Blue is the Warmest Color
A 15-year-old girl (Adele Exarchopoulos) experiences a sexual awakening when she passes by a blue-haired older student (Lea Seydoux) in the street. What follows is an intense and sexually explicit love story that spans a decade.
Directed by Abdellatif Kechiche, Blue is the Warmest Color was the winner of the top-prize Palme d'Or at this year's Cannes Film Festival. In an unusual move, the prize was awarded to not just the director but also to both actresses.
It has since been showered with many other accolades and much critical praise, though has also been controversial, with some critics and actresses believing Kechiche took things too far.
It's in French with English and Thai subtitles at House on RCA. Rated 20-
47 Ronin – The Japanese tale of the 47 ronin is a fact-based legend dating back to the early 1700s, when two score and seven masterless samurai took revenge on a ruthless shogun for the killing of their lord. It's a story that's been adapted in many films before, most famously 1962's Chūsingura starring Toshiro Mifune. Now, in the hands of Hollywood, it's an epic 3D fantasy, filled with CGI dragons, shapeshifters and other supernatural beings. The Matrix hero Keanu Reeves stars along with a bunch of Japanese actors. He's a mysterious outsider who falls in with the 47 banished samurai, led by Hiroyuki Sanada (The Wolverine, The Last Samurai) and joins their quest for revenge. Other stars include Tadanobu Asano (Last Life in the Universe, Ichi the Killer) as the rival warlord and Rinko Kikuchi (Babel, The Brothers Bloom, Pacific Rim) as a shapeshifting witch. Carl Rinsch, making his feature debut, directs. Though it opened here yesterday, this is just being released in the U.S. today. And so far, critical reception ain't pretty. Whoa. It's in real 3D in some cinemas. Rated 15+
Police Story 2013 – Jackie Chan suits back up in his police uniform for the sixth entry in his long-running Police Story series. Unlike the previous movies that had him as a Hong Kong lawman, he's a mainland Chinese cop this time around, reflecting Chan's continuing moves away from Hong Kong and into the mainstream Chinese film industry. And like 2004's New Police Story, this is a standalone tale that's darker and grittier and has nothing to do with the first four Police Story movies in the '80s and '90s, which were action-comedies (1 to 3 being classics). Here, Jackie is a detective investigating a series of kidnappings, and his daughter ends up being one of the victims. It's directed by Ding Sheng, who previously worked with Jackie on Little Big Soldier. Rated 15+
Walking With Dinosaurs – This computer-animated family adventure goes back 70 million years to the Late Cretaceous period and follows the migrations of a runt-of-the-litter pachyrhinosaurus (a herbivore dino) and his family as he grows to adulthood and proves that a strong spirit and a good heart can be just as important to survival as physical strength and size. Justin Long heads the voice cast along with John Leguizamo as the dinosaur's bird pal. They are CGI characters in live-action settings. Critical reception is mixed, with the consensus praising the film's visual brilliance even if the story, fart jokes and all, is strictly for the kiddies. In 3D in some cinemas. Rated G
Fud Jung To (ฟัดจังโตะ) – It's that time of year again. Studio M-Thirtynine and director Rerkchai Paungpetch are back with another year-end romantic comedy. It's something they've been doing for around four years now. All have been nonsensical yukfests with untranslatable titles and incomprehensible plots. Yet they have all been crazily popular and profitable. So they keep making them. M-Thirtynine's main leading lady "Yipso" Ramita Mahapruekhong stars in a dual role, a Thai woman named Gabs and a Japanese lady named Gudchan. She's on a trip to Japan with her ex-boyfriend Gob ("Boy" Pakorn Chatborirak), who of course attracts the attention of Gabs' Japanese doppleganger. Noppadon Arkard co-directs. Rated 15+
Alliance Française – Celebrate Christmas in French with Mia et le Migou, an animated tale of a little girl’s South American adventure. It screens at 7 tonight at the Alliance Française de Bangkok, now located on Wireless Road opposite Lumpini Park in the former location of the Suan Lum Night Bazaar.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty – Ben Stiller takes a self-consciously serious and dramatic turn as the director and star of this epic tale, blown up from a short story by James Thurber. He's a lowly photo editor for Life magazine who is given to "zoning out" – daydreams in which he detaches from reality and imagines he's performing a heroic deed and winning the heart of a female co-worker (Kristen Wiig). But he's off on an adventure for real when he's assigned to track down a missing piece of negative by the magazine's intrepid star photojournalist (Sean Penn). Though anticipation was high for this passion project by the Zoolander and Tropic Thunder funnyman, critical reception is only mixed. It's in sneak previews from around 8 nightly at most multiplexes before opening wider on Monday, New Year's Eve Eve. Other early openings next week include the animated talking-turkey comedy Free Birds (featuring anti-government protester Owen Wilson, here in Thailand filming a Hollywood drama called The Coup). Later in the week, there's the official wide release of Captain Phillips, which started a sneak preview run last week. Please check back here on Monday for more details.