Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Bangkok Cinema Scene: Movies opening October 23, 2012


Because of today's national holiday, Chulalongkorn Day, cinemas across Thailand are changing their programs on Tuesday this week instead of Thursday. It's something the Thai multiplex companies like to do on holidays, hoping to land a few more idle bums in their seats and pump up the week's box-office take.

Today, there's three movies opening, and plans are to release a few more movies this week on Thursday as usual.

Tim Burton's latest animated feature Frankenweenie opened last Thursday in a sneak-preview run before going to a wider release today. It's a remake of his 1984 short film – a parody of the Frankenstein tale in which boy scientist Victor Frankenstein reanimates his beloved pet dog. The experiment is a success, but not without dire consequences for Frankenstein and the townspeople.

Ironically, the original live-action Frankenweenie short got Burton fired from Disney because executives thought it was too scary for kids. But now Burton is back with Disney, which is is releasing this animated feature.

Frankenweenie is that return to form that critics have been waiting for after a string of lackluster efforts from Burton. An animated feature in the same gothic spirit as The Nightmare Before Christmas and Corpse Bride, Frankenweenie has been the best-received Burton film in a long time, with critics saying it harks back to his early efforts like Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands and Ed Wood – imaginative, oddball movies that are classics, and not at all like the rather forgettable films he's been churning out recently, like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Alice in Wonderland and Dark Shadows.

Frankenweenie even sees Burton reuniting with some of his old stars, with Catherine O'Hara, Winona Ryder and Martin Landau among the voice talents.

It's in 3D in some cinemas, including IMAX Digital at Ratchayothin and Pinklao. Rated G.

Also opening

Alex Cross – When talk first emerged of novelist James Patterson's African-American police detective Alex Cross being resurrected, the money was on Idris Elba to take over the role memorably played by Morgan Freeman in Along Came a Spider and Kiss the Girls. With Elba, a fine British actor best known for his work on The Wire as Stringer Bell and on his own BBC crime series Luther, it seemed there was promise for a new franchise. But then Elba bowed out and the producers replaced him with, of all people, Tyler Perry, the writer-director best known for his cross-dressing antics in his series of Madea movies. Here, the psychologist-sleuth Cox matches wits with a cage-fighting serial killer (Matthew Fox) who is turned on by torturing and slowly killing women. The story is loosely based on Patterson's novel Cross. Rob Cohen directs and Edward Burns also stars. Although the trailer has some good-looking action scenes, critical reception has been mostly negative. Rated 15+.

Hor Taew Tak Wak Mak Mak (หอแต๋วแตก แหกมว๊ากมว๊ากกก) – Director Poj Arnon brings forth a fourth installment of his provocative ghost comedy series featuring male comedians in drag. They are four katoey friends who run a boarding house for young college guys, and in this episode, a murder has taken place on the premises and made to look like a suicide. The only way to get rid of the victim’s ghost is to run around and shriek while trying to find the murderer. Rated 15+.

Also showing

Aiyyaa – It's star-crossed romance, Hindi-rom-com style as a Marathi girl (Rani Mukerji) from a middle-class family falls for a Tamil artist (Prithviraj). Part of Major Cineplex's "Bollywood Exclusive" series, it's screening at Major Sukhumvit and Rama III.

Take note

James Bond Movie Marathon – Every so often, Thai cinemas will hold a movie marathon in which they challenge viewers to watch as many movies back-to-back as they can without sleeping. Now, watching movies should be fun, but these "movie marathons", often held in a world-record attempt, quickly become punishing tests of endurance, even if the movies are entertaining. In the run-up to next month's release of Skyfall, marking the 50th anniversary of the James Bond movie franchise, Major Cineplex is hosting the James Bond Movie Marathon, in which 22 of the 007 movies will be screened. To qualify, you have to answer questions in a Bond trivia contest, and then you have to make it through all the movies without sleeping or talking or using your phone. The deadline for entries is October 25. For more details, see the Major Cineplex website or Richard Barrow's blog.

Stay tuned for another entry on Thursday, detailing the remaining releases this week in Bangkok cinemas.

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