2019.2.14 Now Playing
Drama / 129 / Korean / Feb. 13
“Are you a good person?” an autistic teenager named Ji-woo (Kim Hyang-gi) asks Soon-ho (Jung Woo-sung), a former human-rights lawyer who now takes on bigger cases for fatter paychecks.
Soon-ho is a poor lawyer struggling to pay back his family debt. One day, he lands a murder case that could result in a promotion. The suspect from the case argues the old man’s death was a suicide attempt and that she merely tried to help. While working on the defense, Soon-ho learns about Ji-woo, who witnessed the entire incident from her window across the street.
But when Soon-ho approaches Ji-woo and asks about her side of the story, he doesn’t have much success. After learning about her autism, Soon-ho attempts to understand how she interprets the world around her.
Mary Poppins Returns (G)
Fantasy, Musical / 130 / English / Feb. 14
In the sequel to the 1964 classic, “Marry Poppins” starring Julie Andrews, Emily Blunt takes on the iconic role.
Set in mid-1930s London, the movie tells the story of the widowed Michael Banks (Ben Whishaw) and his struggles to raise thee children and cover the payments he needs to make on loans he took out from the bank. If not repaid on time, his home will be repossessed.
Just when he feels like he is standing at the edge of a cliff, Mary Poppins (Blunt) descends from the sky to take care of the children, introducing them to a magical world, while reminding the grown-ups of the life’s magic.
The movie, directed by Rob Marshall of “Into the Woods” (2014), co-stars Lin-Manuel Miranda as Jack and Emily Mortimer as Jane Banks.
Horror, Comedy / 100 / English / Feb. 14
The sequel to the comedic slasher movie “Happy Death Day” (2017) from Blumhouse Productions tells the story of a popular college girl named Tree (Jessica Rothe), who is forced to relive her birthday, the day she was murdered, over and over again.
But this time, when she wakes up in the time loop, it’s not because she’s murdered. It turns out everyone else has become a target of the masked killer. To save her friends, Tree kills herself to reset the loop and stop the killer from murdering others.
Extreme Job (15)
Comedy / 111 / Korean / Jan. 23
Chief Detective Go (Ryu Seung-ryong), who leads a low-performing drug squad, repeatedly misses out on promotion opportunities. Though he and his crew, including hot-tempered Detective Jang (Lee Ha-nee) and rookie officer Jae-hun (Gong Myoung), are extremely passionate about taking down criminals, their attempts continue to fail.
One day, Chief Detective Go’s colleague, who is about to be promoted, tells Go about an opportunity to catch a criminal organization and prove his team is worthwhile. To do so, Go’s squad opens a chicken restaurant located in front of the criminal organization’s safe house. Their plan, however, doesn’t pan out as expected when the chicken starts selling very well, interfering with their real work.
Directed by Lee Byeong-hun, who was behind such comedy titles as “What A Man Wants” (2018), the film co-stars Jin Sun-kyu, Lee Dong-hwi and Shin Ha-kyun.
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (G)
Animation, Adventure / 104 / English / Jan. 30
The third and final film in the “How to Train Your Dragon” trilogy takes viewers on another dragon-riding adventure to far away lands.
The movie begins one year after the events of the second film, which was released in 2014. Here, the brave young Viking Hiccup continues to rescue dragons with his fellow dragon riders and friends, including his fire-breathing Night Fury buddy, Toothless.
Although Hiccup has achieved his long-held wish of creating a world where humans and dragons can live together, his adventure to save dragons from ruthless dragon hunters continues. His dream of finding the mythical place known as Hidden World, a safe haven of dragons, is also what motivates Hiccup to keep moving.
But his adventure gets in the way of the infamous dragon hunter Grimmel the Grisly, who uses the Light Night Fury, a sparkling white female dragon, as bait in his capture of Toothless.
Action, Adventure / 122 / English / Feb. 5
From visionary filmmakers James Cameron of “Avatar” (2009) and Robert Rodriguez of the “Sin City” franchise, “Alita” is a cyberpunk action film based on Yukito Kishiro’s manga series “Gunm.”
Taking place several centuries into a technological dystopian future, “Alita,” produced by Cameron and Jon Landau, and directed by Rodriguez, revolves around a big-eyed amnesiac cyborg named Alita (Rosa Salazar), who is rescued from a scrap heap and nursed back to health by a doctor (Christoph Waltz) who tries to help her remember her past. Realizing her warrior spirit, she becomes a bounty hunter who tracks down criminals.
Drama / 126 / Lebanese / Jan. 24
Zain (Zain Al Rafeea) is a 12-year-old Syrian refugee. The movie opens with Zain being asked by a judge, “Why are you attacking your parents in court?” His answer is simple: “For giving me life.”
Zain lives in a cramped apartment with siblings. His sister, Sahar (Cedra Izam), is in danger of being sold into marriage by her parents to a much older neighbor. The tension at home crushes Zain, and he eventually leaves.
Zain takes refuge in an amusement park, where he meets an Ethiopian immigrant who has an infant son. Together, they form a family and Zain feels a sense of safety and nurturing he had hoped to receive from his parents.
Written and directed by Lebanese actor and director Nadine Labaki, who directed “Where Do We Go Now?” (2011) and “Caramel” (2007), her latest title was selected to compete for the Palme d’Or at last year’s Cannes Film Festival. It picked up the Jury Prize.
Crime, Action / 133 / Korean / Jan. 30
Directed by Han Jun-hee of crime movie “Coin Locker Girl” (2015), the movie begins with police Lt. Eun Si-yeon (Gong Hyo-jin) being demoted to a hit-and-run investigation squad from the regional investigation unit at the National Police Agency because of the methods she used while investigating the rich race car driver-turned businessman Jeong Jae-cheol (Cho Jung-seok).
After joining her new team, she meets Seo Min-jae (Ryu Jun-yeol), an officer who is also trying to catch Jae-cheol for causing a series of car crashes. With his keen sense of cars, Min-jae is the ace of the team.
As implied in the title, there are a number of thrilling car-chase scenes, more than 90 percent of which were pulled off by the actors.