Thursday, June 7, 2012

Bangkok Cinema Scene: Movies opening June 7-13, 2012


Ridley Scott directed two of the best sci-fi movies of all time, Blade Runner and Alien. So it's with much anticipation that he returns to the sci-fi genre with Prometheus, a prequel to the Alien movies.

A team of explorers journey to the darkest corners of the universe. They are searching for the origins of mankind, but what they find may mean the end of it.

Charlize Theron, coming off a critically hailed performance in last week's Snow White and the Huntsman, stars as the icy-cold corporate administrator the mission aboard the spaceship Prometheus. Michael Fassbender is the ship's android crewman, and Noomi Rapace, the original "girl with the dragon tattoo", is the starry-eyed researcher. Idris Elba and Guy Pearce also star.

From the look of the trailers, Prometheus looks every bit as tense and scary as Scott's Alien. Critical reception is mostly positive. In 3D in some cinemas, including IMAX Digital. Rated 15+.

Also opening

Hysteria – This British romantic comedy tells the surprising story of the invention of the electro-mechanical vibrator at the very peak of Victorian prudishness. Maggie Gyllenhaal, Felicity Jones, Hugh Dancy, Jonathan Pryce and Rupert Everett star. Critical reception is mixed. At Major Cineplex. Rated 13+.

Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted – Alex the vain lion, Marty the wise-cracking zebra, Gloria the sassy hippo and Melman the neurotic giraffe are determined to return to New York's Central Park Zoo, from which they escaped two movies ago. Leaving Africa behind, they take a detour through Europe where they are chased by a fanatical French animal control officer (Frances McDormand) and fall in with a circus troupe. Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett Smith and David Schwimmer all return to the voice cast in this DreamWorks Animation franchise. Critical reception, so far, is positive. In 3D in some cinemas. Rated G.

How I Spent My Summer Vacation – Mel Gibson is back in bad-ass mode as a con artist who wrecks his car while fleeing from the U.S. border patrol and ends up in a sprawling Mexican prison. There, the "gringo" learns the ways of the prison with help from a 10-year-old boy. Also known as Get the Gringo, this went direct to home video in the U.S., where critical reception has been surprisingly positive. Rated 18+.

Also showing

Crazy Wisdom, one of the highlights of the Buddhist Film Festival.

International Buddhist Film Festival 2012 Bangkok – Starting today and running through Sunday at SF World Cinema at CentralWorld, the Buddhist film fest will screen around 30 features and shorts from around the world, mainly from Asia. The selection includes such highlights as 1967's Yellow Robe from Sri Lanka, 1968's Talking Heart from Myanmar, 2007's Buddha Collapsed Out of Shame and the 2011 documentary Crazy Wisdom, about unconventional Tibetan Buddhist guru Chogyam Trungpa who was a pivotal figure in bringing Buddhism to the West. There's also a selection of Thai shorts and features, as well as a young filmmakers' competition. Tickets are 120 baht. Check the festival website for the full schedule.

The Flying Pigs from Poland.
European Union Film Festival 2012 – Twenty-three films from 17 EU member states are screening for free until Sunday in the fifth-floor auditorium at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre. As with other free film festivals in Bangkok, you'll likely want to get in line early in order to get a decent seat. Check the line-up and schedule at Facebook.

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