Thursday, December 3, 2009

Bangkok Cinema Scene: Movies opening December 3-9, 2009

Yam Yasothon 2

Mum Jokmok moves from reluctant lover to shotgun-toting dad in Yam Yasothon 2.

A sequel to 2005's country comedy, Yam Yasothon 2 promises more eye-scaldingly colorful outfits and a double-barrel load of down-home country humor. Janet Khiaw is back as Yam's wife Juei, with Mum's real-life daughter, Em Busarakam Wongkumlao and son Mick Phaytai joining the cast. There's also "Dim" Harin Suthamjaras from the rock group Tattoo Color as the romantic lead.

The story takes place sometime in the 1960s, same as the first film. But somehow, 20 years have passed and the prodigious brood of children sired by Yam and the amorous Juei have all left the nest, except for one daughter and one son.

Yam, now a morally upstanding village headman, is determined to protect his daughter from the roving eye of a visiting agriculture ministry official, even if it means blasting the young man with his shotgun.

There are plenty of salty jokes, colorful outfits, outlandish makeup and hairstyles as well as more than a few great tunes by a band that serenades the buffalo in the rice field. Rated 15+.

Also opening

Couples Retreat -- Jason Bateman and Kristen Bell are a couple on the verge of divorce who hope to fix their marriage at a tropical-island resort that is a Club Med for relationships. They'll get a group rate if they bring their friends along, only those three other couples don't realize that the counseling sessions are mandatory. It's a reunion of sorts for Swingers pals Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau, who repectively (but not respectfully) play husbands to Malin Ackerman and Kristen Davis. Faizon Love and Kali Hawk are another couple along for the ride. Critical reception has been overwhelmingly negative, despite the talented cast. Rated 13+.

Astro Boy -- Hollywood takes on the Japanese anime TV icon, with a big-screen 3-D animated origin story that features the voice talent of Freddie Highmore, Nicolas Cage, Samuel L. Jackson and a litany of other big names. Reviews have been evenly mixed. Only at SF cinemas. Rated G.

Turning Point -- Shaw Brothers, a production marque from the golden age of Hong Kong cinema, makes its return with this thriller that seems informed by Infernal Affairs. Michael Tse is a young mobster who is tasked by his boss Brother One -- the always watchable Anthony Wong -- to become a mole in the police department. Eric Tsang, Francis Ng and Yuen Biao also star. In Cantonese with English and Thai subtitles at the Lido.

De Dana Dan -- Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif star in this madcap comedy caper along with Sunil Shetty, Paresh Rawal, Neha Dhupia, Rajpal Yadav and Chunky Pandey. It's in Hindi with English subtitles at Major Cineplex Central Rama III at 8 Friday and Saturday and 4 and 7 and Sunday and at Grand EGV Siam Discovery on Monday at 7.30. Call (089)488 2620, (02) 225 7500 or visit

British Film Festival

Five British films from the past year or so are showing at SFW CentralWorld from Friday until next Friday. Here's the lineup:

  • Is Anybody There? -- Michael Caine stars as a retired magician who strikes up an odd friendship with an eccentric 10-year-old boy in an old-folks home. Friday at 7 and Sunday at 3.
  • It's a Free World -- Sacked from her job, a young woman (Kierston Wareing) sets up a recruitment agency for migrant workers in London. Ken Loach directs. Saturday at 3 and Thursday at 7.
  • The Boat That Rocked -- Richard Curtis goes back to the swinging ’60s with his latest ensemble comedy, set on a ship that’s home to a pirate radio station. Bill Nighy, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Nick Frost are among the stars. It was released in the US as Pirate Radio and is already out on legal DVD here. Saturday and Monday at 7.
  • Looking for Eric -- Football great Eric Cantona stars as himself in this comedy that was the toast of the Cannes Film Festival back in May. With his famous philosophical quips, he’s helping a postman, also named Eric, through a mid-life crisis. Sunday and next Friday at 7.
  • The Age of Stupid -- Franny Armstrong directs this experimental documentary that stars Pete Postlethwait as an archivist in the future who looks back at footage of the present and wonders why we didn’t do anything to prevent climate change. Tuesday at 7.

All shows are 100 baht and are subtitled in Thai. They are all on film except for The Boat That Rocked. There's also a free program of Airplay UK music videos and Thomas and Friends shows at TK Park's mini- theatre. For more details, check the British Council website.

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