Thursday, September 26, 2013

Bangkok Cinema Scene: Movies opening September 26-October 2, 2013

The Heat

Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock show that female police officers can run, gun and swear just as well as the best of their male counterparts in The Heat.

This mismatched-buddy-cop comedy has Bullock as an uptight and talented FBI special agent. She is perhaps too uptight and talented, because she constantly shows up her colleagues – even the police dog – and never admits she's wrong. She has alienated everyone around her. Determined to move up in rank and further prove herself, Bullock is given one more chance by her supervisor (a wonderfully weary Damian Bichir) – go to Boston to investigate a drug ring.

There, in Beantown, McCarthy is a tough foul-mouthed police detective who only works alone and is feared by criminals and cops alike. She is basically a female version of Gene Hackman in The French Connection.

So, of course, these two cops who don't play well with others have to partner up to solve the case.

Paul Feig (Bridesmaids) directs.

Critical reception is mixed, leaning to positive. It's at SF cinemas only. Rated 15+.

Also opening

Rush – Director Ron Howard takes on the fast-paced world of Formula One auto racing with this look back at the 1976 rivalry on and off the track between womanizing English driver James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and the methodical, brilliant Austrian, Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl). It premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, and critical reception is generally positive. Rated 15+.

Runner Runner – Justin Timberlake matches wits with Ben Affleck in this thriller about the world of Internet poker. Timberlake is a hotshot college student to gambles for his tuition money and loses. He then decides to confront the man who beat him (Affleck) – a criminal mastermind living in style in Costa Rica. Gemma Arterton also stars. This doesn't open in the U.S. until next week, so critical reception isn't registering yet. Rated 13+.

Pawn Shop Chronicles – This shaggy-dog action-comedy has three storylines revolving around a small-town pawn shop. They involve a man searching for his kidnapped wife, a sad-sack Elvis impersonator and white-supremacist meth heads. Matt Dillon, Brendan Fraser, Elijah Wood. Vincent D’Onofrio and Paul Walker star. Wayne Kramer (The Cooler, Running Scared) directs. This had a limited release in the U.S. earlier this summer and critical reception is a bit unknown. It's at SF cinemas only. Rated 18+.

Also showing

The Friese-Greene Club – Catch the great Peter Sellers in one of his earliest performances in the 1959 comedy I'm All Right Jack. David Cronenberg demonstrates the proper way to do a horror remake with the 1986 classic The Fly, starring Jeff Goldblum as "Seth Brundlefly" and Geena Davis. Gross-out stunts are in store in Saturday's "midnight movie", John Waters' Pink Flamingos. And Sunday's classic is the 1939 romantic drama Goodbye Mr. Chips. Shows start at 8pm. The FGC is down an alley next to the Queen's Park Imperial Hotel on Sukhumvit Soi 22. It's open Wednesday through Sunday from around 6pm. With just nine seats, the screening room fills up fast, so please check the website to make bookings.

Inspecteur Lavardin – The Alliance Française Bangkok has moved from its old location on South Sathorn to new digs in the Lumpini area at 179 Thanon Witthayu (Wireless Road). And after taking a month off to get resituated, the weekly free movies resume with a line-up of crime dramas, starting with Claude Chabrol's 1986 murder mystery. It's in French with English subtitles. The show's on at 7.30pm on Wednesday, October 2.

Sneak previews

Prisoners – Oscar buzz is already surrounding this child-abduction drama starring Hugh Jackman. He's a family man who becomes increasingly desperate and angry after his six-year-old daughter goes missing. A police detective (Jake Gyllenhaal) tracks down a suspect (Paul Dano) but then has to let the mentally not-all-there man go due to lack of evidence. So Jackman takes things into his own hands. Viola Davis and Terrence Howard also star. Denis Villeneuve (Incendies) directs. Prisoners premiered to much acclaim at this year's Telluride festival, and critical reception is mostly positive. It's in sneak previews this week from around 8 nightly at most cinemas.

About Time – Britain's romantic-comedy king Richard Curtis directs this yarn about a young man who learns the men in his family have the ability to travel back in time for short increments. Domhnall Gleeson (son of Irish actor Brendan) stars as an awkward guy who uses his gift to strike up a romance with a pretty girl (Rachel McAdams). Bill Nighy is the guy's cool dad. Critical reception is generally positive. It's in sneak previews at most multiplexes at around 8 nightly for the next two weeks before opening wide on October 10. Rated 13+.

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