Make Chiangmai Mail | your Homepage | Bookmark

Chiangmai 's First English Language Newspaper

Pattaya Blatt | Pattaya Mail

 
 

Let's Go To The Movies  by Mark Gernpy

 

Now playing in Chiang Mai through November 21.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2: US, Adventure/ Drama/ Fantasy/ Romance – This is pretty much swamping the theaters as fans of the series see the final act of the years-long saga. It will be hard for the fans to say goodbye to one of recent history's most record-breaking and passionately discussed series. But . . . all things must come to an end. 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. You’re not going to get any help from me in deciding if the film is for you. I am not about to rush to see it. Surely you know by now if this series is for you. Mixed or average reviews, saying though it might be the most enjoyable chapter in the series that won't be enough to make the movie worth watching for those who don't already count themselves fans. One reviewer admitted, “The big action scene is so campily over the top - with one twist so unforeseeable - that it sent me out on a burst of grudging goodwill.” A 2D film in English at Airport Plaza; also a Thai-dubbed version at both locations.

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.

It’s the runaway hit in Thailand since its opening, 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. Don’t know why Major Cineplex insists on continuing with such a demonstrable health hazard.

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.

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. In Thai only, and 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, and only at Vista.

Premium Rush: (Scheduled for next Thursday, November 22) US, Action/ Thriller – Wilee (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is one of 1,500 bike couriers in Manhattan who rides on the edge – he has a bike with no brakes. On this day, Wilee has a delivery that’s so valuable that a corrupt NYC Detective, who needs money, begins to chase him through the city to get it before the envelope is delivered. Generally favorable reviews, saying it's built out of familiar parts, but no matter how formulaic the storyline might seem, it's elevated by high-octane action and enjoyable performances..

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 – 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 been a runaway hit in Thailand since its opening, 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.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2: US, Adventure/ Drama/ Fantasy/ Romance – This will probably be swamping the theaters when you read this, 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.

Cloud Atlas: (Scheduled for November 29) Germany/ US/ Hong Kong/ Singapore, Drama/ Mystery/ Sci-Fi – Schedule yourself to see this twice, as it’s one of the most complicated films of recent years. Critic Roger Ebert says surely this is one of the most ambitious films ever made. “But, oh, what a film this is! And what a demonstration of the magical, dreamlike qualities of the cinema.” Written and directed by Lana Wachowski, Tom Tykwerand, and Andy Wachowski, and starring Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, Jim Broadbent, Susan Sarandon, and Hugh Grant. Rated R in the US for violence, language, sexuality/nudity, and some drug use. Mixed or average reviews, saying its sprawling, ambitious blend of thought-provoking narrative and eye-catching visuals will prove too unwieldy for some, but the sheer size and scope are all but impossible to ignore.

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.

Life of Pi: (Scheduled for December 20) US, Adventure/ Drama – Get ready for this experience! You might want to read the book before you see it, if you haven’t already. I am really looking forward to this one: a deeply religious story everyone including the author considered unfilmable. Pi is raised a Hindu, but as a fourteen-year-old he is introduced to Christianity and Islam, and starts to follow all three religions as he “just wants to love god.” The core of the story has Pi, now a beautiful young man, shipwrecked at sea for 227 days in the company of a fully-grown Bengal tiger. At the moment, seems to be a shoe-in for the Oscar best picture. Directed by Ang Lee. Reviews: Universal acclaim.

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 21.

Playing in Chiang Mai