Let’s go to the movies – Friday June 15 – June 21, 2012

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Now playing in Pattaya

Snow White and the Huntsman: US, Action/ Comedy/ Sci-Fi – I saw the plain old regular 2D version, and thought it a fantastically beautiful film with superb art direction and a fully realized story.  It’s the old tale intact, with every moment, every twist and turn, given full due.  Visually and aurally it is without peer.  

The direction is fine with the exception of the use of the shaky cam in a few places to cheat on the action scenes.  It’s a lazy way of doing things, just making a blur of action so you can’t tell what’s going on, and thus they don’t have to plan out the scene very much.  But it’s use is minimal, irritating because it’s so exceptional otherwise.

Probably you won’t love it much if you have an objection to fairy tales, but for me it is one of the most exciting and satisfying films I’ve seen in some time.  Seemed a never-ending dark feast of surprise after surprise, delight after delight, imaginative horror after bloody evil.  One could talk much about the excellent and imaginative costuming and art direction, and music/sound design.  It all ends in a truly huge battle, unexpected in magnitude and ferocity.  Research on medieval battles and the background of the fairy tale were provided by consultants from the University of Chichester and the University of Oxford.  All in all, just a very well-done film.

Starring Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, and Charlize Theron; directed by Rupert Sanders, making his feature film debut.  Shot mostly in England, with impressive photography at Pembrokeshire with a computer-generated castle.  Mixed or average reviews, but I recommend it highly.  Now in regular 2D only, in English everywhere, except Thai-dubbed at Big C.

Prometheus: US, Action/ Horror/ Sci-Fi – A team of explorers discover a clue to the origins of mankind on Earth, leading them on a journey to the darkest corners of the universe.

There, they must fight a terrifying battle to save the future of the human race.  Directed by Ridley Scott, director of Alien and Blade Runner, who with this film returns to the genre he helped define.  Stars Noomi Rapace, Logan Marshall-Green, and Michael Fassbender.  Generally favorable reviews.  In 3D (English) and 2D (English) at Pattaya Beach; 3D (English) at Major; and both 2D (English) and 2D (Thai-dubbed) at Big C.

Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted: US, Animation/ Adventure/ Comedy/ Family – The Madagascar team of regulars – Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Gloria the Hippo, and Melman the Giraffe – are still fighting to get home to their beloved Big Apple.  Their journey takes them through Europe where they find the perfect cover: a traveling circus, which they reinvent – Madagascar style.  Mixed or average reviews, which call it bright and breezy with fast pacing, bright colors, dazzling circus acts, a vigorous villain, and some new characters.  In 2D (English) at Pattaya Beach and Major; 3D (Thai-dubbed) at Big C.

Chernobyl Diaries: (Scheduled) US, Horror – This low budget horror film is about six vacationers who hire an “extreme” guide to tour the site of a nuclear reactor disaster in a deserted town near Chernobyl.  What starts out as a peaceful trip full of picture taking and jokes soon takes a turn for the worst.  It seems that Chernobyl is not as abandoned as they think and soon the nightmare within decides to hunt the kids through the destroyed city.  The film was written and produced by Oren Peli (the creator of the original ‘Paranormal Activity’) and directed by first time director Bradley Parker on a budget of just $1 million.  Generally unfavorable reviews, such as “there is no good reason why anyone should ever watch this movie!”  Some strongly object to the making of monsters out of the victims of the disaster: “There are 439 operating nuclear power plants in the world today, and that leaves me uneasy.  This movie only leaves me uneasy about the state of film.  It’s as though Chernobyl Diaries was produced by a pro-nuclear committee: blame is shifted elsewhere, and the whole thing is easily forgettable.”  Rated R in the US for violence, some bloody images, and pervasive language.

Men in Black III: US, Action/ Comedy/ Sci-Fi – I saw the 2D version, and I enjoyed it all. The writers and director and actors were having a lot of fun with the story, and the fun was infectious.  There’s a truly enjoyable chemistry between Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith, and as things develop in the story, the same chemistry works just as well between Smith and a younger version of Jones, played by Josh Brolin.  The story has a thoroughly disgusting alien criminal killing the young Agent K in 1969, which naturally alters the timeline, changes the Agency, and places the Earth in danger.  Will Smith as Agent J must travel back in time to 1969 to before the murder and work with the young Agent K to save him, the Agency, the Earth, and humanity itself.  Some amusing comments on the year 1969 for those who can remember.  Mixed or average reviews, saying it does justice to the fun and whimsy of the original, and gives a surprisingly emotional insight into the characters; it’s a solid creature-feature filled with memorable performances and remarkable visual effects.  In converted 3D (English) and 2D (English) at Pattaya Beach; 2D (English) at Major; and 2D (Thai-dubbed) at Big C.

Marvel’s The Avengers: US, Action/ Adventure/ Sci-Fi – Marvel Comics brings its greatest superheroes together in this film, hoping they’ll be enough to smash the evil super-villain Loki (and attract you to the cinema by strength of sheer numbers).  Looks like their strategy is working, as the film is a big hit. It’s quite excellent for this type of film, and you may really enjoy it.  Generally favorable reviews, saying the film lives up to its hype with a script that never forgets its heroes’ humanity.  And that there aren’t many writer-directors around as talented as Joss Whedon.  Indeed, it’s the writing that sets this film apart from the crowd.  At Pattaya Beach and Major only, in English; no longer shown in 3D.

I Miss You: Thai, Drama – A film about a handsome surgeon whose fiancée dies in a car crash and comes back to haunt him when he starts to look at someone new.  In Thai only (no English subtitles) at all locations.