Friday, May 21, 2010

Bangkok Cinema Scene: Movies opening May 20-26, 2010

Sam Yan

The first project from RS Promotion's new film-production shingle Film R Us is a comedy collaboration by three directors: Yuthlert Sippapak, Ping Lumprapleung and Jaroenporn “Kotee Aramboy” Onlamai.

Sam Yan (สามย่าน) is one of at least six projects the busy and prolific filmmaker Yuthlert has going like spinning plates on poles. Comedian Ping has previously directed Dreamaholic and Loveaholic and the ubiquitous comic Kohtee previously helmed his own picture, the 2008 horror comedy Headless Family.

Opened yesterday, the three stories of Sam Yan, take place the Sam Yan neighborhood of Bangkok.

One has comedian Kom Chuanchuen as a bus driver who finds a dead body on his coach and tries to dispose of it. Another is about two hapless thieves (Kiatisak Udomnak and Thongphoom Siripipat) on the run from a hitman after a failed robbery.

And the third has Kotee has a director making a film with a famous but troubled actor, portrayed by Sompong Kunaprathom, better known as Eed from the Ponglang Sa-on folk-music-and-comedy troupe. His bandmates Lulu and Lala are there for support.

Other supporting actors include Adirek "Uncle" Wattleela, again playing a policeman as he's done in many movies, but this time, sadly, he's a solo act.

"Giftza" Piya Pongkulapa also stars, following her Girly Berry bandmate Gybzy into the film world.

The trailer is at YouTube. Rated 18+.

Also opening

I Love You Phillip Morris -- Jim Carrey stars in this fact-based comedy, based on book by Steven McVicker. Carrey plays Steven Russell, a straitlaced Texas police officer, church organist and family man. He undergoes a dramatic lifestyle change after a car wreck. Ditching his wife and taking up with his gay lover, Russell becomes a con artist and is eventually sent to prison. There he falls in love with a fellow inmate, Phillip Morris (Ewan MacGregor). He then concocts a series of outlandish plots to escape from prison with the idea of freeing Morris so the two can have a perfect life together. Critical reception is mostly positive, with plenty of praise for the performance by Carrey. Rated 18+.

Shrek Forever After -- More pop-culture references that only parents will get and gentle toilet humor for the kiddies is mined in this fourth and possibly final outing for Shrek, the big green ogre who heads the flagship franchise of Dreamworks Animation. Here, Shrek is going through mid-life crisis and is tired of his domesticated life. He wonders what it would like to again be a real ogre. He makes a deal with Rumpelstiltskin that turns sour and changes time so that Shrek never existed and everything in the Land of Far Far Away is different. His wife Fiona doesn't know him and hates his guts, his best friend Donkey doesn't recognize him and the dashing swordsman Puss-in-Boots is a lazy fat cat that doesn't even wear boots. The voice cast is all back -- Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy and Antonio Banderas. Critical reception is mixed. In 3D in some cinemas. Rated G.

The Losers -- Members of an elite military unit -- Clay (Jeffrey Dean Morgan from Watchmen), Roque (Idris Elba from The Wire), Jake (Chris Evans from Cellular), Pooch (Columbus Short) and Cougar (Óscar Jaenada) -- are betrayed and left for dead in the jungles of Bolivia. They survive and are joined by a shadowy operative named Aisha (Zoe Saldana from Star Trek and Avatar). Their enemy is an arms dealer named Max (Jason Patric from Speed 2), who has dastardly plans of making the world into a high-tech battleground. Directed by Sylvain White, it's based on a comic-book series. Critical reception is mixed, but if you're in the mood for a big loud action comedy, The Losers seems to be just the thing. Rated 15+.

Take note

Through Saturday there is a 9pm to 5am curfew on under the crackdown against the red-shirt political protests. Most malls that are open are closing at around 6. The Skytrain and subway are expected to remain closed at least through Saturday.

Once some semblance of routine is restored, folks will find their way back to the movie theaters, though one that won't be showing movies ever again is the Siam Theatre, destroyed by arsonists.

(Photo via Twitpic by Babyfishie)

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