Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Back for Ong-Bak 2, and more
It'll be about another week or so before I return to Bangkok -- that is if the airport isn't being blockaded by a stick-wielding mob. I hope to be back in time to catch the first day of release of Ong-Bak 2, and then get back in the swing of things with this blog.
In anticipation, there are stills from the movie here, here and here, as well as a detailed synopsis. Also, TonyJaa.org has a detailed translation from a press conference in which Tony talked at length about his career and the movie. He's flanked by his mentor Panna Rittikrai, and, notably, producer-director Prachya Pinkaew. So perhaps Tony and Prachya have put their feud behind them. The press conference was held several weeks ago, but because I'm not sure I linked to it in my previous update about Ong-Bak 2, I'm linking to it now.
Loose for Die: Ong-Bak 2 is not the only action film coming up. There's also Opapatika director Thanakorn Pongsuwan's Muay Thai-basketball blend Fireball, which has a website and trailer, a poster and stills. I wish I would have said something to the production team about their nonsensical "Loose for Die" Tinglish tagline back when they had their press conference in September. Update: Kung Fu Cinema has a great article about Fireball.
Sad news: Happi Like a Hippo reports that Chalerm Taweebot, aka Eddie the Cute Ghost, has died at age 53. The scrunchy-faced character actor died of cancer on Monday morning (November 24) at Noppharat Ratchathani Hospital. Eddie had been in several movies, among them the Hong Kong-Thai horror The Park.
DVD releases: Logboy sends me news that Aditya Assarat's Wonderful Town hits Region 1 DVD in March. Also, the 2007 Phranakorn horror Pern Maung the Haunted Drum has been released on Region 1 DVD (via 24 Frames per Second).
Wow, that's deep: Speaking of Phranakorn, there's now a trailer for Deep in the Jungle, the company's upcoming horror-action-fantasy. Watch it if you dare.
Taiwanese-Thai horror: And speaking of horror, Screen Daily reporter and Udine festival programmer Stephen Cremin tells me that The Fatality did just shy of (correction: figures are in US dollars) US$30,000 on its opening weekend in Taipei at 10 cinemas. It's a Thai-Taiwanese co-production directed by Tiwa Moeithaisong. Stephen says it's not an especially good opening. Compare it to other Thai horrors: 4bia closed with $166,000, Body #19 had $159,000 and Art of the Devil 3 took $130,000. Alone more than $500,000. By the way, notes Stephen, Love of Siam is still playing Taipei after two and a half months. It's done $68,000 so far, and Stephen says they may actually be now playing the director's cut -- wouldn't it be great if the director's cut was actually released on English-friendly DVD?
Bond, James Bond: The new 007 thriller Quantum of Solace has topped Thailand's box office for the past three weekends, according to Box Office Mojo, which has recently revived its reporting of the Kingdom's cinema biz. Top Thai films in recent weeks have been Queens of Langkasuka and Coming Soon, but last week two newcomers came in behind Bond: At No. 2 was the action film Ha Theaw ( ห้าแถว) starring Seksun Suttijan and "Kratae" Supaksorn Chaimongkol with Fah Talai Jone leading man Chartchai Ngamsan and at No. 4 was the Phranakorn comedy Headless Family, directed by and starring Koti Aramboy.
Going, going, Goa: Lastly, the International Film Festival of India is going on, with Coffin star Ananda Everingham, his girlfriend, actress-model Sangthong "Jeed" Ket-Uthong, and actor Akara Amartayakul from Muay Thai Chaiya in attendance. The Goa fest is showing five Thai films: The Coffin is in the main competition and there's also A Moment in June, First Flight and the double action onslaught of Muay Thai Chaiya and Chocolate. There's all kinds of coverage from the fest. I found the photo from the joint Thai press conference at Daiji World. Moment in June star "Noi" Krissada Sukosol Clapp is also said to be in attendance, according to Lekha Shankar.