Thursday, February 27, 2014

Bangkok Cinema Scene: Movies opening February 27-March 5, 2014

3 Days to Kill

Kevin Costner is in the midst of a comeback, turning up recently as Superman's Earth daddy in Man of Steel and a spy boss in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.

He takes the lead in 3 Days to Kill, a vehicle that's similar to the barefisted bruisers that another ageing action star, Liam Neeson, has been doing of late.

Costner is a government hitman who is running out of time after he learns he has a terminal illness. Before he shuffles off his mortal coil, he aims to rebuild his relationship with his estranged wife (Connie Nielsen) and daughter (Hallee Steinfield). But then he gets a chance to at finding a cure to his illness in exchange for tracking down the world's most ruthless terrorist.

Charlie's Angels and Terminator: Salvation helmer McG directs, and like Liam Neeson's recent movies, it's a Euro-thriller, produced by Luc Besson. Amber Heard also stars, playing Costner's CIA handler.

Critical reception is mixed. Rated 15+

Also opening

Open Grave – Sharlto Copley (District Nine, Elysium) is a man who wakes up in a pit of corpses with no memory of how he got there. It's directed by Gonzalo López-Gallego, the Spanish director who previously did the haunted space-mission thriller Apollo 18. Critical reception is mixed. Rated 15+

The Monkey King – Martial-arts star Donnie Yen takes the title role in this new adaptation of the Chinese epic "The Journey to the West". The first in a planned trilogy, the story is an origin tale, focusing on the Monkey King's creation from a heavenly stone, his gaining magical powers and being imprisoned under a mountain for 500 years. Chow Yun-fat also stars, playing the Jade Emperor. Other stars include Aaron Kwok, Joe Chen, Peter Ho, Kelly Chen, Zhang Zilin and Gigi Leung. Pou-Soi Cheang, better known for his gritty modern action thrillers like Accident and Motorway, directs. It's in actual 3D but is Thai-dubbed only. Rated G

She Devil (รักเราเขย่าขวัญ, Rak Rao Khayao Khwan) – A young man (Harin "Dim Tattoo Color" Suthamjaras) gets married to a beautiful but mysterious woman (Banyanach Jirarojthanakasem) who becomes a zombie after the wedding. Pisut Praesangeam directs. It's at Major Cineplex. Rated 13+

Muay Jin Din Kong Loke (หมวยจิ้น ดิ้นก้องโลก) – A teenage boy from Bangkok seeks a change of scenery to heal his broken heart. He moves to a seaside village where he falls for a local lass who works in a convenience store. But she's aiming to fulfill her best friend's dream by dancing on stage with a popular singer. It's at SF cinemas. Rated G

Gang Preed! Ja Read Jai Ther (แกงค์ปรี๊ด! จะ Read ใจเธอ) – High-school boys have to complete a project for their film club. They decide to make a ghost movie with a mysterious girl as their star. Rated 13+

Love's Coming (ใช่รักหรือเปล่า, Chai Rak Rue Prao) – Teenage boys suspect one of their friends is having relations with the boy next door, so they set out to expose his sexual orientation. It's at Esplanade Cineplex; no English subtitles. Rated 15+

Shaadi Ke Side Effects – Farhan Akhtar and Vidya Balan star in this Bollywood romantic comedy about the many ups and downs of marriage. It's at Major Cineplex Suhumvit and Rama III. Opens Friday.

Also showing

The Friese-Greene Club – Tonight is the final strange vision of the future for February – the original 1975 Rollerball, an indictment of sports, celebrity and violence that was ahead of its time. It's directed by Norman Jewison and stars a tough-as-nails James Caan. Tomorrow at 7pm is a special event organized by Le Cool Bangkok, "From Ecstasy to Rapture. A Journey Through Spanish Experimental Cinema". March kicks off with All the President's Men, the first in a Saturday series of hit films from two of cinema's greatest years, 1975 and 1976. Sundays in March are devoted to the director Michael Curtiz, starting with one of the all-time classics, Casablanca. This Monday morning, the club will host an Oscar breakfast with live TV coverage of the Academy Awards. Tuesdays are request days at the club – you can ask for any film but you have to round up at least three others who want to see it with you. Wednesdays in March are reserved for special events, with the Creative Ministry holding one of its film-industry networking nights on March 5. Thursdays in March are in memory of the late Philip Seymour Hoffman and Fridays offer "perspectives of war". Shows start at 8pm unless otherwise noted. The FGC is down an alley next to the Queen's Park Imperial Hotel on Sukhumvit Soi 22. With just nine seats, the screening room fills up fast, so reservations are a must. There are sometimes changes in the schedule, so please check the website and Facebook page before planning a visit.

Filmvirus Double Bill – The British experimental filmmaking duo of Jack Bond and Jane Arden are introduced in this Sunday's double-bill with Separation from 1967 and The Other Side of the Underneath from 1972. Bond directs Separation, starring Arden as a middle-aged woman in the breakdown of her marriage. Procol Harum is featured on the soundtrack. Arden directs The Other Side, a film that, according to Wikipedia "currently has almost mythical status amongst fans of radical, experimental cinema, partly because of its visionary and disturbing depictions of the mental state of its schizophrenic protagonist". The shows start at 12.30 in the Pridi Banomyong Library at Thammasat University, Tha Chan. You'll need to show an I.D. to gain entry.

Alliance Française – "Women in film" is the theme for March at the Alliance, starting on Wednesday, March 5 with Le Paradis des bêtes, a 2012 comedy-drama directed by Estelle Larrivaz and starring Stéfano Cassetti, Géraldine Pailhas and Muriel Robin. Dominique, a possessive father, is the manager of a pet shop who gets into a fight with his wife and runs away with his children to Switzerland. The show starts at 7pm at the Alliance Française de Bangkok.

Also showing

Stay away from the "Bangkok shutdown" rally sites, where violence has flared up. Last Sunday, a grenade exploded at the Big C near the Ratchaprasong site, killing three people, including two children. Early Tuesday, there were bomb blasts and gunfire at the Thaniya Plaza night entertainment area near the Silom rally, and more shots were fired at the protest sites early Wednesday.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Bangkok Cinema Scene: Movies opening February 20-26, 2014

The Monuments Men

George Clooney directs and heads an all-star cast in The Monuments Men, a fact-based World War II comedy-drama about a crack team of Allied historians, art experts, museum directors and architects who fought to rescue stolen works of art from the Nazis and keep valuable buildings and sculptures from being bombed.

The prank-loving actor-director-producer is joined by his old Ocean's Eleven pal Matt Damon, along with Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Hugh Bonneville, Bob Balaban and Cate Blanchett.

The story is based on the exploits of the men and women who took part in the Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives (MFAA) program under the Allied military authorities, as documented in the book "The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History" by Robert M. Edsel.

The Monuments Men was originally set to be released in December, which would have made it a contender for the Oscars and other awards, but Clooney wanted more time for post-production, so the movie was delayed until now.

Critical reception is mixed, with the general consensus being that the movie isn't bad but isn't all that great either. Rated 13+

Also opening

Saving Mr. Banks – Here's more history coming alive on the big screen, with a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Disney's Mary Poppins. Tom Hanks portrays Walt Disney as the Hollywood mogul pulls out all the stops to woo sourpuss author Pamela "P.L." Travers (Emma Thompson) and let him make her book into a movie. Other stars include Colin Farrell, Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman, Bradley Whitford, B.J. Novak and Kathy Baker. It was a nominee for several BAFTAs, including Outstanding British Picture and best actress for Thompson. Critical reception is mostly positive. Rated G

Pompeii – And here's even more history, this one going way back to the year 79 AD when Naples, Italy's Mount Vesuvius volcano erupted, burying the city of Pompeii under 20 feet of ash and pumice. The cataclysmic eruption forms the backdrop of a tale of star-crossed lovers – a gladiator (eight-pack rocking Kit Harington from Game of Thrones) and a merchant's daughter (Emily Browning). Other stars include Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Kiefer Sutherland, Jared Harris, Carrie-Anne Moss and Paz Vega. Paul W.S. Anderson directs, taking break from his Resident Evil franchise. Critical reception is unknown, but I'd imagine most critics will say Pompeii blows. It was filmed in actual 3D. Rated 15+

My Bromance (พี่ชาย, Pee Chai) – Nichapoom Chaianan directs this indie drama about a teenage boy and his relationship with his new stepbrother. It's at Esplanade Cineplex Ratchada. Rated 15+

Also showing

The Friese-Greene Club – "Take your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape!" Tonight, it's the 1968 original Planet of the Apes with Charlton Heston pounding the sand in despair. Tomorrow, director Mark Hammond will be on hand for a screening of Johnny Was, his 2006 gangster drama starring Vinnie Jones, Patrick Bergin, Eriq La Salle, Lennox Lewis and Roger Daltrey. Saturday's "controversial" film is Irreversible, Gaspar Noé's 2002 psycho-sexual mystery. Sunday, it's another classic musical with High Society. And next Wednesday, see Alain Delon in 1967's Le Samourai, the film-noir classic that inspired Jim Jarmusch to make Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai. All shows start at 8. The FGC is down an alley next to the Queen's Park Imperial Hotel on Sukhumvit Soi 22. With just nine seats, the screening room fills up fast, so reservations are a must. There are often last-minute changes in the schedule. So please check the website and Facebook page before planning a visit.

Japanese Film Festival – This year's festival features an all-anime program of eight screenings from tonight until Sunday at the Lido multiplex. The opener is The Garden of Words, a contemporary romantic fantasy by Makoto Shinkai. Tomorrow is the TV and manga adaptation Chibi Maruko-chan: Ono Kun and Sugiyama Kun. Saturday offers the 1982 space pirate tale Arcadia of My Youth, a package of shorts that includes Franz Kafka's A Country Doctor and the childhood drama A Letter to Momo. Sunday's entries are 1968's Little Norse Prince Valiant, 2006's The Girl Who Lept Through Time and 2010's Colorful. Tickets are 50 baht and can be purchased in advance at the Lido box office. For the schedule, please see the Japan Foundation website.

Filmvirus Double Bill – Wiwat "Filmsick" Lerwiwatwongsa invited his cinephile friends in the collective known as Filmvirus to put together an eclectic program of double bills that will run from this Sunday through April at Thammasat University's Pridi Banomyong Library. Up first this Sunday are experimental films, starting at 12.30pm with HSP: There is No Escape From the Terrors of the Mind, an Irish-funded feature by Iranian filmmaker Rouzbeh Rashidi. That's followed at 2.45pm by Birth of the Seanama, a 2004 feature by Sasithorn Ariyavicha. The totally silent (no music, no dialogue), black-and-white, 70-minute feature, depicts Bangkok rising up from the primordial ooze and then sinking back into it. Other double bills are from the UK, Separation (1968, Jack Bond) and The Other Side of the Underneath (1972, Jane Arden) on March 2, the Filipino films All Be Damned (1990, Lino Brocka) and Working Girl (1984, Ishamel Bernal) on March 9 and Italian, Dillinger è morto (1969, Marco Ferreri) and Dossier 51 (1978, Michel Deville) on March 16. The series runs until March 30 and then takes a break for the Thai New Year before resuming with screenings on April 20 and 27. The venue is the Rewat Buddinan Room in the basement of the Pridi Banomyong Library at Thammasat University, Tha Chan. You'll need to show your I.D. and have it copied to gain entry. The best way to get there is to take the Chao Phraya River Express to Wang Lang (Siriraj) pier and then ride the ferry across to Tha Chan.

Goethe Institut – The annual Open Air Cinema series comes to a close next Tuesday with Stopped on Track (Halt auf freier Strecke), a 2011 drama  by Andreas Dresen about a happy couple living the perfect life until the day the husband is diagnosed with a brain tumor. The show starts at 7.30pm at the Goethe on Sathorn Soi 1. The Open Air Cinema series will resume around December.

Alliance Française – Isabelle Czajka directs the 2010 comedy-drama D'amour et d'eau fraîche (Living on Love Alone). Anaïs Demoustier and Pio Marmaï star in this tale of a young woman who meets a guy and on a whim joins him in his illegal schemes in the south of France. The show starts at 7pm on Wednesday at the Alliance Française de Bangkok. It's at the intersection of Rama IV and Wireless roads, opposite Lumpini Park in the former location of the Suan Lum Night Bazaar.

Take note

The new movie-listings website Moveedoo now fully supports schedules for House, Scala and Lido cinemas as well as the mall multiplexes. The site has also received a snappy but simple updated design since I last wrote about it a couple weeks ago. Looks good.

Film scholars, mark July 7 to 10 on your calendar as the dates for the eighth Association of Southeast Asian Cinemas Conference, which returns to Thailand this year. It will be held at the Thai Film Archive in Salaya.

The caretaker government is making moves to end the Bangkok Shutdown and reclaim areas from the whistleblowing protesters. Riot police attacked a protest sites on Tuesday in the Phan Fah Leelat bridge area. Five people, including a police officer, were killed and around 70 were injured in the clash.

Although the "official" rally sites have been generally peaceful, they are unpredictable and violence could occur at any moment. Keep that in mind if you choose to watch a movie near the protest blockades, which includes the main rally stage at Pathumwan near Siam Square. Most embassies would advise against it.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Bangkok Cinema Scene: Movies opening February 13-19, 2014

Timeline Jodmai Khwam Songjam

Everybody's crying in veteran director Nonzee Nimibutr's romantic drama Timeline Jodmai Khwam Songjam (Timeline จดหมาย-ความทรงจำ).

Popular soap-opera leading man "James" Jirayu Tangsrisuk stars as the teenaged son of a young mother who was widowed early in her marriage.

He is seeking to break free of his mother's world, and thinks he's found that escape when he meets free-spirited female classmate (Jarinporn Joonkiat).

Meanwhile, the mother (Piyathida Worramusik) is supported by a male friend (Noppachai Jayanama) who is falling in love with her.

The project originally started as a sequel to 2004's hit romance The Letter, which Nonzee produced and had everybody crying, both on screen and in the packed theaters. It was a remake of a hit South Korean romantic drama. Problems with licensing the original story arose and now Nonzee insists that Timeline is not a sequel but a brand new and totally original standalone film.

An article in The Nation has more. Rated 15+

Also opening

RoboCop – The repurposing of classic R-rated action films for younger audiences continues, with Paul Verhoeven's darkly comic 1987 sci-fi gem RoboCop getting a reboot. Joel Kinnaman stars as a loving family man and Detroit cop who is mortally wounded. His body then becomes the basis for a hybrid human-robot security system marketed by tech firm OmniCorp. And so the struggle between man and machine begins anew. Other stars include Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Abbie Cornish, Jackie Earle Haley and Samuel L. Jackson. Brazilian helmer José Padilha (Elite Squad) directs, making his Hollywood debut. Critical reception is mixed, with the consensus being this new RoboCop isn't that great, but is perhaps not as bad as the recent remake of another Verhoeven sci-fi classic, Total Recall. It's in 2D, including IMAX. Rated 13+

That Awkward Moment – How about a little bromance for Valentine's Day? Zac Efron, Michael B. Jordan and Miles Teller are three young men in Manhattan who make a pact to remain single but shortly after the vow, each of them falls in love. Imogen Poots, Mackenzie Davis and Jessica Lucas also star. Critical reception is mixed, leaning to negative. Rated 15+

Venus in Fur – Roman Polanski adapts David Ives' Tony-nominated 2010 Broadway play, relocating the setting from New York to Paris, where a director (Mathieu Amalric) finds his emotions move from attraction to obsession as he auditions an unknown actress (Emmanuelle Seignier) for his new play. This latest effort from Polanski premiered at last year's Cannes Film Festival. Critical reception is generally positive. Rated 15+

Endless Love – Another '80s film gets the remake treatment for the sake of Valentine's Day movie dates. Alex Pettyfer and Gabriella Wilde star in this drama about star-crossed lovers – a bookish rich girl who embarks on a forbidden affair with a reckless young man from the wrong side of town. Robert Patrick, Bruce Greenwood and Joely Richardson also star. Critical consensus is a mystery at the moment. Rated 13+

Gunday – Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor star in this Bollywood action drama that charts the rise of young bandits in 1970s and '80s Calcutta. Priyanka Chopra and Irrfan Khan also star. It's in Hindi with English and Thai subtitles at Paragon, Major Cineplex Sukhumvit, Rama III and Pattaya. Opens Friday.

Also showing

The Friese-Greene Club – Can genetic engineering create a perfect society? Gattaca ponders that question in tonight's "strange vision of the future". Tomorrow is special event, with Don Robinson regaling club members about his long and varied career, which has seen him handling lighting and visuals for concerts, photographing the Universal logo, doing effects on Star Wars, working with John Cassavetes, playing a hippy cult cannibal in Faces of Death and running the international desk for local production services firm Siamlite. He'll show the 1988 cult B-movie Night of the Demons, which he line produced, and then talk about his life and work. Saturday's "controversial" film is Hard Candy, about a 14-year-old girl seeking revenge on a pedophile. Sunday, yes, you can have some more, with the musical Oliver! Next Wednesday's French crime wave entry is La Haine, a 1995 drama by Mathieu Kassovitz. The FGC is down an alley next to the Queen's Park Imperial Hotel on Sukhumvit Soi 22. With just nine seats, the screening room fills up fast, so reservations are a must. There are often last-minute changes in the schedule. So please check the website and Facebook page before planning a visit.

Alliance Française – Louis Garrel, Martin Siméon and Léa Seydoux star in La Belle Personne (The Beautiful Person), a 2008 drama by Christophe Honoré, about a 16-year-old girl just getting over the death of her mother. She enrolls in a new high school is attracted to a boy but then is also wooed by one of her teachers. The show is at 7pm on Wednesday, February 19.

Take note

Tickets are on sale now at the Lido box office for next week's Japanese Film Festival, which features animation and will have eight screenings from February 20 to 23. Tickets are 50 baht. This is always a very popular, well-attended festival, and in past years punters have queued up for hours just to get the free tickets. Even though this year's fest is different with tickets that cost a little bit of money, I expect there to still be a big demand. It's worth noting that even though the Japan Foundation screens films all year long they are generally only subtitled in Thai, so the annual Japanese Film Festival is the only time each year they offer Japanese films with English subtitles. You can read more about the festival in an earlier blog entry.

A couple more events to mark on your calendar are the screening of Thai and Irish experimental films on February 23 at the Thammasat University library and Social Change Film Festival on March 6-7 at Srinakharinwirot University and March 9 at Siam Square's Scala.

There's nothing on the schedule this week at the Goethe Institut. Check back next week for details on the final entry in the Open Air Cinema series, screening on February 25.

The five-week-old Bangkok Shutdown anti-government protests show no sign of ending soon. The main protest stage at Pathumwan is especially disruptive. Getting out of a movie at Scala last weekend, at nearly 9pm, it was difficult to get aboard the Skytrain because the BTS stupidly restricts access to its station after 8pm, with just one entrance open, at Siam Paragon. I don't know the reason behind this, but it made an already stressful situation even hairier, with large crowds looking for a way out of the area and everyone reduced to using one narrow staircase. If you do venture to Siam Square to see a movie, do so at your own risk and as early in the day as possible, and then clear out of the area quickly.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Bangkok Cinema Scene special: Japanese Film Festival, February 20-23, 2014

One of Japan's most-loved film mediums – animation – takes centerstage in this year's Japanese Film Festival from February 20 to 23 at the Lido cinemas in Bangkok.

"From Classic to Contemporary: A Lively Animation Collection" features eight screenings, opening with The Garden of Words, the latest work of Makoto Shinkai. The romantic fantasy is about an aspiring shoemaker who keeps meeting a mysterious woman whenever it rains.

Feel-good anime is in store with Chibi Maruko-chan: Ono Kun and Sugiyama Kun, a 1990 feature adaptation of the popular manga and long-running TV series about Momoko Sakura, a nine-year-old schoolkid.

Swashbuckling adventures await in 1982's Arcadia of My Youth, an origin tale of Space Pirate Captain Harlock.

Short subjects are offered in a package that comprises Koji Yamamura's 2007 adaptation of Franz Kafka's A Country Doctor, 2008's The House of Small Cubes, about an old man who adds blocks to his house as his town is flooded, and 1993's Karo and Piyobupt, a colorful mix of drawing and clay animation by Koji Yamamura.

Popular studio Production I.G. (Ghost in the Shell, Kill Bill Volume I) chips in with 2011's sentimental drama A Letter to Momo, about an 11-year-old having trouble coping with the death of her father.

From 1968 comes the classic Little Norse Prince Valiant, a.k.a. Hols: Prince of the Sun, about the epic fantasy adventures of a Viking boy. It's the debut film of Isao Takahata, who later co-founded Studio Ghibli with Hayao Miyazaki and made the grim war drama Grave of the Fireflies.

Another popular entry is The Girl Who Lept Through Time, the award-winning 2006 feature by Mamoru Hosoda, about a 17-year-old schoolgirl who mysteriously gains magical abilities.

The closing entry is 2010's Mainichi and Japan Academy award winner Colorful, a drama adapted from a novel by Eto Mori. Directed by Keiichi Hara, it's about about a soul that is given a second chance at life, only to be placed in the body of a suicidal 14-year-old boy.

Tickets are 50 baht – a departure from past Japanese Film Festivals that have featured lengthy queues for free tickets – and can be purchased at the Lido box office from February 13 (no booking by phone).

The Japanese Film Festival will also take place in Chiang Mai, at the Major Cineplex Chiang Mai Airport Plaza from February 27 to March 2.

For the schedule and other details, please see the Japan Foundation website.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

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

The Rocket

The opener of last year's World Film Festival of Bangkok, The Rocket blasts back into Thai cinemas.

This crowd-pleasing Australian film is set in Laos and involves an Akka hilltribe boy who is seemingly cursed from birth. One tragedy after another befalls him. Forced to leave their home to make way for dam construction, the boy and his family fall in with a pair of outcasts – an orphan girl and an alcoholic ex-soldier who is obsessed with James Brown. They make their way across the countryside and happen upon a rocket festival, which the boy enters in hope of changing his fortune.

Thai comedian Thep Pho-ngam stars as the colorful drunken Uncle Purple. Kim Mordaunt directs, making a followup to Bomb Harvest, a documentary he made in Laos about the tons of unexploded ordnance from the U.S. carpet bombing during the Vietnam War.

Winner of several awards, including a Crystal Bear at last year's Berlin film fest and best actor for young leading man Sitthiphon Disamoe at New York's Tribeca Film Festival, it was Australia's submission to the Academy Awards. Critical reception is generally positive. It's at SF cinemas. Rated 13+

Also opening

All Is Lost – Robert Redford is alone in a lifeboat in this drama about a man travelling solo on his 39-foot sailboat. Tragedy strikes when the boat runs into a shipping container in the middle of the ocean. With a large hole in his hull and the radio and navigation equipment fried, he has no way to contact help. And when the sailboat takes on too much water, and the man is forced to abandon it and use his lifeboat. J.C. Chandor directs. He mightily impressed Redford when his 2011 financial drama Margin Call was the toast of the Sundance Film Festival. All Is Lost premiered at last year's Cannes Film Festival. It was largely snubbed by the Academy Awards, which gave it only a best sound editing nomination, but it has been lauded at other ceremonies. Critical reception is generally positive. It's at Apex Siam Square, Paragon and SF World Cinema at CentralWorld. Rated 13+

Her – Spike Jonze directs this romantic comedy about a sad lonely man (Joaquin Phoenix) who falls in love with the artificial intelligence that runs his computer. Named Samantha, the computer is voiced by Scarlett Johansson, a role that won her the best actress award at last year's Rome Film Festival. Other accolades have included the Golden Globe for best screenplay and five Academy Awards nominations, including best picture. Critical reception is generally positive. Rated 15+

Charlie Countryman (a.k.a. The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman) – Plagarizing nutjob Shia LaBeouf stars in this crime drama about a young man who falls in love with a girl (Evan Rachel Wood) while travelling to Bucharest. Turns out she's married to a vicious gangster (Mads Mikkelson). Til Schweiger, Vincent D'Onofrio, Melissa Leo and Rupert Grint also star. Critical reception is mixed, leaning to negative. Rated 18+

Nurse 3DUnhinged exhibitionist actress Paz de la Huerta (Boardwalk Empire) stars in this psycho-thriller about a nurse who dispenses a permanent cure to cheating men. Critical reception is mixed. It's in real 3D. Rated 18+

The Legend of Hercules Twilight heartthrob Kellan Lutz is the mythical Greek hero in this epic directed by Renny Harlin. Critical reception is mostly negative. It's in real 3D in some cinemas.

Tai Hong Tai Hian (ตายโหงตายเฮี้ยน) – Thondon Nuansut, Thammanun Sakunbunthanom and Poj Arnon direct this three-segment horror with stories inspired by real-crime cases – a monk who sheds his robes to seek revenge, a passenger van with a checkered past falling from a tollway and a ghost in a building's ventilation system. Rated 18+

Also showing

The Friese-Greene Club – A strange vision of the future in which everyone is drinking generic beer is depicted in the cult classic comedy Repo Man, tonight at 7. Tomorrow is a special event with cinematographer Ross Clarkson taking club members behind the scenes of how to shoot an action film. He'll show Undisputed II. Saturday's controversial film is the highly disturbing Salo, and Sunday is another classic musical, The Sound of Music. Next Wednesday's French crime wave entry is Luc Besson's La Femme Nikita. The FGC is down an alley next to the Queen's Park Imperial Hotel on Sukhumvit Soi 22. With just nine seats, the screening room fills up fast, so reservations are a must. There are often last-minute changes in the schedule. For example, this past Tuesday a special screening of Capote was added as a tribute to the late actor Philip Seymour Hoffman. So please check the website and Facebook page before planning a visit.

Goethe Institut – There are three film events next Tuesday, February 11 – academic Peter Zimmerman will give the talk "Humor is Laughing Despite of It" at 5pm in the Goethe's library, the historical romantic drama Goethe! screens at 6 at the Bangkok Art and Culture Center as part of the German Film Series in collaboration with the Thai Film Archive and the World War II drama Hotel Lux screens outside the Goethe on Sathorn Soi 1 at 7.30pm.

Alliance Française – Guillaume Depardieu stars in the 2008 romantic comedy Les inséparables, one of the last films he made before his death.  The show starts at 7pm on Wednesday, February 12 at the Alliance Française de Bangkok. It's at the intersection of Rama IV and Wireless roads, opposite Lumpini Park in the former location of the Suan Lum Night Bazaar.

Take note

There's a new movie showtimes website, Moveedoo. It doesn't carry the schedules for Apex or House, but you still may want to give it try. Another showtimes site, MovieSeer, went dark awhile back. It had been circling the drain for the past several years.

The Bangkok shutdown is now in its fourth week. Following last Sunday's election, the People’s Democratic Reform Committee has disbanded some of its rally sites, including Victory Monument, Lat Phrao and the Rama VIII Bridge. However, the whistleblowing protesters remain encamped at Pathumwan (near Siam Square), Lumpini, Asoke, Ratchprasong and Chaeng Wattana.

During the day, it is generally safe to go near the protest sites, like say to see a movie at the Scala or Lido. But after dark, it is best to stay away from the rallies, which are guarded by scary-looking paramilitary characters who are likely itching for action.