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Wise Kwai's Bangkok Cinema Scene
What's playing in Bangkok cinemas?
Permalink : http://blog.nationmultimedia.com/wisekwai
Thursday , December 25 , 2008
Bangkok Cinema Scene: Movies opening December 25-30, 2008
Posted by wisekwai , Reader : 3651 , 17:32:45   | Category : cinema scene   Thai film  
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4 Romance (Fan Waan Aai Joop)

A Christmas-time movie might be becoming something of a tradition for director Chukiat Sakweerakul. Last year around holiday time, his Love of Siam was released in cinemas, and indeed Christmas was an integral part of the film.

This Christmas, Chukiat sees the release of 4 Romance (Fan Waan Aai Joop, ѹ-ҹ--ٺ), a four-segment omnibus in which he participates along with Prachya Pinkaew, Bhandit Thongdee and Rachen Limtrakul. With romance as the overarching main theme, the film also seeks to explore four different genres - comedy, action, musical and drama.

4 Romance looks to be following the successful formula laid out by rival studio GTH with the horror omnibus 4bia, and to a certain extent GTH's ensemble romance Hormones.

But 4 Romance has the solid success of the critically acclaimed Love of Siam to build on, and it features the stars of Love of Siam, among them Mario Maurer and "Pitch" Witwisit Hiranyawongkul. They are just a small part of the sprawling ensemble cast.

Chukiat is directing the musical segment called Dream (Fan), which features Pitch and the August band. There's also a music video for the band's song, "Kwam Rak" ("Love").

Mario is featured in Joop (Kiss), which is directed by Rashane, a producer at RS Film, but he also edited Chocolate. I guess this is the action segment, seeing how much of the trailer for 4 Romance is taken up by Mario and his mug, which has been beaten and bloodied. Turns out all he was trying to do was keep his girlfriend's first kiss stolen by another guy.

Prachya directs Waan (Sweet), starring the versatile Shahkrit Yamnarm and Suthida Kasemsan na Ayutthaya as a couple whose romance has seen better times. "Saipan" Apinya Sakuljaroensuk figures into this segment somehow.

Shy (Aai), directed by Bhandit, stars actress "Tan" Kanya Rattanaphet (girl-next-door Ling from Love of Siam), and a new face actor, "Boy" Pakorn Chadborirak. I can't quite make out what the segment is all about, except that involves the couple at the beach, giving each other significant glances from a distance.


Super Hap

The influence of Korean pop culture has been evident on the streets of Bangkok for the past several years, as seen from the mashed-up, bedhead hair styles worn by boys.

There's even been concerts in the past year or so by such K-pop artists as superstar Rain and the 13-member boyband Super Junior, who were greeted by overwhelming crowds of squealing teenyboppers.

The trend is finally making its way into Thai film with Super Hap (Super ˺-ʺ-кѴ), set for release in Thai cinemas on Christmas Day.

Film Rattapoom stars as a pretty boy named Teung who is friends with songwriter Tom (Kittisak Udomnak), and they dream of making it big as singing stars. The problem is that Teung can't sing, while Tom has tons of talent but his chubby body and dark skin aren't the image the record companies are looking for.

In a set-up that echoes the plot of 200 Pounds Beauty, Teung is made the star who lip-synches while Tom is backstage singing - a scheme that is bound to unravel.

It's directed by Pisut Praesangeam and is being produced by Avant/RS Film.

The always-watchable character actress Noawarat Yuktanund also stars as a record company exec.

There's a subtitled trailer at YouTube.


Australia

Baz Luhrmann directs this super-stylized, sweeping epic, using a broad brush to paint Australian culture across several genres, including western, war movies and romance (and a little bit of Wizard of Oz thrown in).

Nicole Kidman stars as a cold aristocratic Englishwomen who arrives in the Northern Territory during the outbreak of World War II. She's hoping to help her husband get his struggling cattle ranch back in order. But the husband is dead. Nicole hires the enigmatic Drover (Hugh Jackman, always framed heroically) to drive her to the ranch. She then engages "Mr. Drover" to lead a cattle drive to Darwin.

Of course there is a rival cattle baron who seeks to make things difficult. And the the shadow of Australia's "stolen generations" looms, as the authorities seek to take away a little Aboriginal boy who is central to the plot and helps bring "the Mrs." and "Mr. Drover" together.

I saw Australiawhen it opened inthe States last month. It's close to three hours long, but is nothing but sheer spectacle - worth seeing on the big screen.


Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa

Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer and Jada Pinkett Smith again voice zoo animals in this sequel to DreamWorks 2005 animated feature.

The scene-stealing penguins are also back, and they've fixed an airplane to fly the lion, zebra, hippo and giraffe from Madagascar to mainland Africa, where for the first time, the animals will meet their own kind in the wild.

Comedian Bernie Mac is among the celebrity voices this time around. In one of his last performances before he died earlier this year, Mac portrays Stiller's lion king father.

Other voices this time around include Alec Baldwin as another lion and Cedric the Entertainer as a ladies-man hippo.

It's in regular cinemas, but there's also a digital version at IMAX.


Also showing

Generational and cultural clashes color The Bands Visit, showing on Friday at Chulalongkorn University.

In this dry-witted Israeli comedy, an Egyptian police band is sent to Israel to perform at the opening of an Arab cultural centre, but the group turned out in natty sky-blue uniforms ends up in the wrong town. Its a dusty village where a hard-bitten cafe owner declares there is no culture at all.

The musicians have no choice but to spend the night in the town. A conflict between the bands austere, tradition-minded conductor and a young, hot-to-trot, Chet Baker-obsessedtrumpeter develops. Meanwhile, the female cafe owner has an eye for the band leader.

It was Israels pick for last years foreign-language Oscar, but was disqualified because it has too much English.

The showtime is at 5. The movie is on DVD with English subtitles. Admission is free.

After this week, the festival goes on hiatus until January 23, and then runs until February 6. The screenings are in Room 503 on the fifth floor of the Boromrajkumaree Building.

Call (02) 218 4802 or visit ChulaFilmFest.multiply.com.


Opening next week

There are a bunch of coming attractions next week, and they are set to open a day earlier than usual, on Wednesday instead of Thursday, to take advantage of the New Year's Eve holiday. Here's the tentative list:

  • Bedtime Stories
  • Deep in The Jungle
  • George Romero's Diary of The Dead
  • Happy-Go-Lucky
  • Mutant Chronicles
  • The Spirit

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