Thursday, January 7, 2010

Bangkok Cinema Scene: Movies opening January 7-13, 2010

See-Sing Confirm

The Action Company, which released 5 Taew back in late 2008, helps get 2010 off to a bang with gritty, hard-hitting action in See-Sing Confirm (สี่สิงห์คอนเฟิร์ม).

The action-comedy is about a boy (Richard Ghiani) who witnesses a friend being abducted by a child-labor gang. He then gets three of his pals to set the youngsters free. The other stars are "Boy AF3" Sitthichai Phabchomphu, Boriboon Janruang (Siyama: Village of Warriors) and Khwanjai Janthong, the high-kicking actress from 5 Taew.

Check out the crazy, bloody action in the trailer. It's at YouTube and is embedded below. Rated G.

As It Happens (Bang-Earn … Ruk Mai Sin Soot)

As It Happens was supposed to open last Wednesday as one of the last two Thai movies of 2009. But for whatever reason, it never showed up. It's now one of the first Thai films of 2010.

The romantic comedy, Thai title: บังเอิญ… รักไม่สิ้นสุด, Bang-Earn … Ruk Mai Sin Soot, literally "conincidentally… love that never ends", is about a young man (Nawin Yaowaphonkul) and woman (Nattaveernuj Thongme) who keep bumping into each other in various places around the world at various important stages of their lives.

It's directed by industry veteran Udom Udomroj, who's best known for his 1994 vampire romance Khoo Thae Song Loke (คู่ แท้ สอง โลก). He also directed 2006's monastic comedy The Golden Riders (Ma Gap Phra).

The trailer for As It Happens is on YouTube and it's embedded below.

And check out DaraThai, which has more about the music in the film. Rated 13+.

Also opening

The Men Who Stare at Goats -- George Clooney heads the cast in this ensemble satiric war comedy about a top-secret psychic unit of the U.S. Army that uses paranormal powers to defeat the enemy. Ewan McGregor is a reporter who stumbles onto the story, with Jeff Bridges and Kevin Spacey among the other troops in the unit. Stephen Lang, who plays a steely colonel in Avatar, plays a general here. Critical reception is mixed, but judging from the trailer, I think this is hilarious. It's at House, SFW CentralWorld and Paragon Cineplex. Rated 13+.

Brothers -- Jim Sheridan (In America, My Left Foot) directs this drama about a rift between siblings. Tobey Maguire is a soldier who goes missing in Afghanistan. While he's MIA, his brother (Jake Gyllenhaal) offers support to the soldier's wife (Natalie Portman) and children, and romance develops. Then the soldier turns up alive and comes home to a family that wishes he were dead. Critical reception is mixed, but Maguire is nominated for a Golden Globe and the movie is being mentioned as an Oscar contender. Rated 15+.

Bodyguards and Assassins -- 1905. Hong Kong. Sun Yat-sen comes for talks. Two sides form, with assassins of the Qing Dynasty aiming to kill the father of the Chinese revolution, while Hong Kong street characters become Sun's defenders. Directed by Teddy Chen and produced by Peter Chan (The Warlords), martial-arts actor Donnie Yen stars as one of the main fighters, "the Gambler". Leon Lai, Nicholas Tse, Tony Leung Ka Fai, Eric Tsang, Simon Yam and Fan Bingbing also star. It's in Mandarin and Cantonese with English and Thai subtitles at the Siam and SFW CentralWorld, elsewhere it's Thai dubbed. Rated 15+.

20th Century Boys: The Last Chapter -- Our Flag -- This is the third and final chapter of the ambitious epic movie adaptation of a beloved manga series about childhood friends who share a connection to a masked cult leader named Friend, and in adulthood they form a resistance to try and stop him. It's 2017, three years since Friend has taken over the world, a virus has hit Tokyo. Friend says aliens are going to destroy the human race, except for the true believers. At the Lido. Rated 13+.

Under the Mountain -- A red-headed twin brother and sister discover they have psychic powers and are the key to defending the Earth from destruction from a race of beings known as the Wilberforces. This is an adaptation of a fantasy novel by Maurice Gee and was a New Zealand television mini-series in 1981. Sam Neill stars in this big-screen version as the twins' mentor. It's directed by Jonathan King who previously helmed the Kiwi cult-hit horror-comedy Black Sheep. Rated 13+.

3 Idiots -- Bollywood's biggest box-office hit yet stars Aamir Khan, R Madhavan and Sharman Joshi as three friends at an engineering school who incur the wrath of a vindictive professor and have to use all their ingenuity to succeed. Kareena Kapoor also stars. Three Idiots has caused controversy in India, where senior students have taken to "ragging" juniors, just like in the film. Critical reception is mostly positive, with supportive buzz coming from the tech community. It's showing at Major Cineplex Central Rama III on Friday and Saturday at 8 and Sunday at 4 and 7 and at Major Cineplex Sukhumvit (Ekamai) on Monday at 7.30. Visit or call (02) 225 7500 or (089) 488 2620.

Also showing

Chulalongkorn University International Film Festival -- The annual screening series of acclaimed foreign films on DVD begins on Monday with Caramel, a drama set in a Beirut beauty salon that has been called the "Lebanese 'Sex and the City'." The fest runs on Mondays and Fridays until February 8. The show time is 5pm in the Boromrajakumari Building, Room 503 (seating capacity: 320). Free parking next to Chulalongkorn University Auditorium. All films are with English subtitles. Admission is free. Check out the full lineup at the festival website.

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