Let's go to the movies - Friday March 30 - April 5, 2012

Friday, 30 March 2012 From Issue Vol. XX No. 13 By  Mark Gernpy

Now playing in Pattaya

Wrath of the Titans / Clash of the Titans 2: US, Action/ Adventure/ Fantasy – Perseus braves the treacherous underworld to rescue his father, Zeus, captured by his son, Ares, and brother Hades, who unleash the ancient Titans upon the world.

A sequel to Clash of the Titans. Not filmed in 3D, but the entire production was conceived as a 3D picture (unlike the first film), with a 3D stereographer on set. (The 3D conversion of the original was an object of universal scorn, as a supreme example of how not to do a 3D conversion.) Stars Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, and Rosamund Pike. No reviews yet, as it doesn’t open in the world until March 30.

The Grey: US, Action/ Adventure/ Drama/ Thriller – A “must-see” film in my opinion. It’s a surprise – a film that’s spiritual, frightening, heartfelt, and thrilling. A tale of survival, populated with fleshed-out characters, and within a surprising philosophical framework. I was truly frightened at several points, with my heart (what’s left of it, after a bypass) pounding. Full of astonishing sequences, spectacular cinematography, excellent performances, and heartfelt ruminations on mortality, faith, masculinity, hope, family, and existence.

It also has really cool wolves. Stars Liam Neeson. Rated R in the US for violence/ disturbing content, including bloody images, and for pervasive language; 13+ in Thailand. Generally favorable reviews, some of which have been extraordinary in their philosophical reflections. Now showing only at Pattaya Beach. (Warning: Sit all the way through the closing credits. There’s one more scene – extremely short – at the very end.) Highly recommended.

The Hunger Games: US, Action/ Drama/ Sci-Fi/ Thriller – Set in a future where the Capitol selects a boy and girl from the twelve districts to fight to the death on live television, one girl volunteers to take her younger sister’s place for the latest match.

With Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth. Generally favorable reviews, saying that it’s thrilling and superbly acted, capturing the dramatic violence, raw emotion, and ambitious scope of its source novel. A 2D film in English, except Thai-dubbed at Big C.

 

Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax 3D: US, Adventure/ Animation – A 12-year-old boy searches for the one thing that will enable him to win the affection of the girl of his dreams. To find it he must discover the story of the Lorax, the grumpy yet charming creature who fights to protect his world.

A mostly delightful plea for saving Nature, and it’s mildly cute and funny. Mixed or average reviews. 3D (English) at Pattaya Beach; 2D (Thai-dubbed) at Major and Big C.

Mirror Mirror: US, Adventure/ Comedy/ Drama/ Fantasy – A retelling of the Snow White tale with some surprising twists. Julia Roberts plays the Evil Queen, Lily Collins plays Snow White, Armie Hammer is the Prince, and the outstanding comic Nathan Lane plays a long-suffering servant of the Evil Queen.

With the Indian director Tarsem Singh, who did “The Immortals” last year. No reviews yet (it just opened today in the rest of the world) but the previews look intriguing. This is a 2D film, in English at Pattaya Beach and Major, Thai-dubbed at Big C.

This Means War: US, Action/ Comedy/ Romance – Two CIA agents, Tuck and Frank, who are also best friends, have been benched because someone’s after them. Tuck is divorced and Frank is a ladies’ man. Tuck decides to try and find someone, so he places his profile on a dating website. Lauren, a woman also looking for a guy sees Tuck’s profile and goes with him.

She later bumps into Frank and he hits on her and she goes out with him. She’s intrigued by both of them. When they learn that they’re dating the same girl, they agree to let her choose. But both can’t help but use their spy skills to keep tabs on her and each other. And also sabotage each other’s dates with her. Stars Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine, and Tom Hardy. Rated R in the US for some sexual content. Generally unfavorable reviews. This is a 2D film in English –  regular at Pattaya Beach and Big C, Digital at Major.

407 Dark Flight 3D: Thai, Horror/ Thriller – Thailand’s first 3D horror movie tells of the shocking experience of a senior flight attendant who has to deal with a supernatural event and mystery on a flight, and her passengers begin to die one by one. English subtitles at all locations.

She / Reung Rak Rawang Ter: Thai, Drama/ Romance – Lesbian love in two stories starring Veteran actress Penpak Sirikul, who appeared earlier this year in the transgender romance It Gets Better. English subtitles; not showing at Major.

John Carter: US, Action/ Adventure/ Fantasy/ Sci-Fi – This film bombed in the US and forced Disney to announce a $200 million operating loss in the second quarter due to the film’s very poor domestic showing. It’s more popular overseas. I saw this in 3D and was quite taken with it – and the 3D was quite excellent. As an old-fashioned pulp-magazine adventure tale, it can’t be beat. No science in this Sci-Fi film, just fantasy, and very well done indeed. You need to let the kid inside you see this. It’s a richly imagined and often spectacular realization of a classic pulp novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Transplanted to Mars, a Civil War vet discovers a lush planet inhabited by 12-foot tall barbarians. Finding himself a prisoner of these creatures, he escapes, only to encounter a princess who is in desperate need of a savior. Directed by Pixar director Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo, WALL•E) in his first live-action film, and it’s a solid achievement in the genre in my opinion. In both 2D and 3D at Pattaya Beach (English); 2D at Major (English); 2D at Big C (Thai-dubbed).

Chronicle: UK/ US, Action/ Drama/ Sci-Fi/ Thriller – Three high school students make an incredible discovery, leading to their developing uncanny powers beyond their understanding. As they learn to control their abilities and use them to their advantage, their lives start to spin out of control, and their darker sides begin to take over. Rated R in the US for some violence; 13+ in Thailand. Generally favorable reviews, saying that though it arrives during a glut of found-footage films, this film transcends its gimmicks with a smart script, fast-paced direction, and engaging performances from its young, talented cast. Not at Big C.

Mae Nak 3D: Thai, Horror – Mae Nak Phrakhanong is one of Thailand’s most enduring figures of horror and despair, and the ghost legend has been told many times in many forms. Here, she gets the 3D treatment. My Thai film guru Wise Kwai says: “Dull.” At Big C only, in 3D, Thai-only.

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