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XI No.11 - Sunday November 4 - Saturday November 17, 2012


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Let's Go To The Movies  by Mark Gernpy

 

Now playing in Chiang Mai through November 14

Skyfall: US/ UK, Action/ Adventure/ Crime/ Thriller – This is a truly enjoyable film for me, and I think possibly the best James Bond film of all time, offering a thought-provoking examination of why 007 endures, both as an on-screen legend and as a harrowing secret agent. Directed by Sam Mendes and starring Daniel Craig, Helen McCrory, and a fantastic Javier Bardem as a villain you won’t soon forget. And, saints be praised, there is no “shaky-cam” used, but just good old-fashioned sturdy film-making. All the more enjoyable for that. Reviews: Universal acclaim, saying that from the opening in Istanbul to the final siege shootout in the Scottish Highlands, the film is a fine and even sentimental spectacle, giving us an attractively human Bond. It’s a 2D film in English; both locations also have a Thai-dubbed version.

It’s the runaway hit in Thailand since it opened last week, and an “unbelievable” overseas mega-hit according to the main industry box office tracker. Pleasurable as the film may be, you still should use earplugs, as the sound seems to be turned up particularly loud for this film, and is hurtful to the ears.

House at the End of the Street: US/ Canada, Horror/ Thriller – A mother and daughter move to a new town and find themselves living next door to a house where a young girl murdered her parents. When the daughter befriends the surviving son, she learns the story is far from over. Stars Jennifer Lawrence, Elisabeth Shue, and Max Thieriot. Generally unfavorable reviews, saying it’s poorly conceived, clumsily executed, and almost completely bereft of scares It strands its talented star in a film as bland as its title. In 2D (English) at Airport Plaza only.

Soob Ku Gu Loke: Thai, Comedy/ Sci-Fi – Two bikers are accidentally involved in a mission to save the world from an alien invasion. With Mum Jokmok and Nakorn "Ple" Silachai. It’s a lot of slapstick silliness with, I’m told, a solid string of toilet gags, all of which will painlessly kill off some of your brain cells. English subtitles at Airport Plaza, Thai only at Vista.

Bloom / Dek Sao: Thai, Drama – A sweet and nostalgic coming-of-age drama about five best-friend schoolgirls in a small Ayutthaya riverside town as they prepare for the annual long-boat race, and face the challenges of growing up. One correspondent says that this “sincere drama does an excellent job of capturing the essence of adolescence, with great performances by the child stars.” English subtitles at Airport Plaza, not playing at Vista.

Silent Hill: Revelation 3D: France/ US/ Canada, Horror/ Mystery/ Thriller – Heather Mason and her father have been on the run, always one step ahead of dangerous forces that she doesn't fully understand. Now on the eve of her 18th birthday, plagued by horrific nightmares and the disappearance of her father, Heather discovers she's not who she thinks she is. The revelation leads her deeper into a strange and terrifying alternate reality – a demonic world that threatens to trap her forever. Director Michael Bassett states that this is a direct sequel to Silent Hill (2006) and that it combines that movie's story with the mythology of the popular video game. Rated R in the US for violence and disturbing images, some language, and brief nudity. Reviews: Overwhelming dislike, saying the film features weak characters, an incomprehensible plot, and a decided shortage of scares, and is a mediocre effort even by the standards of video game adaptations. In 2D (English) at Airport Plaza; 2D (Thai-dubbed) at Vista.

Hortaewtak 4: Thai, Comedy – The fourth installment of the ladyboy horror-comedy series Hortaewtak, directed by Poj Arnon and starring Koeti Aramboy and other Thai male comedians in drag. English at Airport Plaza, Thai only at Vista.

Saranae Osekai: Thai, Comedy – Willy and Hoi, the two pranksters from the popular Thai prank show called "Saranae," travel to Japan to seek new inspiration for their basically slapstick show. In Thai only at both locations.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2: (Scheduled for next Thursday, November 15) US, Adventure/ Drama/ Fantasy/ Romance – This will probably swamp the theaters as fans of the series see the final act of the years-long saga. It will be hard for them to say goodbye to one of recent history's most record-breaking and passionately discussed series. But . . . all things must come to an end, and in this fifth film of the franchise, the existence of Bella and Edward's child Renesmee has attracted the attention of the volatile Volturi, who seem to want nothing more than to take down the Cullen family and end their reign of looking fabulous in the sun. Together, the family assembles clans to help them fight, and the result is sure to be action-packed.

Note: Most everything at Airport Plaza is Digital. Everything at Vista is in 2D, and generally Thai only.


Now playing in Chiang Mai through November 7

Skyfall: US/ UK, Action/ Adventure/ Crime/ Thriller – This is a truly enjoyable film for me, and I think possibly the best James Bond film of all time, offering a thought-provoking examination of why 007 endures, both as an on-screen legend and as a harrowing secret agent. Directed by Sam Mendes and starring Daniel Craig, Helen McCrory, and a fantastic Javier Bardem as a villain you won’t soon forget. And, saints be praised, there is no “shaky-cam” used, but just good old-fashioned sturdy film-making. All the more enjoyable for that. Reviews: Universal acclaim, saying that from the opening in Istanbul to the final siege shootout in the Scottish Highlands, the film is a fine and even sentimental spectacle, giving us an attractively human Bond. It’s a 2D film in English; Vista also has a Thai-dubbed version.

Pleasurable as the film may be, you still should use earplugs, as the sound seems to be turned up particularly loud for this film, and hurtful to the ears. It’s amazing to me sometimes that Major Cineplex ever gets an audience, assaulted as the customers are by the din of the box office area, the extreme cold so often in the cinemas, the hurtful sound levels, the seemingly endless half-hour of commercials and junk the paying customers are subjected to when the lights go down, and now the dangerous lack of adequate railings on the main stairs. (On this last point, I was assured by the marketing manager that plans are underway to put the railings back on the stairs. If indeed that happens, it will be good news indeed.)

Frankenweenie 3D: US, Comedy/ Animation/ Horror/ Sci-Fi – I have to admit I am a fan and admirer of Tim Burton, the writer and director. And of animation. This is a moderately budgeted film rich in imagination: it’s in black and white, and it uses an animation format known as stop motion, which is modestly inexpensive but requires painstaking attention to detail. Tim Burton used this format before, in The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Corpse Bride. I have every expectation that this will be dark and delightful. One correspondent tells me the 3D is excellent and mostly unobtrusive, and that the object textures as shown off by the film technique is particularly satisfying.

The story: After unexpectedly losing his beloved dog Sparky, young Victor Frankenstein harnesses the power of science to bring his best friend back to life – with just a few minor adjustments. Generally favorable reviews, calling it an energetic stop-motion horror movie spoof with lovingly crafted visuals and a heartfelt, oddball story. In black and white 3D, at Airport Plaza only.

Silent Hill: Revelation 3D: France/ US/ Canada, Horror/ Mystery/ Thriller – Heather Mason and her father have been on the run, always one step ahead of dangerous forces that she doesn't fully understand. Now on the eve of her 18th birthday, plagued by horrific nightmares and the disappearance of her father, Heather discovers she's not who she thinks she is. The revelation leads her deeper into a strange and terrifying alternate reality – a demonic world that threatens to trap her forever. Director Michael Bassett states that this is a direct sequel to Silent Hill (2006) and that it combines that movie's story with the mythology of the popular video game. Rated R in the US for violence and disturbing images, some language, and brief nudity. Early reviews: Overwhelming dislike, saying the film features weak characters, an incomprehensible plot, and a decided shortage of scares, and is a mediocre effort even by the standards of video game adaptations. In 3D (English) and 2D (English) at Airport Plaza; 2D (Thai-dubbed) at Vista.

Doraemon: Nobita and the Island of Miracles - Animal Adventure: Japan, Animation – An anime film based on the popular manga and anime series Doraemon. The story: Nobita and Doraemon use the time tree and catch a huge bird which has been extinct for some 500 years. To protect the animal from extinction, Nobita and Doraemon take it to the safe island of Beremon, which is protected by a golden beetle. Thai-dubbed only, at Airport Plaza only.

Paranormal Activity 4: US, Horror/ Thriller – The fourth installment of this found-footage series is the story of Katie and Micah, and takes place five years after Paranormal Activity 2, which ended with Katie kidnapping Hunter. This new story follows the life of Alice, her boyfriend Alex, her mother, and her brother Wyatt, as paranormal activity starts to occur in their home when Katie and Hunter (now called Robbie) move into the neighborhood. Rated R in the US for language and some violence/terror; 18+ in Thailand. Mixed or average reviews. Airport Plaza only, in English.

Hortaewtak 4: Thai, Comedy – The fourth installment of the ladyboy horror-comedy series Hortaewtak, directed by Poj Arnon and starring Koeti Aramboy and other Thai male comedians in drag. English at Airport Plaza, Thai only at Vista.

My Name is Love: Thai, Drama/ Romance – A bad boy falls for the girl next door, but he isn't sure if she would accept his love as he once rejected her love when they were young. Stars Arak Amornsupasiri. In Thai only, at Vista only.

Saranae Osekai: Thai, Comedy – Willy and Hoi, the two pranksters from the popular Thai prank show called "Saranae," travel to Japan to seek new inspiration for their basically slapstick show. In Thai only at both locations.

Note: Most everything at Airport Plaza is Digital. Everything at Vista is in 2D, and generally Thai only.


Playing in Chiang Mai

Skyfall: US/ UK, Action/ Adventure/ Crime/ Thriller – Possibly the best James Bond film of all time, say those who have seen it, offering a thoroughly entertaining and thought-provoking examination of why 007 endures, both as an on-screen legend and as a harrowing secret agent. Directed by Sam Mendes and starring Daniel Craig, Helen McCrory, and Javier Bardem. Reviews: Universal acclaim, saying that from the opening in Istanbul to the final siege shootout in the Scottish Highlands, the film is a supremely enjoyable and even sentimental spectacle, giving us an attractively human Bond.
Frankenweenie 3D: US, Comedy/ Animation/ Horror/ Sci-Fi – I have to admit I am a fan and admirer of Tim Burton, the writer and director. And of animation. This is a moderately budgeted film rich in imagination: it’s in black and white, and it uses an animation format known as stop motion, which is modestly inexpensive but requires painstaking attention to detail. Tim Burton used this format before, in The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Corpse Bride. I have every expectation that this will be dark and delightful. The story: After unexpectedly losing his beloved dog Sparky, young Victor Frankenstein harnesses the power of science to bring his best friend back to life – with just a few minor adjustments. Generally favorable reviews, calling it an energetic stop-motion horror movie spoof with lovingly crafted visuals and a heartfelt, oddball story. In black and white 3D, at Airport Plaza only.
Silent Hill: Revelation 3D: France/ US/ Canada, Horror/ Mystery/ Thriller – Heather Mason and her father have been on the run, always one step ahead of dangerous forces that she doesn’t fully understand. Now on the eve of her 18th birthday, plagued by horrific nightmares and the disappearance of her father, Heather discovers she’s not who she thinks she is. The revelation leads her deeper into a strange and terrifying alternate reality – a demonic world that threatens to trap her forever. Director Michael Bassett states that this is a direct sequel to Silent Hill (2006) and that it combines that movie’s story with the mythology of the popular video game. Rated R in the US for violence and disturbing images, some language, and brief nudity. Early reviews: Overwhelming dislike, saying the film features weak characters, an incomprehensible plot, and a decided shortage of scares, and is a mediocre effort even by the standards of video game adaptations. In 3D (English) at Airport Plaza; 2D (Thai-dubbed) at Vista.
Rain – The Best Show 3D: Korea, Musical/ Concert – A 3D movie featuring K-pop international star Rain’s last concert before his military enlistment last October. The concert was filmed in September 2011 at Seoul Olympic Park’s Gymnastics Stadium during the last stop of his world tour. The 1 hour and 35 minutes 3D movie features the highlights of the 2 hour 30 minute concert, and the 3D effects heighten the intensity of the concert. Just remember this is basically a concert movie, with no storyline, no plot, just the star and his dancers. In 3D, Korean soundtrack, English subtitles, once a day, 7 pm or so, at Airport Plaza only.
Looper: US/ China, Action/ Sci-Fi/ Thriller – A highly acclaimed Sci-Fi movie starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a mob hitman who assassinates targets that arrive blindfolded from the future. For him it’s just a job ... till a new target he receives turns out to be himself from the future. He hesitates, resulting in the escape of his older self. Also stars Bruce Willis and Emily Blunt. Rated R in the US for strong violence, language, some sexuality/nudity, and drug content; 18+ here. Reviews: Universal acclaim, calling it as thought-provoking as it is thrilling, and delivers an uncommonly smart, bravely original blend of futuristic sci-fi and good old-fashioned action. English at Airport Plaza, Thai-dubbed at Vista.
Doraemon: Nobita and the Island of Miracles - Animal Adventure: Japan, Animation – An anime film based on the popular manga and anime series Doraemon. The story: Nobita and Doraemon use the time tree and catch a huge bird which has been extinct for some 500 years. To protect the animal from extinction, Nobita and Doraemon take it to the safe island of Beremon, which is protected by a golden beetle. Thai-dubbed only, at Airport Plaza only.
Paranormal Activity 4: US, Horror/ Thriller – The fourth installment of this found-footage series is the story of Katie and Micah, and takes place five years after Paranormal Activity 2, which ended with Katie kidnapping Hunter. This new story follows the life of Alice, her boyfriend Alex, her mother, and her brother Wyatt, as paranormal activity starts to occur in their home when Katie and Hunter (now called Robbie) move into the neighborhood. Rated R in the US for language and some violence/terror; 18+ in Thailand. Mixed or average reviews. Airport Plaza only, in English.
Hortaewtak 4: Thai, Comedy – The fourth installment of the ladyboy horror-comedy series Hortaewtak, directed by Poj Arnon and starring Koeti Aramboy and other Thai male comedians in drag. English at Airport Plaza, Thai only at Vista.
My Name is Love: Thai, Drama/ Romance – A bad boy falls for the girl next door, but he isn’t sure if she would accept his love as he once rejected her love when they were young. Stars Arak Amornsupasiri. English at Airport Plaza, Thai only at Vista.
Yak: The Giant King: Thai, Animation/ Adventure – This Thai animated film is loosely based on the Ramayana epic, told through the adventures of a couple of tin robots. Another large step forward for Thai animation. It’s from a highly successful pop-oriented producing company famous for fashioning numerous hit TV series that are usually derided by critics. But Prapas Cholsaranon – one of the chief creative geniuses of the company – has a definite vision for Thai pop culture. He is one of the two driving forces behind this film, the other being the chief animator, Chaiyaporn Panichrutiwong, trained at US animation studios, and the chief draftsman of the film. An innovative and distinctly Thai film. It’s a 2D film, in Thai, with English subtitles at Airport Plaza; Thai-only at Vista.
Taken 2: France, Action/ Crime/ Drama/ Thriller – Liam Neeson returns as a retired CIA agent who stops at nothing to save his daughter from Albanian kidnappers; it’s a sequel to the 2008 film. Mixed or average reviews, saying it’s a cynical, contemptuous film whose sole reason for existing appears to be to squeeze the pockets of anyone who enjoyed the first movie. Now at Vista only, and in 2D (Thai-dubbed).
Saranae Osekai: Thai, Comedy – Now the top box office draw in Thailand. Willy and Hoi, the two pranksters from the popular Thai prank show called “Saranae,” travel to Japan to seek new inspiration for their basically slapstick show. In Thai only at both locations.
Note: Most everything at Airport Plaza is Digital. Everything at Vista is in 2D, and generally Thai only.
For updated movie information and reviews, check the Chiang Mai Mail movie column online. It’s updated every Saturday!


 
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]]

Now playing in Chiang Mai through November 14

Now playing in Chiang Mai through November 7

Playing in Chiang Mai

 

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