2014.9.12 Now PlayingHill of Freedom (19)
Directed by the Korean screenwriter of “Our Sunhi” (2012) and “Nobody’s Daughter Haewon” (2012), Hong Sang-soo has crafted yet another arthouse romance featuring veteran actress Moon So-ri and Japanese lead Ryo Kase.
The film traces the heartrending love story of Japanese teacher Mori (Ryo Kase) on his return to Seoul to track down a woman surnamed Kwon who he fell for several years ago. But when Mori is back in Bukchon, a tranquil neighborhood in the center of the city, Kwon is no longer around.
From then on, Mori starts to write a handful of letters to Kwon at a coffee shop owned by Young-sun (Moon So-ri).
Mori’s stories, however, are recounted as flashbacks later on when Kwon returns to Seoul and receives a chunk of letters at once, with the order getting mixed up when she trips and drops them all.
The film was recently invited to the Venice Film Festival, raising anticipation among Hong’s domestic fans.
Golden Chariot in the Sky (12)
Drama/ 84 / Korean
“Golden Chariot in the Sky” is directed by Jeju Island native O Muel.
The filmmaker also created “Jiseul” (2012), a movie that revealed the brutality of the 1948 Jeju Massacre and won the World Cinema Dramatic Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival last year.
For this movie, the maverick director has crafted a unique music-themed film that revolves around Pongddol’s clumsy rock band “Golden Chariot” and his relationship with his three older brothers.
But with the eldest brother’s death looming, the three siblings and other members of the band embark on a journey that mends the characters’ estranged relationships with a little help from love, care and, of course, music.
Tamako in Moratorium (12)
In Korea, it’s not hard to find a college graduate out of work because the unemployment crisis has been an ongoing issue for a while. And it seems like Japan is going through a similar situation, according to Nobuhiro Yamashita’s new film.
Yamashita studied at the Osaka University of Arts and debuted on the movie scene in 1997. “No One’s Ark” (2003), an oddball satire about the Japanese economic bubble won him global recognition.
The maverick’s latest feature depicts the laid-back - or time-wasting - lifestyle of unemployed graduate Tamako (Atsuko Maeda, a former member of Japanese idol group AKB48).
By the time the new year has begun, Tamako seems like she’s starting afresh - buying new clothes and doing her hair - but it doesn’t last long.
Soon enough, however, she confronts an unlikely event that puts an end to her idle life.
The film has already been acknowledged on the global stage by being invited to the International Film Festival Rotterdam and the Sydney Film Festival.
Into the Storm (12)
Action, thriller/ 89/ English
Disaster films rarely fail to provide a quality experience at the cinema, and Steven Quale’s latest flick, “Into the Storm,” could be a good choice to wash away the lingering heat now that summer is almost over.
The movie is set in the peaceful town of Silverton, Oklahoma, where an unprecedented super tornado caused by abnormal changes in the climate sweeps the town away one day and leaves everything in rubble.
And what’s worse is that the heaviest cyclone is yet to come, according to several meteorologists.
When the deadly tornado breaks out again, a team of professional storm chasers and courageous townspeople climb onto a heavily armed truck to videotape the once-in-a-lifetime vortex.
The videotaped part of the movie is filmed from a first-person perspective, which may give the audience a more realistic and mind-blowing storm experience. The film is set to open with 4-D effects as well.
The Two Faces of January (15)
Based on Patricia Highsmith’s 1964 novel, “The Two Faces of January” has been adapted by Iranian director Hossein Amini. Although it’s a crime thriller, the film doesn’t fall under the typical template of the genre. Instead, it is an absolute visual feast, filled with the sunny landscape of Greece.
Wealthy married couple Chester (Viggo Mortensen) and Colette MacFarland (Kirsten Dunst) of the United States take a trip to Greece. During their glamorous stay, the couple strikes up a friendship with American tour guide Rydal (Oscar Isaac).
However, while they enjoy their last day at a luxury resort, the two come face to face with a suspicious man and end up killing him. Just in time, Rydal offers to help them conceal the case and escape the city. In the process, he notices that the couple aren’t as in love as they seem and starts to form romantic feelings for Colette.
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (19)
Nearly a decade after the release of “Sin City,” which caused a sensation with its groundbreaking monotone pictures and harsh brutality, Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez have come up with a second installment.
Just like the first in the series, “A Dame to Kill For” features a stellar cast, including Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Eva Green, Jessica Alba and Bruce Willis.
The film is set in a fictional city full of rampant crime where gambler Johnny (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) jumps fearlessly into the card game scene to challenge the metropolis’ evil boss.
Although Johnny wins, he is punished by the city’s corrupt authorities and sets out for revenge.
French actress and model Eva Green, meanwhile, plays Ava Lord, a typical black widow temptress. She lures investigator Dwight (Josh Brolin) into killing her abusive husband, and in the end he becomes her prey.
The Wicked (19)
Horror, thriller/ 93/ Korean
The Korean movie scene hasn’t seen many well-made horror flicks this year. But although summer has already ended, there is one more scary movie waiting to send chills down your spine.
Directed by Yoo Young-sun of “Almost Dead” (2013), “The Wicked” is set in an office - an unlikely backdrop for a horror film.
Se-young (Park Ju-hee) is a newbie worker stressed out from work and pulling all-nighters. And fastidious team manager Lee-sun (Na Soo-yoon) isn’t helping.
One day, Lee-sun makes the creepy bet that if Se-young can’t finish her workload in time, she will take away one of her fingers.
The deadline is near and Se-young finishes her work in time.
Then, with a finished report in one hand, she finds Lee-sun to collect what has been waged.
This is the debut feature-length film of actress Park Ju-hee, and her strong presence throughout the film was noted by critics even before the movie opened.