Thursday, May 31, 2012

Bangkok Cinema Scene: Movies opening May 31-June 6, 2012

Snow White and the Huntsman

Already this season, we've had the live-action retooling of the "Snow White" tale by Tarsem Singh with the slightly comic Mirror Mirror, starring Julia Roberts as the evil queen.

Now comes Snow White and the Huntsman, which aims to be even more epic and grimmer in tone as it mixes fantasic Lord of the Rings-style battle sequences with the tale of the fair young woman and the dwarfs.

Perpetually sneering Twilight starlet Kristen Stewart has for some reason been cast as the only woman in all the land who's fairer than Charlize Theron, the evil queen. The queen sends a huntsman (Chris "Thor" Hemsworth) to kill her. Instead, the huntsman and the seven, no eight, dwarfs school the tomboyish Snow White in the art of war. She dons armor and takes up a sword in a fight to end the wicked queen's reign.

The eight (count 'em) dwarfs are a lively bunch of veteran British Isles talents – Ian McShane, Johnny Harris, Bob Hoskins, Toby Jones, Eddie Marsan, Brian Gleeson, Ray Winstone and Nick Frost.

Critical reception, so far, is mixed. Rated 13+.

Also opening

Rowdy Rathore – Akshay Kumar stars in this action flick. He's a small-time conman who charms ladies' hearts with just a blink. He falls in love with Priya (Sonakshi Sinha), a pretty girl whom he met at a wedding he crashed. His situation is further complicated when a 6-year-old girl turns up, claiming he's her dad. Kareena Kapoor also stars. It's screening in Hindi with English and Thai subtitles at Major Cineplex Sukhumvit (Ekamai) on Friday at 8pm, Sunday at 7.30 and Monday at 8 and at Major Central Rama III on Saturday at 8 and Sunday at 4. Call (089) 488 2620 or check

I Miss U (รักฉันอย่าคิดถึงฉัน, Rak Chan Yaa Khid Tueng Chang) – A young surgeon (Apinya Sakulrajjamroensuk) attempts to help her senior colleague (Jessadaporn Pholdee) to move on after his lover is killed in a traffic wreck. But soon, it becomes apparent that the dead girlfriend’s spirit won’t let go. Natthaveeranuch Thongme also stars. Released by Thai studio M-Thirtynine, it's directed by Monthon Arayangkoon (Garuda, House). Rated 13+.

Art Idol อยากให้เธอรู้ว่ากูติสท์ –  A young man (Chonnakan Phoolsiriwong) wants to be a superstar but doesn’t have any talent until he meets an artist (Pongthep Anurak) who inspires him to try his hand as a painter. This romantic comedy is released by Thai studio Mono Pictures. Rated G.

Also showing

European Union Film Festival 2012 – Twenty-three films from 17 EU member states will screen from today until June 10 at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, in the fifth-floor auditorium. Movies this year are mostly from 2010. As with other free film festivals, be sure to get in line early in order to get a decent seat. Check the line-up and schedule at Facebook.

Seen by H.M.K. – The Thai Film Archive's screening of classic films that were viewed in public cinemas by His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej continues through next week at the Archive's Sri Salaya Theatre in Salaya, Nakhon Pathom.

Among this weekend's screenings is Lord Jim, a 1965 adaptation of Joseph Conrad's adventure novel that stars Peter O'Toole with support from the likes of Eli Wallach, Curd Jurgens and James Mason. A ripping yarn that more closely resembles a western despite its setting on the high seas and in the Far East, it was one of the first big Hollywood pictures to be filmed on location in Cambodia. And it was almost the last, until Tomb Raider and Angelina Jolie came along in 2001, as well as Matt Dillon with City of Ghosts in 2002. According to The Projectionist at the Southeast Asia Movie Theater Project, O'Toole said unfavorable things about the country, which angered Prince Sihanouk so much that he temporarily suspended diplomatic relations with the U.S. Conrad actually visited the film location and stayed in Bangkok, the legacy of which is the Joseph Conrad Suite at the Oriental hotel and the hotel's Lord Jim restaurant.

Here's the remaining schedule at the Film Archive:

  • Pan Din Khong Roa a.k.a. Our Homeland (1976, Thailand), Friday, June 1, 5.30pm
  • Lord Jim (1965, USA), Saturday, June 2, 1pm
  • The Great Escape (1963, USA), Sunday, June 3, 1pm
  • Ruen  Pae a.k.a. The Houseboat (1961, Thailand), Monday June 4 and Saturday, June 9, 1pm
  • Amrapali (1966, India), Tuesday, June 5, 5.30pm
  • You Only Live Twice (1967, USA), Wednesday, June 6, 5.30pm
  • Love Story (1970, USA), Thursday, June 7, 5.30pm
  • Mue Jorn (1961, Thailand), Friday, June 8, 5.30pm

Please note that the Thai films don't have English subtitles, though the Indian film does. Click on over to for further details about the films seen by His Majesty and the theaters he visited.

Sneak preview

Piranha 3DD – The 3D horror-comedy franchise returns with a not-so-subtle double-entendre title, opening in sneak previews at around 8 nightly this week in most cinemas. A follow-up to the 2010 version, the action this time has the bloodthirsty flesh-eating prehistoric fish finding their way into a newly opened water park. Ving Rhames, despite having been eaten in the first part, returns for more fun. Joining the cast is "Baywatch" star David Hasselhoff plus Gary Busey, Katrina Bowden, Danielle Panabaker, Matt Bush, Chris Zylka and David Koechner. Critical reception is mostly negative, but if you liked the first one, you might want to give this one a chance. In 3D. Rated 20-.

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