Thursday, July 25, 2013

Bangkok Cinema Scene: Movies opening July 25-31, 2013

The Wolverine

Hugh Jackman again returns to the role of what's arguably the most popular character in the X-Men comic franchise – the gruff, steel-clawed Canadian superhero Wolverine.

The Wolverine covers Logan's exploits in Japan, where he fought in World War II, was trained in martial arts and battled samurai and ninjas. He returns to fulfill the request of a dying old man and faces a new challenge after he has his healing powers taken from him by an evil mutant doctor (Svetlana Khodchenkova).

This is the second stand-alone adventure for Wolverine, following 2009's Origins movie, which was a prequel to the whole X-Men movie franchise. The events here take place sometime after the third X-Men film, X-Men: The Last Stand.

Famke Janssen reprises her role as Jean Gray, fellow X-Men member and the unrequited love of Logan's life. She appears in dream sequences. Rila Fukushima also stars, playing Logan's self-appointed bodyguard. The cast also features Will Yun Lee and Hiroyuki Sanada.

Long in the works, the script is by Christopher McQuarrie with rewrites by Scott Frank and Mark Bomback. Darren Aronofsky was initially set to direct, but then backed out after he decided he didn't want to spend so much time overseas making the film. The March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami caused filming in Japan to be further delayed. A host of other names were bandied about but the job eventually fell to James Mangold (Walk the Line, Knight and Day).

Critical reception is mixed to positive. It's in 2D and converted 3D (including 4DX at Paragon and Major Ratchayothin). Rated 13+.

Also opening

I’m So Excited – Technical problems aboard a flight to Mexico are mined for campy, light-hearted laughter by director Pedro Almodovar. To keep the passengers calm, the quick-thinking gay flight crew – go ahead, call them Shirley – resorts to administering drugs to everyone in economy class and offering free booze to everyone in business. The wacky cast of characters includes Almodovar regular Cecilia Roth as well as cameos by Antonio Banderas, Penelope Cruz and others. Critical reception is mixed. It's in Spanish with English and Thai subtitles at House and SF cinemas. Rated 15+.

Admission – A strict Princeton University admissions officer (Tina Fey) visits an alternative high school run by her former college classmate (Paul Rudd) and encounters a gifted but unconventional student who might well be the kid she secretly gave up for adoption years ago. Soon, she finds herself bending the rules for the boy and putting her career at risk. Paul Weitz (About a Boy) directs. Critical reception is mixed.

My Sweet Orange Tree – This coming-of-age drama is based on the partly-autobiographical 1968 novel by Brazilian writer José Mauro de Vasconcelos, Meu Pé de Laranja‑Lima. Popular as assigned reading for schoolchildren because of its simple style, it's been translated from Portuguese to 32 language and is popular all over the world. It's especially beloved by nostalgic Thais, who remember it as Ton Som San Rak, which was made into a TV soap opera. It's the story of a poor lonely misbehaving little boy who discovers he can talk to a small orange tree in his backyard. He also learns important life lessons from an elderly man who befriends him. It's in Portuguese with English and Thai subtitles at Apex in Siam Square.

Also showing

Moviemov Italian Film Festival – Running until Sunday at SF World Cinema at CentralWorld, the fest offers a mix of contemporary and classic Italian films and even a mini-selection of Thai horror. The classics are by Ettore Scola, a director known for his commedia all'italiana (Italian-style comedies) and award-winning dramas in the 1960s, '70s and '80s. Highlights include Sunday's La migliore offerta (The Best Offer), the latest by Cinema Paradiso director Giuseppe Tornatore. Starring Geoffrey Rush as the eccentric head of an art-auction house, it's Tornatore's first English-language film, but it appears it's showing here with the Italian-dubbed soundtrack. Tickets are free, so you'll have to give yourself an hour or more beforehand to queue up to ensure you get a decent seat. For the schedule, please see the Italian Festival in Thailand website or the Thai-Italian Chamber of Commerce site.

AmericanoThe Alliance Française screens free movies with English subtitles at 7.30pm every Wednesday. Next week's show is Mathieu Demy's 2011 road-trip drama about a guy (Demy) who head to Los Angeles to take care of his late mother's estate and then sets out in search of the mysterious woman named in her will. Chiara Mastroianni, Geraldine Chaplin and Salma Hayek (again as a stripper) also star.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Bangkok Cinema Scene special: Moviemov Italian Film Festival, July 25-28, 2013

Returning for its third edition, the Moviemov Italian Film Festival again offers an unusual mix of award-winning contemporary Italian movies, classic films and even a few Thai flicks.

Part of the Italian Festival in Thailand, the Moviemov fest this year pays tribute to director Ettore Scola with a retrospective of his work, mostly commedia all'italiana (Italian-style comedies), from the 1960s to the '90s. Among the selection is his hit 1974 comedy-drama C’eravamo tanto amati (We All Loved Each Other So Much), the sweeping post-war story of three anti-fascist fighters.

In the Italian Showcase of contemporary cinema, a highlight is The Best Offer, the latest work from Cinema Paradiso director Giuseppe Tornatore. Starring Geoffrey Rush, Jim Sturgess and Donald Sutherland, with a score by Ennio Morricone, it’s a psychological thriller and romance set against the backdrop of high-end art auctions in Europe.

The Italian Showcase also features work by three up-and-coming young female directors, Francesca Comencini with A Special Day, Maria Sole Tognazzi's Viaggio sola and Elisa Fuksas with Nina.

And, owing to the record-setting box-office success of GTH’s ghost comedy Pee Mak Phra Khanong, the Moviemov fest's Thai Showcase will feature three more hit horrors from the GTH studio, Alone, Body and Phobia 2.

The lineup is divided into three components.

Italian Showcase

  • July 24, 8pm (opening gala by invitation only), La grande bellezza (The Great Beauty), 2013 – Director Paolo Sorrentino (This Must Be the Place) again collaborates with his Il Divo actor Toni Servillo in this portrait of an ageing writer and hedonist as he rededicates himself to appreciating his life and the beauty of Rome. It premiered in the main competition at this year's Cannes Film Festival.
  • July 25, 8pm, Tutti i santi giorni (Every Blessed Day), 2012 – Paolo Virzi directs this romantic comedy about a young couple who are opposites – he is shy and reserved while she is restless, touchy and prideful. Their relationship seems strong until the desire to have a child has unpredictable consequences.
  • July 26, 6pm, Un giorno speciale (A Special Day), 2012 – A nominee for the Golden Lion at last year's Venice fest, Francesca Comencini directs this romance about a young woman aiming to climb the ladder of showbiz. On the way to meet a politician, she is picked up by a limousine and strikes up a friendship with the young man driving it.
  • July 26, 8.30pm, Viaggio sola, 2013 – Maria Sole Tognazzi directs this drama about fortysomething single Irene, who enjoys her job of travelling solo as a jet-setting anonymous reviewer of five-star hotels. Margherita Buy won best actress for her role at this year's David di Donatello Awards.
  • July 27, 7pm, Nina, 2012 – Elisa Fuksas' quirky comedy-drama is about an oddball young woman (Diane Fleri) who works as pet-sitter. She is seemingly committed to remaining alone, but a 10-year-old boy and a shaggy-haired bearded cellist keep entering her life. It was a Grand Prix nominee at last year's Tokyo International Film Festival.
  • July 27, 9pm, Cha Cha Cha, 2013 – Marco Risi directs this crime drama set in Rome, where a policeman (Luke Argentero) is investigating a simple car crash involving a young boy. Meanwhile, an engineer on a mega-mall project turns up dead.
  • July 28, 5pm, Gli equilibristi (Balancing Act), 2012 – A Rome city employee struggles after he is unfaithful to his wife and moves out. Ivano De Matteo writes and directs this comedy-drama, which won best actor for Valerio Mastandrea at this year's David di Donatello Awards.
  • July 28, 7.30pm, La migliore offerta (The Best Offer) – Giuseppe Tornatore directs this thriller with Geoffrey Rush as the cranky boss of an auction house who becomes increasingly obsessed with a mysterious woman (Sylvia Hoeks), whose art collection he is called on to appraise. Donald Sutherland and Jim Sturgis also star. It was the top winner of this year's David di Donatello Awards, taking six prizes, including Best Film and Best Music for composer Ennio Morricone.

Italian Classic: Ettore Scola Retrospective

  • July 25, 4pm, Dramma della gelosia (The Pizza Triangle), 1970 – A complicated love triangle that's both comic and tragic forms between a married bricklayer (Marcello Mastroianni), a florist (Monica Vitti) and a pizza chef (Giancarlo Giannini). Mastroianni won Best Actor at Cannes for his performance.
  • July 25, 6pm, Maccheroni (Macaroni), 1985 – Jack Lemmon is a successful American businessman visiting Naples. Weary from the pressures of a divorce and his pill-popping habit, he spends several days as a guest of an old acquaintance (Mastroianni), whose laid-back philosophy devotion to family teaches Lemmon's uptight character how to relax and appreciate life.
  • July 26, 3.30pm, C'eravamo tanto amati (We All Loved Each Other So Much), 1974 – Nino Manfredi, Vittorio Gassman and Stefania Sandrelli star in this comedy-drama that follows three anti-fascist fighters through the years following World War II. Among Scola's best-regarded works, it won France's César Award for Best Foreign Film.
  • July 27, 4.30pm, Riusciranno i nostri eroi a ritrovare l'amico misteriosamente scomparso in Africa? (Will Our Heroes Be Able to Find Their Friend Who Has Mysteriously Disappeared in Africa?), 1968 – Inaugurating a short-lived period when long movie titles were in fashion in the Italian film industry, this comedy-adventure is about a Roman businessman who takes off to Africa in search of his missing son-in-law. His accountant comes along. Alberto Sordi, Nino Manfredi and Bernard Blier star.
  • July 28, noon, Romanzo di un giovane povero (Diary of a Poor Young Man), 1995 – An unemployed college graduate is offered money by an elderly neighbor who wants his wife killed. The young man refuses, but the woman turns up dead anyway. Rolando Ravello and Alberto Sordi star.
  • July 28, 2.30pm, Una giornata particolare (A Special Day),  1977 – It's 1938, and Hitler is in Rome to visit Mussolini. While her fascist husband is attending the celebration, a lonely housewife (Sophia Loren), strikes up an odd friendship with a similarly lonely neighbor man (Marcello Mastroianni, an Oscar nominee for his role). In addition to an Academy AWard nomination for best foreign language film, it won the Golden Globe and the César Award in France.
  • July 28, 5.30pm, La famiglia (The Family), 1987 – Vittorio Gassman and Stefania Sandrelli star in this sweeping drama in which an elderly professor looks back on his family's history, from the 1870s, through two world wars, up to the 1980s. It won five David di Donatello Awards, and was a nominee for the Cannes Palme d'Or and an Academy Award.

Thai Showcase

  • July 27, 6.30pm, Alone (แฝด, Faed), 2007 – Director pair Banjong Pisanthanakhun and Parkpoom Wongpoom followed up their 2004 hit Shutter with this thriller about a formerly conjoined twin haunted by her dead sister. Marsha Wattanapanich stars in a dual role.
  • July 27, 8pm, Phobia 2 (ห้าแพร่ง, Haa Phrang), 2009 – Paween Purijitpanya, Visute Poolvoralaks, Songyos Sugmakanan, Parkpoom and Banjong each take turns telling short horror stories, with karma catching up to a misbehaving novice monk and a dishonest car saleswoman. A hospital patient has a frightful night in a shared ward while young backpackers hitch a ride that turns terrifying. Finally, Marsha turns up in a parody of her Alone role in a comic segment about a scared film crew.
  • July 28, 8.30pm, Body (ศพ 19, Body Sop 19), 2007 – Paween directs this stylishly gory thriller about a college student (Arak Amornsupasiri) who has visions of a ghostly woman who appears to have been dismembered and put back together.

Pity about that opening film being invite only and not showing again.

The Moviemov Italian Film Festival is open to the public from next Thursday, July 25, until Sunday July 28 at SF World Cinema at CentralWorld.

All movies will be screened with English and Thai subtitles.

Admission is free, so I suppose you need to give yourself an hour or so beforehand to stand in line for the freebie tickets.

For more details, visit the festival website.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Bangkok Cinema Scene: Movies opening July 18-24, 2013

Only God Forgives

Following the widespread acclaim for his 2011 movie Drive, cult Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn moved to Thailand with his family and set up shop in Bangkok as he immersed himself in Thai culture and worked on his next project. The result is an ultra-violent framing of Winding Refn's view of Bangkok culture in the crime drama Only God Forgives, which reunites him with his enigmatic Drive star Ryan Gosling.

The Gos is a gangster in Bangkok who runs a boxing gym as a front for his smuggling ring. When his brother is killed, the crime family's domineering matriarch (Kristin Scott Thomas, cast wildly against type) arrives on the scene to demand he take revenge, or else. This sets up a confrontation with the "Angel of Vengeance", a sword-wielding retired Thai policeman who dispenses his own brand of justice.

Vithaya Pansringarm, who played a sleuthing monk in the 2010 Thai mystery movie Mindfulness and Murder and has been featured in bit parts in foreign productions here, plays that brutal cop. It's possibly the role of his lifetime. A soft-spoken late-bloomer actor, the 50-year-old "Pooh" Vithaya is quite a bit different from the character he plays on screen.

The cast also includes Ratha Po-ngam, a pop singer who garnered praise for her break-out film role in the remake of the erotic drama Jan Dara and was also recently seen in the burlesque tale Angels.

Only God Forgives also sees Refn reuniting with his Drive score composer, Cliff Martinez, who collaborated closely with the director in unearthing ear-wormy Thai pop and luk thung music for the soundtrack.

The film premiered in the main competition at this year's Cannes Film Festival, where it was actually booed. Critics were divided, with Bangkok-based Kong Rithdee among the detractors. Nonetheless, Only God Forgives went on to the Sydney Film Festival, where it was awarded best film. Also premiering this week in the U.S., critical reception remains polarized. Rated 18+.

Also opening

Red 2 – Bruce Willis and his gang of aging spies are back for more explosive adventures. Former CIA agent Frank Moses (Willis) is enjoying retirement and a normal life with his new lady (Mary-Louise Parker) when his crazy old colleague (John Malkovich) tracks them down and convinces them to take a mission. This leads them to needing to go to Russia to track down a missing portable nuclear device. Helen Mirren also returns as the sophisticated British assassin and joining the cast this time around are Anthony Hopkins, Catherine Zeta-Jones as an old flame of Moses and Lee Byun-hun as a relentless killer. Dean Parisot, director of 1999's Galaxy Quest along with many television credits, takes over for Robert Schwentke, helmer of the first film. Red is based on a cult comic-book series, so there's plenty more stories that could be told. Critical reception, so far, is mixed. Rated 15+.

Man of Tai Chi – Falling back on his martial-arts training from The Matrix, Keanu Reeves directs and co-stars as the villain in this Chinese drama about a humble tai-chi student who is forced to puts his skills to use in a deadly underground fight club. A pet project of Reeves' that's been in development for several years, it stars his friend and trainer Tiger Chen and is loosely based on his life. It also features work from Matrix fight choreographer Yuen Woo Ping. Karen Mok also stars as a feisty Hong Kong police inspector with Simon Yam as her boss. Among the featured fighters is Iko Uwais (The Raid). Critical reception is mixed. Rated 15+.

Turbo – Dreamworks Animation introduces what's ultimately going to be a TV series with this feature. Though it clearly aims to capture some of the fan base for the Fast and Furious films, it actually appears to be an unlikely combination of Crank and Pixar's Cars. Here, a snail with delusions of being the greatest racer in the world has his dream come true after a freak accident gives him with the power of incredible speed. The voice cast stars Ryan Reynolds with support from Maya Rudolph, Paul Giamatti, Samuel L Jackson, Snoop Dogg, Michael Peña, Michelle Rodriguez and many others. Critical reception is mixed. It's in 3D in some cinemas. Rated G.

Prayok Sanya Rak (ประโยคสัญญารัก, a.k.a. Present Perfect Continuous Tense) – '90s movie star and soap actress Lalita Sasiprapha is back on the big screen in this romantic drama about an attractive fortysomething woman in a doomed relationship with a guy half her age (Setthapong Phiangpor). Rated 15+.

The Berlin File – Three South Korean movies open in Major Cineplex branches this week as part of a promotion. The best of the bunch appears to be this hit spy thriller, which was released earlier this year in South Korea. The action involves an illegal arms deal and a "ghost" agent (Ha Jung-woo). Watching it all go down are an embattled South Korean intelligence chief (Han Suk-Kyu), the North Koreans and the Americans, all at odds about whose side the ghost is on. Rated 18+.

All About My Wife – This 2012 South Korean romantic comedy is about a guy (Lee Seon-gyoon) who is desperate to divorce his stubborn nagging wife of seven years (Lim Su-jeong). He asks his womanizing neighbor (Ryoo Seung-yong) to seduce her in hopes she will be wooed away. At Major Cineplex, including Paragon, Mega and Esplanade. Rated 13+.

Love 911 – In this 2012 romantic comedy-drama, a widowed, guilt-ridden firefighter is increasingly taking more risks as he mourns his wife who died while he was helping others. He is thrown together in rocky romance with a doctor who is fighting the loss of her medical license. Han Hyo-joo and Ko Soo star. It's also part of the South Korean films package at Major Cineplex. Rated 15+.

Kamen Rider × Super Sentai: Super Hero Taisen – Big in Japan and popular with youngsters here, this 2012 costumed-and-masked hero adventure combines the forces of two popular teams from the tokusatsu suitmation franchises. Rated G.

Bhaag Milkha Bhaag – Bollywood's answer to Chariots of Fire recalls the deeds of the "Flying Sikh", runner Milkha Singh, who represented India in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, 1960 Rome Olympics and the 1964 Tokyo Olympics during a time of great upheaval in his Punjab homeland (now part of Pakistan). Farhan Akhtar and Sonam Kapoor star. It's in Hindi with English and Thai subtitles at Paragon, Major Cineplex Sukhumvit and Major Rama III. Opens Friday.

D-Day – And here's another Bollywood film – a crime-thriller about officers charged with going to Pakistan and bringing back India's most wanted man. Irrfan Khan and Arjun Rampal star. It's in Hindi with English and Thai subtitles at Paragon, Major Cineplex Sukhumvit and Major Rama III. Opens Friday.

Also showing

Boundary (ฟ้าต่ำแผ่นดินสูง, Fahtum Pandinsoong) – Indie director Nontawat Numbenchapol had originally planned a more-extensive release for his embattled documentary on the Thai-Cambodian border conflict. But he had to scale back due to a controversy over another politically sensitive film, Paradoxocracy, which Major Cineplex came under pressure for showing and actually discouraged customers from seeing. Under his unusual arrangement with the theater chain, Nontawat is hiring out the hall and selling tickets himself, with the Bangkok release running for only four days at Esplanade Cineplex Ratchadaphisek. Showtimes are at 7 nightly until Sunday. For more details, see the movie's Facebook page.

BiguineThe Alliance Française screens free movies with English subtitles at 7.30pm every Wednesday. Next week's show is a 2004 musical that recounts the lively dancehall scene in Martinique in the 1870s.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Bangkok Cinema Scene: Movies opening July 11-17, 2013

Pacific Rim

Cult director Guillermo del Toro pays tribute to the classic kaiju monster movies with Pacific Rim.

A combination of Godzilla and the popular-in-Japan mecha and anime genres, Pacific Rim is a big-budget disaster movie, with giant monsters from deep underneath the sea emerging to wreak havoc on coastal cities. The only way to fight the monsters is with our own monsters, so giant, 25-story robots called jaegers are created. They are piloted by two mind-linked soldiers. To get a sense of the scale of these creatures, one of the jaegers grabs a ship from the harbor and uses it like a baseball bat to pummel a kaiju.

Among the characters are a washed-up former pilot (Charlie Hunnam from Sons of Anarchy) and an untested trainee (Rinko Kikuchi) who are paired up to pilot a legendary but seemingly obsolete jaeger from the past.

Other stars include Idris Elba (The Wire, Luther), Charlie Day and del Toro regular Ron Perlman.

Casual movie-goers might dismiss this as yet another giant-robot spectacle like Transformers, but genre-film fans and fans of del Toro (Hellboy, Pan's Labyrinth) know better. He left The Hobbit and ended up doing this, so it had better be good. Anticipation is high and critical reception so far is favorable.

It's in 2D in some cinemas and hybrid 3D in others, including IMAX.  Rated G.

Also opening

ByzantiumThe Crying Game director Neil Jordan returns with his first feature film in three years. I suppose it isn't a spoiler to say this is a vampire movie. Gemma Arterton stars as a 200-year-old vampire prostitute who moves with her daughter (Saoirse Ronan) to open brothel in a run-down English coastal resort hotel. Daniel Mays, Caleb Landry Jones, Sam Riley and Jonny Lee Miller also star. Critical reception is mixed. Rated 18+.

Arthur Newman – Colin Firth is a man going through a mid-life crisis who fakes his own death and buys another man's identity. Reinventing himself as a golf pro as he drifts around the Midwestern U.S., he attracts the attention of a young kleptomaniac (Emily Blunt) who sees through his scam. Together they embark on a cross-country crime spree, breaking into houses to "borrow" other people's lives. It's somewhat reminiscent of a couple of Asian films, South Korea's 3 Iron and last year's indie Thai release P-047. Becky Johnston (The Prince of Tides, Seven Years in Tibet) penned the screenplay with Dante Ariola as director of this indie feature. Critical reception is mixed, leaning to negative.

Also showing

Estômago – A homeless man falls into a career as a restaurant cook that takes an increasingly darker path in this award-winning 2007 black comedy by Marcos Jorge. It screens at 8pm on Monday, July 15, at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand, courtesy of the Embassy of  Brazil, which will lay on caipirinha and snacks. Entry for non-members is 150 baht and 100 baht for anyone wanting the food and drink.

Le voyage du directeur des ressources humaines (The Human Resources Manager) – The Alliance Française screens free movies with English subtitles at 7.30pm every Wednesday. Next week's show is Eran Riklis' award-winning 2010 tragi-comedy about a human resources manager at a Jerusalem bakery who sets out on a journey to save the reputation of his business and prevent the publication of a damaging article.

Take note

Be sure to call before heading out to the Apex cinemas in Siam Square. Frequently, the Apex's crown jewel Scala is hired out for concerts and private functions on weekends, throwing the movie showtimes into disarray. Sometimes the Apex website is updated, but more often it is not. So to confirm those showtimes, call the Lido at (02) 252-6498, where, surprise, surprise, an actual person will pick up the phone and tell you when the movies are playing.

Also, keep an eye on House. They will frequently show "out of menu" movies from this library. This week, to get ready for next week's release of Only God Forgives from Nicolas Winding Refn and Ryan Gosling, they are showing Drive.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Bangkok Cinema Scene: Movies opening July 4-10, 2013

Sarawat Mah Baa (The Cop)

A hot-headed police inspector ("Tao" Somchai Khemklad), under investigation by internal affairs is called back to duty to probe the murder of a government minister's daughter. He's partnered with a veteran sergeant (Bamrer "Note Chernyim" Phongintakun) and the young female lieutenant (Krystal Vee). Meanwhile, the killer has the cop in his sights, setting out to ruin him by exposing his possible misdeeds in a previous case.

Sarawat Mah Baa, (สารวัตรหมาบ้า , literally "inspector mad dog"), a.k.a. The Cop, is the feature directorial debut of MR Chalermchatri "Adam" Yukol, son of veteran filmmaker MC Chatrichalerm Yukol. Having grown up on film sets and schooled in film in Australia, Adam sought to make a name for himself with his new media company, the cheekily named FuKDuk Production, and immersed himself in the latest technology while shopping his first film project to the Thai studios.

For The Cop, Adam has said he aimed to capture the spirit of police films of the 1980s, taking inspiration from Lethal Weapon, though The Cop is much more serious in tone than the Mel Gibson action-comedy. And, it might also hark back to the gritty 1970s and '80s action films of his father, such as The Colonel, The Elephant Keeper and Gunman. Rated 18+.

Also opening

The Lone Ranger – Teaming up again with Pirates of the Caribbean producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Gore Verbinski, Johnny Depp dresses up in another weird costume to play another quirky character in this big-budget refashioning of the famous tale of the Old American West. He's Tonto, the Native American spirit warrior. No mere sidekick, he's an equal partner with a masked lawman (Armie Hammer from The Social Network) in seeking revenge, fighting for justice and jumping from a runaway train. For his character, Depp sought inspiration from the original Tonto of the 1950s TV series, Jay Silverheels, as well as the deadpan pratfalls of Buster Keaton. He probably also borrowed from Gary Farmer, his Native American co-star in Jim Jarmusch's 1998 acid western Dead Man. Long in development by Disney, The Lone Ranger began in 1933 as a radio series and was then a B-movie serial and then a TV series in the 1950s, starring Clayton Moore and Silverheels. Other stars in this new Lone Ranger include William Fichtner as the villain Butch Cavendish, Barry Pepper, Tom Wilkinson and Depp's cohort from all those Tim Burton movies, Helena Bonham Carter. Critical reception is mostly negative, but that probably won't stop it at the box office. Rated 13+.

Despicable Me 2 – Reformed former mad scientist Gru (Steve Carell) has changed his life around and become a father figure for orphan kids. But he has to return to his old ways when he's approached by the Anti-Villain League to work undercover to combat a new supervillain. The voice cast also includes Kristin Wiig and Benjamin Bratt. Also again featuring his scene-stealing little yellow minions, who will be getting their own movie next yearDespicable Me 2 opened in sneak previews last week and moves to a wider release today. Critical reception is generally positive. It's in 3D in some cinemas. Rated G.

Lootera – A young scoundrel poses as an archaeologist in an attempt to steal a temple's ancient idol but is sidetracked when he falls for the daughter of a local aristocrat. Ranveer Singh and Sonakshi Sinha star. Opening tomorrow, it's in Hindi with English and Thai subtitles at Paragon, Major Cineplex Sukhumvit and Rama III.

Also showing

Canta! Timor – Japanese documentarian Natsuko Hirota directs this feature on Southeast Asia's newest country, East Timor, telling the story of how the Timorese kept their music and forgave their enemies. There are interviews with local men and women – villagers, soldiers and shamans – as well as Timor-Leste's first president, Xanana Gusmão, and with former guerrillas. It screens at 8pm on Tuesday, July 9 at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand. Admission for non-members is 150 baht.

Simon KonianskiThe Alliance Française screens free movies with English subtitles at 7.30pm every Wednesday. Next week's show is this 2010 comedy about a 35-year-old man-child who returns home to live with his father. When the family's uncle dies, they take a crazy journey to Ukraine to bury the old man.