2018.10.25 Now Playing
Fantasy, adventure / 152 / English / Oct. 24
Ahead of the release of “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” next month, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” will arrive in local theaters this week. The “Fantastic Beasts” franchise is a spin-off and a prequel to the “Harry Potter” film series.
The first of the eight-movie “Harry Potter” series, “Sorcerer’s Stone” was originally released in December 2001. Directed by Chris Columbus, the movie centers on the young Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), who enrolls in the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where he learns the truth about himself, secrets he had not known about his family and the evil forces that haunt the magical world.
Despite the dangers surrounding Harry, he overcomes these situations through the help of his teachers at Hogwarts, as well as his best friends Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson).
Crazy Rich Asians (12)
Romance, comedy / 120 / English / Oct. 25
“Crazy Rich Asians” is a rom-com based on Kevin Kwan’s bestselling novel of the same title about Singapore’s wealthy elite. A rare film with Asian-American characters at the center, the movie is the first Hollywood major studio film to feature an all-Asian cast since “The Joy Luck Club” was released 25 years ago.
Directed by Jon M. Chu, the movie is about Rachel Chu (Constance Wu), an economics professor at New York City, who agrees to go to Singapore with her boyfriend, Nick Young (Henry Golding) to attend the wedding of his best friend. During her trip, she meets Nick's family, including Nick’s mother (Michelle Yeoh) and learns that her boyfriend comes from an extremely rich family.
The film topped the North American box office for its first three weeks and is the highest-grossing romantic comedy in a decade, having made more than $231 million worldwide.
Drama / 66 / Korean / Oct. 25
Director Hong Sang-soo’s latest release starring his muse Kim Min-hee revolves around a protagonist named Areum (Kim), who spends her time observing customers at a cafe in Seoul and writing down the conversations that she overhears in her MacBook Pro.
Some of the people she observes are an actor (Jung Jin-young) trying to convince a much younger woman (Kim Sae-byuk), a professional writer, to agree to something in the script they are co-writing. Areum also observes a big argument that breaks out between a girl (Gong Min-jung) and a boy (Ahn Jae-hong) at a nearby table.
From the director behind a number of critically acclaimed films like “Yourself and Yours” (2016) and “Right Now, Wrong Then,” “Grass” premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival in February, and was recently screened at the 23rd Busan International Film Festival in the non-competition section.
Romance, comedy 101 / English / Oct. 25
Directed and written by Jake Goldberger, this movie centers on a young would-be chef named Charlie (Freddie Highmore), who is stuck in a gloomy reality of living at home with his mom and stepfather while working at a small local movie theater.
His life takes an unpredictable turn after encountering Amber (Odeya Rush) at a local coffee shop, where she works as a barista. Charlie, who had crush on Amber since high school, is initially hesitant and stutters in front of the girl he has fallen for. Although Amber has a boyfriend, this does not stop Charlie from stalking her incessantly.
The more he gets obsessed, the more Amber rebuffs him. And the sudden appearance of his estranged father (Christopher Meloni), makes Charlie’s life much more complicated.
First Man (12)
Sci-fi, Drama / 141 / English / Oct. 18
Another collaboration between award-winning “La La Land” director Damien Chazelle and actor Ryan Gosling, “First Man” tells the story of the first man on the moon, Neil Armstrong.
Based on James R. Hansen’s book “First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong,” the film chronicles Armstrong’s work with NASA and also explores how society benefits from individuals who put their work over their personal happiness.
The biopic avoids building up to the moment where an American flag is planted on the surface of the moon, instead shedding light on how Armstrong was partially motivated by his unspoken grief over the death of his young daughter, and how he escaped his role as a patriarch by working with NASA.
The movie premiered at the Venice Film Festival, which wrapped last month, to positive reviews.
Hot Summer Nights (15)
Drama / 107 / English / Oct. 18
Starring Timothee Chalamet, the Oscar-nominated star of “Call Me By Your Name” (2017), as an awkward teenager named Daniel, the movie depicts the romantic yet dangerous nights of a hot summer in Cape Cod.
After his father dies, Daniel’s mother sends him to spend the summer with his aunt. Though he is not so happy about his mother’s decision, his days become much more exciting after he meets Hunter (Alex Roe), the bad boy in town who sells drugs. Soon, they pair up to become business partners. Getting his hands on an amount of cash he could have never imagined, Daniel gets more ambitious and wants to sell different drugs. Daniel’s life gets even more exciting as he starts dating Hunter’s enigmatic younger sister.
The movie is directed by the first time writer-director Elijah Bynum.
Rebel in the Rye (12)
Drama / 109 / English / Oct. 18
Directed and written by Danny Strong, who wrote the scripts for “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1” (2014) and “Lee Daniel’s The Butler” (2013), “Rebel in the Rye” is a biographical drama based on Kenneth Slawenski’s 2010 book “J.D. Salinger: A Life.”
Starring Nicholas Hoult as the reclusive author J.D. Salinger (1919-2010), known for his novel “The Catcher in the Rye,” the movie is about the author who was horrified by the idea of mediocrity. This leads him to seal himself away from public life instead of subjecting his work to mainstream scrutiny.
Offering a cursory glance at every stage of the author’s career, the movie shows the torture and anxiety that entails writing a masterpiece.
Drama / 98 / Korean / Oct. 11
A movie centering on a female protagonist, “Miss Baek” explores child abuse through the eyes of Sang-ah (Han Ji-min), a social outcast who was abandoned by her abusive mother in her youth and became a convict as a minor after trying to protect herself from the son of a powerful businessman who attempted to rape her. Having gone through such experiences at a young age makes her defensive, tough and, at times, reckless.
However, her heart starts to melt when she encounters the young Ji-eun (Kim Si-ah), who is abused by her game-addicted father and his girlfriend.
Seeing herself in the girl, Sang-ah opens up to Ji-eun. She feeds her, dresses her up and takes her to fun places like a theme park. She gradually becomes protective of the girl, even at the cost of her own safety and future.
Inspired by actual events, the film, written and directed by Lee Ji-won, was born out of the filmmaker’s desire to bring attention to the plight of children suffering from abuse.
Dark Figure of Crime (15)
Crime / 110 / Korean / Oct. 3
Im Tae-ho, played by Ju Ji-hoon, is an imprisoned convicted murderer. He confesses to respected detective Hyung-min, played by Kim Yoon-seok, that he has committed additional murders.
Although nobody believes Tae-ho’s confession, Hyung-min delves into the case and attempts to uncover the mystery.
Depicting a fierce psychological confrontation between detective and killer, the crime thriller was inspired by an actual incident.
Though the film revolves around the murderer and the detective, at the heart of the movie are the victims, Kim said in an interview.
Directed by Kim Tae-kyun, the film co-stars Moon Jeong-hee and Jin Sun-kyu.