Thursday, March 27, 2014

Bangkok Cinema Scene: Movies opening March 27-April 3, 2014


Writer-director David Ayer (Training Day, End of Watch) teams up with Arnold Schwarzenegger for the gritty, ultra-violent and very sweary crime drama Sabotage.

Arnie, channeling his '80s action star, is the head of an elite task force of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. After the team raids a cartel stash house and confiscates million of dollars, a serial killer starts picking off members of the task force one by one. Who's the culprit? Who can Arnie trust?

Other stars are Sam Worthington, Olivia Williams, Mireille Enos, Terrence Howard, Joe Manganiello, Josh Holloway, Harold Perrineau, Martin Donovan and Max Martini

Skip Woods (A Good Day to Die Hard, The A-Team) co-wrote the script with Ayer.

This is just coming out this week, so there's not much critical reception. Rated 18+

Also opening

Thanks for Sharing – Titled after a catchphrase often sarcastically heard at 12-step support-group meetings, this ensemble comedy-drama is about folks from various walks of life dealing with sex addiction. Among them is Mark Ruffalo as an environmental consultant who is afraid to let love back into his life. Tim Robbins is a small-business owner with many problems at home. And there's an emergency-room doctor (Josh Gad) who likes to rub up against women on public transportation and take upskirt photos. Gwyneth Paltrow, Joely Richardson, Patrick Fugit and Alecia "Pink" Moore also star. Stuart Blumberg (Keeping the Faith) directs. Critical reception is mixed. Rated 18+

Dhoom: 3 – The latest entry in the Bollywood action franchise was released here already, but now it's back for a wider release and this time around it's Thai-dubbed. Abhishek Bachchan and Uday Chopra star as top Indian cops Jai Dixit and Ali Akbar. They are called upon by Chicago police to assist catching a criminal mastermind (Aamir Khan) who is using his acrobatic skills to rob Windy City banks. Katrina Kaif also stars. It's Thai-dubbed only.

Also showing

The Friese-Greene Club – Philip Seymour Hoffman is a skeevy film-crew worker in the porn business in Paul Thomas Anderson's dynamite Boogie Nights, screening tonight. Tomorrow, the "perspectives of war" are from Japan in the very, very sad classic animation Grave of the Fireflies by Isao Takahata. On Saturday, Peter Finch is mad as hell, and he's not going to take it anymore. Yes, it's Network, Sidney Lumet's 1976 skewering of the mass media. And March winds down with Michael Curtiz' 1947 adaptation of the hit Broadway play, Life With Father. April's schedule starts with Overnight, about a bartender who suddenly becomes the biggest thing in Hollywood. It's part of a Wednesday series of documentaries about "obsessive filmmakers". Other features in April include Anthony Hopkins on Thursdays, Albert Brooks on Fridays, David Mamet on Saturdays and Michael Redgrave on Sundays. And Tuesdays are request days. Shows start at 8. 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 reservations are a must. There are sometimes additions and changes in the schedule, so please check the website and Facebook page for updates.

Salaya International Documentary Film Festival – The journey of Karen families from a refugee camp on the Thai border to their resettlement in the U.K. is covered in Moving to Mars, screening at 5.30 today at the Thai Film Archive in Salaya. It's part of a package from the British Council, which also includes Soundtrack for a Revolution, about songs from America's civil rights movement, Requiem for Detroit, chronicling the decay of the once-great Motor City and South African ladies helping street kids in Rough Aunties. Competition entries screen today and tomorrow at the Bangkok Art and Culture Center. All worth a look, they include a son's gift to his mother in Homemade, the bittersweet cross-cultural romance Jazz in Love, Vietnam war wounds in Mrs. Bua's Carpet and the exiles' lament To Singapore, with Love. There's no program at the BACC on Saturday, so you'll want to catch the bus to the Film Archive to see the Cambodian Oscar nominee The Missing Picture as well as the much-anticipated closing film The Songs of Rice. Or you can catch The Missing Picture on Sunday during Doc Day at the BACC, which starts at 10.30am with Kazuhiro Soda's Campaign, then Campaign 2. There's also Receiving Torpedo Boats – exciting footage from 1937 of the Royal Thai Navy's historic voyage to Italy to bring back a pair of new warships. Hit the following link for the full schedule.

German Film Weekends – The Goethe-Institut's film series enters its final week with the World War II comedy-drama Hotel Lux on Saturday. It's about a German comedian who flees the country and ends up at a hotel in Moscow, where people believe he's Hitler's personal astrologer. On Sunday, it's Two Times Lotte, a 1950 live-action adaptation of the children's story Lottie and Lisa (Das doppelte Lottchen), about twin girls separated at birth meeting each other at a summer camp. It's been remade many times, including a couple by Disney as The Parent Trap. The shows are at 4pm at the Esplanade Cineplex Ratchadaphisek. Check the website for details on tickets.

Film Virus Double Bill – Back-to-back yakuza dramas are on offer this Sunday, starting at 12.30 with Kinji Fukasaku's Battles Without Honor and Humanity. From 1973, it follows the struggles of a gangster in post-war Hiroshima. It's part of a series of highly influential films by Fukasaku called The Yakuza Papers. and is referred to by some as "the Japanese Godfather". Fukusaku later went on to direct the adaptation of the popular Japanese novel and manga Battle Royale, about teen schoolkids in fight-to-the-death survival games. Made in 2000, it's basically the template for all the Hollywood young-adult fiction movies we're seeing today. It's followed by Takashi Nomura's A Colt Is My Passport. From 1967, it's among a cool crop of Japanese films during the era that emulated the shadowy stylings of film noir. Take note: This is the last Double Bill before the break for Songkran. Check back on April 20 for "late western" movies, including John Wayne. The venue is the Rewat Buddhinan Room in the basement of the basement that is the Pridi Banomyong Library at Thammasat University, Tha Prachan. You'll need to show your I.D. and have it scanned to gain entry. The get there by ferry, take the Chao Praya River Express to Wang Lang (Siriraj) pier and then transfer to a ferry heading to Tha Prachan or Wat Mahathat piers.

Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand – This year's Contemporary World Film Series at the FCCT opens with La Bella del Alhambra, a Cuban drama that charts the rise of a domineering cabaret performer in old-timey Havana. Beatriz Valdes stars. It won Spain's Goya Award for best foreign Spanish-language film and was Cuba's submission to the Academy Awards in 1990. Screening at 7pm (not 8pm!) on Monday, March 31, it's courtesy of the Embassy of Cuba and Cuban Ambassador Victor Ramirez Pena, who will provide rum, cocktails, snacks and, of course, cigars. Entry is 150 baht for non-members and 100 baht for anyone wanting the drinks, eats or smokes.

Alliance Française – April kicks off with Versailles, a 2008 drama about a homeless young mother and her son. They drift from the streets of Paris to Versailles, where they end up living in the forest near the famous palace, and take up with a man who has cut himself off from the world. Guillaume Depardieu, Aure Atika and Judith Chemla star. The show is at 7pm on Wednesday, April 2 at the Alliance Française de Bangkok. It's at the intersection of Rama IV and Wireless roads, opposite Lumpini Park in the former location of the Suan Lum Night Bazaar.

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