Thursday, October 28, 2010

Bangkok Cinema Scene: Movies opening October 28-November 3, 2010

Jackass 3D

Johnny Knoxville and gang add another dimension to their comical and dangerous stunts in Jackass 3D.

Capers include playing tether ball with a beehive, pulling a tooth with a Lamborghini, using super glue to remove chest hair and launching a portable toilet into the air.

Reportedly, so many bits were filmed, that there's enough leftover footage to make a Jackass 3.5 that might be released as a full-fledged Jackass 4 to capitalize on the box-office success of the third movie in the MTV franchise.

Critical reception is mixed. In 3D only at Major Cineplex and SF cinemas. Rated 18+.

Also opening

The Dog (Ching Mah Therd, ชิงหมาเถิด) – Veteran actor Pongpat Wachirabanjong shifts to comedy after directing two romantic dramas, Me ... Myself and Happy Birthday. His latest has the hijinks of a mismatched trio of hoodlums, teaming the young heartthrob actors Mario Maurer and "Boy" Pakorn Chatborirak with veteran comedian Kohtee Aramboy. They've somehow become roped into a scheme to kidnap a prize show dog ("I think it's a Pomeranian"). For their troubles, they have a mystery gunman after them. Kowit Wattanakul also stars, along with young actress "Yok" Nattapaphas Thanathanamaharat making her big-screen debut. There's a trailer at YouTube. Rated 18+.

Fan Mai (แฟนใหม่ ) – Piyapan Choopetch, the director of last year's ghostly girlfriend revenge thriller My Ex (Fan Kao, แฟนเก่า), is back with another tale of a girlfriend who won't let go, even when she's gone to the gave. October Sonata sweetheart "Koy" Ratchawin Wongviriya stars in Fan Mai (แฟนใหม่ ). She's an actress who breaks up with her boyfriend (Thongpoom Siripipat) after she sees him with another girl (Marion Affolter). Then this other woman turns up dead and strange spooky stuff starts happening to Koy's character. Released by Film R Us and produced by "Uncle" Adirek Watleela, there's a trailer at YouTube. Rated 15+.

La-Fa-Fun: Confession of the Winners (ล่า ฝ่า ฝัน คอนเฟสชั่น ออฟ เดอะ วินเนอร์ส) – The first Thai 3D movie comes not from any of Thailand's thrifty film studios but is rather a concert documentary from Thailand's major cable broadcaster TrueVision, featuring the past six winners of the seven-year-old Academy Fantasia reality-TV talent-search series. La-Fa-Fun: Confession of the Winners (ล่า ฝ่า ฝัน คอนเฟสชั่น ออฟ เดอะ วินเนอร์ส) has footage from the Victory of the Winners concert that was filmed back in August at Bangkok's Huamark Indoor Stadium, using 3D technology and expertise from Ocean Mango of South Korea, and actually involved the audience having to wear 3D glasses to experience the effects. The 90 minutes of stereoscopic concert footage is padded out with 30 minutes worth of background interviews with each of the AF winners, which was filmed in 2D and converted to 3D. The stars are Pacharapon "Vit AF1" Jantieng, Supanat "Aof AF2" Chalermchaichareonkij, Kiatkamol "Tui AF3" Latha, Nat "Nat AF4" Sakdatorn, Nat "Nat AF5" Thewphaingam and the first female winner, Nipaporn "Zani AF6" Thititanakarn. The trailer (in 2D) is at YouTube.

Eat Pray Love – Julia Roberts stars as a divorcee on a journey of spiritual discovery in this adaptation of the best-selling book by Elizabeth Gilbert. She travels from New York to Italy, where she eats, India, where she prays, and finally to Bali, where she falls in lo ve. Javier Bardem also stars. Critical reception is mixed. Rated 15+.

The Joneses – David Duchnovy and Demi Moore head a family that seems just too perfect. They move into a wealthy neighborhood and immediately their friendly and outgoing manner and luxurious lifestyle and possessions are the envy of all their neighbors. Amber Heard and Ben Hollingsworth also star, portraying the couple's attractive and popular teen son and daughter. Gary Cole plays one of the neighbors who wants to keep up with the Joneses. Lauren Hutton turns up, playing the family's "grandmother". I actually saw this on an airline flight last month and thought it was a pretty decent and entertaining thriller, though was disappointed by the end. Critical reception is mixed, with high marks given for the cracking satire of consumer culture as well as a pair of strong performances by Duchovny and Moore. At SFW CentralWorld and Paragon. Rated 15+.

Dinner for Schmucks – Paul Rudd and Steve Carell star in this farcical loose remake of the 1998 French comedy Le dîner de cons (The Dinner Game or literally "the dinner of dolts"), about wealthy friends who compete to bring the dumbest person as a guest to their weekly dinner parties. Jay Roach (Austin Powers, Meet the Parents) directs, with Zach Galifianakis, Bruce Greenwood, Lucy Punch, Ron Livingston and David Walliams also starring. Critical reception is mixed. Only at SF cinemas. Rated 13+.

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest – The third and final entry of the Swedish films adapted from writer Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy picks right up from the ending of the second film, The Girl Who Played with Fire. Tough girl Lisbeth Salander (played by the Mohawk-headed actress Noomi Rapace) is hospitalized after her fateful meeting with her father, and is to be tried for attempted murder. Her friend, the investigative journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) takes on the task of proving she is innocent and probes for reasons why she is being treated so harshly by the authorities. Critical reception is leaning to negative for this, with the consensus being this is the weakest and least satisfying of the three-movie series. At House, where all three films in the series are now playing. Rated 15+.

Also showing

European Union Film Festival – The festival at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre continues through Sunday. Today's screenings are Loft from Belgium at 2, Under the Stars from Spain at 5 and Letters to Father Jacob from Finland at 7. Tomorrow has Portuguese director Manoel de Oliveira’s Eccentricities of a Blonde-Haired Girl at 2, Luxembourg’s World War II story Draft Dodgers at 5 and the Hungarian Catholic-school drama The Prank at 7.30. On Saturday, it's Little Girl Blue from the Czech Republic at 11, The Heretic from Italy at 12.50, Heaven's Heart from Sweden at 2.50, the British documentary Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff at 4.45 and Spanish director Alejandro Amenábar's 1996 debut thriller Thesis at 6.30. The closing day on Sunday has Storm Bound from the Netherlands at 11, Luxembourg’s World War II story Draft Dodgers at 1.30, German director Wim Wenders' 1996 documentary Lisbon Story at 3.30 and the Belgian thriller Loft at 6. All are subtitled in English and screenings are free. Show up a bit early to collect your sticker for entry and to take your seat in the multi-purpose room on the ground floor of the BACC. Check the EU delegation website for more details. The festival will also be held in Chiang Mai, and you can check the Thomat Chiang Mai Film Blog for synopses.

Juliette Binoche dans les yeux (Juliette Binoche: Sketches for a Portrait) – Filmmaker Marion Stalens followed her sister around for a year in the making of this documentary. It probably wouldn't be all that interesting, except Stalens' sister is the dynamic French leading lady Juliette Binoche, and it captures her preparations for a performance with dancer-choregrapher Akram Khan, as well as an exhibition of her paintings. The actress gives a personal and emotional insight into her creative process and the people who have made a mark on her film career. It's showing on Wednesday, November 3 at 7:30pm and on Saturday, November 6 at 2 at the Alliance Française, with English subtitles. Admission is free.

Sneak preview

Paranormal Activity 2 – More ghostly goings-on are caught on a home surveillance system in this follow-up to last year's viral low-budget hit thriller. And there will probably be more, seeing how this one is a huge box-office hit. Here, a ghost mom is intent on taking her baby. critical reception is leaning toward positive. It's playing in sneak previews this weekend for Halloween, ahead of a wider release next Thursday.

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