Now playing in Pattaya - 7 Jan - 13 Jan 2011

Thursday, 06 January 2011 From Issue Vol. XIX No. 1 By  Mark Gernpy

Now playing in Pattaya

Megamind: US, Animation/ Action/ Comedy – Actually, believe it or not, I found this rather cute and funny.  But you do have to like animation.  About the unhappiness of the most brilliant supervillain the world has ever known ... and the least successful.  Over the years, he has tried to conquer Metro City in every imaginable way.  Each attempt, a colossal failure, thanks to the caped superhero known as “Metro Man,” until the day one of Megamind’s evil plans actually defeats him.  Generally favorable reviews.

Hereafter: (perhaps) US, Drama/ Fantasy – Matt Damon in a film by Clint Eastwood, which investigates what three people know about the afterlife.  What do people believe, and what is the truth?  Mixed or average reviews.  But it sounds fascinating to me.

Hor Taew Taek 3: Thai, Comedy/ Horror – More of this dreadful story that is so popular here, about the haunted dorm and its unfortunate owners.  After defeating the wicked ghost in Part 2, the three owners face a new wave of horror and horrible comedy when they visit a mysterious fraternity house and meet a handsome vampire.  Oh, and werewolf.  Another Poj Arnon directorial effort focusing on cross-dressing and gay characters and the laughs that can be got from them.  Both the title and the advertising posters have run afoul of the Thai censors at the Ministry of Culture, and have been toned down.

Tron: Legacy: US, Action/ Adventure/ Sci-Fi/ Thriller – Garrett Hedlund as a rebellious 27-year-old, haunted by the mysterious disappearance of his father, played by Jeff Bridges, a man once known as the world’s leading video-game developer.  Looking into his father’s disappearance, he finds himself pulled into the same world of fierce programs and gladiatorial games where his father has been living for 20 years.  Father and son embark on a life-and-death journey across a visually stunning cyber universe that has become far more advanced and exceedingly dangerous.

In this film, 3D is an integral part of the experience, so yes, see it in 3D if you have a choice.  They used an updated version of the 3D camera system that James Cameron used to make Avatar, and by all reports, the 3D is spectacular and cutting-edge.  Bridges, say the reports, is simply sensational.  Mixed or average reviews.  3D only at Pattaya Beach, also 2D there and elsewhere, Thai-dubbed at Big C.

The Tourist: US, Action/ Drama/ Thriller – Johnny Depp stars as an American tourist whose playful dalliance with a stranger leads to a web of intrigue, romance, and danger.  With Angelina Jolie, directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (The Lives of Others – a very fine film!).  This one is delicious, sensual, and light in a way that mainstream entertainments almost never are these days.  It’s one of those movies that will leave some viewers scratching their heads, wondering why there isn’t more action, more snazzy editing, more obvious crackle between its stars.  But the people who get it will simply adore it: It’s a kind of espionage caper that’s visually sensuous, made with tender attention to detail, and an elegant, understated sense of humor.  In style and construction, it’s the offspring of Stanley Donen’s Charade.  Generally unfavorable reviews.  Thai-dubbed at Big C.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader: US, Adventure/ Family/ Fantasy – I found this an excellently crafted movie, and quite superlative of its type.  It’s a detailed fantasy about a magical land, and if you like that sort of thing, or your kids do, then you will love this.  Overall, the special effects and the magic were just exceedingly well done, and the animated characters excellent.  Only in 2D now, and not at Big C; information as of last Wednesday.  Mixed or average reviews.

Yes or No: Thai, Comedy/ Romance – A sweet girl off to college finds her roommate to be somewhat of a guy-looking and guy-acting tomboy, and very different from her.  As they get to be friends, they get to be very close friends, and the question is whether it’s friendship or something more fun.  Probably not, because the film is only rated 15+, but the filmmakers play around with the idea.

Saranae Hen Pee: Thai, Comedy – Ghosts, mayhem, and Mario Maurer. Two guys run afoul of a mobster and hide out at a Buddhist temple, which, wouldn’t you know, turns out to be haunted.

Sud Khet Saled Ped: Thai, Comedy – Kohtee Aramboy and Tukkie are among the ever-present Thai comedians in this film, which film, would imagine, is not handling sexual matters with very much delicacy, to gauge from 1,412 past examples.

Unstoppable: US, Action/ Drama/ Thriller – Exciting thriller starring Denzel Washington taming a runaway train, and it might just be the most entertaining movie you will see this year.  Seems everybody is enjoying this one, I certainly did. Fun all the way through – if you’re in the mood for a runaway train movie, and who isn’t now and then?  Generally favorable reviews, and I say, “See it!”  Pattaya Beach only, but may have left by now.

Pu Chai Lulla: Thai, Comedy/ Romance – Three fun-loving married guys always sneaking off to cheat on their wives.  Just an extended TV comedy show, with Mum Jokmok and the usual Thai comedians.  Not at Major.

Maybe?

If the following arrives, grab the chance and see it:

Fair Game: US, Biography/ Drama/ Thriller – Director Doug Liman’s fact-based drama of former US ambassador Joseph Wilson; his wife, Valerie Plame Wilson; and the events of 2003, when her identity as a CIA operative was leaked in retaliation by the White House after her husband wrote an op-ed piece criticizing the US invasion of Iraq.  Generally favorable reviews.

Due 13 Jan

Burlesque: US, Drama/ Musical/ Romance – A small-town girl ventures to Los Angeles and finds her place in a neo-burlesque club run by a former dancer.  With Cher, Christina Aguilera, and Stanley Tucci.  It seems to be an attempt at a hybrid between Cabaret and Chicago, with mixed results.  Rated R in the US for language throughout, drug content, some violence, and sexuality.  Mixed or average reviews.

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