Thursday, January 26, 2012

Bangkok Cinema Scene: Movies opening January 26-February 1, 2012


In the early 2000s, Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane revolutionized Major League Baseball when he threw out the rule book. Up until then, players were largely scouted and fielded solely on the basis of their abilities. But Beane didn't look at the players and how they held the bat and or threw the ball – he looked at their statistics, and used those numbers to build a competitive team with just a fraction of the payroll of other big league teams like the New York Yankees.

Brad Pitt portrays Bean in Moneyball, which is based on a book by Michael Lewis. Jonah Hill is a statistics whiz who helps Beane devise his strategy, and Philip Seymour Hoffman is the A's manager, who is among the traditionalists who chafe at Beane's new approach.

Moneyball has long been in the works. At one time, Steven Soderbergh was attached to direct, and he wrote a screenplay that took an approach not liked by studio executives. So Bennett Miller (Capote) was brought aboard, and Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network) was drafted to write a third version of the screenplay. He's credited for the final version along with Steve Zaillian.

It's nominated for six Academy Awards, including best actor for Pitt, a surprise supporting actor nod for Hill as well as best best picture and best adapted screenplay. Critical reception is mostly positive. Even if you don't know anything about baseball, you'll probably like Moneyball. It's at SF cinemas. Rated 13+.

Also opening

The Skin I Live In – Before he went to Hollywood to play Zorro, the desperado and voice a swashbuckling cartoon cat, Antonio Banderas acted in a number of films by Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar. The Skin I Live In reunites the pair for a body-horror thriller that you might expect to come from the likes of David Cronenberg or Paul Verhoven. Banderas portrays a plastic surgeon who's haunted by past tragedies. He creates a type of synthetic skin that withstands any kind of damage. His guinea pig is a mysterious and volatile woman (Elena Anaya) who holds the key to his obsession. Premiering in competition at last year's Cannes Film Festival, critical reception is mixed, but mostly positive. It's in Spanish with English and Thai subtitles at House, Paragon Cineplex and SFW CentralWorld. Rated 18+.

The Devil Inside – Here's another horror movie that's made in a documentary style with fake found footage, similar to The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity. Here, a young documentary filmmaker becomes involved in a series of exorcisms during her quest to Italy to find out what happened to her mother, who is said to have murdered three people as a result of being possessed by a demon. Critical reception is extremely negative, but that doesn't matter because The Devil Inside opened at No. 1 at the U.S. box office when it was released there earlier this month. Rated 15+.

Always – Ex-boxer Cheol-Min (So Ji-Sub) works a night job as an attendant at a parking lot, which entails a lot of sitting in a tiny booth and watching a small TV. One night a woman named Jung-Hwa (Han Hyo-Joo) walks in, offers him something and sits next to him. Cheol-Min comes to realize she's blind and has mistaken him for the attendant who worked there previously. Or has she? Directed by Song Il-Gon, Always was the opening film of last year's Busan film festival. In Korean with Thai subtitles at Apex, CentralWorld and Paragon Cineplex; elsewhere Thai-dubbed. Rated 13+.

Panya Raenu 2 (ปัญญา เรณู 2) – Last year, actor-director Bin Binluerit made an independent film about Isaan schoolchildren entering a singing contest. It was a project near and dear to his heart and he must have been gratified when audiences turned up to watch it, plunking down more than $420,000 or about 13 million baht at the box office. However, if you were among the many who saw Panya Raenu, you might wonder how there can be a sequel. No matter. Sahamongkol Film International has got hold of it now, and though Bin is still the director and the child stars are the same, the cast has the new addition of such box-office stars as “Tukky” Sudarat Butrprom and Petthai “Mum Jokmok” Wongkhamlao. The story this time around has the schoolkids heading to Bangkok for a music contest, but star singer Panya is missing. Chubby loud-mouthed girl Raenu and the rest have to find him. Rated G.

Rak Sudthai Pai Na (รักสุดท้าย ป้ายหน้) – Last year, two of Thailand's major studios released duelling romantic comedies about thirtysomething women. Sahamongkol had 30+ Singles on Sale and less than a month later M-Thirtynine offered 30 Kamlung Jaew. Both were hits at the box office. Now Five Star Production wants in on the action. So they've released Rak Sudthai Pai Na, in which an unlucky-in-love career gal (Khanuengnit Jakkrasamithanon) finds herself on a city bus, which jerks to a stop and throws her against a short-pants-clad high-school kid (Thakrit Hemannopjit). The two strike up a friendship, but with the age difference, the relationship is a struggle. Kirati Nakinthanon directs. Rated G.

Also showing

World Film Festival of Bangkok – Shortened from 10 days to eight after being moved to this month because of flooding in November, the ninth edition of the World Film Festival of Bangkok ends tomorrow. If you're free tonight, check out Once Upon a Time in Anatolia by Nuri Bilge Ceylan. The crime drama won the Grand Prize at Cannes last year. It's also showing at 8.30 on Friday night. And there's also the debut feature by Rirkrit Tiravanija, premiering tonight and screening again tomorrow. It's a documentary about an elderly farmer in Chiang Mai province, who's been a subject of some of Rirkrit's other artworks. Another premiere tonight is the documentary The Cheer Ambassadors, about the Thailand National Cheerleading Team and their going to compete in the World Cheerleading Championships. The closing films, starting at 6pm on Friday, will be Earthly Paradise from Chile and a collection of Finnish director Aki Kaurismaki's films, including Rocky VI and Total Balalailaka Show. Those will be shown outdoors at the The Nine Neighborhood Center, a trendy new shopping mall on Rama IX Road, just west of the intersection with Sri Nakarin Road.

6th Bangkok Experimental Film Festival – Right on the heels of the World Film Festival of Bangkok is BEFF, which is held every other year or so. The sixth edition is themed "Raiding the Archives", and the festival line-up is a selection of vintage experimental films from the Thai Film Archive and other archives across Asia and around the world. It's being held in various venues around Bangkok, but on Saturday and Sunday, the main focus is at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, with the first program starting at noon and the last one at 5. Saturday's highlights include the South Korean feature An Escalator in World Order, re-edited newsreel and propaganda footage present a parade of past leaders pledging one new dawn after the other. It was the winner of the 2011 Jeonju International Film Festival audience award. There's also a selection from the Hanoi DOCLAB. On Sunday, there's Women on the Move, featuring pioneering female filmmakers in New Zealand in the late 1920s and 1930s. On Monday, screenings are at the Jim Thompson Art Center and on Wednesday at the Goethe-Institute. Click the link for the full schedule.

German Open Air Cinema – Actress-filmmaker Angela Schanelec directs and stars in next week's film, Afternoon (Nachmittag), a 2007 drama in which an an actress travels to her lakeside house near Berlin, where her brother Alex and her son Konstantin still live. It's summertime and the weather is hot. Konstantin’s girlfriend Agnes comes to visit her parents living in the house next door.

Take note

The Thai Film Archive has been organizing regular screenings at the Bangkok Art and Culture Center. Not only old (unsubtitled) Thai films are being shown, but there are movies from other countries too, and those will generally have English subtitles. The screenings are in the fourth-floor conference room, which is not particularly well-suited for film viewing. However, the alternative in catching the Film Archive's programs is making your way out to the Archive itself in Salaya, Nakhon Pathom, about an hour from the city center. Seems some Bangkok folks complained about the difficulty in getting there, so the Archive is bringing the films to them. The showtimes are at 6pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Check the BACC website for details (mostly Thai only).

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Bangkok Cinema Scene: Movies opening January 18-25, 2012

We Need to Talk About Kevin

Tilda Swinton stars in We Need to Talk About Kevin, a searing drama about a mother struggling to deal with her grief and feelings of responsibility after her teenage son commits a Colombine-style massacre at his school and then murders his father and little sister.

Scottish filmmaker Lynn Ramsay (Ratcatcher, Morvern Callar) directs. It's adapted from a 2003 novel by Lionel Shriver.

John C. Reilly is the father and Ezra Miller plays the disturbed teenage boy.

The story is told in flashbacks, with the mother looking back on her pregnancy and memories of the troubled boy growing up, from a baby who wouldn't stop crying to an anti-social brat and eventually the angry, out-of-control teenager.

We Need to Talk About Kevin premiered in the main competition at last year's Cannes Film Festival, and has gone on to win the best film award at various other festivals. Swinton was nominated for a Golden Globe, only to lose out to eight-time winner Meryl Streep for The Iron Lady.

Critical reception is mostly positive. It's at Apex Siam Square.

Also opening

A Separation – Simin wants to leave Iran with her husband Nader and 11-year-old daughter Termeh, but Nader, whose father is suffering from Alzheimer's, refuses. Simin sues for divorce, but is turned down, so she goes to live with her parents and the couple's daughter remains with her father. More problems ensue when Nader hires a lower-class woman to care for his father. Directed by Asghar Farhadi, it's the first Iranian film to win the Golden Bear of the Berlin Film Festival and has been met with universal acclaim. It's Iran's official submission to the Oscars and it just won the Golden Globe for best foreign-language film. It was to have opened in Bangkok last June but technical problems with the subtitles prevented that. It's at House on RCA.

ATM Er Rak Error (ATM เออรัก เออเร่อ) – A malfunctioning ATM machine that's spitting out cash provides the backdrop for this romantic comedy from the GTH studio about a couple, Jib (Preechaya Pongthananikorn) and Suea (Chantawit Thanasevee), who work for a bank and have to keep their relationship a secret because it's against company policy. Mez Tharatorn directs. Rated G.

Underworld: Awakening – After taking a break from the third film in this vampires vs. wereswolves franchise, Kate Beckinsale is back in the tight leather catsuit as the vampire warrior princess Selene. She's been captured by humans, who have learned of the existence of the Vampire and Lycan clans, and are seeking to eradicate both species commences. The key to ending the conflict lies in a little girl named Eve, who is a hybrid. It's just be released in the U.S. this week, so there's not yet any critical reception. Filmed in 3D, and it's screening in 3D, including IMAX. Rated 15+.

Faces in the Crowd – Milla Jovovich is a schoolteacher who is the lone survivor of an attack by a serial killer but she can't identify him because she suffers from a bizarre neurological disorder that prevents her from recognizing people’s faces. Julian McMahon also stars, playing a police detective. Released on DVD in the U.S. in October, Critical reception is practically non-existent. At SFW CentralWorld. Rated 18+.

Also showing

The Woman Next Door (La femme d'à côté) – Gérard Depardieu and Fanny Ardant star in François Truffaut's 1981 romance about a love-triangle that reaches a level of intensity that makes it Hitchockian in terms of suspense. Postponed from November because of the flood, it's now the opening film of the 2012 Contemporary World Film Series at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand. Admission is 150 baht for non-members and 50 baht for anyone wanting to sample the French win. The show time is at 8 tonight (Thursday, January 19).

World Film Festival of Bangkok – Postponed from November, the ninth edition of the WFFBKK starts this week. After the invite-only opening on Friday night at Paragon Cineplex, the festival moves to the Esplanade Ratchada. Highlights on Saturday includes the 2010 Cannes Jury Prize winner A Screaming Man from Chad; the 1965 Polish film Walkover and the acclaimed quirky festival favorite P-047 by Thai director Kongdej Jaturanrasamee. Sunday offers Taiwan's Pinoy Sunday, about Filipino laborers carrying a sofa across Taipei; Turin Horse, the latest stark black-and-white documentary-style feature from Hungary's Bela Tarr (also screening Monday night); the Polish animation George the Hedgehog and the French animated The Illusionist; and an encore screening the opening film, I Carried You Home, an indie Thai drama. Monday has Dog Sweat, about young folks dealing with the oppressively conservative society of Iran; Las Acacias, a prize-winning Argentine drama; and The Cave of Forgotten Dreams, a mesmerizing 3D documentary by Werner Herzog on ancient French cave paintings. Find out more about the Thai films in the festival at the Thai Film Journal. And a story in The Nation today details more highlights, many of them award-winners from other festivals. Click the links for complete film list and the schedule spreadsheet.

Players – Abhishek Bachchan and Bipasha Basu star in this Hindi remake of The Italian Job. They are a pair of thieves who form a crew to steal a fortune in gold from a train in Russia. Bobby Deol, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Sonam Kapoor and Sikander Kher also star. It's at Major Cineplex Rama III on Saturday at 8 and Sunday at 4 and at SFW CentralWorld on Sunday at 7.30. There will also be a special 3D digital screening of last week's BollywoodThai presentation, Don 2, starring Shah Rukh Khan, at 8pm on Saturday at Paragon Cineplex. Call (089) 488 2620, (02) 225 7500 or visit

Bangkok Experimental Film Festival – Held every two, three, four or five years or so, the sixth edition of the Bangkok Experimental Film Festival has long been in the works but just so happens to partly conflict with the World Film Festival of Bangkok because the latter was postponed from November due to the flooding. BEFF6 starts on Tuesday with workshops, talks and screenings at the Thai Film Archive in Salaya, Nakhon Pathom. The program includes "Conversations: What is an Archive (For)?", and an archival screening of Fai Yen, a.k.a. Cold Fire (ไฟเย็น), a 1965 anti-communist propaganda film that was selected for the first listing of Thai National Heritage Films. More screenings are planned for January 28 and 29 and February 4 and 5 at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre. The Goethe-Institut and the Jim Thompson Art Center also have screenings. Click the link for the day-by-day schedule.

German Open Air Cinema – Next Tuesday's screening is Sasha, a 2010 drama by Dennis Todorovic. The title character is a young man, a piano student in Cologne who is coming to terms with his sexuality. He's developed a crush on his teacher, a man, who then up and announces he's moving to Vienna, leaving Sasha heartbroken. The German Open Air Cinema series runs on Tuesdays until February 28 at the institute on Sathorn Soi 1. Show times are at 7.30pm.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Bangkok Cinema Scene: Movies opening January 12-18, 2012


Up-and-coming English actor Tom Hardy is already on Bangkok screens in the highly acclaimed Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and will be seen again in this summer's The Dark Knight Rises, but here he is all bulked up and sporting a six-pack in Warrior, opposite rising Australian star Joel Edgerton in a drama about estranged brothers who enter a mixed martial arts tournament and work out their troubled relationship in the octagonal-cage ring.

Nick Nolte is their father, a former boxer, alcoholic and born-again Christian. He agrees to train his prodigal youngest son (Hardy).

Gavin O'Connor, who previously helmed the fact-based Kurt Russell hockey drama Miracle, directs.

While the film's promotional material draws comparisons to Rocky, critics have also noted similarities to other recent critically acclaimed fighting movies, Wrestler and The Fighter.

Warrior is being tipped as one of the favorites of the year's awards season, with Hardy and Nolte being mentioned for laurels. Critical reception is generally positive.

It's at Apex Siam Square.

Also opening

My Week with Marilyn – The Weinstein Company aims to repeat the Oscar-baiting success of The King's Speech with another artful fact-based historical drama that's set in England. This one deals with royalty of a different sort – screen siren Marilyn Monroe, breathlessly portrayed by Michelle Williams, who has already collected a few prizes for the role and is nominated for several others, including a Golden Globe. The year is 1956, and Monroe, having just married playwright Arthur Miller (Dougray Scott), is in England on her honeymoon and to film The Prince and the Showgirl with Laurence Olivier (Kenneth Branagh). A 23-year-old assistant to Olivier (Eddie Redmayne) strikes up a friendship with the actress and ends up writing a couple books about his experience. Dame Judi Dench also stars, portraying actress Dame Sybil Thorndike. Critical reception is mostly positive. At Apex Siam Square, Paragon Cineplex and SFW CentralWorld. Rated 13+.

Contraband – Mark Wahlberg stars in this crime drama as a reformed criminal who is pulled back into his old life after his brother-in-law botches a drug deal. To protect his family, Marky Mark has to go to Panama to retrieve millions in counterfeit U.S. currency by duct-taping the bills around his torso. Kate Beckinsale, Caleb Landry Jones, Ben Foster, Giovanni Ribisi and Lukas Haas also star. Icelandic actor-director Baltasar Kormákur directs, and it's a remake of 2009's Reykjavík-Rotterdam, which Kormákur starred in. This movie is just being released this week in the U.S., so critical reception is too early to tell. Rated 15+.

5 Days of War – Finnish director Renny Harlin caught fire in Hollywood back in the 1990s, directing such cult-classic action movies as Die Hard 2Cliffhanger and The Long Kiss Goodnight. He was even married to Long Kiss star Geena Davis for a time. Then he directed Cutthroat Island, a pirate movie filmed in Thailand that was a over-budget disaster that bombed at the box office. Since then, he's directed a string of mostly duds and doesn't look to be turning things around with 5 Days of War, in which an American journalist, his cameraman and a Georgian native are caught in the crossfire of the 2008 Russo-Georgian War. Rupert Friend, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Richard Coyle, Rade Sherbedgia and Val Kilmer star. It had a limited release in the U.S. last summer and went to DVD in November. Now it's in theaters in Thailand. Critical reception is mostly negative. Rated 18+.

What's Your Number? – Anna Faris stars as a young woman who begins a frantic search for all her ex-boyfriends in an effort to find out which one was her true love. She get help from a guy played by Chris Evans. Critical reception for this predictable and formulaic rom-com is mostly negative. At SF cinemas. Rated 13+.

Friends Never Die (มึงกู เพื่อนกันจนวันตาMueng Koo Phuean Kan Jon Wan Tai) – A once-popular subgenre of Thai cinema was the teenage gangster movie, and they continue to crop up from time to time, and this is one of those. Moving from Bangkok to study in Chiang Mai, the new kid in town, Song ("Mouse" Nattacha Chantaphan), faces problems with senior students and copes by joining a gang led by a guy named Gun (Mario Maurer). Together they overcome the bullying and learn what friendship really is. Rated 15+.

Rak Wei Hei (รักเว้ยเฮ้ย!) – A nerd (Phongphit "Starbucks" Preechaborisuthkul) falls in love with a young female DJ ("Ink" Chayanuj Boontanapibul from Channel [V] Thailand) and learns how to win her heart from a love guru (Nakorn “Ple” Silachai). Rated 15+.

Also showing

Don 2 – Shah Rukh Khan is back as the indisputable king of the Asian underworld, and he aims to take over the European drug cartel. A sequel to a 2006 action drama, it was filmed in Thailand, Berlin, Kuala Lumpur and Switzerland.  Priyanka Chopra, Lara Dutta, Om Puri, Lara Dutta and Kunal Kapoor also star. In Hindi with English subtitles at SF Cinema Terminal 21 tonight at 7.45 and at Major Rama III tomorrow and Saturday at 8 and Sunday at 4 and 7.30. Call (089) 488 2620, (02)225 7500 or visit

German Open Air Cinema – Daniel Brühl (Inglourious Basterds, Goodbye Lenin!, The Edukators) stars in next Tuesday evening's feature, Elephant Heart (Elefantenherz), a 2002 drama about a struggling amateur boxer. He works a tedious job and still lives at home with his unemployed alcoholic father. His only joy comes from training at the local gym, and he gets a chance at being a contender from a shady promoter. The German Open Air Cinema series runs on Tuesdays until February 28 at the institute on Sathorn Soi 1. Show times are at 7.30pm.

Hiroshima mon amour – Born in colonial French Indochina, writer Marguerite Duras specialized in East-West romances that were based on her own life, penning stories like The Lover and The Sea Wall, both of which have been made into movies. In 1959, she wrote the screenplay for this Japan-set drama by Alain Resnais, about the relationship between a French actress only known as "she" (Emmanuele Riva) and a married Japanese man only known as "him" (Eiji Okada). Touching on themes of the atomic bomb, forgetfulness and memory, the film is generally credited with starting the French New Wave cinema movement. It's showing at 7.30pm on Wednesday, January 18, at the Alliance Francaise Bangkok.

Take note

There are at least five film festivals coming up in the next two weeks and running into February in Bangkok and around Thailand.

Starting January 18 is the Goethe-Institut Thailand's Science Film Festival, with screenings of mostly short documentaries in venues around Bangkok, mainly geared for busloads of schoolchildren. It was postponed from last year because of the floods.

Also postponed from last year is the World Film Festival of Bangkok, which starts on January 20. The opening is at Paragon Cineplex, but after that, the screenings will all be at the Esplanade Ratchadaphisek. The closing films on January 27 will be outdoor screenings at the Village Square at the Nine Neighbourhood Centre on Rama IX Road. Highlights include Turin Horse by Bela Tarr, this year's recipient of the festival's Lotus Award, and the 3D Cave of Forgotten Dreams by Werner Herzog.

The 6th Bangkok Experimental Film Festival runs from January 24 to February 5 in various venues around Bangkok. The special focus is "Raiding the Archive", and the opening on January 24-25 will be at the Thai Film Archive in Salaya, Nakhon Pathom. Other screenings take place on January 28-29 and February 4-5 at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre.

The Hua Hin International Film Festival has imposed itself on January 26 to 29, with a selection of around 50 films. Some of them, like the Aung San Suu Kyi biopic The Lady and the South Korean romance Always, will have regular theatrical runs. And six of the films in the HHIFF are also screening in the World Film Festival.

And up in Chiang Mai from February 2 to 5, there's the Lifescapes Southeast Asian Film Festival, with a selection of documentaries and documentary-style dramas that aim to tackle social issues in the five mainland Southeast Asian countries. The Nation had a story about the first four festivals mentioned here plus one more.

Some films you might have missed have been brought back this week at House on RCA: Pen-ek Ratanaruang's hitman thriller Headshot, the original Swedish version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and the psychological thriller Take Shelter.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Bangok Cinema Scene: Movies opening January 5-11, 2012

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

A veritable who's who of British Isles actors is featured in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, a new adaptation of John le Carre's 1974 novel.

Gary Oldman, still fresh from his work supporting Batman in The Dark Knight, heads the ensemble cast. He's George Smiley, a disgraced intelligence officer who's called back to duty at the height of the Cold War to root out a Soviet mole among the ranks of MI-6, a.k.a. "the Circus". It's a role previously played by many actors, most notably Alec Guinness in a seven-part BBC TV series based on the same novel.

Also starring are Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, John Hurt, Toby Jones, Mark Strong, Benedict Cumberbatch and Ciarán Hinds.

Tomas Alfredson, who previously helmed the dark Swedish vampire thriller Let the Right One In, directs this espionage whodunnit, described as "a dense puzzle of anxiety [and] paranoia."

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy premiered at last fall's Venice Film Festival and has been mentioned among many of the round-ups of 2011's best. Critical reception is mostly positive. It's at Apex Siam Square and SF World Cinema at CentralWorld. Rated 13+.

Also opening

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Just over two years since the release of the original Swedish thriller, adapted from the first book in Stieg Larsson's best-selling Millennium trilogy, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo gets the Hollywood-remake treatment under the directorship of suspense master David Fincher. Still set in Sweden, but with dialogue that's friendlier to American audiences who can't read subtitles, the story is the same. Daniel Craig steps into the role of Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist who's trying to solve the 40-year-old mystery of a missing woman. While uncovering many dark secrets, he gets help in his search from the unorthodox computer hacker Lisbeth Salander, a troubled young woman who has deep, dark issues of her own. Memorably portrayed by Noomi Rapace in the original, the Goth girl Lisbeth is now played by young actress Rooney Mara, who underwent a radical change in her appearance, which she's kept up in preparation for filming the final two installments of the Millennium series. The movie is already nominated for several awards, with most of the nods going for the score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, though Mara herself has been recognized for her total commitment, including a Golden Globe nomination. Critical reception is mostly positive. Rated 18+.

The Darkest Hour – Aliens invade Moscow, where five young people figure out a way to work together and defeat the fearsome invisible beings that thrive on electricity or biomatter energy or something. Directed by Chris Gorak and produced by Timur Bekmambetov (Night Watch, Wanted), it was actually filmed in 3D, but the effects are gimmicky to be sure. Emile Hirsch, Olivia Thirlby, Max Minghella, Rachael Taylor and Joel Kinnaman star. Critical reception is mostly negative. Rated G.

Flying Swords of Dragon Gate – Tsui Hark gives the 3D treatment to the Dragon Gate Inn tale, previously done in a 1992 picture that Hark produced, which itself was a remake of King Hu's 1966 martial-arts classic. Jet Li stars as a swashbuckling former general who's out to take down corrupt enunchs during China's Ming dynasty. Zhou Xun, Chen Kun, Li Yuchun, Kwai Lun-mei, Louis Fan and Mavis Fan also star, with a special appearance by Gordon Liu. It was entirely shot in 3D, touted as a first for a wuxia film and a milestone for the Chinese film industry. Critical reception, is generally positive, with high praise for the special effects, which were overseen by Chuck Comisky, visual-effects supervisor on Avatar. The Mandarin soundtrack with English and Thai subtitles is at SF World Cinema at CentralWorld, but it's not in the 3D, owing to the technical problem of superimposing the Thai subtitles on a 3D projection. If you want to see it in 3D, you'll have to put up with the Thai-dubbed version. Rated 15+.

Also showing

German Open Air Cinema – The Goethe-Institut Thailand's annual outdoor movie series continues on Tuesday, January 10 with The Day of the Cat (Der grosse Kater), a 2010 political comedy-drama in which the president of Switzerland battles a plot to overthrow him while struggling to maintain the decorum of a state dinner he's hosting for the King and Queen of Spain. Bruno Ganz stars. The German Open Air Cinema series runs on Tuesdays until February 28 at the institute on Sathorn Soi 1. Show times are at 7.30pm.

Les Diaboliques – Henri-Georges Clouzot, riding the critical acclaim that accompanied his previous film The Wages of Fear, directs this classic 1955 thriller that's said to be a major inspiration for the twisty thrillers by Hitchcock, including Psycho. Indeed, it's been said that Hitchcock himself wanted the rights to the movie's source material, but Clouzot was first out of the gate to snatch them. The murder tale has a long-suffering invalid wife conspiring with her husband's mistress, but after the murder is committed, his body disappears, and strange things start to happen. A Hollywood remake came decades later, starring Sharon Stone and Isabel Adjani. Simone Signoret, Véra Clouzot and Paul Meurisse star in the original. Critical reception is positive. It's showing at 7.30pm on Wednesday, January 11, at the Alliance Francaise Bangkok.