Thursday, February 16, 2006

Tiger Blade, Ahimsa on DVD (censored) with English subtitles

Leave it to the smaller, upstart film companies to break from what's become the standard practice by the major film studios to leave the English subtitles off DVDs of Thai films.

From RS Film comes the karmic action-comedy, Ahimsa: Stop to Run (which is also playing at the Bangkok International Film Festival), and new-blood Mono Film, is offering The Tiger Blade (Twitch noticed this, too). I thought Tiger Blade was the best Thai action film of 2005, better than a certain second film by an internationally known Thai action star.

There's also Brutal River, last year's giant CGI alligator tale from CM Films. I'm staying away from it, but if you want to know more, Twitch has it.

All three of these films have English subtitles and can be purchased from several online retailers, or at Boomerang outlets in Bangkok.

Update: The Tiger Blade DVD is censored. Anytime a gun is pointed close to someone's head, the gun is pixellated or blurred out. It's pretty bizarre. Also, cigarette smoking gets the Vaseline treatment. It's an annoyance but doesn't detract too much from the experience of this cool action flick -- no I take that back, I can't watch it. If anything, the blurred guns point to the need for a ratings system that lets consumers (especially parents) -- not the police or the Culture Ministry -- decide what they want to see.

Meanwhile, one of last year's best films, Dear Dakanda, is out on DVD, including a deluxe package with all kinds of extras, but as has been the case with most DVDs released by big studios GTH, Sahamongkol and Five Star, there are no English subs.

Oh well. They have their reasons for this, which I don't fully understand. But it's everyone's loss, really, both the non-Thai/English-speaking world, and the Thai film companies ignoring what could be a lucrative market.

(Cross-published at Rotten Tomatoes)

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