By Dave Chua
LITTLE NICOLAS (PG)
THIS is a sweet-natured comedy set in France in the 1950s, based on a comic by Jean-Jacques Sempe and Rene Goscinny, that does not overstretch itself or try too hard.
Young Nicolas (Maxime Godart) overhears the tail-end of a conversation between his parents (Kad Merad and Valerie Lemercier) and mistakenly believes that they are going to give him a brother. He panics and imagines the worst - that his parents will love the new arrival more than him and, eventually, will abandon him in the forest.
He rounds up his classmates to help him find a way out of the problem, creating complications along the way.
The earnest young cast gives a great ensemble performance and helps liven up this watchable French comedy.
THE lead character in Bestseller, best-selling writer Baek Hee Soo (Eom Jeong Hwa), moves to a remote cabin in the Korean countryside after her career and marriage fall apart.
There, her daughter starts seeing strange happenings and talking to an unidentified figure.
Baek uses the conversations as source material and uncovers a forgotten mystery in the process.
First-time director Lee Jeong Ho trots out Asian horror cliches in the first half of the film: doors that lock or close by themselves, ghostly apparitions that play hide and seek, and ceilings with wet spots.
After a not-too-unexpected twist in the middle, the film sheds its supernatural husk and becomes a free-for-all in the second half, with a violent conclusion that goes on for far too long without really tying up certain loose ends.
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