Thursday, October 14, 2010

Bangkok Cinema Scene: Movies opening October 14-20, 2010


Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich and Helen Mirren star in this action-comedy as retired CIA black-ops specialists who become targeted by assassins. Red is based on a DC Comics graphic novel by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner. Mary-Louise Parker, Ernest Borgnine and Richard Dreyfuss also star. Critical reception is mostly positive. Rated 18+.

Reign of Assassins

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon star Michelle Yeoh returns to the genre that made her famous (see Police Story 3) in Reign of Assassins, which is produced and co-directed by John Woo. She's a former assassin who has disguised herself and is living a peaceful existence until members of her old gang show up and want the magical remains of a mystical Buddhist monk. Premiering last month at the Venice Film Festival, critical reception has been generally positive. The Chinese soundtrack with English and Thai subtitles is at SFW CentralWorld. Elsewhere it's Thai dubbed. Rated 15+.

Also opening

E Hed Sod Pa Ded Suek – Chalerm Wongpim directs this comedy about a navy captain (Amarin Nitipon) who unknowingly married a transgender woman (Uttama Chaiwanichpan). He is then assigned to lead a commando team on an undercover assignment when his wife turns out to be the leader of a transgender gang of terrorists who've hijacked an ocean liner. Rated 18+.

Yaay Sang Ma Yai – Jaturong Mokjok and Mic Thongraya are estranged brothers who reunite when their grandmother falls into a coma. To raise cash to pay for her treatment, they head to the casino and run into conflict with the gambling-house boss. Rated 15+.

Charlie St. Cloud – Zac Efron stars in this romantic drama as a young man who forgoes a bright future so that he can work as a cemetery caretaker and practice baseball with the ghost of his younger brother. The return of a former sweetheart (Amanda Crew) with plans of sailing around the world makes him reconsider his plans. It's adapted from Ben Sherwood's best-selling 2004 novel, The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud. Burr Steers (Igby Goes Down and 17 Again directs. Critical reception is mostly negative. Rated 13+.

Doraemon the Movie: Nobita's Mermaid Legend – Troublemaker Nobita and his magical robotic cat Doraemon plunge Tokyo under water. Thai-dubbed only. Rated G.

One Piece Film: Strong World – This 10th anime feature based on the pirate manga of Eiichiro Oda has pirate captain Shiki the Golden Lion returning with a scheme to bring down the World Government. At Apex.

Also showing

Phuket/Boy Genius/The Sigh – A collection of three shorts by Wonderful Town director Aditya Assarat closes the current leg of the Extra Virgin's Director's Screen Project. Commissioned as a tourism promotion, Phuket is actually a bittersweet tale of a South Korean actress (played by Lim Su-jeong) who is trying to take a vacation in Phuket, but is harried by phone calls and fans. She is rescued by the hotel's limo driver (veteran actor Sorapong Chatree, whose portrayal of the driver is a bit lonely and sad). Boy Genius and The Sigh are from 2005 and 2006 and humorously deal with filmmaking. The screenings are at the recently re-opened SF World Cinema at CentralWorld, with showtimes at around 7.30 daily and additional 2.30 matinees on Saturdays and Sundays.

Anjaana Anjaani – Priyanka Chopra and Ranbir Kapoor star in this romantic comedy about two suicidal strangers who meet while trying to jump off the George Washington bridge in New York City. Critical reception is mixed. It's showing at Major Cineplex Sukhumvit (Ekkamai) on Saturday at 8 and at Major Cineplex Rama III on Sunday at 4. Call 089 488 2620.

Todo el poder – Fed up with the violence on the streets of Mexico City, a filmmaker goes out on the streets with his video camera to capture as many muggings as possible, live on his camera. But the more images he captures, the deeper he goes into the murky underworld. Directed by Fernando Sariñana, this black comedy is inspired by real-life events in which the filmmaker was robbed at gunpoint, four times. The screening at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand is supported by the Ambassador of Mexico Arturo Puente and his wife Patricia, who will serve tequila with a light Mexican dinner from Señor Pico's at the Rembrandt Hotel. The showtime is 8pm on Monday, October 18. Admission is 150 baht for non-members and 100 baht for anyone wanting food and drink.

Le plaisir de chanter – Muriel and Philippe, both secret agents, form an improbable couple. Their mission is obtain a USB key hidden by Constance, the widow of a uranium trafficker who has recently been killed. She leads the duo to an opera-singing class that is a veritable spy nest. Ilan Duran Cohen directs with Jeanne Balibar, Lorant Deutsch and Marina Foïs starring. It's showing on Wednesday, October 20, at 7:30pm at the Alliance Française, with English subtitles. Admission is free.

Take note

World Film Festival of Bangkok – Two indie arthouse dramas, Eternity (ที่รัก, Tee Rak) and Insects in the Backyard, will make their Thai premieres at the 8th World Film Festival of Bangkok next month Eternity, by Sivaroj Kongsakul, will be the WFFBKK's opening film on November 5. The drama, which is a highly personal, haunting reflection of Sivaroj's thoughts about his father's death, is in the New Currents competition this week at the Pusan International Film Festival. It's the debut feature by Sivaroj, a well-known fixture on the Thai indie scene, whose short film Silencio won many awards. Eternity is produced by Aditya Assarat's Pop Pictures. Insects in the Backyard makes its Thai premiere as part of the World Film Festival's Asian Contemporary line-up. Directed by indie darling Tanwarin Sukkhapisit, the katoey filmmaker also stars as the lewd-and-crude cross-dressing "big sister" to a pair of troubled teenagers. The three form an unconventional family unit and deal with all sorts of relationship problems. Insects premiered in the Dragons and Tigers competition at the Vancouver International Film Festival. Other highlights of this year's festival include a Retrospective on French director Jacques Doillon and the Lotus Award for Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan and a package on New Turkish Cinema. More about the fest is in The Nation today. The World Film Festival of Bangkok runs from November 5 to 14 at Paragon Cineplex and at Major Cineplex Sukhumvit (Ekamai).

1 comment:

  1. I'd love to catch "Phuket" as it seems like the kind of project that never makes it to DVD. I can recommend "Reign of Assassins" if you like old Shaw Bros. films--it's the closest thing to a Shaws, but with a big budget, and the whole cast is quite good.