Thursday, February 16, 2012

Bangkok Cinema Scene: Movies opening February 16-22, 2012


Martin Scorsese takes a break from making movies about gangsters to channel his inner-child in Hugo, a fantasy about an orphan boy (Asa Butterfield) living a secret life in the walls of a Paris train station, where he keeps the station's clocks running.

He's frequently chased by the leg-brace-wearing station guard (Sacha Baron Cohen) and his Doberman attack dog.

Hugo is trying solve a mystery that links a broken robot made by his father to an ill-tempered toy shop owner (Ben Kingsley). The answer has something to do with pioneering filmmaker Georges Méliès. Chloe Moretz (Kick-Ass) also stars along with Ray Winstone, Jude Law, Christopher Lee, Michael Stuhlbarg, Emily Mortimer and Richard Griffiths.

The story is based on a New York Times best-seller, The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick.

Hugo won best sound at the recent BAFTA awards in the U.K., where Scorsese was honored with the BAFTA Fellowship for lifetime achievement. Nominated for 11 Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, critical reception is mostly positive.

It's screening in 3D only, as Mr. Scorsese insists, at Paragon and CentralWorld. Rated G.

Also opening

The Descendants – George Clooney is an Oscar nominee and winner of the Golden Globe for his role as the dysfunctional "back-up dad" of a wealthy Hawaiian family. He's thrust into the uncomfortable position of being the sole parent after his wife has a Jet Ski accident and falls into a coma. Then, troubling secrets of her life are exposed and threaten to further unravel the family. It's nominated for five Oscars in all, including best director for Alexander Payne (Sideways, About Schmidt). Critical reception is overwhelmingly positive. At Apex Siam Square and SF Cinemas. Rated 13+.

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance – Wacky Nicolas Cage returns as the skull-headed stunt motorcyclist who made a bad deal with the devil. He's hiding out Eastern Europe where faces a new enemy, Blackout (Johnny Whitworth) and finds new allies in a group of rebel biker monks, led by Idris Elba (The Wire, Luther). Meanwhile, the Devil (Ciarán Hinds) is trying to take human form. Violante Placido also stars. It's directed by the daredevil rollerblading duo of Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor who previously did the Crank movies and Gamer, so get ready for stylistic overload. This is just being released this week in the U.S., so not many critics have weighed in yet. In 3D, including IMAX Digital. Rated G.

Also showing

Wish Us Luck (ขอให้เราโชคดี) Indie filmmaking twin sisters Wanweaw and Weawwan Hongvivatana make their feature debut with the documentary Wish Us Luck, chronicling their one-month journey by train from London back home to Bangkok. Travelling on the Trans-Siberian Railroad, their trip took them through France, Germany, Russia, Mongolia, china, Vietnam and Laos. it's their Master's project for the University for the Creative Arts in the U.K. It's screening at 4pm on Sunday, February 19 in the Eat@Double U Restaurant at SF World Cinema at CentralWorld as part of the Third Class Citizen screening series. Admission is free.

German Film Week – Seven movies in seven days will be shown at 7 nightly from Monday, February 20, at Paragon Cineplex in the Goethe-Institut Thailand's German Film Week. Among the critically acclaimed highlights is A Year Ago In Winter on February 23 and When We Leave on February 26. Others are Almanya (Welcome to Germany) on February 20, Krabat on February 21, Poll on February 22, I’ve Never Been Happier on February 24 and Lila Lila on February 25. All are free and in German with English subtitles. And don't forget, the German Open Air Cinema season is still on at 7.30pm on Tuesdays at the Goethe-Institut, with Poll this Tuesday night and the series closer The Stranger on February 28.

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