Let’s go to the movies – Friday September 16 – September 22, 2011

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Now playing in Pattaya

The Outrage / U Mong Pa Meung: Thai, Crime/ Mystery – Adapted from the famed Japanese film Rashomon, this beautiful and brooding Thai version takes place in a wood during Thai’s Lanna period.  There’s a mysterious murder, and the event is told at a hastily convened court by several of the participants and eye-witnesses.   Each swears to their story, but the stories are all different.  Beautifully acted by Ananda Everingham, Chermarn Boonyasak, Mario Maurer, and Mum Jokmok, directed by ML Bhandevanop Devakul and developed by him from his play of 20 years ago.  Highly effective, and I recommend you see it.  With English subtitles at all locations.

Johnny English Reborn / Johnny English 2: (Scheduled) US/ France/ UK, Comedy – Rowan Atkinson returns to the role of the most unlikely intelligence officer in Her Majesty’s Secret Service, where he must stop a group of international assassins before they eliminate a world leader and cause global chaos.

Shark Night 3D: (Scheduled) US, Horror/ Thriller – A weekend at a lake house in the Louisiana Gulf turns into a nightmare for seven vacationers as they are subjected to fresh-water shark attacks.  Generally unfavorable reviews.

Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark: (Scheduled) US/ Australia/ Mexico, Horror/ Thriller — Produced and co-written by Guillermo del Toro.  The original of this was a television thriller from 1973 which so bewitched the then 9-year-old del Toro that he then and there determined on a life of making fantasy horror films – which he has done.  A young girl sent to live with her father and his new girlfriend in Rhode Island discovers creatures in her new home who want to claim her as one of their own.  They say it starts out being quite scary indeed.  With Guy Pearce and Katie Holmes.  Rated R in the US for violence and terror.  Mixed or average reviews.

Fright Night: US, Comedy/ Horror – Strange how views can differ about a film: this has gotten generally favorable reviews, reviewers saying it’s smart and funny, as well as stylishly gory.  But I think it’s one of the most abysmally awful movies I’ve seen in some time — with abominable acting and directing, and a stupid script full of dirty talk and gratuitous vulgarity.  It’s a remake of the 1985 cult classic, in which a teenager (Anton Yelchin) guesses that his new neighbor (Colin Farrell) is a vampire responsible for a string of recent deaths.  When no one he knows believes him, he enlists a self proclaimed vampire killer and Las Vegas magician to help him take down the evil creature.  Rated R in the US for bloody horror violence, and language, including some sexual references; 18+ in Thailand.  As of Wednesday it was in 3D at Pattaya Beach and Major, 2D (Thai-dubbed) at Big C.

Colombiana: US/ France, Action/ Adventure/ Drama – A young woman, after witnessing her parents’ murder as a child in Bogota, grows up to be a stone-cold assassin.  Stars Zoe Saldana (from Avatar) and she is a riveting presence onscreen indeed.  Co-written by Luc Besson (Arthur and the Invisibles) and directed by Olivier Megaton (Transporter 3).  I liked it as an action flick.  I found it intriguing and exciting, and chock-full of action, sex, and violence – so much so that’s it’s rated 18+ in Thailand (but only PG-13 in the US).  Mixed or average reviews.  Thai-dubbed at Big C; English elsewhere.

Love, Not Yet / Rak Jud Nak: Thai, Comedy/ Romance – Thai Rom-Com about, what else, teenaged love and sex.  This Thai ensemble film is a package of three stories by different directors on the subject of teen pregnancy – and high-school, unplanned pregnancy, at that. Not at Major.

Zookeeper: US, Comedy/ Family/ Romance – I’ve seen this, and some of the animal antics made me laugh, and I dare say everyone will find them amusing to watch.  But I think your overall appreciation of the film will depend purely on how interesting you find the two human leads, Kevin James and Rosario Dawson, and their rocky road to romance.  I’m not enamored of either.  Generally unfavorable reviews.  At Pattaya Beach and Major; at Major it’s in Digital (but not 3D).

Bangkok Kung Fu: Thai, Action/ Comedy – Five kids flee from underworld figures who turned them into beggars.  Taken in and taught by a kung fu master, they are now grown up and return for revenge for their destroyed lives.  With Love of Siam star Mario Maurer.  Thai-only at Big C; English subtitles at Pattaya Beach; not at Major.

Final Destination 5: US, Horror/ Thriller – Death is just as omnipresent as ever in this the fifth of this series (over eleven years!) about death not liking it when he’s cheated of his victims.  One man’s premonition saves a group of coworkers from a terrifying suspension bridge collapse.  But since this group of unsuspecting souls was never supposed to survive, each one is stalked by a particularly inventive death.  Rated R in the US for strong violent/ gruesome accidents, and some language – 18+ in Thailand.  As of Wednesday it was playing in 2D in English everywhere, except Thai-dubbed at Big C. Mixed or average reviews.

Conan the Barbarian 3D: US, Action/ Adventure/ Fantasy – The tale of Conan the Cimmerian and his adventures across the continent of Hyboria on a quest to avenge the murder of his father and the slaughter of his village.  Relentless and gory violence which they say is faithful to the original books, but also has shallow characters, dialogue, and acting.  Has a lot of unnecessary 3D effects.  Rated R in the US for strong bloody violence, some sexuality, and nudity.  Generally unfavorable reviews, and I’m skipping it.  In 3D only at Pattaya Beach; not at Big C.

Cowboys & Aliens: US, Action/ Sci-Fi/ Thriller – Whatever were they thinking?  This is a film in which characters with ugly personalities do unpleasant things to each other – the characters being humans, semi-humans, and aliens.  Try as I might, I can’t think of one reason why anyone should want to see this.  Very mixed styles, very mixed messages, all of it uncomfortable.  Also, strangely, it feels like a cheap film to me – despite the high-priced help of Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford.  Looks like it was shot on a studio back lot.  Mixed or average reviews.  As of Wednesday it was in English everywhere, except Thai-dubbed at Big C.