Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Thai martial arts onslaught

With the worldwide success of Ong-Bak and the anticipation of Tom Yum Goong, the Thai film industry is rubbing its hands together and is making more martial arts films -- a change of pace from the nationalistic epics, comic transvestites and scary horror, reports ThaiCinema.org.

Tony Jaa already has a followup in the works, Phraya Phichai Dab Hak (aka Sword) and there's also Nai Thongdee Fun Khao. Based on actual heroes in Thai history, both films will incorporate traditional two-handed Thai swordfighting in the style of Zhang Yimou�s Hero.

Tony's contemporary, "Dan" Chupong Changprung, who made his name in Panna Rittakai's Born to Fight, will team up with director Chalerm Wongphim (Seven Street Fighters) for a remake of Tabanfai Talaiphlerng. Its new version will highlight the old style of Thai action in a modern way.

Dan was also reported to star in The Queens of Pattani, the upcoming historical epic by Nonzee Nimibutr.

Beautiful Boxer star Assanee Suwan and Ai-Fak leading man Pitisak Yaowananond are undergoing training to star in Sword & Spirit, slated for release in 2006. Beautiful Boxer director, Ekachai Uekrongtham, will direct.

Already in and out of local cinemas was Bullet Wives, by Goal Club director Kittikorn Leosakul. In that one, top Thai models and actresses faced each other off in an orgy of gun-fu violence.

Director Poj Arnon (Spicy Beauty Queens) is planning a comedy in the style of Charlie's Angels entitled Chailai, or Iron Petals, with folk singer Jintara Poonlab and model-actress Bongkot Kongmalai in the cast.

Worawit Phong-in, the son of a famous comedian-director Note Chernyim (Holy Man) will co-direct a female gangster flick Bangkok Jone (Bangkok Thieves) with his friends Worawut Chuanyoo, Sophon Nim-anong, and Patipan Khotchasan.

And veteran director Manop Udomdej (The Macabre Case of Prom Pirom) is trying his new project on a woman action fantasy Vanquisher, in which half angel, half slayer Mayulin Ulai is summoned to free Bangkok from the grip of the Ice Man. This looks cool.

(Cross-published at Rotten Tomatoes)

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