Thursday, June 5, 2014

Bangkok Cinema Scene: Movies opening June 5-11, 2014

Edge of Tomorrow

Wash, rinse, repeat. Tom Cruise is Tom Cruise in another post-apocalyptic tale of the future. In Edge of Tomorrow, he's an ordinary suit-and-tie guy who is drafted into the military, dropped into a D-Day-style warzone and almost instantly killed. However, he finds himself caught in a time loop and fighting and dying over and over and over again. Sounds like all his movies.

He then meets a more-seasoned soldier – a tough lady warrior (Emily Blunt) who takes no guff. She whips him into shape and teaches him how to stay alive a bit longer and get closer to finally defeating the mysterious enemy.

Bill Paxton, Brendan Gleeson and Noah Taylor also star. Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity, Swingers) directs. It's adapted from a 2004 Japanese light novel All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka. The script, long in development, went through the Hollywood mill, with the final draft by Christopher McQuarrie, the writer-director of Reacher, which also starred Cruise.

Critical reception is surprisingly positive. "Gripping, well-acted, funny and clever," says the consensus. It's in 3D (converted) in some cinemas, including IMAX. Rated G

Also opening

7500Too soon after the mysterious tragedy of the vanished Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, this air-travel thriller deals with a Los Angeles-to-Tokyo flight that encounters a supernatural force over the Pacific Ocean. Leslie Bibb, Ryan Kwanten, Jerry Ferrara, Amy Smart, Jamie Chung and Scout Taylor-Compton star. Takashi Shimizu (The Grudge) directs. This was supposed to come out sometime last year, but was delayed for unknown reasons. There isn't much of a critical response. Rated 15+

The Rooms (ห้อง/หลอก/หลอน, Hong/Lork/Lorn) – Three directors – Panjapong Kongkanoi, Itthisak Uasoontornwattana and Jaded Uaychimplee – offer a mix of romance, horror and comedy in a trio of ghost stories. Asa Wang, Taveerit Joonlasap and Sawika Chaiyadej star. Rated 15+

Sri Thanonchai 555+ (ศรีธนญชัย 555+) – Thanachat Tulyachat, the young actor best known for the Boonchoo comedy franchise reboot, stars in this period-costume comedy as the historical folklore figure Sri Thanonchai, a consummate trickster who is famous for his wit but also uses his gifts to take advantage of others. Rated 15+

Poo Baow Tai Ban (ผู้บ่าวไทบ้าน อีสานอินดี้) – It's a Northeastern rural comedy-romance from a new Khon Kaen-based outfit, E-San Indy Film Studio. Sri Thanonchai leading man “Arty” Thanachat Tulyachat also stars in this one. He's a guy pining after a local lass who has plans to leave the village and move to the big city. Martin Brewer, a Briton with a farm and family in the area, also appears. It's at Major Cineplex, mainly upcountry branches for now, and is in Northeastern dialect with central Thai subtitles. A wider Bangkok release is planned for later. Rated G

Holiday – Akshay Kumar is a military officer who goes undercover to destroy a terrorist sleeper cell in this Bollywood action comedy. Sonakshi Sinha also stars. Brought in by the BollywoodThai crew, it's in Hindi with English subtitles at SF Cinema City Terminal 21. For more details, call (089) 488 2620. Opens Friday.

Also showing

Kafka Festival in Bangkok – Wrapping up with a screening at 6 tonight, the Goethe-Institut's celebration of writer Franz Kafka has two films – the 1965 Czech short Postava k podpírání (Joseph Kilian) and the 2006 documentary Who Was Kafka? For details, see the website.

European Union Film Festival – Various quirky characters come together in Finsterworld, the first fictional feature by documentarian Frauke Finsterwalder. Aiming to explore the German psyche, it screens at 6.30 tonight as the final entry in the Bangkok edition of the annual EU fest. Tickets are handed out 30 minutes before showtime. For details, check or

The Friese-Greene Club – Democracy? That's what Jack Lemmon is questioning when he travels to Chile in 1973 in search of his son in 1982's Missing by Costa-Gavras, screening tonight. Tomorrow's modern interpretation of classic stories is Cruel Intentions, a 1999 reworking of Les Liaisons dangereuses with wealthy New York high schoolers in place of 18th century French aristocrats. Saturday, say no to censorship with Klip, a sexually explicit 2012 Serbian drama about a 14-year-old Belgrade party girl. Follow that up with Sunday's Marilyn Monroe movie, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Wear your diamonds. Next Wednesday has Zhang Yimou's 1990 tragedy Ju Dou, which was initially banned in China because it was so vividly bleak. It stars Gong Li in the title role as a young woman sold into an abusive marriage who captures the eye of her husband's young adopted nephew. It won the Luis Buñuel Special Award at Cannes. Shows are at 8pm. The FGC is down an alley next to the Queen's Park Imperial Hotel on Sukhumvit Soi 22. There's just nine seats, so book them. Also, check the Facebook page for updates and program changes.

Filmvirus K-PopPop – Twelve contemporary South Korean films will be screened from this Sunday until July 13 in the Pridi Banomyong Library at Thammasat University, Tha Prachan. Organized by Duangkamol Bookhouse's Filmvirus crew, the series was to have started last Sunday, but was wisely postponed when they got wind of plans for a protest. Starting at 12.30pm, the lineup opens with Bleak Night, a 2010 coming-of-age drama that centers on a father searching for answers after the mysterious death of his teenage son. That's followed by Ba-bi (Barbie), in which young sisters are at odds when an American man has to choose which one of them to adopt. Other films in the series are The Yellow Sea and Life Track on June 15, a double bill by Jang Jooh-hwan of Save the Green Planet and Hwayi: Monsters Boy on June 22, National Security and Terror Live on June 29, Montage and The Five and July 6 and Iri and Breathless on July 13. The venue is the Rewat Buddhinan Room on floor U2, the basement. Dress appropriately and inform the desk worker you are there to see a movie. They'll then want an ID that can be copied. The campus is located on the river opposite the Chao Phraya River Express Wang Lang (Siriraj) pier. Take a ferry heading to Tha Prachan or Wat Mahathat. Phone numbers to try are (02) 613-3529 or (02) 613-3530.

ChopShots Travel Festival – Award-winning documentaries from this year's ChopShots Documentary Film Festival in Jakarta will screen on Sunday at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre's fifth-floor auditorium. Here's the lineup:

  • Consider – Panu Saeng-Xuto directs this 20-minute examination of a transgender teenager's conflict with one intolerant teacher. 1.30pm.
  • Where I Go – The winning Best Southeast Asian Short Documentary, Cambodia's Neang Kavich directs this look at a young Cambodian-Cameroonian man and the struggles he's faced with discrimination and coming to terms with his own identity. Follows Consider.
  • Flaneurs #3 – The second-place Southeast Asian short by Indonesia's Aryo Danusiri is a 13-minute experimental work that captures "a throng of believers crowd[ed] together in front of a stage. The speeches have ended. They are enraptured." 4.30pm.
  • Madam Phung's Last Journey – A special mention winner, this feature by Vietnam's Nguyen Thi Tham follows a cross-dressing carnival troupe with such fairground attractions as a lottery, a miniature train ride, a bouncy house, merry-go-round, balloons and darts and a shotgun aiming at members performing songs and sketches. 4.45pm.

From 3 to 4.30, there will be a talk with filmmakers Neang Kavich, Nontawat Numbenchapol, Panu Saeng-Xuto and Kamolwan Nophaket. Admission is free and all films have English subtitles. For more details, check the BACC page.

Take note

The curfew has been lifted in the prime travel destinations of Pattaya, Samui and Phuket, but Bangkok and the rest of the country remain under lockdown from midnight to 4am. Keep your eyes and ears open for news of protests. As with last weekend, the military may move into areas and shut everything down.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like all his movies.

    Unkind but very amusing because its true. - Ian