2013.12.20 Now Playing
Drama / 127 / Korean
With only a high school certificate, Song Woo-suk (Song Kang-ho) manages to pass the bar exam. But because of his limited education, he is an outcast and a joke to the rest of the attorneys. He accepts tax cases his colleagues regard as lowly cases, and becomes affluent.
One day, he accidentally comes across a case in which Jin-woo (Im Si-wan), a son of Woo-suk’s acquaintance, is tortured.
The case enlightens him and he becomes a human rights lawyer.
The film drew the public’s attention even before its release because its synopsis is based on the true story of the late President Roh Moo-hyun, which caused arguments among some viewers.
Song pleaded with viewers to focus on the film itself.
However, even if no explanation was included, the film can still be viewed as a touching story of an attorney who faced a life-changing experience. It is also a treat for fans of Song as he shines in the genre that he is best known for.
Steal My Heart (12)
Rom-com / 115 / Korean
Top stars Joo Won and Kim Ah-joong star in this promising film for the Christmas season.
Moon Joon-won (Joo) is a police profiler who has never once failed to track down a suspect. But when he gets tangled in a case involving a hit-and-run, he is put in the peculiar position of having to arrest his first love, Jin-sook (Kim).
Confused, Moon stalls his fellow officers by locking up Jin-sook in his home, but as old feelings resurface, Moon finds out more disturbing truths about his ex-girlfriend, like the fact that she’s a notorious thief who’s stolen priceless artworks and gems across Seoul.
Together, they try to come up with a solution to keep Jin-sook out of prison while the rest of the police search for her.
The plot is predictable and the ending is ludicrous. But no doubt fans will love the hilarity that ensues as Moon tries to accommodate his old lover. But could it be that Jin-sook is hiding something else?
The chemistry between the two leads is unconvincing at the best of times, but flashbacks - Joo Won with a shaggy bowl cut - provide a little comic relief. Also, a cameo by Cha Tae-hyun is the film’s saving grace.
The Suspect (15)
Action / 138 / Korean
Dong-chul (Gong Yoo), the best special field agent in North Korea, was abandoned by his government. While he is on the run from assassins, he looks for his wife and child, who were sold as slaves to China, only to find out that they were killed. After that, he searches for his colleague, who was behind their deaths, while working under Chairman Park, who looks out for Dong-chul.
One day, the chairman is murdered and Dong-chul becomes the intelligence service’s suspect. So, he becomes a chaser and a runner at the same time.
Within its lengthy running time, viewers will be surprised to find first-class action scenes, with more than half of the film filled with spectacular action.
Gong Yoo, who is back on the screen for the first time in two years, is highly received among viewers and critics. It is true that the film is highly compared to previous films such as “Commitment” and “Secretly Greatly,” in which North Korean special field agents were also the main characters. But this film tops them when it comes to thrills.
Comedy / 93 / English
Miller (Miles Teller) and Casey (Skylar Astin) unexpectedly visit Jeff Chang (Justin Chon), their best friend, on his 21st birthday. The three friends get into trouble after Jeff passes out or rather slips into a coma-like state. Miller and Casey try to get Jeff back to his home for a medical school interview the next morning, but everything goes wrong.
America’s legal drinking age, which is 21, provides the theme for the film, which is the directorial debut of the “Hangover” screenwriting team John Lucas and Scott Moore.
This movie depicts the troubles the three best friends get into in just one night. And the thing is, there’s always a stereotype lingering in the film, just like in the “Hangover” series. Jeff, too, has a typical Asian dad who is harsh and strict. As “Hangover 3” was a disaster, one might expect “21 and Over” to be one, too. Yet, it was fairly received by critics and viewers, even though it didn’t have the impact of the original “Hangover” in 2009.
Drama / 98 / English
Billy Hayward, who was just released on parole after eight years in prison, makes his grand entrance back to his hometown and family.
Unfortunately, when he gets there he sees the devastation caused by his absence in the form of his two kids, 15-year-old Dean and 11-year-old Jimmy. Back in the real world, Billy is unsure where or what he’s supposed to be.
Meanwhile, his two boys have been fending for themselves since their mom ran off to Spain with her boyfriend. Billy is thinking of going north to work in the mines, but when his parole officer informs him that by doing so his kids will be taken away from him, he decides to change his plan.
Dean blackmails his dad to pretend to stick around, just enough to convince social workers.
While Jimmy does warm up to the dad he never knew, it takes Dean some more time to get comfortable with the man he thinks is responsible for leaving him and his brother in their current situation.
Jimmy also manages to get himself into trouble with some of Billy’s ex-cohorts, so Billy steps in to rescue him.
Rom-com / 124 / English
Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) was never really good at first impressions. His encounters with the ladies in particular are extremely awkward, and he never says the right things. That is, until he gets the chance at saying them right the first time.
Tim learns from his father that the men in his family all have a special gift: They can travel back in time. At first, Tim thinks it’s crazy. After all, what’s crazier than going into a dark closet and wishing to go back in time? Except, in Tim’s case, it actually works. Tim gets to go back and rescue his buffoon-self from stuttered encounters and missed connections. After playing around with the gift, and learning that some things cannot be forced, he is soon presented with the chance to get it right with the love of his life, Mary (Rachel McAdams), whom Tim quickly falls in love with at a party.
Yet when Tim travels back in time to help one of his friends, he discovers that he encounters a new set of consequences - such as losing Mary to another man. Each time Tim tries to balance his love for Mary and his penchant to take care of others around him, he faces new and grave obstacles, and learns that there are some things time travel just can’t fix.
Directed by Richard Curtis, of “Four Weddings and a Funeral” (1994) and “Love Actually” (2003) fame, the film packs witty humor with touching moments between Tim and his father, played by the British actor Bill Nye.
Perfect rom-com for the holiday season and McAdams shows yet again how talented she is both visually and as an actor.
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