Friday, March 10, 2006

On DVD in Thailand: In the Name of the Tiger, Tom Yum Goong

In the Name of the Tiger, a crazy-looking hill-tribe fantasy put out late last year by Phranakorn Film is out on DVD, with English subtitles.

I tried to see Name of the Tiger, but it was in and out of cinemas so fast, I didn't have a chance. It has a good cast, including Choosak Eamsuk, or Nong Cha Cha Cha from Sai Lor Fah, comedian Note Chern-Yim, frequent comic character actor Somlek Sakdikul, and the Bunluerit twins, Bin and Ekapun.

But, given my recent bad luck with The Tiger Blade DVD being censored with pixellation fuzz, I'm wary of buying another Thai DVD. But, given the fun, Disneyfied look of In the Name of the Tiger, what can there be to censor? There's no guns being pointed, though with hill-tribes involved, there's probably some smoking of something or other going on. Though my first impulse is to buy it, I might try a rental first.

The Culture Ministry is fully into the process of censoring VCDs and movies now. And from the looks of the The Tiger Blade, it seems they are being pretty heavy handed. I read a recent report that censors have outright banned around 40 movies from being distributed in Thailand. I don't have a list of titles (anyone?), and I suspect that most are the kinds of movies I wouldn't want to watch anyway. Still, I'm not too keen on a government telling me what I can and can't see. I'd rather decide for myself. But then, it's not my government, is it? Guess I'd better just shut the hell up.

Oh, and there's a little action film that came out last year called Tom Yum Goong. It's out on DVD now in Thailand. There are no English subtitles, but since a lot of English is spoken in the film, that won't make too much difference, unless it's been Thai dubbed, which is a strong possibility, so caution is urged. The thing about the Thai DVD, though, is that it's a massive two-disc set with tons of extras featuring Tony Jaa performing at all kinds of special appearances to promote his films, so it still might be worth getting if you can't get enough Tony Jaa.

(Cross-published at Rotten Tomatoes)

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