Thursday, October 29, 2015

Bangkok Cinema Scene: Movies opening October 29-November 4, 2015

Man on Wire

While The Walk earned plenty of accolades for its immersive acrophobia-inspiring 3D camera work, it bombed at the box office and faced a backlash from critics who were mostly bored by director Robert Zemeckis' corny dramatization of the events leading up to Philippe Petit's 1974 high-wire stunt at New York's World Trade Center.

Universally, the critics who panned the non-high-wire scenes of The Walk urged their readers to seek out Man on Wire, the Oscar-winning 2008 documentary on Petit's "artistic crime of the century".

So with The Walk finishing up what turned out to be a lackluster stint in cinemas, here comes a brilliant bit of counter-programming that is also complementary from the Documentary Club, which brings in Man on Wire for a limited run.

Critical reception is overwhelmingly positive, even better than for The Walk. It's at SF World Cinema at CentralWorld and SFX Maya Chiang Mai. For more details, check the Documentary Club's Facebook page and SF Cinemas' booking site. Rated G

Also opening

Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse – It's Halloween weekend, so distributors and theater chains feel duty-bound to shove horror films down our throats. In this teen-oriented zom-com, three young troopers on their last camping trip together discover the true meaning of friendship when zombies overwhelm their town. They join forces with a cocktail waitress from a strip club to fight the undead. Tye Sheridan, Logan Miller, Joey Morgan, Halston Sage and David Koechner star. Critical reception is just starting to quiver. Rated 15+

Regression – This supposed "true story" set in 1990 in Minnesota, has Ethan Hawke as a detective investigating a Satanic cult and the case of a teenager (Emma Watson) who has accused her father of unspeakable acts. But the facts don’t add up. A psychologist (David Thewlis) is brought in to dig deeper. Critics aren't buying it. Rated 15+

Mon Son Phee (มอญซ่อนผี, a.k.a. Ghost Ship) – Venerable Thai studio Five Star Production gets back in the water with this horror set aboard a cargo ship. The story plays on that ancient nautical notion that women are bad luck aboard ships, and the superstitious crew have much to fear when they find the corpse of the captain's wife boxed up in the hold. Spooky stuff starts happening as the boat heads into a storm. Achira Nokthet, who previously served as an art director on Tanwarin Sukkhapisit's It Gets Better and the films of Poj Arnon, and helmed a segment of Tai Hong Tai Hian, makes his feature directorial debut. Sean Jindachote stars, along with Phuwadon Wetchawongsa, Akkarin Akaranithimetrath and gay-film cult actor "Fluke" Pongsatorn Sripinta. Rated 13+

Ju-on 4: The Final Curse – The Japanese horror franchise that's also known as The Grudge continues with the older sister of a schoolteacher who disappeared going to look for her sibling. The trail leads to a student’s home and more dark secrets. Masayuki Ochiai, who helmed the Japanese-Hollywood remake of the Thai horror Shutter, directs. Don't count on this actually being the "final" one. It's Thai-dubbed most places, but has the Japanese soundtrack with English and Thai subs at SFW CentralWorld, SFC Terminal 21, Paragon and Esplanade Ratchada. Rated 15+

Foodies: The Culinary Jet Set – Now, for Halloween, here are the most horrifying and insufferable of ghouls – gourmet food bloggers. This documentary follows well-to-do restaurant reviewers in their obsessive quest to dine at the world’s most luxurious eateries. Among them are Thai food blogger Perm Paitawyat, along with Lithuanian model Aiste Miseviciute, London writer Andy Hayler, Hong Kong blogger Katie Keiko Tan and opinionated New Yorker Steven Plotnicki. Critical reception is mixed, with Screen Daily quipping "what it does do – sadly – is foster the increasingly popular habit of taking pictures of food in restaurants." It's at Apex, Esplanade Ratchada, House, Major Cineplex Ratchayothin, Paragon, Quartier CineArt and SFW CentralWorld. Rated G

Love Arumirai (เลิฟอะรูมิไลค์ รักอะไรไม่รู้) – Ah, hey, a body swap. It worked for the recent Amazon series Red Oaks, so maybe it'll work here. The story of this Thai film has to do with the seven-year marriage between Geng (Phisanu Nimsakul) and fashion model Bella (Cheeranat Yusanon) turning stormy. The bickering husband and wife face their toughest test yet when they wake up one morning and get a shock when they go to the mirror. Seree Phongnithi is the screenwriter on this debut feature from Munwork Production.

Lady of the Dynasty – Fan Bingbing portrays Concubine Yang, one of the most famous women in Chinese history, in her epic affair with Emperor Xuanzong (Leon Lai) during a time of rebellion against the ruling family. Chinese censors have taken an increasingly dim view of these lavish historical epics and their cleavage-baring costumes. They also don't like "sex on horseback", a scene of which was cut from Lady of the Dynasty, according to reports. Shi Qing directs, with help from a production team that included Zhang Yimou. It's Thai-dubbed most places, but has the Japanese soundtrack with English and Thai subs at SFW CentralWorld, SFC Terminal 21 and Paragon. Rated 18+

Talvar – A real-life unsolved whodunnit, the 2008 Noida double murder, serves as the basis for this thriller. The story follows the case, which involved the death of a teenage daughter and the family's 45-year-old handyman. It was covered sensationally by the media, fuelling much public speculation about who the culprit or culprits were. Irrfan Kahn stars, portraying an investigator who, in Rashomon-like fashion, presents various conflicting versions of how the crime went down. Konkona Sen Sharma also stars. It's in Hindi with English and Thai subtitles at Major Cineplex Sukhumvit and Rama III. Opens Friday.

Also showing

The Friese-Greene Club – It's Halloween weekend, so of course, the FGC is showing, duh, Halloween. The classic slasher-horror from the master, John Carpenter, screens on Saturday in an event sponsored by a beer brand and featuring spooky cocktails. Punters who show up in costume will get prizes. Shows are at 8pm. The FGC is down an alley next to the under-renovation Queen's Park Imperial Hotel on Sukhumvit Soi 22. For more details, check the club's Facebook page.

Alliance Française – Movies about climate change are scheduled for next month, starting with Les Temps Changent (Changing Climates, Changing Times). The 2008 made-for-TV movie imagines what life will be like in the year 2075, and it seems to mirror the current immigration crisis that has beset Europe. It screens at 7pm on Wednesday, November 4, at the Alliance.

Take note

As mentioned here last week, Spanish Film Week is next week at SF World. It now appears they will only show four films, rather than five,

And the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand has booked its last film for the year, screening the sweet Thai comedy-romance The Teacher's Diary on November 9.

1 comment:

  1. I must say I agree with critics of The Walk. Gordon Joseph-Levitt perched on top of the Statue of Liberty talking to the audience was cringeworthy and Ben Kingsley made me want to throw tomatoes at the screen. The film only began to soar once they were inside the World Trade Centre and the coup began in earnest. It was just half a movie. - Ian