Let’s go to the movies – Friday August 17 – August 23, 2012

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Now playing in Pattaya

The Bourne Legacy: US, Action/ Adventure/ Thriller – Jason Bourne (played in the three previous films by Matt Damon), the cause of all the mayhem, is not in fact in this film.  It retains the name Bourne to identify it as a continuation of the franchise.  The protagonist here is played by Jeremy Renner, in yet another CIA black ops program that the CIA decides to terminate after the disastrous events depicted in the first three films.  It’s directed by Tony Gilroy, the screenwriter for the previous films.  Generally favorable reviews, saying in general that It isn’t quite as compelling as the earlier trilogy, but nevertheless proves the franchise has stories left to tell — and benefits from Jeremy Renner’s magnetic work in the starring role.  In 2D (English) at Pattaya Beach and Major, 2D (Thai-dubbed) at Big C.

Brave: US, Animation/ Action/ Adventure/ Comedy/ Family/ Fantasy – Set in Scotland in a rugged and mythical time, about an impetuous daughter of royalty.  It’s produced by Pixar Animation Studios for Walt Disney, and is Pixar’s first fairy tale, and somewhat darker and more mature in tone than its previous films.  Generally favorable reviews, saying it offers young audiences and fairy tale fans a rousing, funny fantasy-adventure with a strong female protagonist, and surprising depth.  In 3D (English) at Pattaya Beach, 2D (Thai-dubbed) at Major and Big C.

Total Recall:  US/ Canada, Action/ Adventure/ Sci-Fi – This is a remake of the 1990 science fiction film which starred Arnold Schwarzenegger.  This one stars Colin Farrell, with Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel, directed by Len Wiseman.  It’s set in 2084, and the plot involves a factory worker who suffers from violent nightmares, and takes advantage of the services of a corporation that provides its clients with implanted artificial memories of the lives they would like to have.  Mixed or average reviews, saying that it has some impressive action sequences but lacks the intricate plotting, wry humor, and fleshed out characters that made the original a sci-fi classic.  In 2D (English) at Pattaya Beach and Major; 2D (Thai-dubbed) at Big C.

Echo Planet: Thai, Animation/ Family – A Thai animated feature by the studio that gave us the hit cartoon Khan Kluay six years ago.  It’s about three youngsters determined to save the world from global warming, and how traditional folk wisdom can do more to tackle world-wide problems than high-tech devices.  Has gotten some highly appreciative reviews.  At present it seems to be playing in Thai only at Pattaya Beach (in 3D) and Big C (in 2D); no longer at Major.

The Expendables 2: (Scheduled) US, Action/ Thriller – The Expendables are reunited for what should be an easy paycheck, but when one of their men is murdered on the job, their quest for revenge puts them deep in enemy territory and up against an unexpected threat.  Stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Jason Statham, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Jet Li, and Sylvester Stallone; directed by Simon West.  No reviews yet.  Rated R in the US for strong bloody violence throughout.

Step Up 4 / Step Up Revolution:  US, Drama/ Music/ Romance – If you like the Step Up films, there’s no reason you won’t enjoy this one.  The dance sequences are lively and spectacular, and there is something endearing about this series that separates them from other dance flicks: they know that they aren’t high art, don’t take themselves too seriously, and simply enjoy themselves.  Their predictable and moronic story lines are only an excuse to showcase some mad dance moves that you’ll never get to see in real life.  Mixed or average reviews, but on the low side.  In 3D (English) at Pattaya Beach and Major; 2D (Thai-dubbed) at Big C.

Sat2Mon / Kuen Won Sao: Thai, Comedy/ Romance – A love-stricken young man is seeking help to date his dream girl from the girl’s best friend.  It’s said to have some cute and endearing moments along the way to a predictable ending.  With English subtitles at all locations.

Seven Something / Rak Jet Pee Dee Jet Hon: Thai, Comedy/ Romance – Three love stories from three generations, designed to celebrate the seventh year of the film studio GTH, home of many Thai hits, starting with the 2003 childhood romance Fan Chan (My Girl), one of my most favorite of all Thai films.  In 2D with English subtitles at all locations.

The Dark Knight Rises: US/ UK, Action/ Adventure/ Crime/ Thriller – If you at all enjoyed the first two in this series, you will enjoy this one too.  All in all, it’s a fitting and satisfying conclusion to the series, with much to commend it.  This is without doubt one of the darkest mainstream films ever made, with an unrelieved depiction of the worst of human behavior.  Even though the film is rated “G”, the dark is so unrelieved that it really makes me question whether I can consider it entertainment.

It is well made, there are fine performances, the movie craft in every department is superb.  It’s directed again by Christopher Nolan, with Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Caine, Anne Hathaway, and Morgan Freeman.  The movie was shot in 2D on film, which the director prefers for its photographic qualities which he finds superior in so many ways to digital, with about half of it shot in IMAX format for added detail, but again using film not digital capture.  The director strongly insists that the movie be shown using film, not digital, and it does appear to be shown this way in Pattaya.  It’s presented in English, except Thai-dubbed at Big C.  Generally favorable reviews.

Ice Age 4: Continental Drift: US, Animation/ Adventure/ Comedy/ Family – Manny the mammoth, Sid the sloth, and Diego the sabre-toothed cat embark upon a great adventure after a cataclysm sets an entire continent adrift.  Meanwhile, Scrat continues to chase his elusive acorn.  Mixed or average reviews, saying that the visually inventive film has moments of charm and witty slapstick, and the 3D looks terrific.  Now only at Pattaya Beach, in 3D (English) – as of Wednesday.  Very good family fare.