Thursday, October 16, 2014

Bangkok Cinema Scene: Movies opening October 16-22, 2014

Dracula Untold

Luke Evans stars in Dracula Untold, a historical-epic retelling of the origins of literature's most famous vampire.

Evans is Prince Vlad, a former Turkish slave whose peaceful life is disrupted when the local sultan (Dominic Cooper) wants Transylvanian boys to fill out the ranks of his army. Not wanting to lose his son, Vlad makes a deal with the Master Vampire (Charles Dance of Game of Thrones) to gain vampire-like powers for three days. However, if he gives in to the taste of blood, he'll be a vamp forever.

Sarah Gadon also stars. Gary Shore, a first-time feature helmer, directs this latest entry in Universal studio's push to reboot all its classic monster-movie franchises.

Critical reception is mostly negative. There's probably better things to see, such as anything at the World Film Festival of Bangkok. Rated 15+

Also opening

Sbek Gong – The biggest-budget movie yet made in Cambodia, Sbek Gong is an insane blend of comedy, romance and the supernatural, as well as contemporary Cambodian society and the old traditional ways. The story involves the conflict between rival disciples of a black-magic master. Sisowath Sereiwudd, Un Sethea, Nhem Sokun and Duch Lida star. Pol Vibo directs. It's Thai-dubbed only; subtitles uncertain. Rated 18+

The Best of Me – Yet another tear-jerking Nicholas Sparks romance novel is adapted for the big screen, telling the mushy story of former high-school sweethearts who are reunited after 20 years when they return to their small town for the funeral of a friend. Although romance is reignited, they find that the forces that drove them apart 20 years ago still exist. James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan star as the lovers with their younger counterparts portrayed by Luke Bracey and Liana Liberato. Michael Hoffman (Gambit, The Last Station) directs. Critical reception is mixed. Rated 15+

3 Antarai (3 อันตราย, a.k.a. TV Game Net) – Thai society's cultural ills are fingered in this compilation of three stories. They involve a schoolboy who tries to rape his girlfriend after watching a TV show, a gunman coping with his autistic son’s addiction to video games and a college student who becomes involved in the online sex trade. At 6.30 nightly until Wednesday at the Lido.

Saint Seiya: Legend of Sanctuary – In this computer-animated adaptation of the popular manga, five young armored sword-toting warriors are given the mission of protecting the reincarnation of the goddess Athena. It's SF Cinemas, Thai-dubbed, except for Terminal 21. Rated G.

Also showing

The Friese-Greene Club – Wong Kar-wai makes his English-language debut wth tonight's screening, My Blueberry Nights, starring musician Norah Jones as a young drifter woman. "I'm not even supposed to be here today." That's the plaintive uttering of the hero of Clerks, the low-budget cult film that launched the career of Kevin Smith. I assure you, it's showing at 8 tomorrow. Saturday's Friedkin film is The Birthday Party, adapted from a play by Harold Pinter. And on Sunday don't blink for the Hitchcock highlight, Rope, which is essentially just one long take. Next Wednesday's Richard Attenborough tribute is his biopic Chaplin, with a bravura performance by Robert Downey Jr. 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.

12th World Film Festival of Bangkok – Opening tomorrow night with the Thai documentary Somboon, there are many highlights. Saturday's entries include Ice Poison, the latest drama by Myanmar director Midi Z. There's also The Blue Room from France, as well as Truffaut's classic The Last Metro, which also runs on Sunday. And there's a whole bunch of French animation, including the French-Israeli production The Congress, a sci-fi fantasy about an actress (Robin Wright) who sells off the rights to her digital image. The festival is at SF World at CentralWorld. Tickets are 120 baht. For the full schedule, check the festival website.

Alliance Française – Classic French films are on offer in October with the theme of "eternal thrillers". Next week it's L’assassin habite au 21 (The Assassin Lives at No 21), a 1942 thriller by Henri-Georges Clouzot. Pierre Fresnay stars as a police inspector who goes undercover in a boarding house in a bid to catch a serial killer. It's in French with English subtitles at 7pm on Wednesday, October 22.

Sneak previews

Gone Girl – The onslaught of autumn Oscar hopefuls continues with this thriller from David Fincher, starring Ben Affleck as a husband who comes under intense media scrutiny and suspicion when his wife disappears. Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry and Kim Dickens also star. Critical reception is great. It's screening from around 8 nightly at most multiplexes before opening wide next week. Rated 18+

Whiplash – The big winner at Sundance this year and a hit at Cannes and Toronto, this indie drama stars Miles Teller as a drummer who joins his music conservatory's jazz band, and comes under the cruel tutelage of the tyrannical band director (J.K. Simmons). Yet another film already attracting Oscar buzz, critical reception is fantastic. It's screening at 8.20pm on Saturday as part of the World Film Festival of Bangkok then begins a sneak preview run on Monday, before opening wide on November 30.

Take note

No movies at House RCA this week. They are closed until October 24 for auditions for The Voice Kids Thailand.

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