Thursday, September 1, 2011

Bangkok Cinema Scene: Movies opening September 1-7, 2011

Fright Night

Anton Yelchin squares off against Colin Farrell in Fright Night, a remake of the cult 1985 horror comedy.

Yelchin, who played wunderkind ensign Chekov in the Star Trek movie, goes on the offensive after he learns his new neighbor Jerry (Farrell) is a vampire.

Christopher Mintz-Plasse, David Tennant, Imogen Poots and Toni Collette also star.

Australian-born filmmaker Craig Gillespie (Lars and the Real Girl) directs.

"It may not have been necessary to remake the 1985 cult classic, but the new Fright Night benefits from terrific performances by Colin Farrell and David Tennant – and it's smart, funny and stylishly gory to boot," is the mostly positive consensus.

It's in 3D in some cinemas.

Also opening

ColombianaAvatar and The Losers star Zoe Saldana is still in action mode in this revenge flick. After witnessing her parents’ murder as a child in Bogota, she grows up to be an assassin, taking assignments while also searching for the man responsible for her parents' deaths. Luc Besson is a producer, and it's very much in the same vein as his classic female assassin drama Le Femme Nikita. And, Colombiana was originally conceived as a sequel to Besson's Léon: The Professional. Olivier Megaton (Transporter 3) directs. Critical reception is mixed, with the consensus seeming to be that action fans won't be disappointed, as long as they don't take it too seriously.

Love, Not Yet (รักจัดหนัก, Rak Jad Nak) – Bioscope film magazine editor Suphab Rimthepathip produces this romance omnibus that takes a look at teenage pregnancies. Rated 15+.

Bangkok Kung Fu – Yuthlert Sippapak directs this action-comedy about young martial artists who all grew up under the same master. They seek revenge against the gangsters who stole their lives. The cast includes "Pe" Arak Amornsupasiri, "Film" Ratthaphoom Tokhongsab, Mario Maurer and Yes or No actress Sucharat Manaying along with various teen-idol performers from the RS Public record label. Rated 13+.

Ceremony – A young man heads to an elegant beachside estate in a bumbling attempt to derail the wedding of the older woman he's infatuated with. Michael Angarano and Uma Thurman star. Critical reception is mixed. It's at House, Major Cineplex Ratchayothin and SFW CentralWorld. Rated 18+.

Trust – David Schwimmer directs this psychological thriller about a teenager's life that's ruined after she meets a guy she met online who doesn't turn out to be the dreamboat he was posing to be. Liana Liberato portrays the girl, with Clive Owen and Catherine Keener as her mother and father. Critical consensus is mostly positive, saying Schwimmer "gets some gut-wrenching performances out of his actors but he still lacks the chops to fully ratchet up story tension". It's at the Scala.

Mr. Popper’s Penguins – Jim Carrey is a divorced businessman who turns his life around when he becomes the father figure to six penguins. It's based on a 1938 children's book by Richard and Florence Atwater. Although the South Pole birds are sometimes rendered in CGI, actual penguins were used in the making of this picture. Mark Waters (The Spiderwick Chronicles, Mean Girls) directs. Critical reception is mixed. At SF cinemas.

Born To Be Wild – Morgan Freeman narrates this documentary. It looks at baby wild animals in two places – elephants at a sanctuary in Kenya and orangutans at a sanctuary in Borneo. Only at IMAX in 3D.

Also showing

Chulalongkorn University International Film Festival – Four more films remain in this segment of the twice-yearly screening series of recent acclaimed movies. On Friday, it's the woman-and-her-dog-road-trip drama Wendy and Lucy starring Michelle Williams. The Greek arthouse psychological thriller Dogtooth shows on Monday. The Spanish animation Chico and Rita, set in 1940s Cuba, screens next Wednesday. And the fest closes on September 9 with French animator Sylvain Chomet's The Illusionist, based on a screenplay by Jacques Tati. After each screening there's a chance to share opinions with film critics Kittisak Suvannapokhin, Nopamat Veohong and Kong Rithdee. All movies are on DVD with English subtitles. Show times are at 5pm in the Mahachakri Sirindhorn Building, 9th Floor.

Morbid Symptom – The DK Filmhouse (Film Virus) screening series alongside the Dialogic exhibition at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre continues on Saturday with the program "Cannot be Born", featuring David Cronenberg's 1979 mutant-children thriller The Brood at 3pm and Night of Counting the Years, a.ka. The Mummy, a 1969 fact-based drama by Egyptian director Shadi Abdel Salam at 5. The screening venue is a corner of the BACC's ninth-floor gallery, on a bare white wall where there are a handful of beanbag chairs strewn around. If you want a seat, get there early.

Lady of No Fear – As the Luc Besson-directed Aung San Suu Kyi biopic The Lady, filmed in Thailand starring Michelle Yeoh, is ready to hit big screens, the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand and the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre will show the documentary Lady of No Fear. Danish director Anne Gyrithe Bonne researched for more than three years, meeting friends and family members of the Burmese pro-democracy leader, going through archives, libraries, and photographs to put together Suu Kyi's life story. Bonne will be here to talk about the film. The first screening is at 8pm on Tuesday, September 6 at the FCCT in the penthouse of the Maneeya Center Building at Chitlom BTS station. Admission is B150 non-members. It will then screen at 7.30pm on Wednesday, September 7, at the Bangkok Art & Culture Centre in the 5th-floor auditorium.

Bernie – Albert Dupontel directs and stars in this quirky 1996 comedy as an orphan, who at age 30, finally decides to leave the orphanage and find out why his parents abandoned him. Along the way, he has an adventure. It screens at 7.30pm on Wednesday, September 7 at the Alliance Francaise.

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