Thursday, December 24, 2009

Bangkok Cinema Scene: Movies opening December 23-30, 2009

October Sonata

October Sonata, which opened on Wednesday this week, is a weepy romantic drama that is set in the 1970s.

The star is "Koy" Ratchawin Wongviriya, the short-haired actress who gained notice from 2008's love-triangle drama Rak/Sam/Sao (The Last Moment), in which she co-starred with "Pe" Arak Amornsupasiri. The two became an item, but have hit a rocky patch of late, and last week while promoting October Sonata, Koy broke down in tears in front of the press when she was questioned about the relationship.

Lyn's Lakorns has more about the "break", which seems to be due to the busy schedules kept by both stars.

Pe, a guitarist with the alternative rock band Slur, starred in two movies this year -- Yongyoot Thongkongtoon's romantic dramedy The Best Times and Kongkiat Komesiri's harrowing crime thriller Slice. He's also a pitchman for Mazda cars. And there was the gaffe a few months ago when Pe was set to star in the Laotian-Thai co-production of Sabaidee Luang Prabang 2 until he made a disaparging remark about the physical attractiveness of Laotian women.

Koy has kept busy too, starring in Bhandit Rittakol's A-Nueng Kidthueng Pen Yang Ying.

October Sonata (รักที่รอคอย, Rak Nee Thee Rorkoy) is directed by veteran screenwriter Somkiet Vithuranitch and is set in the 1970s, with a couple meeting at the October 8, 1970, funeral of actor Mitr Chaibancha. They set a date to meet again three years later, but tumultuous historical events and a love triangle intercede. Thanawat Wattanaphuti and Phisanu Nimsakul also star. It's rated G at most cinemas (Major Cineplex), but there's a 13+ version list on the SF cinemas site.

Also opening

The Storm Warriors -- Danny and Oxide Pang direct this sequel to The Storm Riders, a 1998 flying-swordsmen fantasy that re-energized the Hong Kong movie industry. The first film was directed by Andrew Lau, who later went on to make the hit thriller Infernal Affairs. Ekin Cheng and Aaron Kwok return as the mystical warriors Wind and Cloud for The Storm Riders II, also called The Storm Warriors. This time they face Lord Godless. Played by Simon Yam, he's a ruthless Japanese warlord bent on invading China. Meanwhile, Wind has a battle of his own, as he allows dark forces to take over his soul so he can gain more power. The Pang Brothers, twin-brother directors best known for their Thailand-based The Eye films and Bangkok Dangerous (both the 1999 original and the recent remake with Nicolas Cage), filmed Storm Warriors in a Bangkok riverfront warehouse and have spent about a year or so adding the virtual backdrops and computer-graphic special effects. Charlene Choi, Nicholas Tse, Tang Yan and Lam Suet also star. Rated 13+.

Sherlock Holmes -- Director Guy Ritchie (Snatch, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels) makes his first period film, going back to 19th century London for this action-comedy romp with Robert Downey Jr. portraying Arthur Conan Doyle's sleuth. Here, the deductive detective is also known for his brawn, as well as his brains. Jude Law is Holmes' sidekick Dr. Watson. Their adversary is Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong), a Satanic cult leader who comes back from the dead. Rachel McAdams also stars. Critical response has been mixed, but Downey is already up for a Golden Globe for his performance. Rated 13+.

I Give My First Love to You -- A girl and boy meet in the hospital. She is the daughter of a doctor and he is a patient with a terminal illness. He won't live past 20. They make a promise for an uncertain future. At House and the Lido.

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