Let’s go to the movies – Fri 25 – 31 March 2011

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Now playing in Pattaya

127 Hours: US/ UK, Drama – You do want to see this, believe me.  It’s fantastic!  Sounds grim, but actually not that bloody; the major action is performed with a modicum of taste, in my opinion. And the musical score is a marvel, doing all sorts of things to help you keep things in perspective.

This film was nominated for the following Oscars: best picture, best actor (James Franco), best adapted screenplay, film editing, original score (the marvelous A.R. Rahman, composer for Slumdog Millionaire), and best original song.  This Danny Boyle film, based on true events, features James Franco as hiker Aron Ralston, who becomes trapped under a boulder while canyoneering alone near Moab, Utah, in the United States.  Over the next five days Ralston examines his life and survives the elements to finally discover he has the courage and the wherewithal to extricate himself whatever it takes, then scale a 65 foot wall, and hike over eight miles before he finds help.  Throughout his journey, Ralston recalls friends, lovers, family, and the two hikers he met before his accident.  Rated R in the US for language and some disturbing violent content/ bloody images. Reviews: Universal acclaim.  At Major only.

SuckSeed: Thai, Comedy/ Musical – Tells the story of teenage boys who form a rock band called SuckSeed just to impress the girls.  But things get complicated when a girl joins the group.  Directed by Chayanop Boonprakob.  It’s showing on so many screens at the moment, it’s almost guaranteed to become a hit.

Just Go with It: US, Comedy/ Romance – A RomCom with little rom and even less com.  Adam Sandler continues his fascination with kids, poop, and mammary glands.  I’d say don’t even think of going with it.  Generally unfavorable reviews.

Rango: US, Animation/ Action/ Adventure/ Comedy/ Family/ Western – It’s a delight!  Rango is an ordinary chameleon who accidentally winds up in the town of Dirt, a lawless outpost in the Wild West in desperate need of a new sheriff.  Directed by Gore Verbinski (Pirates of the Caribbean) and starring Johnny Depp, it’s the first full-length work of animation created by the special-effects company Industrial Light & Magic.  Generally favorable reviews – but from reading what the reviews actually say, you’d think it was universal acclaim!  Not in 3D, and some think all the better for it! Thai-dubbed at Big C.

Rapunzel / Tangled (3D):  US, Animation/ Comedy/ Family – Known as Tangled in the English speaking world and Rapunzel here.  Terrific old-fashioned Disney magic.  The baby Princess Rapunzel is kidnapped from the palace by wicked Mother Gothel, who knows that the golden hair of Rapunzel has magical powers within, and to stay young, she must lock Rapunzel in her hidden tower.  Rapunzel is now a teenager, has been in the tower her entire life, and her hair has grown to a length of 70 feet.  She plots her escape.  In Digital 3D, and only at Pattaya Beach.  Generally favorable reviews.

The Adjustment Bureau: US, Romance/ Thriller/ Sci-Fi – An entertaining fantastical puzzle.  On the brink of winning a seat in the US Senate, ambitious politician David Norris (Matt Damon) meets beautiful contemporary ballet dancer Elise Sellas (Emily Blunt) – a woman like none he’s ever known.  But just as he realizes he’s falling for her, mysterious men conspire to keep the two apart.  David learns he is up against the agents of Fate itself – the men of The Adjustment Bureau – who will do everything in their considerable power to prevent David and Elise from being together.  He must either let her go and accept a predetermined path … or risk everything to defy Fate and be with her.  Mixed or average reviews.  At Pattaya Beach only.

Unknown: US, Action/ Drama/ Mystery/ Thriller – Dr. Martin Harris awakens after a car accident in Berlin to discover that his wife suddenly doesn’t recognize him and another man has assumed his identity.  Ignored by disbelieving authorities and hunted by mysterious assassins, he finds himself alone, tired, and on the run.  Aided by an unlikely ally, Martin plunges headlong into a deadly mystery that will force him to question his sanity, his identity, and just how far he’s willing to go to uncover the truth.  With Liam Neeson.  Mixed or average reviews.  Not at Big C.

Red Riding Hood: US/ Canada, Fantasy/ Horror/ Mystery/ Thriller – Set in a medieval village that is haunted by a werewolf, a young girl falls for an orphaned woodcutter, much to her family’s displeasure.  Directed by Catherine Hardwicke (the first Twilight, and Thirteen), starring Amanda Seyfried, Julie Christie, and Gary Oldman.  Adds a Twilight influence and bloodthirsty twist to the old fairy tale.  Generally unfavorable reviews.

The Unborn Child / Sop Dek 2002: Thai, Horror/ Mystery – An opportunistic horror film based on last November’s scandal when 2002 aborted fetuses were discovered at a Buddhist temple in Bangkok after the temple’s crematorium broke down, and the resultant smell had neighbors complaining.  Directed by Poj Arnon (Bangkok Love Story).

Love Julinsee Rak Man Yai Mak: Thai, Drama/ Romance – Squeaky-clean teen love during a music festival.  Not at Major.

I Am Number Four: US, Action/ Sci-Fi/ Thriller – Teenager John is an apparently average high school student, but is really a secret alien on the run (“alien” in the planetary sense).  Taking a little of this and that from ten or so recent teen-oriented franchises, the movie hopes to start another series that will sweep audiences off their feet and into cinemas in droves.  And if not all moviegoers, at least teen-age girls, who alone make up a very lucrative market.  I found it okay and mostly enjoyable until producer Michael Bay’s destructive impulses take over at the violent end.  Generally unfavorable reviews.  At Pattaya Beach only.

Hug Na Sarakam: Thai, Comedy/ Romance – Transvestite indie filmmaker Tanwarin Sukkhapisit, director of the banned social drama Insects in the Backyard, goes commercial with her latest effort.  It’s a sunny comedy and countryside ode about the love lives of youngsters in Maha Sarakham, the predominantly rural province in the culturally distinct region of Thailand’s northeast, Isaan.  They engage in romantic shenanigans that have nothing to do with Isaan’s usual sorry image of pitiable farmers.  In Thai only.

Maybe?

This may still show up; if so, see it!

The King’s Speech: UK/ Australia, Drama/ History – Really a good movie experience, and the actors were given fun things to do.  Won Oscars for best picture, best director (Tom Hooper), best actor (Colin Firth), and best original screenplay – in fact, rather a sweep!  This is the story of the suddenly crowned King George VI of England, who suffers from a debilitating speech impediment.  With his country on the brink of war and in desperate need of a leader, his wife, Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter), the future Queen Mother, arranges for her husband to see an eccentric speech therapist. Reviews: Universal acclaim.