Thursday, February 4, 2010

Bangkok Cinema Scene: Movies opening February 4-9, 2010

My Valentine

Just in time to get people thinking about Valentine's Day, My Valentine (แล้วรัก ...ก็หมุนรอบตัวเรา, Laew Rak Kor Mun Rob Tua Rao) opens this week in Thai cinemas.

Produced by Five Star, it's by the same trio of directors who collaborated on last year's Before Valentine -- Songsak Mongkolthong (The Screen at Kamchanod), Pornchai "Mr. Pink" Hongrattanaporn (Bangkok Loco) and Seree Phongnithi (Ghost-in-Law, Art of the Devil).

It stars Mintita "Mint AF3" Wattanakul who's in a quandary about deciding which of three guys is perfect for her -- a fortysomething rich guy Mic (Wasu Sangsingkaew), a fun-loving bad boy (Krit Sriphoomset) or a childhood friend (Suwikrom Amaranan).

Though the story is not at all related to Before Valentine, My Valentine looks to have much of the same style and production design, with Mr. Pink's inventively funny visual tricks very much in evidence. Rated 15+.

Also opening

From Paris With Love -- John Travolta shaved his head and added a goatee for the role of a wisecracking, fast-shooting, unhinged CIA agent. Despite being a good guy this time, he appears to be playing much the same role as he did in last year's The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3. He partners with John Rhys Meyers, who's playing a low-level rookie intelligence operative in the US Embassy in Paris. The two are trying to stop a terrorist attack. Pierre Morel directs. He's the guy who did Taken, the taut action-thriller that starred Liam Neeson. From Paris With Love has more comedy and quips, which is to be expected from a Travolta vehicle. Luc Besson, the French producer of the Transporter series (among many, many other movies), co-scripted this. Watch a preview at YouTube. Or just groan at the tagline: "Two agents. One city. No merci." Critical reception so far is overwhelmingly negative, but the movie doesn't come out in the States until Friday, so the poor opinions might eventually be lessened somewhat. But I doubt it. Rated 18+.

How to Be -- Robert Pattinson tries to stretch a bit and break out of his Twilight heartthrob mode in this indie British comedy. He plays a failing young singer-songwriter in the midst of a "quarterlife crisis". He's been dumped by his girlfriend and has lost his job. Neither his friends nor his parents really care about his problems. So, having inherited a bit of money from an uncle, he writes a check for 5,000 pounds and invites a dowdy old self-help author to accompany him in his day-to-day routine and help him figure out how to get his life back on track. Check the trailer at YouTube. It's at House on RCA and SF World CentralWorld. Rated 15+.

Also showing

Chulalongkorn University International Film Festival -- The final two films in Chula's DVD screening series will be shown this week. On Friday, it's Revanche from Austria, a gritty crime thriller in which an assistant at a brothel and the prostitute he loves are violently brought into contact with a rural policeman. Mid-August Lunch from Italy finished up the series on Monday. It's a comedy about a man who's caring for his mother and three other elderly ladies. The show time is 5pm in the Boromrajakumari Building, Room 503 (seating capacity: 320). Free parking next to Chulalongkorn University Auditorium, off Henri Dunant Road. All films are with English subtitles, and there's a panel discussion by Thai film critics afterward. Admission is free. For more info, see the festival website.

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