Let’s Go to the Movies – Friday 4 – 10 Feb 2011

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Now playing in Pattaya

The Green Hornet: US, Action/ Comedy/ Crime – Christof Waitz, Cameron Diaz, and Seth Rogen as the Hornet.  Apparently only sporadically entertaining, but of special interest to Asians because the role of Cato is played by superstar Jay Chou.  Generally unfavorable reviews.

Shaolin / New Shaolin Temple: Hong Kong/ China, Action/ Drama – A story of Shaolin monks who protect and shelter civilians during war, this is a big budget spectacle that doesn’t rely on star power and action to deliver the goods, but actually is a thinking man’s film on the philosophical aspects of Buddhism.  Unfortunately, it’s shown in Thailand only in a Thai-dubbed version.  Starring Jackie Chan and Andy Lau.

The Tourist: US, Action/ Drama/ Thriller – A thoroughly enjoyable espionage caper/ romance.  Highly recommended, if you don’t go expecting an action-packed film with Jolie kicking butt.  Here Angelina Jolie is demure, however deadly, and we don’t see her tattoos.  She and Johnny Depp come on as two stars having a bit of fun together in an enchanting story and script, deceptive on several levels.  Depp plays an American tourist whose playful dalliance with a stranger leads to a web of intrigue, romance, and danger.  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.  See it!  Generally unfavorable reviews.  Not at Big C.

The Fighter: (scheduled) US, Biography/ Drama/ Sport – Highly praised film likely to be a serious contender for many Oscar honors.  A drama about boxer “Irish” Micky Ward’s unlikely road to the world light welterweight title.  His Rocky-like rise was shepherded by half-brother Dickie, a boxer-turned-trainer who rebounded in life after nearly being KO’d by drugs and crime.  With Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale, giving two outstanding performances.  Rated R in the US for language throughout, drug content, some violence, and sexuality.  Generally favorable reviews.  Major Cineplex only.

Burlesque: US, Drama/ Musical/ Romance – A big, bold, brassy retelling of the old show-business story: A small-town girl ventures to Hollywood to become a star, starting off in a burlesque club run by a former dancer.  With true star turns by Cher and Christina Aguilera, refereed by the stable and sane Stanley Tucci.  Terrific music and dancing, and if that’s what you’re in the mood for, this will do very nicely.  Rated R in the US for language throughout, drug content, some violence, and sexuality.  Mixed or average reviews.  Not at Big C.

Bangkon Care: Thai, Drama/ Romance – A girl is separated from her first true love, and then desperately tries to find him again using today’s modern tools: Facebook and Twitter.

Meet the Parents: Little Fockers: US, Comedy/ Family – Must we?  In this third installment of the series, the test of wills between Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller escalates to new heights – or would that be depths?  If you’re planning to see this mess, I don’t even want to know about it.  Generally unfavorable reviews.  Not at Big C.

The Child’s Eye: (perhaps) Hong Kong, Horror – By the Pang twins, Danny and Oxide, and touted as Asia’s first digital 3D horror film!  Stranded in Thailand by the political uprising and airport closure (surely not in Thailand!), a group of friends are unable to return home.  Unwillingly, they stay in a shabby hotel (the film was shot in Bangkok), and come across three odd children and a puppy, and the beginnings of supernatural encounters.

Megamind: US, Animation/ Action/ Comedy – I found this rather cute and funny, and at times hilarious.  But you do have to like animation.  About the unhappiness of a most brilliant but unsuccessful supervillain who over the years 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.  In top notch 3D, and only at Pattaya Beach.

Lud See Lud / The Four: Thai, Action/ Drama – Anthology of four stories, a combination of action, thriller, comedy, and drama, but it looks to focus on the horror with some action and comedy thrown in.  Ananda Everingham (Shutter, The Red Eagle) stars in the more action-oriented segment.

Sud Khet Saled Ped: Thai, Comedy – Kohtee Aramboy and Tukkie are among the ever-present Thai comedians in this film with an untranslatable title, engaged in comic antics much like all that has gone before in Thai comedies.  Except that, well, it seems to be exactly what a great segment of the population wants to see.  It is a phenomenal hit, still at the top of the charts after five weeks.

Hor Taew Taek 3 / Oh My Ghost 2: Thai, Comedy/ Horror – More of this dreadful story that is so popular here, about the haunted dorm and its unfortunate owners.  The three owners face a new wave of horror and horrible comedy when they visit a mysterious fraternity house and meet a handsome vampire and a werewolf.  Another Poj Arnon directorial effort focusing on cross-dressing and gay characters and the laughs that can be got from them.

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.  At Big C only.

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.  Generally favorable reviews, and I say, “See it!”  It’s been hanging on a long time at Pattaya Beach, but may finally have left by now.

Gulliver’s Travels (3D): US, Adventure/ Comedy/ Fantasy – A dreadful film in my opinion, one of the worst I’ve ever seen.  If you truly love Jack Black’s comedy, then you might be amused by this, otherwise stay away.  Live action, not animated.  Generally unfavorable reviews.  In cheesy 3D, and only at Pattaya Beach, if still around.

Maybe?

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

Hereafter: US, Drama/ Fantasy – Clint Eastwood’s latest directorial effort, and it’s a good one.  Matt Damon is one of three people Eastwood studies, each with a different experience of an aspect of life after death.  What do these people believe, what causes them to think that way, and what is the truth?  Fascinating dramas on the topic, well done. Mixed or average reviews.

Fair Game: US, Biography/ Drama/ Thriller – Taut and exciting tale of dirty deeds by the White House.  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.

The King’s Speech: UK/ Australia, Drama/ History – One of the top contenders for best picture and 11 other Oscars, 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.