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Culture

2013.8.30 NOW PLAYING

Aug 30,2013
Jobs (12)

Drama, Biography / 128 / English

Arguably one of the most prolific minds of the 21st century, Steve Jobs left behind an immense legacy when he passed away in 2011. Yet a life is rarely linear, especially for the entrepreneurial Jobs. From walking barefoot around Reed College in the ’70s to founding one of the biggest computer companies in the world, Jobs (Ashton Kutcher) shows how a spark of passion and a vision can revolutionize not just technology, but our everyday lives.

“Jobs,” directed by Joshua Michael Stern, chronicles the innovator at work from starting, running and eventually getting fired from Apple. With his college roommate and co-founder Steve Wozniak (Josh Gad), Jobs sets out on an emotional journey to build one of the very first personal computers by combining engineering with artistry - something unheard of in the late ’70s. After an angel investor (Dermot Mulroney) decides to take a plunge into the unknown technology, Jobs finally gets the capital to get off the ground but faces roadblocks everywhere. Luckily, the persevering Jobs always has an idea around the corner and it’s a thrill to see him overcome intellectual burdens throughout the film.

Shield of Straw (15)

Thriller / 117 / Japanese

Where would you hide if a bounty of a billion yen is placed on your head? Mastermind of Japanese thrillers Takashi Miike brings Kazuhiro Kiuchi’s novel “Wara no Tate” to life as detectives Atsuko Shiraiwa (Nanako Matsushima) and Kazuki Mekari (Takao Osawa) try to protect and transport Kunihide Kiyomaru (Tatsuya Fujiwara), who is suspected of murdering a 7-year-old girl, from the western city of Fukuoka all the way to Tokyo.

Assuming that Kiyomaru murdered his granddaughter, Takaoki Ninagawa (Tsutomu Yamazaki) offers a billion yen to anyone who can find and kill him. Fearing for his life, Kiyomaru turns himself into the police and must now rely on the state to safeguard him as countless Japanese citizens take up arms in hopes of snagging the prize money. The deadly trip tests the mettle of both detectives who are caught in between a suspected killer and an eager-to-kill citizenry. The detectives find it increasingly difficult to harbor Kiyomaru on the Japanese bullet train that has 1,200 kilometers (745 miles) to cover before its final destination. Complete with carnage and bloody shootouts, the film is jam-packed with essentials to satisfy a drama-hungry audiences.

2 Days in New York (15)

Comedy / 96 / English

The neurotic, self-deprecating and adorably charming Marion (Julie Delpy) is back again in the city that doesn’t sleep and a family that doesn’t let you rest. The sequel to “2 Days in Paris” follows Parisian Marion and her New York boyfriend, Mingus (Chris Rock), as they hilariously cringe and bear a visit from Marion’s father (Albert Delpy), sister (Alexia Landeau) and a surprise carry-on: her ex-boyfriend (Alexandre Nahon). So if it’s only two days, what can go wrong? If you mix French and American cultural misunderstandings, awkward family habits and relationship hiccups - apparently everything.

Directed by Delpy herself, a comedy or errors ensues when Marion’s relatives decide to overtake her small New York apartment and emotions start to swell as the frank French family holds nothing back in either criticisms or flirtatious advances. Marion gets caught up in the fray as she tries to diplomatically balance her family’s behavior and her boyfriend’s patience. When nothing seems to work, Marion is left on the verge of a broken heart and shattered familial ties. Yet even as the mood starts to sour, the quick-witted dialogue picks up and keeps the audience giggling and smirking along the way.

R.I.P.D. (15)

Action / 95 / English

Based on Peter M. Lenkov’s comic book “Rest in Peace Department,” this film was released last month in the United States, but it just hit theaters in Korea. Ryan Reynolds plays Nick, a member of the Washington, D.C. police force, who is shot about a dozen times by a supposed friend in a warehouse while chasing a drug lord.

The dead cop is taken up to heaven, but instead of clouds and harps, he is offered a job for a supernatural police force known as R.I.P.D. Their job - protect the living from malevolent spirits who slipped through the cracks of the eternal justice system and remained on earth.

After accepting the job, Nick is paired with veteran sheriff Roy Pulsifer (Jeff Bridges), a wise-cracking former cowboy from the late 1800s Wild West. Together, they hunt down the evil dead, ghosts they call “deados.”

Although the film received lukewarm reviews from critics, with just an 11 percent “fresh” rating at the Web site Rotten Tomatoes, the film is consistently funny, mostly from the old cowboy’s rants and folksy sayings.

Now You See Me (12)

Thriller, Action / 115 / English

Directed by Louis Leterrier, of “Clash of the Titans” (2010), this sleight-of-hand thriller boasts an impressive ensemble cast, including Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine.

“Now You See Me” is the story about four talented magicians (played by Harrelson, Fisher, Franco and Eisenberg) who are mysteriously invited to an apartment in New York City, where they find a strange message in the form of a fantastic hologram.

A year later, the magicians have become one of the most popular acts in Las Vegas, calling themselves the “Four Horsemen.” But at one show, their magic trick apparently involves an amazing, international bank heist, stealing money from a Paris bank and then showering the Vegas audience with the cash.

At this point, FBI agent Dylan Rhodes (Ruffalo) gets involved, teaming up with Interpol agent Alma Dray (Melanie Laurent) to stop the unusual thieves.

But more than just thieves, the Four Horsemen and their benefactor have reasons for their very unusual magic act.

All the while, veteran illusionist expert Thaddeus (Freeman) works to debunk Rhodes’s misconceptions and tries to guide him in the complicated mystery.

Since its premier in the United States in May, this movie has proven to be a sleeper hit worldwide, earning more than $274 million from an estimated $75 million budget.

Elysium (19)

Action / 109 / English

The second feature film from Neill Blomkamp, the man who brought us the politically charged sci-fi hit “District 9,” this movie was tipped to be one of the biggest hits of summer.

The film portrays a grim future, where the rich have deserted the planet, starting afresh on the massive orbiting satellite the Elysium, a habitat just a shuttle ride away from Earth. It is the plight of those left behind to slave away, loot, an eventually die from illness while those orbiting above live the high life.

Matt Damon plays Max, one of the lowly have-nots stuck on Earth. But after he comes down with a terminal case of cancer, Max is determined to make it to Elysium, where they have the technology to cure him. Cue villain, Kruger (Sharlto Copley), whose job is to make sure Max never makes it to the top. The film also has Jodie Foster playing a cold-hearted government official, very similar to the eccentric villain played by Tilda Swinton in the Korean hit film “Snowpiercer.”

The two films, both released over summer drew a lot of comparisons from critics as they both grapple with the notion of class in a futuristic world.
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