Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Bodyguard 1 and 2 coming on Region 1 DVD

Mum Jokmok's The Bodyguard and Bodyguard 2 have both been picked up for North American distribution by Magnolia Pictures, and are set to be released on DVD in August.

The DVDs will come after both films play at the New York Asian Film Festival, which runs from June 20 to July 6. Here's the festival synopsis:

There’s an old Hollywood saying: if two cars smash into each other in mid-air and explode then you’re watching an action movie. If FOUR cars smash into each other in mid-air and explode, then you’re watching a masterpiece. By those standards The Bodyguard 1 and 2 are the greatest movies ever made. The bastard brainchildren of Thailand’s famed comedian Mum Jokmok (who co-starred with Tony Jaa in both Ong-Bak and Tom Yum Goong) these flicks are searing satires of the action genre that manage to pack a ton of hard-kicking, bullet-pumping action into their ramshackle bodies courtesy of ace action choreographer (and Tony Jaa’s mentor) Panna Rittikrai.

Bodyguard movies are a classic genre, made immortal by Kevin Costner and Whtiney Houston’s 80’s bodyguard flick, and here, Mum Jokmok’s square head looks like a tenth-generation Xerox of Kevin Costner’s mug. Playing the stone-faced caretaker of a rich man, he starts protecting the man’s son when the boss is killed in a running battle between cater waiters and bodyguards. Stricken with amnesia, the kid moves into a shack in the town dump, sharing a room with some freelance, transsexual paramedics and a gang of hookers who spew non-stop, ear-searing dialogue that would make a sailor blush. Taking time both to mock the mentally ill and to shed a tear for a little orphan child, this movie is a stand-out in terms of mental whiplash. The fourth wall isn’t just broken, it has a cab driven through it.

Reminiscent of Hong Kong’s “anything goes” action cinema of the early '90s, The Bodyguard 1 and 2 look like a bunch of Thai filmmakers discovered the “Action/Adventure” section of a video store circa 1986 on an archeological dig and decided it was so hilarious that they would make one of these so-called “action movies” themselves. The result is so straight it’s bent, serving up a world where no one has eyes - only sunglasses. Where all glass is meant to be shattered by bullets and where dialogue such as, “Lily, you sleep like a transvestite being raped,” somehow makes sense. Close-ups are piled on top of close-ups, and even the slow motion is shot in slow motion, as cliches are piled up on top of each other until both movies are a fractured series of action movie set pieces stacked into an absurdly hilarious tower of babel with Mum Jokmok leaping off the top, naked and on fire, a blazing .45 in each hand.

Hilarious. I think I'll fire up the DVD of The Bodyguard and give it another look.

The August release of the Magnolia discs isn't the first outing for The Bodyguard on English-friendly DVD -- Momentum released the first film in the U.K. back in 2005, but this will be the first time with English subs for the second film. Packaging the two together like Magnolia appears to be doing is a good move, I think.

More information:

(Via Asian Cinema - While on the Road)

1 comment:

  1. I am actually looking forward to seeing the first film. The second film did have some pretty funny stuff in it although he was kind of mean to Paula Taylor. I would encourage people to watch the the second film through the final credits.


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