Let’s go to the movies – Friday 6 May – 12 May 2011


Now playing in Pattaya

Thor 3D: US, Action/ Fantasy – Thor, a powerful but arrogant warrior, is sent down to Earth as punishment for reigniting a reckless war.  But after a dangerous villain from his world sends dark forces to invade Earth, the hammer-wielding Thor learns what it takes to be a true hero.

Directed by the top Shakespearian director of our time, Kenneth Branagh – slumming, as it were.  Shown in both 2D and converted 3D versions, it’s heightening the 3D controversy.  Filming started in true 3D but was quickly abandoned, after one day, in favor of post-production 3D conversion, with complaints that the 3D cameras and accessories were too cumbersome and unwieldy.  The studio and director are happy with the 3D conversion, but many viewers hold that the 3D is unimpressive, and claim that the 2D version is sharper and brighter, and thus superior.  The 3D version is at Pattaya Beach, 2D versions at all locations, with Big C showing only a Thai-dubbed version.  Early reviews: generally favorable and a sight for Thor eyes.

Rio 3D: (Shown in digital 3D at Major) US, Animation/ Adventure/ Comedy –  A simple and charming movie, big and bright.  Set in the city of Rio de Janeiro and the lush rainforest of Brazil, this comedy-adventure about Blu, a rare macaw who thinks he is the last of his kind.  From the makers of the Ice Age series.  Generally favorable reviews.  Now at Major only.  I really enjoyed this one.

Source Code: US/ France, Mystery/ Romance/ Sci-Fi/ Thriller – I think it’s simply terrific in all ways as a thriller and mystery.  It stars an excellent Jake Gyllenhaal as a soldier who wakes up in the body of an unknown man only to discover he’s part of a mission to find the bomber of a Chicago commuter train.  A younger brother to Inception, it has the complex infrastructure of top-tier science fiction.  Gripping, well directed, well acted; I highly recommend it.  Generally favorable reviews.  Now at Pattaya Beach only.

Monsters: UK, Drama/ Sci-Fi/ Thriller – A highly regarded and dynamite little film, loaded with atmosphere, intelligence, beauty, and courage.  An amazing achievement for a “first-time” filmmaker, which measures up to the finest indies for performance and character-work.  It’s based on characters, relationships, fear, and mostly unseen menace.  The plot: six years previously NASA discovered the possibility of alien life within our solar system.  A probe was launched to collect samples, but crashed upon re-entry over Central America.  Soon after, a new life form began to appear, and half of Mexico was quarantined as an Infected Zone.  Today, the American and Mexican military still struggle to contain “the creatures.”  The film’s story begins when a US journalist agrees to escort a shaken tourist through the infected zone in Mexico to the safety of the US border.  Rated R in the US for language.  Generally favorable reviews.  At Pattaya Beach only, if still around.

Drive Angry: US, Action/ Thriller – Nicolas Cage as a hardened felon who has broken out of Hell for one last chance at redemption.  That’s literally Hell – underscored by his character’s name: John Milton. Intent on stopping a vicious cult who murdered his daughter, he has three days to stop them before they sacrifice her baby beneath a full moon.  Has been described as an exercise in deliberate vulgarity, gross excess, and the pornography of violence.  Created in 3D rather than a post production conversion, the 3D is thus better than most.  Rated R in the US for strong brutal violence throughout, grisly images, some graphic sexual content, nudity, and pervasive language; 18+ here.  Mixed or average reviews.  In 3D at Major, and 2D (so far) at Pattaya Beach.  Not at Big C.

Ironclad: UK/ US, Action/ Adventure – A violent action thriller about a crew of tough, battle hardened warriors in the middle ages who withstood several brutal and bloody months under siege in the year 1215 in England in a desperate bid to defend their country.  The rebel barons of England forced their despised King John to put his royal seal to the Magna Carta, a noble and vastly important document that upheld the rights of free men.  Within months of pledging himself to the great charter, the King reneged on his word and assembled a mercenary army with the intention of bringing the barons and the country back under his tyrannical rule.  Most reviewers seem to think it’s too gory for its own good.  Rated R in the US for strong graphic brutal battle sequences, and brief nudity; 18+ in Thailand.  Early reviews: Mixed or average.  Not at Big C.

Fast Five / Fast & Furious 5: (Scheduled) US, Action/ Crime/ Drama – Vin Diesel and Paul Walker lead a reunion of returning all-stars from every chapter of the explosive franchise built on speed.  Bigger, louder, sillier – and the most exciting of the series.  Generally favorable reviews.

King Naresuan Part III: Naval Battle: Thai, Drama/ War – The third chapter of the King Naresuan epic, continuing the story of Thai’s king and warrior in the Ayudhya era who fought against the invasion of Burmese troops that aimed to overpower the Ayudhya Kingdom.  The details are superb and reflect a lot of research in the design, and much skill and craftsmanship in the execution.  If the emotions and plot seem wooden, remember the difficulty in creating a drama that offends absolutely no one (with the single exception of the Burmese; that’s allowed).  The film is rated “P” for “Promote” – meaning the Thai government has given it its seal of approval, and everyone should go see it.  It is, to be sure, spectacular.  I personally found the blood and gore of the endless killings at the climactic battle to be too much.  All locations have English subtitles.

World Invasion: Battle Los Angeles: US, Action/ Sci-Fi/ Thriller – Here the invaders are aliens, and the movie I think is designed to show how Marines would likely handle an attack from extra-terrestrials, if it were all up to them.  Los Angeles becomes the last stand for mankind and Marine staff sergeant Aaron Eckhart and his new platoon must draw a line in the sand and take on the enemy.  I enjoyed Aaron Eckhart in this film – felt it was a very good performance indeed.  And I thought it was overall a fair action film.  Generally unfavorable reviews.  Thai-dubbed at Big C, English elsewhere.

Ladda Land: Thai, Horror/ Mystery – A family moves into a new house where they gradually begin to encounter paranormal and horrifying events.  Rated 18+.

Jakkalan: Thai, Action/ Comedy – ‘Jeeja’ (Chocolate and Raging Phoenix) is back in a new action comedy directed by an acclaimed director Petchtai Wongkamlao, aka Mum Jokmok.  The lives of an uncle and his niece Jakkalan turn into chaos after she is hired to transport smuggled goods to ruthless gangsters.

Scream 4: US, Horror/ Mystery/ Thriller – Gentle, grandfatherly, scholarly Wes Craven revisits his horror franchise.  Rated R in the US for strong bloody violence, language, and some teen drinking. Rated 18+ in Thailand.  You know what you’re in for.  Mixed or average reviews.  Not at Big C.

Ha Zard: Thai, Comedy/ Drama – When a university of comedians is facing a downturn and all its comedians are endangered, some comedy students team up to save everyone’s career.  Has at least a cameo from every comic in Thailand, plus excessive excrement and flatulence comedy routines – so very popular.  Some really gross stuff. Big C only.