Thursday, September 23, 2010

Bangkok Cinema Scene: Movies opening September 23-29, 2010

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

Oliver Stone mines the rich veins of the 2008 financial crisis with this sequel to his 1987 cult hit that introduced the character Gordon Gekko and his motto "greed is good" to pop culture.

Michael Douglas, now fighting cancer, reprises his Oscar-winning role as Gekko in this story that takes place 23 years after the original film. Gekko, out of prison after serving time for fraud, is looking to get his life back together. He's hoping to connect with his estranged daughter Winnie (Carey Mulligan), who is engaged to a young Wall Street trader, played by Shia La Beouf. Gekko takes the young man under his wing in a revenge-filled plot.

Frank Langella and Josh Brolin also star.

Critical reception is generally positive. Rated 15+.

The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec

French movie mogul Luc Besson returns to the director's chair after a long spell away from live-action filmmaking with Les aventures extraordinaires d'Adèle Blanc-Sec, a fantasy-adventure tale based on the Franco-Belgian comics by Jacques Tardi.

Louise Bourgoin stars as Adèle Blanc-Sec, an intrepid globe-trotting writer in the years just before World War I.

The story involves a 136-million-year-old pterodactyl egg in a museum that hatches and the resulting baby flying dinosaur wreaks havoc on Paris. It's up to Adèle to investigate and stop it.

This film is just now making it's way into the world, so critical reception is difficult to gauge, but from the looks of things, it appears Besson is making a return to form along the fantastic lines of The Fifth Element. Rated 13+.

Also opening

The Snow White – Gross-out horror, comedy and even a bit of nudity combine for Golden A Entertainment's The Snow White (ตายทั้งกลม , Tai Tang Klom), in which two students undertake the secret dissection of a pregnant woman's corpse to get the dead infant for black-magic spells. But instead of gaining any powers, the students hunted by the vengeful ghost of the dead woman. Their only hope is a kind-hearted nurse who tries to stop the ghost. She is played by "Nannie" Pattaranan Deeratsamee (ภัทรนันท์ ดีรัศมี) from the pop group Girly Berry, making her movie debut. Sarawut Intaraprom (สราวุธ อินทรพรหม), who previously did the indie romantic comedy Boring Love, directs. Rated 18+.

Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen – Donnie Yen reprises his role from the 1990s Hong Kong TV series Fist of Fury for this story set in Japanese-occupied 1930s Shanghai. It's a role originally played by Bruce Lee in 1972's Fist of Fury. Here, Donnie dons a mask much like Bruce Lee's Kato in The Green Hornet to fight a local triad that is joining up with the Japanese. Andrew Lau directs with Shu Qi
and Anthony Wong also starring. Rated 13+.

Dabangg – Salman Khan stars in this over-the-top, action-packed story of a corrupt police officer in Uttar Pradesh. Sonakshi Sinha is the leading lady, marking her debut role. Check the Nutshell Review. It's showing at Major Cineplex Rama III on Friday and Saturday at 8 and Sunday at 4 and at Major Cinplex Sukhumvit (Ekkamai) on Sunday and Monday at 7.30. Call 089 488 2620 or visit

Also showing

Unreal Forest – Video artist and filmmaker Jakrawal Nilthamrong's experimental documentary was made as part of the International Film Festival Rotterdam's Forget Africa project, which took Asian filmmakers to Africa. Shot in Zambia, Jakrawal auditioned three directors to make a movie. The first part shows this process, and then the Zambian directors talking over how they want to make their movie and then finally the story of a tribal shaman treating a terminally ill boy, against the stunning backdrop of Victoria Falls and lively Zambian street music. Unreal Forest previously played in at the Singapore International Film Festival and Milan. It's now screening as a video installation at the Numthong Gallery on the fourth floor of the Bangkok Art and Culture Center. Showtimes for the 67-minute movie are every 90 minutes from shortly after 9am daily excepts Mondays until September 29 at the BACC.

Agrarian Utopia (สวรรค์บ้านนา, Sawan Baan Na) – Uruphong Raksasad directs this beautiful, highly acclaimed experimental documentary on the hardships of rice farming. The director hired two families to tend a plot of land in his native rural Chiang Rai Province, setting the stage for real-life hardships with no script. The film pulls no punches as it depicts the challenges the families face as they try to plant their crop with a stubborn buffalo, and work in all kinds of weather, from blistering heat, shivering chills and intense downpours, all captured on high-definition video camera, to brilliant, jaw-dropping effect. Part of Extra Virgin's Director's Screen Project, Agrarian Utopia is playing at SFX the Emporium until September 29 at around 7 nightly with Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2. Rated 15+

FCCT-NETPAC Asian Film Festival – The Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand's series of films awarded by the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema continues tonight with Bakal Boys (Children Metal Divers) from the Philippines. Winner of the NETPAC Award at last year's Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival, director Ralston Jover's docudrama is the heart-tugging story of children who scavenge for scraps in the murky waters of Manila Bay, often risking their lives in the process. The screening is courtesy of Queen Bessie LLC, Apogee Films and Netpac and supported by
the Embassy of the Philippines, which will serve Filipino food. The show is at 8pm on Thursday, September 23. Admission is 150 baht for non-members. The FCCT-Netpac film series closes next Thursday with $ell Ou7!, which will have director Yeo Joon Han and Netpac president Aruna Vasudev in attendance.

Cabaret Balkan: Rarely Seen Films from the Balkans – The film series heads to Bulgaria on Sunday with classics from the 1960s and early '70s. First up is The Peach Thief from 1964. Directed by Vulo Radev, the drama has the wife of a Bulgarian Army officer falling in love with a Serbian prisoner at the end of World war II. Next is The Goat Horn from 1972. Directed by Metodi Andonov, it's violent revenge tale about a goat herder whose wife is raped and killed. He then takes his daughter into the hills and raises her to avenge her mother's death. The movies, with English subtitles, are at Thammasat University Tha Prachan, in the Pridi Banomyong Library's Rewat Buddhinun Room, U2 Floor. The shows start at 12.30. The movies are on DVD. Admission is free. You'll have to inform the library staff you're watching the movies and let them copy your ID. Call (02) 613 3529 or (02) 613 3530 or visit the DK Filmhouse blog for the complete lineup.

L'esquive (Games of Love and Chance) – The rough-and-tumble banlieue high-rise ghettos of Paris serve as the backdrop for this story of romance between an awkward African immigrant teenage boy and an outgoing Parisian girl. Abdellatif Kechiche directs this movie from 2003. It's showing on Wednesday, September 23 at 7:30pm at the Alliance Française, with English subtitles. Admission is free.

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