Thursday, May 5, 2011

Bangkok Cinema Scene: Movies opening May 5-11, 2011

Fast Five

The Fast and the Furious franchise shifts gears from street-racing to a straight-up heist flick with the fifth entry in the series, Fast Five (Fast & Furious 5).

Vin Diesel is back for his third outing as fugitive street-racer and master thief Dominic Torreto. He's joined again by Paul Walker, playing an ex-FBI agent who was once Dom's adversary but left his life as a lawman behind in 2009's Fast & Furious to help Dom take revenge against a druglord.

Dom's latest caper is to steal $100 million in cash from a fortified police station in Rio de Janeiro.

In addition to Walker's Brian O'Connor, joining the cast for this outing are Rome Pearce (Tyrese Gibson) and Tej Parker (Chris "Ludacris" Bridges) – a pair of street-racers from the second film in the series, 2 Fast 2 Furious, which also starred Walker but not Diesel. And Jordana Brewster, playing Dom's sister Mia, is back for her third appearance in the series.

Adding even more muscle to this car-racing franchise is Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, playing a tough US lawman who is determined to stop Dom and his gang.

Justin Lin, who's taken over the franchise since the third film, 2006's The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, directs.

Critical reception is mostly favorable. "Sleek, loud, and over the top, Fast Five proudly embraces its brainless action thrills," is the consensus, which means critics actually like this car-chase flick.

Keep your seat for a post-credits scene involving Eva Mendes, the undercover cop from 2 Fast 2 Furious, and Michelle Rodriguez, who was presumed dead after the events of Fast & Furious.

In addition to ordinary theaters, there's also an IMAX version at Paragon (but it's not in 3D). Rated 15+.

Also opening

Something Borrowed – A terminally single lawyer (Ginnifer Goodwin) drinks too much on her 30th birthday and finds her herself in bed the next morning with her crush from high school (Colin Egglesfield). And the problem is he's the soon-to-be-married fiancé of her best friend (Kate Hudson). John Krasinski also stars. Because this romantic comedy is also being released in the U.S. this week, critical reception is too early to gauge. Rated 15+.

Also showing

Journey Through ASEAN – Two more movies dealing with children and family issues in Southeast Asia are featured in the Film Kawan film series at TK Park at Central World. At 2pm on Saturday it's Buddha's Lost Children, a 2006 Dutch documentary is about a Thai Buddhist monk who uses his patience and faith (as well as his Muay Thai skills) to help orphaned children, fight drug abuse and preserve a vanishing way of life. His unique ministry brings Buddha's message to the remote mountain villages via horseback. At 2 on Sunday it's Homerun, a heartfelt 2003 family drama directed by popular Singaporean comedian and filmmaker Jack Neo. It's a remake of an Iranian film, Children of Heaven, and is about a poor brother and sister and their adventures over a lost pair of shoes. It's set in 1965, against the backdrop of Singapore's independence from Malaysia and also contains satire about relations between the two countries. The screenings are in Mini Theater 1 in TK Park on the eighth floor of CentralWorld.

Van Gogh – The final 67 days of artist Vincent Van Gogh's life are depicted in this 1991 biographical drama by Maurice Pialat. Jacques Dutronc portrays the talented but tormented painter. Screens on Wednesday, May 11 as part of the "Special Festival de Cannes" at the Alliance Francais Bangkok, every Wednesday until May 25.

Take note

House cinema on RCA will be closed for a week from next Tuesday as it hosts the annual auditions for the "Academy Fantasia" talent show. It'll reopen on Wednesday, May 18.

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