and Yoon Ji-hye, Ha rights one wrong at a time.
The film is somewhat formulaic but still expected to thrill fans, with Ha funnier than ever.
How to Train your Dragon 2 (ALL)
Currently one of top-rated films in the United States, the sequel picks up where the original left off. Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and his dragon Toothless have grown up and Hiccup faces mounting pressure from his ruling father Stoick (Gerard Butler) to step up as rightful heir and take command of his town.
But Hiccup simply isn’t interested and attempts to find a way out. On an outing, he encounters a stranger (who also has a dragon) who he first mistakes for a foe.
But upon being taken hostage, Hiccup discovers the identity of the masked rider and his world is suddenly turned upside down.
But personal problems aside, there is a greater danger that looms as an evil dragon master plots to kidnap and destroy all the dragons. Stoick sets out to find his missing son and before long the fate of all those who are dear to Hiccup lie in balance.
Passionate Love (19)
Romance/ 84/ Korean
Directed by Korea’s renowned adult film director Lee Soong-hwan of “Two Wives” (2013) and “Between the Navel and Knees” (2014), Lee’s newest film “Passionate Love,” traces yet another risky relationship, giving viewers more than enough nudity.
Dong-woo (Jung Min) and Min-hee (Han Cho-a) are a married couple but face a crisis due to Dong-woo’s obsession with his wife. Dong-woo is paranoid about the fact that Min-hee cheated on him two years ago and cannot let go of the painful memory.
While immersed in his own despair, he comes across Yoon-seo (Oh Soo-min) who is also unhappy, having been recently dumped by her boyfriend of five years.
Confiding their stories of loss, the two suddenly start to develop feelings for each other. But after numerous discussions, they come to realize that if they don’t face their sadness head-on, they will never be able to love again. And just like that, they leave their pasts behind and start anew.
Tale of a Forest (ALL)
This unique documentary uncovers Finland’s majestic primeval forests and the ancient myths residing behind them.
The 75-minute documentary was filmed over eight years in South Karelia in the south of the country. Directors Ville Suhonen and Kim Saarniluoto show how the woods, water and air interact to form an overwhelming and diverse ecosystem and how the wildlife adapts to the evolving environment.
Nearly 68 percent of Finnish territory - the film’s protagonist of sorts - is filled with live trees and 240 species of animals that thrive in the forests.
In order to avoid looking too much like a National Geographic feature, the directors add narration to the documentary that connects each plant and living being with the country’s intriguing mythical legends.
Mystery, thriller/ 94/ English
Directed by Switzerland’s Lucius C. Kuert, this thriller revolves around a mysterious murder case and opened in the United States in 2011.
In the film, Aleister (Robert Miano) is a washed-up Hollywood film writer who runs out of interesting material for his scripts.
With an impossible deadline looming only two weeks away, he suddenly discovers that he was recently named a suspect in the killing of a prominent politician’s wife.
But regardless of the fact that he is now standing in the middle of a murder case, Aleister is more than happy to have something to write about, and his newfound inspiration prompts him to start on a script for a fictional thriller.
Yet, as Alesiter draws out a rough plot line and starts to fill in the details of the murder case, his manuscript suddenly comes to life - as if someone else is making his words reality.
Though as more and more details coincide, the film’s well-intentioned protagonist abruptly finds himself at the center of a high-profile murder investigation.
Frances Ha (15)
Drama, Romance / 86 / English
In this film, 27-year-old Frances (Geta Gerwig) lives in a small apartment in Brooklyn but doesn’t allow her dreams to shrink to fit her surroundings.
Her dream is to one day become a famous dancer.
However, her life begins to crumble as her friendship with her best friend breaks down and the chance of making it big seems as slim as her thinning wallet.
Noah Baumbach, who was born and raised in Brooklyn, directed the film, though he stops short of making a stereotypical movie that creates a fantasy picture of New York. Instead, he uses his own ingenuity to present the film from the point of view of a true New Yorker.
Geta Gerwig previously starred in “No Strings Attached” and “To Rome with Love.” Her charming portrayal of a hard-working woman following her dreams is bound to shine through this film.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (12)
Against the backdrop of an all-but-destroyed San Francisco, genetically enhanced apes and humans live in a segregated society.
It’s only been a few years since a deadly virus (simian flu) killed millions and resulted in the apes’ escape into the wilderness, away from the cruel clutches of the humans that had mistreated them for centuries.
Deep in the jungle, the apes create a neat little commune, complete with a social hierarchy and civic duties.
Alpha-male Caesar (Andy Serkis) calls the shots, and although he is the sole ruler, his judgements are wise, selfless, and despite his demeanor, he is an advocate for peace - much to the annoyance of his underling, Koba, played by Toby Kebbell.
Meanwhile, among the human clan, Malcolm (Jason Clarke) shows a tenderness toward the apes. But with so much distrust already between the two sides, a war seems inevitable. And when one encroaches on the other’s turf, destiny is sealed. Compared to the 2001 version, this remake is the real deal.