Thursday, October 31, 2013

Bangkok Cinema Scene: Movies opening October 31-November 6, 2013

Ender's Game

Harrison Ford competes for screen time with Ben Kingsley and his hilarious face tattoo as well as a bunch kids in Ender's Game.

The gruff sci-fi icon of Star Wars and Blade Runner is the commander of a space force battling a hostile alien race called "the Buggers".

To fight them, younglings are being trained at the battle school to fight the war like they were playing a giant video game. One of the kids, Ender Wiggin, is better than all the rest. He's played by Asa Butterfield, the child actor who starred in Martin Scorsese's Hugo.

Kingsley portrays the legendary hero Mazer Rackham, who turned the tide against an earlier attack by the Buggers.

Other stars include Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit), Viola Davis, Abigail Breslin and that weird kid from The Kings of Summer, Moises Arias.

It's based on the 1986 Hugo Award-winning novel by Orson Scott Card.

The director is Gavin Hood, the South African helmer of Tsotsi as well as Rendition and X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

This is just being released in the States this week, but critical reception, so far, is positive. Rated 15+

Also opening

Hashima Project (ฮาชิมะ โปรเจกต์) – After gaining notoriety for their viral fake ghost clip, five young filmmakers are invited by a TV show to record supernatural activity on Japan's Hashima Island, a "ghost island" off the coast of Nagasaki. And, surprise, surprise, the whippersnappers find out that the place really is haunted. It's directed by Piyaphan Chupetch and stars Pirath Nithipaisalkul, Alex Rendell, Apinya Sakuljaroensuk, Mek Mekwattana and Sucha Manaying. Rated 15+

Spiders – An old Soviet space station falls to Earth and crashes into a New York City subway tunnel, unleashing a gigantic mutated spider. It's up to a transit supervisor (Patrick Muldoon) and a health inspector (Christa Campbell) to prevent the colossal queen from uniting with her eggs and creating an army of massive killer spiders. Critical reception is mostly negative, but if you like your giant spiders looking incredibly fake and cheesy, than this movie is for you. In 3D. Rated 15+

Krrish 3 – Bollywood's superhero franchise continues as Hrithik Roshan takes on evil mutants. Priyanka Chopra and Vivek Oberoi also star. It's in Hindi with English and Thai subtitles at Major Cineplex Sukhumvit, Pattaya, Rama III and Paragon. Opens Friday.

Also showing

The Friese Greene-Club – Filmmaker Paul Spurrier celebrates Halloween at his private cinema club with a rare treat – a special screening of his 2005 horror film P, in which a dancer at a Soi Cowboy go-go bar uses black magic to upstage the others. Weirdly, the film has never been screened publicly in Thailand. The November schedule also has some leftovers from October, thanks to a couple of programming changes – Louis Malle's Pretty Baby will screen tomorrow and another of Alexander Payne's men-in-crisis comedies, About Schmidt starring Jack Nicholson, shows on Saturday. Sunday is the start of an "early Hitchcock" series with Hitch's first-ever thriller, 1927's The Lodger. Next week, there will be special screenings of Censor Must Die at the FGC. Scroll down for details on that. For the rest of November, there will be "classic Rob Reiner" movies on Wednesday (Stand By Me, This Is Spinal Tap and The Sure Thing), "disturbing" horror films on Thursdays, the films of Jean-Pierre Jeunet on Fridays and ghost love stories on Saturdays. Shows start at 8pm. The FGC is down an alley next to the Queen's Park Imperial Hotel on Sukhumvit Soi 22. With just nine seats, the screening room fills up fast, so please check the website to make bookings.

It Gets Better (ไม่ได้ขอให้มารั, Mai Dai Kor Hai Ma Rak) – Thai transgender director Tanwarin Sukkhapisit takes a broad, commercially appealing approach to addressing the issues of sexuality and gender with this romantic comedy drama that was the top nominee at the Subhanahongsa Awards. The movie is structured in three segments that increasingly intertwine. One story deals with an fiftysomething post-op ladyboy (played by actress Penpak Sirikul) who is touring around a small town in Thailand's scenic north. Another part deals with a young man who returns to Thailand after the death of his father and discovers the old man ran a ladyboy cabaret in Pattaya. He finds himself falling for one of the bar's staff. And the third story is about an effeminate young man who is shipped off to the monkhood after his father discovers him dressing up in his mother's clothes. The Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand screens It Gets Better at 8pm on Monday, November 4, with the director present for a post-screening question session. Entry for non-members is 150 baht plus 100 baht more for anyone wanting to sip the wines provided by Village Farm and Winery.

Censor Must Die – Next week, from November 5 to 9, the Friese-Greene Club will host special screenings of Censor Must Die, a documentary by Thai filmmaker Ing K. that deals with the banning of her previous film, Shakespeare Must Die. It's an instructive look at a brand-new Thai bureaucracy – the Culture Ministry's Film and Video Board and its film-ratings system. Though the movie has been cleared for public screenings, Ing K. is still being a bit cagey about it, so the screenings are for card-carrying FGC members only. Membership at the moment is free. If you're not yet a member, you just need to get down to the club and put your name in the book 24 hours before you plan to see the movie. Also, for this movie, there is an admission price: 150 baht.

Take note

The French films are due to resume on Wednesday, November 6 at the Alliance Française Bangkok, newly located on the corner of Rama IV and Wireless Road in the former location of the Suan Lum Night Bazaar. The showtimes will be at 7pm, rather than 7.30. They haven't yet listed the program on their website and I can't get any confirmation about what film is being shown.

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