Thursday, June 23, 2011

Bangkok Cinema Scene: Movies opening June 23-29, 2011


Japanese animation house Studio Ghibli adapts Mary Norton's 1950s fantasy novel The Borrowers for Arrietty (Kari-gurashi no Arietti, a.k.a. Arietty the Borrower).

It's the tale of a teenage girl who lives with her family of “tiny people” under the floorboards of a house. Her life changes when she’s discovered by a human boy.

Hiromasa Yonebayashi directs, with the screenplay by the master himself, Hayao Miyazaki.

Named Animation of the Year by the Japan Academy last year, critical reception, so far, is mostly positive. More opinions will emerge when the film is released in the U.S. and U.K., in August and next February respectively. That version will feature the likes of Will Arnett, Amy Poehler and Carol Burnett as voice talent.

Here, it's in Japanese with English and Thai subtitles at the Lido in Siam Square.

Also opening

The Conspirator – Robin Wright portrays Mary Surratt, the owner of the boarding house where John Wilkes Booth and others hatched the plot to assassinate Abraham Lincoln. She was charged as a co-conspirator in the crime, and, with the whole country calling for her blood, she is forced to rely on her reluctant lawyer (James McAvoy) to uncover the truth and save her life. Kevin Kline, Tom Wilkinson, Justin Long, Danny Huston, Colm Meaney and Toby Kebbel also star. Robert Redford directs. Critical reception is mixed. At the Scala in Siam Square.

Dylan Dog: Dead of Night – A detective who deals with the paranormal takes a case that puts him in the middle of a battle among vampires, werewolves, zombies and a guardian of Hell. This monster-movie fantasy is adapted from a 1980s Italian comic series. Brandon Routh (Superman Returns) stars along with Anita Briem and Sam Huntington. Critical reception is mostly negative. Rated 15+

Mai Ka Mum Don Ka Don (หนัง ใหม่กะหม่ำ และ โดนกะโดน) – Actor-director-comedian Petchtai “Mum Jokmok” Wongkumlao teams up with veteran singer-actress Mai Charoenpura for this romantic comedy about a man whose relationship with his best friend upsets his heavyset wife Kapro, who's played by Mum's cross-dressing TV comedy cohort Choosak “Nong” Iamsuk. Things get complicated when Mai gets pregnant and Kapro falls for another man (Pongsak “Teng” Pongsuwan). Rated 15+.

Double Dhamaal – Four good-for-nothing jokers, Riteish Deshmukh, Jaaved Jaafery, Arshad Warsi and Ashish Chowdhry, are dreaming of the high life, where they have everything by doing nothing. A chance encounter with their old archenemy, a corrupt ex-cop (Sanjay Dutt), gives them the idea to hatch a blackmail plot. Kangna Ranaut also stars, as does Mallika Sherawat, who had a bikini scene that was chopped. This is a sequel to Dhamaal, a hit 2007 comedy that was inspired partly by 1963's It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. Indra Kumar directs. It's at SFX the Emporium on Friday at 8, Major Cineplex Rama III on Saturday at 8 and Sunday at 4 and at Major Sukhumvit on Sunday at 7.30pm. Call 0894882620 or 022257500 or visit

Take note

This blog has resumed weekly operations after a two-week break. Movies that opened in Bangkok over the past couple weeks include:

  • Super 8 – Boys making a monster movie with their home-movie camera capture a train crash and begin noticing strange happenings in their small town. J.J. Abrams directs and Steven Spielberg produces. Also at IMAX Digital. Rated 13+.
  • Killing Bono – A pair of Irish rock musicians (Ben Barnes and Robert Sheehan) look on in jealousy as their old school chums become the biggest band in Ireland. At Major Cineplex, EGV, Esplanade, Paragon. Rated 18+.
  • Green Lantern – Ryan Reynolds plays the earthling who is granted a mystical green ring that bestows him with otherworldly powers and membership into an intergalactic squadron tasked with keeping peace within the universe. Rated G.
  • Sex and Zen – The ’80s Hong Kong erotic movie franchise is relaunched for the new 3D era, with a story about a pleasure-seeking couple in ancient China. In 3D and Thai-dubbed only at most cinemas; in 2D in Cantonese with English subtitles at House. Rated 20-.
  • Small Ru Ku Naew – A rock band takes over a family’s bakery so they can use it as their practice space. Poj Anon directs. Rated 15+.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Incredible – Husband-and-wife retired superheroes contend with the high cost of living, infertility and other contemporary life issues. Directed by Vincent Kok, it stars Louis Koo, Sandra Ng and Chapman To. Rated 15+.

Update: Screenings of Nader and Simin: A Separation at House RCA have been cancelled because of technical problems.

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