Here are a few recent items concerning Tony Jaa, the Chocolate DVD release in Thailand, a Tom Yum Goong spinoff and some old Thai action DVDs and VCDs.
- Tony Jaa is on the set of Naresuan III, playing a slave boy in chains named Kham. Photos from Pantip.com show him working with director MC Chatrichalerm Yukol. It is entirely possible this film will be released on December 5, His Majesty the King's birthday. For Tony, this small role in Naresuan III is in addition to work on his own Ong-Bak 2, which he is directing and is also due out later this year. (Via TonyJaaBlog.fr)
- The Thai DVD release of Chocolate is set for this week. As usual for Thai-film DVDs, it won't have English subtitles, but Chocolate is apparently very much sought after, and the Thai DVD release will be the first chance for eager action fans who can't wait for a possible English-subtitled release to get their fix of Jeeja. Twitch is hinting at possible problems with The Weinstein Company's U.S. distribution deal, but doesn't really give any details about what those problems might be. Meanwhile, Chocolate has opened in Hong Kong cinemas, so perhaps there will be another venue for a subtitled DVD in the coming months. The Thai DVD of Chocolate is available for pre-order from HK Flix.
- Nathan Jones, the towering former WWE wrestler who sparred with Tony Jaa in Tom Yum Goong has been filming a kid-friendly sort of food-themed spin-off of Tom Yum Goong called Somtam, co-starring Narawan Techaratanaprasert, the child-actress daughter of Sahamongkol Film International boss Somsak "Sia Jiang". Prachya Pinkaew is producing, with stunt work by Panna Rittikrai. From the poster, it appears the spicy papaya salad fed to him by the little Thai girls turns the hulking Jones into a red-faced madman. Popcorn Mag has photos from a press conference, with Nathan taking a turn at the mortar and pestle to chop up some spicy salad. (Via Deknang)
- Jong-arng Payong, a 1971 action flick starring Sombat Metanee, Suthisa Pattanuch and Lee Ling Ling is reviewed over at Die, Danger, Die, Die, Kill! Says reviewer Todd: "When the action comes, it's gratifyingly feverish and insane ... I enjoyed the scenes where people's arms kept flapping around after they'd been lopped off." The VCD released by Triple X is available through eThaiCD.
- Finally, a bit of a belated shout-out to Rikker, who has been an active and helpful commentator here. Over on his Thai 101 blog, he's compiled a list of old Thai movies on DVD, covering the action-packed releases by Triple X, such as Chumpae with Sombat Metanee, Tone, Insee Thong, Ruen Pae, Piak Poster's Adulterer and Narok Tarutao, which all have English subtitles, plus a load of other fun films that don't have subs, such as Operation Bangkok, Jao Insee (another in the Red Eagle series with Mitr Chaibancha), and Monrak Lukthung, the classic, beloved 1970 musical romance that stars Mitr and Petchara Chaowarat.