Thursday, March 12, 2015

Bangkok Cinema Scene: Movies opening March 12-18, 2015


Disney continues its drive to do live-action remakes of all its beloved animated films with Cinderella, the fairy tale of a young woman who is forced into a life of servitude by her cruel stepmother.

Stage and screen actor Kenneth Branagh directs, helping to bring a tragic Shakespearean vibe to the Disney princess tale. Lily James is the young heroine Ella while Cate Blanchett is her cruel stepmother. Helena Bonham Carter is the fairy godmother and Richard Madden is Prince Charming. Chris Weitz (The Golden Compass, Twilight: New Moon) wrote the final screenplay.

Cinderella premiered at the Berlin film fest, and critical reception is generally positive. Rated G

Also opening

Run All Night – Liam Neeson must never rest. He was just in cinemas with the punchfest Taken 3 and now he's back with Run All Night, an action drama in which he's an ageing hitman who has to take on his brutal former boss (Ed Harris) in order to protect his estranged son (Joel Kinnaman). Common, Génesis Rodríguez and Vincent D'Onofrio also star. It's directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, the Spanish helmer who has previously steered Neeson through the memory-loss thriller Unknown and the air-hijack drama Non-Stop. Critical reception  is just gearing up. Rated 15+

Everly – Salma Hayek takes the lead in this ultra-violent action drama. She's working as a prostitute in order to infiltrate the organization of a Japanese mobster (Hiroyuki Watanabe). Against seemingly insurmountable odds, she fights back as her luxury apartment comes under siege from an endless array of hired killers. Interestingly, Kate Hudson was originally set to star in the role that went to Hayek. Joe Lynch (The Knights of Badassdom) directs. Critical reception is mixed, but if you're into action movies, maybe make this a double-bill with Run All Night (see above) or another female-led action drama, Bollywood's NH10 (see below). Rated 18+

Superfast! – As the seventh installment of The Fast and the Furious franchise races towards us for release next month, here's an extremely broad parody of the car-chase action series from Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, the same guys who've brought us such crude comedy knock-offs as Date Movie, Epic Movie and Disaster Movie. Critical reception is ... well, who really cares? Rated G

P.K. – Originally released in December, this record-setting Bollywood comedy is back for a wider release. Aamir Khan stars as an innocent stranger with a child-like outlook on life who arrives in the big city and causes those around him to rethink the way they see the world. It's in Hindi with English and Thai subtitles at Major Cineplex.

NH10 – Anushka Sharma stars in this rare female-led Bollywood action drama. She's a young woman on a road trip with her boyfriend, travelling along Punjab state's National Highway 10 near the Pakistan border. They run into conflict with violent criminals and eventually it's up to the woman to make a stand for survival. In Hindi with English and Thai subtitles at Major Cineplex Sukhumvit, Rama III and Pattaya. Opens Friday.

Also showing

The Friese-Greene Club – Directors' month continues with movies by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Zhang Yimou, the Coen Bros., Guiseppe Tornatore and Sir Carol Reed. Tonight, watch Zhang Ziyi make her debut in The Road Home, the epic tale of star-crossed romance between a schoolteacher and a rural girl, and of their son, who must carry his father's coffin back to his remote village by foot. Tomorrow, Nicolas Cage takes on a character that would serve as a template for the countless other dimwitted hicks he's played in other movies. It's the Coens' hilarious crime caper Raising Arizona, also starring Holly Hunter, John Goodman and William Forsythe. On Saturday, an elderly Italian embarks on a journey to visit his five children in Gisuseppe Tornatore's Everybody's Fine. Sunday is the first of three movies by Sir Carol Reed this month – 1947's Odd Man Out, in which an Irish nationalist is pursued by authorities in Belfast. Next Wednesday, it's Jean-Pierre Jeunet's disarmingly charming romantic comedy Amelie. Shows are at 8pm. The FGC is down an alley next to the Queen's Park Imperial Hotel on Sukhumvit Soi 22.  For more details, check the club's Facebook page.

Alliance Française – A judge is surprised to find she's pregnant and the father is a violent criminal from her court in the 2013 comedy 9 Mois Ferme (Nine Months Stretch). It's in French with English subtitles at 7pm next Wednesday.

Take note

The Salaya International Documentary Film Festival runs from March 21 to 28 at the Thai Film Archive in Salaya, Nakhon Pathom and also from March 24 to 27 at the Bangkok Art and Culture Center. Highlights include The Look of Silence, which is a follow-up to the Indonesian genocide doc The Act of Killing. There is also National Gallery, the latest from esteemed "institutional" documentarian Frederick Wiseman and many others. I'll aim to cover it all in a special update tomorrow.

Just hours after last week's post went online, the Apex website returned to life. Long may it stay active.

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