Thursday, November 6, 2014

Bangkok Cinema Scene: Movies opening November 6-12, 2014


Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan heads into space with Interstellar, an epic sci-fi thriller that's already being compared to 2001: A Space Odyssey.

It's a time not far into the future, and Earth is dying. So NASA mounts a last-ditch mission, sending four astronauts through a wormhore to the far reaches of the galaxy in the hope they'll find a planet that'll sustain life.

Matthew McConaughy stars as the cowboy-philosopher pilot of the spacecraft. Still in the midst of his "McConaissance", he's still hot from his Oscar win for last year's Dallas Buyers Club as well as his work on HBO's True Detective.

Jessica Chastain and Anne Hathaway also star along with Nolan regular Michael Caine.

Critical reception is mixed. "Close encounters of the lame kind," was one such naysaying review.

But it's still a spectacle. Much of the film  – yes, film – was shot in the IMAX format, and the only cinema in Bangkok that is capable of showing that version in the proper aspect ratio is the IMAX at Paragon, with Interstellar: The IMAX Experience. Rated G

Also opening

Love, Rosie – Sam Claflin and Lily Collins star in this romantic comedy about lifelong best friends who are secretly in love with each other. Critical reception is mixed. This moves to a regular release after two weeks of sneak previews. Rated 15+

Namo OK (นะโม OK) – Life in a small town turns interesting with a new arrival – a westerner monk (Adam Zima) with amnesia. As he takes up work at the temple and tries to regain his memories, residents speculate about who he really is. Thitipong Chaisati directs this comedy for Phranakorn Film. Rated 15+

Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends – This is a finale to an epic blockbuster live-action trilogy adaptation of a popular manga about a wandering former samurai who has taken a vow to never kill again. The movies have been dominating the box office in Japan. In part three, Kenshin (Takeru Sato) trains with his old master to learn his final technique so that he will be ready to confront his arch-nemesis and former counterpart Shishiro (Tatsuya Fujiwara). Japanese soundtrack with English and Thai subtitles is at SF cinemas at CentralWorld and Terminal 21; it's Thai-dubbed elsewhere. Rated 15+

Also showing

The Friese-Greene Club – The films of director Lawrence Kasdan are featured on Thursdays this month, starting tonight with the classic Baby Boomer drama The Big Chill. Still in the Halloween spirit, Fridays feature scary movies, beginning with Roman Polanski's 1968 freak-out, Rosemary's Baby. Great performances by Johnny Depp are screening on Saturdays. This week's offering is Dead Man, the wonderfully deadpan neo-western by Jim Jarmusch. Sundays have more horror, in black and white. This week has plenty of creepy kids in 1960's Village of the Damned. Wednesdays offer "animation for adults", with Disney's animated epic Fantasia screening next week. 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.

Y/Our Music – The unusual documentary Y/Our Music attracted positive buzz when it screened at the Busan International Film Festival this year, and it's set for a Bangkok screening this Saturday. The venue, also a bit unsual, is The Space Bangkok, above the 7-Eleven at Klong San Plaza, next to Hilton Millenium Bangkok. Should be ferries and hotel boats that cross the river to take you there. It runs from 7 to 11.45pm. A "laid back" evening is promised, with Isaan music to follow by Mahidolwatit khaen band. Directed by David Reeve and Waraluck Hiransrettawat, the documentary covers a diverse array of musicians all around Thailand, from "leftfield to rice field". With post-production funds from the Busan fest's Asian Network of Documentary and the Asian Cinema Fund, the film was made on a shoestring budget, with begged and borrowed equipment. Check out the trailer.

Alliance Française – Next week's movie is Les Combattants Africains, a 1983 documentary about the Africans from French territories who were drafted to fight in World War I. It's in French with English subtitles at 7pm on Wednesday, November 12.

Sneak preview

The Hundred-Foot Journey – It's star-crossed romance in a tiny French village where two restaurants, right across the road from each other, are in fierce competition. Helen Mirren is a snooty lady who runs one place, serving Michelin-starred French cuisine. An older Indian fellow (Om Puri) is a new arrival in the village, and he shakes things up with his Indian food. Meanwhile, the Indian restaurant's star chef (Manish Dayal) is attracted to the young Frenchwoman who is cooking over at the other place. Lasse Hallstrom, the master of syrupy arthouse romances like this, directs. Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey are among the producers. It's in sneak previews from around 8 nightly in most cinemas before opening wider next Thursday. Rated G

Take note

Originally set to run just one week, the documentary So Be It has been extended at House on RCA. It's worth a look, so see it.

It appears the Scala is being used for some kind of concert or stage production again this weekend, so no movies there through Sunday.

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