Asian arena - films from Thailand, Vietnam, etc

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Re: Asian arena - films from Thailand, Vietnam, etc

Postby hengcs » Wed Mar 15, 2006 11:04 am

Dorm (Dek Hor) (2006) (Thailand)


Director: Songyos Sugmakanan
Cast: Chalee Trairat, Jintara Sugapat, Siranath Jianthavorn

This is a box office hit in Thailand ...

My thoughts ...

- If the film is marketed as a horror film, it is not scary enough.

- If it is marketed as a drama film, in particular, a movie about FRIENDSHIP
(with themes such as "loneliness", "understanding", etc),
the second half of the film can be rather touching ...

- It is also a movie about growing up ...

- Half way through, you more or less can guess who is the ghost ...
however, how the whole story gets pieced together is still interesting ...
and the ending is not bad ...

Conclusion:
Between above average and recommended ...
while the first half tries to be scary, the second half is rather touching ...
so, it all depends on what you expect ...
hengcs
 


Re: Asian arena - films from Thailand, Vietnam, etc

Postby hengcs » Thu Aug 10, 2006 2:11 pm

Hey,
those from Singapore ...
are you catching any of these?
wanted to ... BUT I am too busy ...

www.gv.com.sg/Booking/aseanff.htm
and
www.gv.com.sg/Booking/sawadee.htm
hengcs
 

Re: Asian arena - films from Thailand, Vietnam, etc

Postby justindeimen » Thu Aug 10, 2006 4:11 pm

Ah? You mean me :P ?

Yes I'll be attending a few of the ASEAN ones and definitely the Chai Lai one on Monday. After that I'll see how goes it...I'm indeed excited to meet the girls starring in Chai lai's Angels
justindeimen
 

Re: Asian arena - films from Thailand, Vietnam, etc

Postby hengcs » Mon Sep 11, 2006 1:59 am

Hi,
I have just attended the Asian Film Symposium,
see
www.substation.org/6afs/index.htm

I just want to recommend this new link ...
see
www.thaiindie.com/

For those who are a fan of Apichatpong Weerasethakul
here is an interview
criticine.com/interview_a....php?id=24
hengcs
 

Re: Asian arena - films from Thailand, Vietnam, etc

Postby hengcs » Mon Sep 11, 2006 4:17 am

Tom Yum Goong (2005) (Thailand) is now showing in US, but with a different title ... The Protector.
hengcs
 

Re: Asian arena - films from Thailand, Vietnam, etc

Postby A » Sun Sep 17, 2006 5:13 pm

Hmm... interesting interwiev with Weerasethakul. I'm reading a collection of essays on film and architecture right now, and I love his comments about the connections between the two fields. seems like he also has some good ideas for the national film industry, though i must admit that I am quite ignorant about such issues, and have to struggle to understand some of the concepts.
A
 

Re: Asian arena - films from Thailand, Vietnam, etc

Postby justindeimen » Fri Oct 06, 2006 1:10 pm

Ong-Bak

Review:

Quote:Evoking the duality of good and bad through the pastoral simplicity of the Thai countryside and the seedy underbelly of Bangkoks prostitution and drug trade, Ong-Bak argues its principles with a brutally honest knee to the face of the Wests creeping cultural domination of Asia. The filmmakers present this as a homage to the visual masters in Besson, Spielberg and most of all the glut of Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan fighting vehicles that saw them fleeting from hordes of non-descript assailants through literally tight spaces. Tony Jaas prototypical monastic role as an avenging warrior for the lower rung of Thailand is no different from his role in this films follow-up international moneymaker, Tom Yum Goong or more particularly known as The Protector.

Other than its similarities in characters, Jaa has to retrieve his temples talismanic Buddha statue head (the titular Ong-Bak) that is being held for ransom by Bangkok druggist, Don instead of being commissioned to rescue his elephants from animal traders in its structural and thematic progeny, Tom Yum Goong. The stoic (by choice?), reticent country boy is thrust into a dodgy and faced with dangers at every corner, mostly by evil and greedy men trying to make a quick buck from Jaas expertise with his elbows and knees.

The most apparent hint of the veracious nationalism that Ong-Bak suffuses between its prolonged chase sequences and high kicks to head are set in the dingy underground fighting club where patrons of all nationalities and races huddle together, hand on each others shoulders while corralling a motley collection of ribald pugilists hoping to best each other blow for blow to receive that plate of prize money.

In steps Jaa with his tattered temple habits, unaware of the monetary reverence for such an occasion. As the newly crowned fighting champion rushes towards Jaa with a fists clenched, up goes Jaas knee to deliver a knockout that silences the raucous crowd. In yet another scrap at the same club, a brawny Aussie lout bellows across the room to Jaas disinterested character after nearly decimating his previous opponent who jumped in to rescue a damsel as said lout was groping her repeatedly. Rounding off his character as best the writers could, his soft spot for rescuing distressed women prevails and Jaa unleashes a torrent of body blows onto the racist, sexist and eventually vanquished miscreant, resulting in the long overdue return to the main plot.

Playing as though through a series of videogame levels varying in difficulty, the settings and pliable environments start to change but not the fighters. Each opponent are nothing but fodder to the invincible Jaa as he dispatches each one of them with astonishingly legerdemain and a refreshingly straightforward temerity unseen in any city boy that knows whats best for him and his limps. This machine of a man probably leaves behind a hundred men in his wake until he reaches the tough final boss stage, the right hand stooge of the villainous old man with a neat idiosyncrasy suggesting either a barely breathing, handicapped warning label or a live every moment till life crashes down on you type of attitude. Ong-Bak is appropriately billed as brilliantly choreographed escapist fare that presents to us a man without personality and without emotions, just a moral imperative that transcends life and death.

Rating: 3 out of 5
justindeimen
 

Re: Asian arena - films from Thailand, Vietnam, etc

Postby arsaib4 » Fri Oct 06, 2006 9:32 pm

Justin, please refer to this thread regarding the use of images.
arsaib4
 

Re: Asian arena - films from Thailand, Vietnam, etc

Postby A » Thu Oct 12, 2006 9:49 pm



Quote:Ong-Bak is appropriately billed as brilliantly choreographed escapist fare that presents to us a man without personality and without emotions, just a moral imperative that transcends life and death.

Sounds like a film for me to watch.
I like this kind of no-nonsense martial arts movies. But the best fight I've seen on screen so far was the magnificent end-fight by Bruce Lee in "The Big Boss". Hope to see soon what Tony Jaa is capable of.
A
 

Re: Asian arena - films from Thailand, Vietnam, etc

Postby justindeimen » Sat May 19, 2007 7:26 am

Review of The Overture (2004)

In The Overture, music is presented with a towering sense of religious ferocity. The musicians are treated with intense reverence, and their music a cause worth dying for. The film is a fictionalised account that is based on the life of Thailands Luang Pradit Phairao, the last master of the ranad-ek (a classical instrument resembling a wooden xylophone). He is manifested through the central character of Sorn (primarily played by Anuchit Sapanpong), a master of the instrument that becomes a sort of Christ-like saviour to the instruments continued survival and its wielders. In a scene early on, Sorn is seen as a child feeling his way through the ranad-ek and witnessing his natural affinity with the instruments notes. Underlining the spiritual tone of the film, Sorn's prodigious talent with the ranad-ek is akin to turning water into wine and his greatest obstacle to greatness is overcoming an opponent clad in black whose mastery of the instrument literally calls forth angry winds of change.

Sentimentally farcical, the main vein of its story understates Sorns challenges with being a phenomenon in his village and his rise through the royal court that culminates in a showdown. The secondary narrative is the weakest but holds the most promise. An elder Sorn is given a final challenge, pitting him against the countrys changing cultural pursuits and invading influences of Japan, keen to keep creative processes down to a minimum by way of bureaucracy. It is admirable in its suggestion of invoking a certain parallelism between the generations but the jarring, feckless edits that include strident political machinations with ludicrously over the top musical set pieces makes it all seem like two different films spliced together as an afterthought.

But the endless fawning over its material is truly the films inherent predicament. It is enamoured by its own self-importance, so much so that it ignores coherency and papers over it with its single most powerful factor in its technical proficiency. Lush, full-blooded cinematography is employed throughout the proceedings and the characters are framed luminously. The dream-like aesthetics of the film can almost be used as an excuse for its lax storytelling but an ambitious and underwhelming double narrative introduced midway tarnishes any preferable possibility that the story could have been a lazy afternoons reverie.
justindeimen
 

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