Thursday, October 9, 2014

Bangkok Cinema Scene: Movies opening October 9-14, 2014

The Babadook

A widowed mother struggles to raise her six-year-old who has constant nightmares about The Babadook, a creature coming to kill them both. When a disturbing storybook mysteriously turns up, the boy is convinced that the book's main character is the killer creature. Eventually, the mother begins to see glimpses of a sinister presence all around her. Essie Davis, Daniel Henshall and Tiffany Lyndall-Knight star.

Actress Jennifer Kent (Babe: Pig in the City) makes her directorial debut with this indie Australian horror.

Winner of prizes at several genre film fests,  critical reception is crazily positive, with the consensus being it's "real horror rather than cheap jump scares – and boasts a heartfelt, genuinely moving story to boot." Rated 15+

Also opening

Autómata – It's I, Robot with a Spanish accent in this sci-fi thriller produced by and starring Antonio Banderas as an insurance investigator for a robotics company. It's a time when Earth's ecosystem has collapsed and humans are totally dependent on robots. Similar to Asimov's I, Robot, the 'bots are governed by two rules – they shalt not harm a human nor shall they modify themselves or other robots. Evidence emerges that they are breaking those protocols. So Banderas' Jacq Vaucan is on the case, and what he discovers has profound consequences for the future of humanity. Brigitte Sorensen, Dylan McDermott, Robert Foster and Tim McInnerny also star along with Banderas' ex-wife Melanie Griffith as a tinkerer who makes sex robots that look and sound like her. Spanish visual-effects specialist Gabe Ibáñez directs and is a co-writer of the script. Autómata screened in competition at the San Sebastian Film Festival. Critical reception is mixed. Rated 13+

Wai Peng Nakleng Kha San (วัยเป้งง นักเลงขาสั้น, Dangerous Boys) – Director Poj Arnon, always looking for a buzzworthy topic to hang a movie on, uses Bangkok's often bloody street wars between gangs of trade-school students as a backdrop for this coming-of-age drama about "frenemies" Peng and Ting, who fight whenever they meet. Rated 15+

The Prince – A retired assassin (Jason Patric) is drawn back into his old life when his daughter is kidnapped by a gangster named The Pharmacy (Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson). To rescue her, he must confront an old rival (Bruce Willis). John Cusack, looking particularly weary, also stars. Brian A. Miller (The Outsider) directs. Critical reception is very poor. Rated 18+

Roaring Currents – Choi Min-sik (Oldboy) portrays wily Korean Admiral Yi Sun-shin, who with only 12 ships in his fleet, defeated more then 300 Japanese vessels in 1597’s Battle of Myeongryang. I can only assume the Japanese admiral's name was Ackbar. It's Thai-dubbed in most places except for SF cinemas at CentralWorld and Terminal 21. Rated 15+

Haider – Shakespeare's Hamlet is adapted for this drama about a poet returning home to Kashmir following the death of his father. As he confronts his uncle, he finds himself dragged into the politics of the restive region. Shahid Kapoor stars along with Tabu, Shraddha Kapoor, Kay Kay Menon and Irrfan Khan. This is the third Shakespeare adaptation by director Vishal Bhardwaj, who did Macbeth with 2003's Maqbool and Othello with 2006's Omkara. Controversial because of the contentious Kashmir setting, critical reception has been generally positive. It's in Hindi with English and Thai subtitles at Major Cineplex Sukhumvit and Rama III. Opens Friday.

Also showing

The Friese-Greene Club – Tonight, Maggie Cheung has a snug-fitting silk dress to match every scene. It's In the Mood for Love, Wong Kar-wai's exquisitely haunting tale of unrequited romance in 1960s Hong Kong. Tony Leung also stars. Tomorrow's cult classic is the dark comedy about a nasty group of high-school girls, Heathers, starring Winona Ryder. On Saturday, walk the beat with tenacious New York cop Popeye Doyle and his partner Cloudy as they try to bust a train-hopping drug smuggler in The French Connection. One of the best movies ever made, it's part of a monthlong look at the tense world of director William Friedkin. Sunday is another classic Hitchcock, with James Stewart peeping at Raymond Burr in Rear Window. And next Wednesday's tribute to Sir Richard Attenborough is his Oscar-winning biopic Gandhi, starring Sir Ben Kingsley. Shows are at 8pm. The FGC is down an alley next to the Queen's Park Imperial Hotel on Sukhumvit Soi 22. There's just nine seats, so book them. Also, check the Facebook page for updates and program changes.

Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand – Filipino cinema comes into focus on Monday in the FCCT's Contemporary World Film Series with Ekstra (The Bit Player). Vilma Santos, the reigning marquee queen of Pinoy cinema in the 1960s, stars as a background actress who has spent her career toiling away on soap operas, dreaming of her big break. It won several awards at last year's Cinemalaya Film Festival, including the Audience Choice and best acress for Santos. The screening is courtesy of the Embassy of the Philippines, with Ambassador Jocelyn Batoon-Garcia on hand to offer snacks and drinks from her country. The show is at 7pm on Monday, October 13 at the FCCT. Admission for non-members is 150 baht plus 100 baht for the eats and San Miguel suds.

Alliance Française – Classic French films are on offer in October with the theme of "eternal thrillers". Next week's offering is 1965's Pierrot le fou by French New Wave stalwart Jean-Luc Godard. Jean-Paul Belmondo stars as a bored Paris man whose life turns exciting when he travels to the Mediterranean with a young woman (Anna Karina) and the pair end up being chased by Algerian hitmen. It's in French with English subtitles at 7pm on Wednesday, October 15. And if you miss it next week, it'll be shown as part of the big French line-up at the World Film Festival of Bangkok, running October 17 to 26 at SF World at CentralWorld.

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