Thursday, June 6, 2013

Bangkok Cinema Scene: Movies opening June 6-12, 2013

After Earth

Continuing his devotion to making his son Jaden as big a star as he is, Will Smith produced the sci-fi action epic After Earth. The vanity project is about a father and son who decide to take a space journey together in hopes of strengthening their bond.

But then they crash land on Earth, which humans left 1,000 years ago because all the planet's wildlife had turned against them. The humans are now living on a planet called Terra Nova, and Smith and his son are members of the peacekeeping Rangers.

Stranded on a hostile Earth, dad has two broken legs. So it's up to the younger Smith to find a way off the rock. Fortunately, Jaden has some high-tech gear, including a sort of light saber and a space suit with wings, so he can glide like flying squirrel.

Previous father-and-son projects have included the drama The Pursuit of Happyness and the remake of The Karate Kid, which Will produced for his son to star in.

M. Night Shymalan was hired to direct, and with After Earth, it seems things are getting worse and worse for the once-celebrated writer-director who brought us such movies as The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable and Signs.

After Earth has been a resounding flop, both at the box office and with critics, who have issued mostly negative reviews. Rated G.

Also opening

The Call – Halle Berry stars in this thriller as Jordan, a veteran operator for the 911 emergency call service in Los Angeles. A call from an abducted teenage girl (Abigail Breslin) puts Jordan on the path toward a tension-filled confrontation with a figure from her haunted past. Brad Anderson (The Machinist, Transsiberian,Vanishing on 7th Street) directs. Critical reception is mixed. It's at SF Cinemas. Rated 18+.

Hummingbird – It seems there's a new Jason Statham movie every week or so, and the latest offering has the British bruiser as a veteran special forces soldier who returns from Afghanistan to London to find himself among the homeless. He takes an opportunity to assume another man's identity and transforms himself into an avenging angel in the London underworld. Steven Knight, screenwriter on such films as Eastern Promises and Dirty Pretty Things, writes and directs. This is also known by the rather generic title of Redemption, and critical reception, so far, is mixed. Rated 18+.

Passion – Brian De Palma's first film in five years stars Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace as workplace rivals in the high-stakes corporate world who engage in an increasingly tense tango of sexually charged betrayal. It premiered in competition at last year's Venice International Film Festival. Critical reception, so far, is mixed. It's at Apex Siam Square.

Angels (นางฟ้า, Nang Fah) – Somehow between the first and second parts of the 2012-13 Jan Dara remake, along with marrying one of Thailand's biggest tycoons and getting pregnant, actress "Tak" Bongkot Kongmalai found time to write, direct and star in this movie about cabaret dancers. It's billed as her directorial debut. Her Jan Dara castmate Ratha Po-ngam also stars, along with Jularlak Julanon. Ratha is riding high on the popularity of her appearance at the Cannes Film Festival for the Ryan Gosling crime drama Only God Forgives, which will be released in Bangkok later this month, so Angels serves to give her some more exposure. Rated 18+.

Tom Gay (มึนรักสลับขั้ว) – This queer-themed independent comedy is playing at Major Cineplex Ratchayothin and Esplanade Cineplex Ratchada until Sunday. Rated 15+.

Also showing

Swedish Film Festival – Running until Sunday at SFX the Emporium, the second annual Swedish fest offers seven recent mainstream movies. The offerings include the drama The Crown Jewels starring Bill Skarsgård and Happy End with Bill's older brother Gustaf. There's comedy in the gay-themed political romance Four More Years and a cross-dressing airline pilot in Cockpit. I Miss You is a youth drama about twin girls separated by tragedy. Stockholm East deals with star-crossed lovers in a railway station. And the documentary Palme looks back on the life of slain prime minster Olof Palme. Tickets are free – give yourself plenty of time to line up beforehand to get them. See my earlier post for more details and the schedule.

Comme les autres (Baby Love) – The Alliance Française screens free movies with English subtitles at 7.30pm every Wednesday. Next week's show is a 2008 comedy directed by Vincent Garenq. Lambert Wilson stars as a gay man who hires an Argentinean woman (Pilar lopez de Ayala) to marry him and have his baby. Other offerings this month are Les neiges du Kilimandjaro, a drama from 2011 and Dans les cordes, a drama from 2007.

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