The Doctor's Consultation:
by Dr. Iain Corness
Your keyboards don’t play music
I received an email from Dr
Michael Moreton, the Senior International Medical Coordinator at the Bangkok
Hospital, who wrote, “I was reminded while reading Dr Iain’s column on the
dangers of computer use of another hidden hazard,” and enclosed the
following article that I am happy to print this week…
It used to be thought that respiratory diseases were transmitted primarily
by droplet infection. You cough or sneeze and bacteria spray out of your
mouth into the air and other people breathe them in; this is one possible
method of infection but that it is not the only method. Touch is equally
important, when you cough, being the well-brought up person that you are,
you cover your mouth, trying to stop you from spraying your bacteria into
the world and onto those around you. Where do the bacteria go? Onto your
hand, of course. Then when you shake hands with a friend, the viruses are
transferred to his hand; he touches his mouth and bingo, scores another
victim for the nasty viruses.
Bacteria and viruses differ in their ability to survive outside the body,
some die in a few seconds; others can survive for long periods. There are
bacteria and viruses everywhere, on clothing, on our skin and on all
surfaces. Money, where do people keep this stuff, in their underwear? No
wonder people launder money - it really needs it.
People under-rate the dangers that on the surfaces that they touch all the
time, furniture, desks, counters, hand rails and when they worry, they worry
about the wrong ones. Work has been done recently looking at where bugs
gather and which surfaces are the most disgusting. The location of the
surface is obviously important, it should be no surprise that hospitals and
doctor’ offices actually tested very badly, as did accountants and bankers.
Lawyers’ offices were much less infested; even bacteria hate to visit a
lawyer. The group of professionals most at risk was teachers; those
coughing, sneezing spluttering kids can really contaminate a place.
There are a few surprises as to which surfaces are dangerous; door knobs and
elevator buttons that have long been thought to be potent sources of
infection were found to be surprisingly clean. It should not surprise us
that the old hand-held telephones are just teeming with microbial life;
perhaps another reason to use your mobile. In the home the bathroom has some
obvious hazards not necessarily from the toilet; sinks are also full of
bacteria, as are over-used towels. But guess what the researchers found to
be the MOST disgusting place, where the highest concentration of nasties
lived, where is the cesspit of infection in our everyday lives? Computer
keyboards, particularly when they are shared, are the most germ ridden
places in the home or office, a veritable Sunday brunch for bacteria. Here
is a jolly little fact - there were more harmful bacteria and viruses on an
average computer keyboard than on the average toilet seat.
My first thought is that you should take your keyboard and plunge it into a
cauldron of boiling water for five or ten minutes; that will definitely kill
all the bugs. Unfortunately my IT guys just told me that that is not good
for the electronics and is not a method recommended to clean keyboards; a
more gentle technique should be used. Start by vacuuming the board, there
are probably enough crumbs and pieces of food down there to make lunch and
that is what the bacteria have been doing. It is also good to vacuum the
outlet from which the hot air is evacuated. There are some commercial sprays
that you can use to clean the keys; spray and wipe clean. Disinfectants can
be applied with a brush or a cloth; they can clean up keyboards and prevent
them from spreading diseases that will end human life on the planet.
Ed’s Note: If you want to use a vacuum cleaner around your keyboard, make
sure that the vacuum cleaner is a “static safe” vacuum cleaner.
(Dr Michael Moreton is the Senior International Medical Coordinator at the
Bangkok Hospital. His keyboard which had previously been named by the World
Health Organization as a plague hazard is now a model of cleanliness.)
Heart to Heart
As usual your column continues to inform and amuse us Thailandaphiles by
both the questions asked, and the answers that you supply. In the April
10th issue there was an interesting letter from ‘Getting Annoyed’ where
he stated his friends were giving him a hard time and intimating he must
be ‘Gay’ because he wasn’t getting involved with some female company.
His comments about how his workmates are regularly ‘cleaned out’ by
their latest girlfriend/mia noi, reminded me of a gay guy I knew years
ago in London. Each time I saw this guy he was full of the tale of how
some new ‘boyfriend’ had cleaned out his flat, after he had left them at
home whilst he went out to work. I wonder if the ‘ladies of the 2nd
category’ in Chiang Mai are as bad as their female counterparts? Strange
how few times (if ever), that relationships between consenting males
seems to require your wisdom. Not that I’m leaning that way, but it
makes one wonder, don’t you think?
Hope you got some chocolate for Easter,
Dear Westralian David,
With your queries and references as to the gay community, you weren’t
Michelangelo’s David were you? Just joking, my Petal, don’t get your fig
leaf in a twist. I believe that there is just as many broken hearts in
all sections of the community; however, the heterosexual one is more
prone to bemoaning its collective fate in public than the homosexual or
women of the second category, who tend to be less demonstrative in the
public gaze. Thank you for asking about the chocolate over Easter. Not
even a Mars bar, let alone chocolate eggs! Next time, please don’t ask,
but just send some instead.
I asked my Thai girlfriend to marry me, but she said that she could not
because her family did not agree. I found this amazing as the girl, a
woman really, is 28 years old and surely old enough to make up her own
mind. We have been dating for the last three months, and I thought
everything was sweet with her parents. I have been married before and
have grown up children, but she does not. Do you think it is because I
am a foreigner? Or is there something else I am missing here? I had
intended taking her back to my home country after we were married.
Dear Totally Dumstruck,
I think there is lots that I am missing in this equation too. Where do
her parents live? Which stratum of society? What are their occupations,
including that of the daughter? Where in the family hierarchy does the
daughter come? All these can have an enormous bearing on the response by
the family, as well as the woman’s adherence to family traditions. You
also have to remember that you are probably more than twice her age, and
again, as you have realized, you are a foreigner. What would your
response be to a daughter of yours who had a boyfriend twice her age,
and a foreigner as well, who might take her away to a foreign country?
You have not been dating very long either, Petal. You may think you know
this woman after three months, but I doubt it. Understanding Thai
society and Thai minds can be a very difficult process for foreigners.
Finally, it could really just mean that she didn’t want to disappoint
you, so used the usual excuse. Sounds like a lost cause. Better start
looking somewhere else.
What do you do about house guests that keep on arriving from the old
country? I’ve had five sets this year and it looks like there are more
coming for Xmas. If I had nothing else to do other than entertain old
friends then it would be fine, but I have work I have to do as well. I
don’t want to give old friends the cold shoulder, but I’m at my wits
end, honestly! What should I do?
Guest house Gertrude
This is a very common problem when you live in a place that other people
save for 11 months to come and visit. It is also very normal for your
old friends to want to see you, and possibly save some money by staying
with you. You actually have the answer already when you called yourself
“Guest house” Gertrude. I suggest that you run your home more on the
guest house lines. Tell your friends that as you have other work to do,
you will leave everything out for them for their breakfast and then you
will meet them for dinner at 7 pm and do things together from there. I
am sure your friends will appreciate that even though they are on
holidays, you are not. They need time to themselves too and will be
grateful for the chances to explore on their own. Have some brochures in
their room with suggested tourist day trips and let them take it from
there. They will be happy, you can do your work, and you can enjoy each
others company at night. Just think about it, you can even get one of
those nice wooden signs with “Gerties Guest House” carved into it.
Camera Class: by
The moon is not made of green cheese
seen a dreadful movie about space travel the other evening, it
reminded me of when the Americans successfully sent John Glenn
up into space again at the ripe old age of 77 years. It also
reminded me of the spectacular photographic images that the
astronauts brought back with them, all those years ago.
The cameras they took up into space were film cameras, much the
same as we used to take on family picnics. The concept was to
record what life was like for our early space travelers and in
fact some of these images were artistically so good that the
pictures became a photography exhibition that toured the world
Unfortunately, they left quite a few of these cameras on the
moon’s surface - so if you’re looking for a cheap Hasselblad
it’s there for the asking. The trip could be a little expensive
however! Hell, if you’d thought about it you could have asked
John Glenn to bring you one back. Would have been duty free too!
Yes, the cameras they took to the moon were mainly Hasselblads -
legendary cameras used by most professional photographers the
world over. The moon cameras had titanium bodies as well!
(Titanium is the second most expensive metal after Unobtanium.)
In my pro studio days, I had two Hasselblad ELM’s and a 500 CM
for back-up when I was heavily involved in commercial
photography. And it was ELM’s the spacewalkers left behind.
Those cameras are notable in the fact that the back is removable
and holds the film inside it. You can shoot one roll and just
clip on another back and keep on shooting. You can also rip off
a shot on color print film and then take the same picture with a
different back loaded with black and white and another with
color slide, for example.
The lenses are among some of the very best in the world. Great
big chunks of optically perfect glass, which can cost well over
200,000 baht in some cases. Hasselblads are no “point and shoot”
cameras, but very serious instruments to record life on earth
(and in outer space) forever.
Interestingly, professional photographers are not in the habit
of running “automatic” cameras, and some of the Hasselblads are
totally “manual” cameras. In this way you can set any of the
parameters of shutter speed or aperture size independently.
Another very different aspect of Hasselblad photography is the
size of the negatives. Instead of the usual small rectangular 35
mm negatives that we have come to accept as “normal”,
Hasselblads produce a square negative 6cm by 6cm. The advantage
here is when making enlargements. You can blow up a 6 x 6
negative to the size of the side of a house before you lose
sharpness. That’s more than you can do with even the best 35 mm
ones! A lot of advertising agencies would only accept the larger
negative format (usually on slide film) for commercial
photography for that reason.
But back to the moon. If you can ever get hold of one, try and
grab a copy of the book called “Sightseeing A Space Panorama”
with the ISBN number 0-394-54243-6. Published in 1985, it has 84
of the most stunning space photographs you will ever see. Shots
of life in space for the astronauts, views of our world as the
space shuttle passed many miles above us, views of the moon. All
of them pin-sharp pictorial documents of our exploration of
space. The final shots should, in my opinion, be made compulsory
study for all of our children and our children’s children. They
record the milestones we, as a species of life, passed on our
way to hereafter. And what’s more they did it on Kodak film and
Hasselblad cameras! A triumph for photography.
Money Matters: Graham
Macdonald MBMG International Ltd.
It’s enough to turn you green - part 1
There isn’t a day that goes by in which
there isn’t another story on global warming and the devastating effect that
it is going to bring upon the planet. Having read copious amounts of
research on the subject, we no longer believe that these stories are scare
tactics on behalf of “greenies” and in fact as the following paragraphs will
attest, global warming is very real and something that is going to
materially affect future generations.
However, if you still remain sceptical after reading this commentary,
remember that in as much as one insures one’s house against the possibility
of fire or flood, even though the event risk is pretty low, not to do so
would be equally risky. The same applies to those today who ignore the risk
of global warming, for surely it is far better today to change our habits
than to wait for younger generations who will end up paying a much higher
price. Just in case the doom-merchants are right we should, literally, clean
up our act now. It is with this in mind that the following has been written,
for whilst the old cynic in me doubts some of the figures bandied around
these days no-one can really deny that there is a problem. As Lincoln once
said, “You may fool all the people some of the time, you can even some of
the people all the time; but you can’t fool all the people all the time”.
What is exactly is global warming?
Global warming is a phenomenon that refers
to the fact that the planet is overheating, not as a natural consequence of
time, but as a result of humans’ actions. The Earth’s surface has undergone
unprecedented warming over the last century, particularly over the last two
decades. Astonishingly, every single year since 1992 is in the current list
of the 20 warmest years on record. The graph below highlights the steady
rise in temperatures that we have been witnessing over the last 20 years.
What is the proof of global warming?
Many sceptics will argue that global warming is a natural
event and one that has been happening since the dawn of time. It is true
that the planet has experienced extremes in temperature over its lifetime,
with the period of the ice age being a good example. However, what makes
weather patterns different today is that man is exacerbating these natural
events and causing large shifts in temperatures to happen much quicker than
In terms of proving this statement,
patterns observed by meteorologists and oceanographers are compared with
patterns developed using sophisticated models of the earth’s atmosphere and
ocean. By matching the observed and modelled patterns, scientists can now
positively identify the “human fingerprints” associated with the changes.
The fingerprints that humans have left on earth’s climate are turning up in
a diverse range of records and can be seen in the ocean, in the atmosphere,
and at the surface. The following list a few of these “fingerprints”:
- Fingerprint 1: The Ocean Layers Warm
The world’s oceans have absorbed about 20 times as much heat as the
atmosphere over the past half-century, leading to higher temperatures not
only in surface waters, but also in water 1,500 feet below the surface. The
measured increases in water temperature lie well outside the bounds of
natural climate variation.
- Fingerprint 2: The Surface Heats Up
Measurements show that the average global temperature has risen by 1.4
degrees Fahrenheit in the last 100 years, with most of that happening in the
last three decades. By comparing earth’s temperature over the last century
with models comparing climate drivers, a study showed that, from 1950 to the
present, most of the warming was caused by heat trapping emissions from
In fact, heat-trapping emissions are
driving the climate about three times more strongly now than they were in
1950. The spatial pattern of where this warming is occurring around the
globe indicates human-induced causes.
In its 2001 report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (a group
of more than a 1000 scientists from dozens of countries), had the following
to say “There is new and stronger evidence that most of the warming observed
over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities.” Carbon dioxide
from fossil fuel burning and land clearing has been accumulating in the
atmosphere where it acts like a blanket, keeping the earth warm and heating
up the surface, ocean, and atmosphere. As a result, current levels of carbon
dioxide in the atmosphere are higher than at any time during the last
The same report also noted that the Antarctic Peninsula has warmed five
times more than the global average, with around 13,500 km2 of ice shelf lost
over the past 50 years and 40% of this happening in the last decade.
Many smaller Antarctic glaciers have undergone significant recent recession
(shrinking); while there is evidence that some of the large ice shelves are
now in recession too.
At the time of the IPCC report, the major West Antarctic Ice sheet was
thought to be stable for many years to come, but recent research has begun
to question this assumption, and the likelihood of collapse now needs to be
reassessed. Such a collapse could lead to rapid increases in sea level, of a
scale up to seven metres if the sheet were to melt completely.
To be continued…
The above data and research was compiled from sources believed to be
reliable. However, neither MBMG International Ltd nor its officers can accept
any liability for any errors or omissions in the above article nor bear any
responsibility for any losses achieved as a result of any actions taken or not
taken as a consequence of reading the above article. For more information please
contact Graham Macdonald on [email protected]
Your Health & Happiness: Traditional Chinese medicine gaining converts
Chinese medicinal halls in Singapore have made moves to
cater to an increasing number of visitors interested in traditional medicine
Thye Shan Medical Hall operations and purchasing manager, Mr Mervyn Chan,
said: “In the past year, there has been an increase of about 40 per cent in
tourists from countries such as Australia, the US, the UK, Germany and
France visiting our shop, and a rise of between 10 to 20 per cent of
visitors from Indonesia.”
Another medical hall in Chinatown, Mei Guo Ginseng, has also noticed this
upward trend. Its supervisor, Ms Ivy Ngan, said: “There is good potential in
the tourist market. In the past, tourists would walk in, look around and not
“But now, they buy things such as bird’s nest, ginseng, medicated oil or
tea. They often buy in bulk, to distribute to their friends and family back
Mr Chan added: “Tourists, especially from Indonesia and even India, are
willing to spend on expensive items such as cordyceps which costs about
US$330 per 37.5g. This boosts immunity and improves the function of the
lungs and kidneys. They also buy lingzhi spore capsules and go for top-grade
ginseng costing about US$660 a box.
“Sometimes, these visitors seek medical treatment from Chinese physicians in
Singapore and they come to us to buy the herbs prescribed. They buy 14 to 30
packets to last them for between two and four weeks each time they fly in.”
The 127-year old Eu Yan Sang is one of the oldest traditional Chinese
medicine (TCM) shops in Singapore. It also has a chain of clinics offering
treatments based on TCM principles. The company has stepped up efforts to
tap the tourist market and introduced traditional Chinese medicine to an
Eu Yan Sang recently opened a shop in The Centrepoint’s new wing and has
retail outlets in high-traffic tourist areas such as Tangs department store
in Orchard Road and Changi Airport. Its historic flagship store at South
Bridge Road and the centrally located The Paragon store in the heart of
Singapore’s Orchard Road shopping belt are popular with tour groups.
Eu Yan Sang spokesman, Ms Joanna Wong, said: “We organize visits to our
Bird’s Nest Gallery at the South Bridge Road shop for groups of tourists.”
Mr. Chan said most of the tourists visiting his shops were part of group
tours, which stop in Chinatown as part of the itinerary. However, he also
receives regular tour groups of about 15 people organized by agents. These
visitors, mostly from Taiwan or China, specifically want to buy Chinese
“The Chinese buy herbs and medicinal products such as bird’s nest from
Singapore as we offer a wider variety. They are also cheaper when compared
to China and most importantly, they are confident they are not buying
fakes,” Mr. Chan said.
Relatively new markets such as the Russians, who are starting to travel to
Singapore for medical treatments, are among those who visit traditional
Chinese medicine shops. Uniglobal Holidays specializes in Russian inbound
traffic to Singapore.
Executive director, Mr. Eric Yap, said: “Traditional Chinese medicine is
getting more popular with the Russians. They ask us to recommend places to
buy herbal tea, medicated ointment and other such products.
“We also package acupuncture and massage therapy for some of our clients.”
To cope with the growing interest in traditional Chinese medicine among
overseas visitors, Eu Yan Sang said it had implemented measures to become
For example, there are English, Mandarin and Japanese language brochures and
panels providing information on the medicinal herbs and products on sale.
The sales staff has been trained to offer product knowledge and can speak
English and Chinese.
All traditional Chinese medicine halls in Singapore have staff that must
complete a two-year training course at the Traditional Chinese Medicine
College in Singapore.
Thye Shan Medical Hall also uses technology to serve the tourist market. Mr.
Chan said: “About 50 per cent of tourists who buy from my shop email or fax
me their orders after they have returned to their countries and I mail the
products to them in Switzerland, Germany, Taiwan and all over the world.”
He plans to have a website ready in a few months so that overseas customers
can place orders and find out about Chinese medicinal products.
Eu Yan Sang is also trying to introduce traditional Chinese medicine to an
international audience, such as those from non-Chinese communities, who may
not be familiar with this approach to health and well-being.
One way it attempts to do this is through its 68-seat restaurant called
Taste, where food is prepared with medicinal products. For example, salmon
is cooked with a Chinese herb xiakucao, which is believed to clear heat from
the body. Then there is the seafood butternut dish that incorporates
honeysuckle tonic and pearl powder.
Even the chocolates here are made using ingredients such as red dates, said
to replenish energy, and ginger, which prevents the accumulation of phlegm.
Taste is part of Eu Yan Sang’s first-ever holistic healthcare store which
opened this January. Called Red White and Pure, it is spread over 9,48m2 at
Singapore’s largest shopping mall, VivoCity. The two-level shop also has a
bar serving herbal tonic drinks, a wellness retreat offering acupuncture and
other treatments, and a retail area selling cosmetic and skin care products
made with organic ingredients.
The company aims to open more of such shops in other cosmopolitan cities
such as New York, Tokyo or London. (TTG)
Films on DVD for Rental in Chiang Mai: Harsh Times
2005, directed by David Dyer
Guns, drugs, alcohol, four-letter words, rap music and
violence: it’s all here in this adrenalin and testosterone laden film. Jim
Luther Davis is an Iraq vet, a Ranger, who is having difficulty with adjusting
to civilian life. We do not know what he was like before his military service,
but we can only assume he is supposed to have been deeply damaged by the
experience (the film opens dramatically enough with action seen through
night-vision goggles) and is now suffering from acute Post Traumatic Stress
Syndrome. Certainly, as he is played, with great brilliance, by Christian Bale
[Batman Begins, The Prestige], who always gives an intense performance, Davis is
a complete sociopath/psychopath. He dreams of becoming a police officer, but
breaks the law all the time (though the police officer we do meet in the movie
is seemingly as lawless as he). He has absolutely no control over his emotions
and suffers ungovernable rages at the slightest provocation [caught by fractured
camera images as his sanity slips and his bloodlust takes over]. He continually
gets his friend [played by Mike Alonzo of Lady in the Water and Poseidon] into
deep trouble through encouraging a dysfunctional life-style. Despite, or
actually because of his instability, he is recruited by a Federal agency to work
on drug suppression in Colombia. Celebrating this leads him into a downward
spiral of violence, a killing spree and death.
It is very hard to know what to make of all this. The director wrote Training
Day and maybe the film is simply supposed to be an exciting cinematic ride.
Certainly the pace and tension in the second half are genuine enough. But if
this is really just an action film, it is a very grim one. It would be improved
by some lighter moments or characters a viewer can care for. Could it be an
exploration of the effects of war on men who have to kill for their country? If
so, it seems one-sided. Such extreme reactions as this are surely not so common,
and, as mentioned, without a little more of the history of Jim Luther Davis we
cannot judge where the problem lies. Could it be a deep-felt attack on the US
military and other uniformed groups? Definitely, the representatives of those
groups we meet in the film are monstrous, but the movie does not feel satirical
or political. In the first half the carefree ‘boys-will-be-boys’ lifestyle is
almost glamorized rather than exposed as wrong. Probably the answer is that Dyer
has not had a clear enough conception of what he wants. The topic proved too
serious for his desire to give us the equivalent of a thrilling cinematic
roller-coaster experience. He gestures towards important issues about soldiers
who have seen action being suddenly returned to humdrum daily life, but has
little to say about them.
I felt rather assaulted by so much anger, bad language and attitude, but the
film has pace, good camera work and committed acting. If Los Angeles, Mexico and
the tough world of the streets sound promising to you, maybe Harsh Times will
fill an evening for you.
Let's Go To The Movies:
Call ahead to confirm as schedules are subject to change
per managements discretion.
Major Cineplex Airport Plaza, Telephone: 053 283-939, Movie times usually
Vista – Kadsuankaew, 4th Floor Kadsuankaew, Telephone: 053 894-415, Times
usually remain the same for entire week.
Vista – 12 Huaykaew, Across from Kadsuankaew, Telephone: 053 404-374, Times
usually remain the same for entire week. Warning: For at least the last
showing of the day, the actual starting time of the movie itself may be up
to 15 minutes ahead of the scheduled time.
Spider Man 3: US Action/Adventure – This is scheduled to open today (May 1)
and will probably saturate the available theater screens, with little else
playing. This film is reportedly the most expensive ever made in US dollars,
with a budget of $250 million. So that means it will be good, right?
Generally favorable reviews: 68 out of 100.
Pathfinder: US /Action – One of the Viking expeditions to reach North
America hundreds of years before Columbus leaves as its only survivor a
10-year-old boy. The child is raised by Indians, who call him “Ghost,”
either because of his pale skin or because they know the film will be
haunted by clichés from a thousand other movies. Years later, the Norsemen
return to exterminate all Indians and only the native-friendly Ghost can
stop them. Dismemberments ensue. Rated R in the US for strong brutal
violence throughout. Generally negative reviews: 28/36 out of 100.
Blood and Chocolate: US Horror – Apparently even worse than the usual
werewolf flick. Generally negative reviews: 33/37 out of 100.
Meet the Robinsons: US Animated/Family – Disney. At Airport Plaza. Not an
animal picture, but about a boy looking in the future for a family to belong
to. A visually impressive children’s animated film marked by a story of
considerable depth. Generally favorable reviews: 61/63 out of 100. Pleasure
alert!! Shown just before this film is a genuine 1938 Walt Disney “Mickey
Mouse” in the original screen size: “The Boat Builders,” with Mickey, Goofy,
and Donald Duck. Hooray!!
Alone (Fad): Thai Thriller – Very much worth seeing. Some genuinely creepy
moments, and the story is fascinating, twisty, and well done.
The Good Shepherd: US Drama/Suspense – At Vista only. Directed by Robert De
Niro, who had been working on this film for ten years as his “pet project.”
The fascinating subject is the birth of the CIA and the life journey of one
of its founding operatives. The prevailing tone of the film is both
cautionary and cynical in its very reasonable assumption that excessive
secrecy can induce excessive paranoia among the operatives and their bosses.
Slow and tough going, but fascinating history. The problem is the man was
known to be emotionless and boring, however powerful; how can you make him
interesting? With great difficulty, and not entirely successfully. Fine
performances by an all-star cast. Rated R in the US, for some violence,
sexuality, and language. Generally favorable reviews: 61/62 out of 100.
Shooter: US Action/Drama – With Mark Wahlberg. An edgy thriller about a
marksman framed as a Presidential assassin. Like the current The Good
Shepherd, an angry warning against the government (any government): “Don’t
trust them!” Mark Wahlberg is superb – a new action star. He did a lot of
research and sniper training with experts to add believability to his
character. For an action movie, terrific! I enjoyed it. Rated R in the US
for strong graphic violence, some language. Mixed or average reviews: 53/56
out of 100.
Me…Myself (Khor Hai Rak Jong Jaroen): Thai Drama/Romance – A man wakes up
with amnesia and falls for a young woman without remembering his true
identity as a gay cabaret singer. I found it of passing interest, but does
an amnesiac also forget his sexual orientation? I don’t think so! That said
Ananda Everingham as the amnesiac gives a fascinating and subtle
performance. Quite an actor!
The Haunted Drum (Perng Mang): Thai Drama/Thriller –Drummer uses haunted
drum, causes many deaths. Looks very bloody indeed!
The Number 23: US Mystery – Jim Carrey as a man obsessed with a book that
appears to be based on his life but ends with a murder that has yet to
happen. Rated R in the US for violence, disturbing images, sexuality, and
language. Generally negative reviews: 24/35 out of 100.
Confession of Pain: Hong Kong Crime/Drama – Tony Leung. From the makers of
“Infernal Affairs.” Twisty crime thriller.
Norbit: US Low Comedy – Raucous, sloppy comedy, primarily a showcase for the
talents of Eddie Murphy as he plays three different characters. NY Times:
“Murphy has always had the ability to turn broad caricature into something
stranger and more inventive. He can burrow alarmingly deep even when playing
broad, easy roles.” “Eddie Murphy gives it his all but Norbit is crass and
unfunny.” Generally negative reviews: 27/33 out of 100.