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Films drift into alternate realities of dreams and games

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Updated : February 06 2017

Two sci-fi thriller films set to hit theaters this month take place in the alternate realities of dreams and games.

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Go Soo stars in “Lucid Dream.” (NEW)
“Lucid Dream,” opening Feb. 22, stars Go Soo as a journalist whose specialty lies in exposing corruption inside big companies. To recover his kidnapped son, the character uses his ability to remain conscious in a dream state to retrace his memory back three years to the time of the incident.

The film also introduces various notions related to the mystery of human sleep, including collective dreaming; “this man,” a face that no one has seen in reality but commonly appears in the dreams of unconnected people around the world; and reality check, a specific action dreamers can carry out to determine whether they are asleep or awake.

Reports speculate whether “Lucid Dream” will be hailed as the Korean version of Christopher Nolan’s acclaimed 2010 dream-thriller “Inception.”

“Our budget is significantly less than that of ‘Inception,’” director-screenwriter Kim Joon-sung said of the $160 million-American blockbuster at a press conference last Thursday.

It was a struggle to shoot “Lucid Dream” with a paltry budget of 5.9 billion won ($5 million), according to Kim. “But our film focuses on the drama and emotions, especially paternal affection.”

The film, whose filming was completed in June 2015, additionally stars veteran actor Sol Kyung-gu and K-pop singer Park Yoo-chun, who is making his first big screen appearance since he was sued for sexual assault last June. He was acquitted in January.

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Ji Chang-wook stars in “Fabricated City.” (CJ Entertainment)
“Fabricated City,” which hits local theaters on Thursday, takes place within the virtual reality of online games.

Actor Ji Chang-wook, who most recently starred in drama series “The K2,” makes his film debut as an undefeatable champion of the gaming world who, in reality, is broke and unemployed.

The character, after receiving an anonymous phone call, is framed for the caller’s murder. His gaming partner and hacker, played by Shim Eun-kyung, discovers that all evidence has been fabricated.

A team of gamers gathers to investigate the case through hacking, computer graphics and gaming, forming a digital rebellion of sorts against the existing world order.

The film marks director Park Kwang-hyun’s return to the helm in 12 years after the 2005 fantasy-adventure hit film “Welcome to Dongmakgol.”

“I felt that many crime movies use the same method of fighting against crime. I wondered what it would be like inside a game,” he said at a press conference last Tuesday.

“Fabricated City” is a TPS Company production, distributed by CJ Entertainment. “Lucid Dream” has been produced by Rod Pictures and is distributed by Next Entertainment World.

By Rumy Doo (doo@heraldcorp.com)

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