Thursday, July 22, 2010

Bangkok Cinema Scene: Movies opening July 22-28, 2010

Tukky Jao Ying Khai Kob

"Tukky" Sudarat Butrprom got her start in showbiz as a wardrobe assistant and now she's a star.

Surely her true-life story will have parallels with her latest movie.

The comic actress, who's a fixture in the lineup of comedians in films by Poj Arnon and Mum Jokmok, as well as Workpoint TV shows, takes the lead in Tukky Jao Ying Khai Kob ตุ๊กกี้เจ้าหญิงขายกบ, roughly, "Tukky, the frog princess").

It's directed by Pornchai Hongrattanaporn, better known as Mr. Pink, who jumps over to Sahamongkol Film International for this comedy after co-directing the romantic comedy-dramas My Valentine and Before Valentine at Five Star. He debuted in 2004 with the colorful cult-hit comedy Bangkok Loco (ทวารยังหวานอยู่), which was done at RS Film.

In Tukky, the little leading lady is an unattractive girl who magically becomes the princess of an isolated fairytale realm, where she is the heiress to the throne.

She's supported by her chief aide, singer-actor Louis Scott, the buddy of Ananda Everingham who's featured in the Sawasdee Bangkok. short Bangkok Blues. He acted in the 1998 Five Star feature Wildest Days back in his teenage years, and performed in the boyband rap duo Raptor with Joni Anwar.

Tukky also has the usual cast of clowns, including Choosak "Nong Chachacha" Iamsuk, Teng Terdtheng and Kom Chuanchuen.

Plenty of parody of the European-style royal culture is in store from the looks of the trailer. Rated G.

Also opening

The Sorcerer's Apprentice – Nicolas Cage reteams with his Disney cohorts in the National Treasure franchise, producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Jon Turteltaub for this effects-heavy action-comedy inspired by the Mickey Mouse segment of the animated Fantasia. Cage plays 1,500-year-old sorcerer Balthazar Blake who claims Merlin as a mentor. He needs an apprentice, so he picks Jay Baruchel, the Canadian comic actor who voiced the lead in How to Train Your Dragon and co-starred in Tropic Thunder. They will battle Balthazar's evil nemesis, Maxim (Alfred Molina). Monica Bellucci also stars. Critical reception is veering toward negative, despite the likable cast and loads of CGI spectacle. Rated G.

Hot Summer Days – Intertwining love stories unfold as the summer heat wave engulfs the Chinese territories. A chauffeur (Jacky Cheung) tries to woo a foot-massage worker (Rene Liu) with his text messages; an air-conditioner repairman (Nicholas Tse) is interested in a biker chick named Ding Dong (Barbie Hsu); a master sushi chef (Daniel Wu) spurns the love of a writer ironically named Wasabi (Vivian Hsu); a country boy (Xinbo Fu) tries to impress a teddy-bear factory worker (Angela Baby) by standing out in the hot noon sun for 100 days; and a photographer (Yihong Duan) and his assistant attempt to track down a woman they believed cursed him into blindness. There are numerous cameos, including Shaw Brothers' martial-arts legend Gordon Liu and screen siren Maggie Cheung. Hot Summer Days was released in China and Hong Kong during this past February's Valentine's Day holiday. Critical reception is mixed. In Chinese with English and Thai subtitles at the Lido.

Also showing

Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives – The Golden Palm winner at the Cannes Film Festival ends its limited run in Bangkok on Sunday. Apichatpong Weerasethakul's film is the strange tale of a dying man, living out his last days in the countryside, surrounded by his loved ones, including the ghost of his late wife and the monkey spirit of his long-lost son. Showtimes are nightly at 7.20 with Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2:30 at SFX the Emporium.

Italian Film Festival – Organized by the Italian Embassy, 10 films are being unspooled from Friday until Wednesday at SFX the Emporium. Click the link for the full schedule.

FCCT-NETPAC Asian Film Festival – Postponed from April, the FCCT's series of NETPAC-award-winning films finally gets under way tonight with Mr. and Mrs. Iyer, a romance set against the backdrop of cultural clashes during a bus trip in India. Click the link for the full schedule.

The Adventure of Sudsakorn – The late animator Payut Ngaokrachang's seminal animated feature is based on an episode from Phra Aphai Mani, a 30,000-line epic poem by Sunthorn Phu, and depicts the fantastic adventures of the young son of a mermaid and a minstrel prince. It's screening at the Thai Film Archive in Salaya, Nakhon Pathom, at 11am every Sunday until October 3. Call (02) 482 2013-14, ext 111.

Thai Short Film Marathon – Around 500 shorts are being shown in the selection round for next month's 14th Thai Short Film & Video Festival. It's a unique chance to take part in something I don't think any other film festival does. Screening are in the Bangkok Art and Culture Center's fourth-floor meeting room from 5 to 8.30 Tuesday to Friday and 11 to 8.30 Saturday and Sunday, until August 1, except Mondays when the BACC is closed.

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