Son Of Saul, Cousin Of Conan

If you had to choose one new movie to see this long weekend, the critical consensus would point to the Holocaust drama Son of Saul. It deals with a man trying to do the right thing in a horribly compromised moral situation.

Of the other films opening this weekend, a Bangkok-set Chinese action comedy channels the Detective Conan anime. Or else, an update of the adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn might be more some viewers’ speed.

All You Need Is Pag-Ibig

In this romantic drama, Kris Aquino plays Love, host of a TV show that provides on-air romantic advice. In several interconnected stories, various characters consult Love for help with their romantic problems. They include a teacher unable to move on from her now married ex-husband and a student with a puppy love crush towards his beautiful tutor.

Opens January 15 at the Century at Tanforan

Band Of Robbers

Directors Adam and Aaron Nee update Mark Twain’s tales of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn for the modern day. Here, Huck is a recently released ex-con trying to go straight. Tom is a childhood friend and corrupt cop who entices Huck into joining his gang, the Band of Robbers. Their goal will be to find the elusive hidden treasure which obsessed Tom and Huck in childhood. Plenty of Twain references will be found in this comedy about two men who haven’t yet grown up emotionally.

Opens January 15 at the Roxie Theatre

Detective Chinatown

In this contemporary action comedy, mystery novel junkie Qin Feng uses a vacation in Bangkok to hook up with distant alleged super-cop cousin Tang Ren. Needless to say, Tang’s actual situation is far less than advertised. Real excitement comes, though, when gold robbery suspect Sompat turns up murdered…and forensic evidence suggests Tang did the deed. As Tang tries to elude Sompat’s gold-seeking buddies, Qin has to unravel the elaborate conspiracy that resulted in his cousin’s being framed for murder.

Opens January 15 at the AMC Metreon 16


In this interlocking drama, the delivery of flowers has emotionally devastating impacts on the three women who receive them. Ane, who’s suffering both a midlife crisis and a loveless marriage, becomes fascinated with finding out the identity of the mysterious admirer who’s sending her weekly bouquets. Lourdes’ marriage is complicated by a domineering mother-in-law who has a very low opinion of her. The flowers that anonymously arrive help these two women recover a forgotten memory.

Opens January 15 at the Opera Plaza Cinemas


In this adaptation of Bonnie Nadzam’s novel of the same name, David Lamb’s life has swan-dived into an emotional toilet. Within a relatively short time, his marriage has disintegrated and his father has died. In search of personal redemption, Lamb takes under his wing the awkward and unpopular 11-year-old Tommie. He hopes that a road trip from Chicago to the Rocky Mountains will energize the young girl to avoid a lifetime of personal emptiness. But both adult and child wind up getting changed by their joint trip.

Opens January 15 at the Roxie Theatre

Nannaku Prematho

Many years ago in London, Subramanyam (aka Ramesh Chandra Prasad) was badly cheated by evil entrepeneur Krishnamoorthy. Subramanyam wound up fathering three sons who’ve become successful in life. Krishnamoorthy parlayed his dirty practices into a business empire. But the wronged father never gave up his dream of seeing the crooked entrepeneur pay for his crimes. Now Subramanyam’s youngest son Abhiram (Tollywood star NTR) has decided to fulfill his father’s wish and bring about Krishnamoorthy’s fall.

Opens January 15 at the Century 20 Daly City

Son Of Saul

This Cannes prize-winner and Oscar foreign film nominee is set in October 1944 at the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp. The titular Saul is a Hungarian Jew who works as a sonderkommando, one of the Jews who assisted the Nazis in keeping the Holocaust’s Jewish extermination machinery going. One day, the Hungarian sonderkommando discovers the body of a boy who looks like his son. That discovery prompts him to find ways to keep the boy’s body from being cremated, and to find a rabbi who can say Kaddish and then offer a proper burial. Meanwhile, Saul’s fellow sonderkommandos plot a revolt against their Nazi masters.

Opens January 15 at the Embarcadero Center Cinemas

About the Author

I'm a film reviewer for the Beyond Chron blog. Agnes Varda and Hirokazu Kore-eda are among my favorite filmmakers. I occasionally break down and watch a good action film...but don't tell anyone.

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