Friday, February 4, 2011

Teng is again Monk Teng but it's not a Monk Teng movie

Veteran comedian Pongsak "Teng Terdterng" Pongsuwan is back on the big screen as Monk Teng in Teng Nong Jiwon Bin (เท่งโหน่ง จีวรบิน), the third entry in the Teng Nong/Nong Teng franchise produced by Sahamongkol Film International.

The movie pairs Teng up with his TV-show co-star Choosak "Nong" Iamsuk.

Teng became a major movie star in 2005 when he played Monk Teng in Luangpee Teng (หลวงพี่เท่ง), a.k.a. The Holy Man, which was a smash-hit comedy by the then-new studio Phranakorn Production.

He played a monk who comes to a downtrodden temple in a small town, and helps the residents in their fight with a local gangster, played by Somlek Sakdikul.

Teng then shifted his big-screen efforts over to the Work Point studio, which makes the TV variety shows he stars in. Work Point has a production partnership with Phranakorn's bigger rival Sahamongkol Film International.

With Sahamongkol, Teng and his Ching Roi Ching Lan TV-game show co-star Choosak "Nong" Iamsuk teamed up for 2006's Nong Teng, Nak Leng Phukhao Thong (โหน่ง เท่ง นักเลงภูเขาทอง), a historical comedy that surrounded the making of the lost 1923 silent film Nang Sao Suwan. They followed that up in 2007 with Teng Nong Khon Ma Ha Hear (เท่งโหน่งคนมาหาเฮีย), which was some sort of crime comedy set in the present day and having nothing do with the earlier film.

Meanwhile, Phranakorn forged ahead with the Monk Teng franchise, which was created by producer-director Note Chernyim. Luangpee Teng 2 had the rapper Joey Boy in monk's robes, preaching rapid-fire sermons that inspired residents of a downtrodden town. The most recent effort, last year's Luangpee Teng 3 had rock stars Noi Sukosol and Oui Buddha Bless in saffron and shaved heads, backed up by the Harley-riding Ad Carabao.

But now Teng is back as Monk Teng, even if Teng Nong Jiwon Bin isn't a Monk Teng movie, it's a Teng Nong movie.

But the movies all look about the same, with the usual cast of comedians who seem to appear in every comedy film. So audiences can be excused if they don't make the distinction or pay attention to what studio the movies are from.

In Teng Nong Jiwon Bin, co-directed by Teng and Smith Timsawat, Teng is a Buddhist monk on a pilgrimage. He is aiming to return to Thailand and is offered a ride on a cargo plane by a wealthy jeweler, played Nong in a ridiculous fake mustache. The flight turns into something that's right out of Con Air thanks to a gang of thieves, led by a hot-headed "Tao" Somchai Kemklad.

Comic relief is offered by familiar faces, among them actress "Tukky" Sudarat Butrprom as a flight attendant, along with comic actors Somlek Sakdikul. Kom Chuanchuen leads a band of ghost-faced jihadists. New-face actress "Mo" Amina Phinit gives the boys something to look at.
There's trailer at YouTube.

I guess it's okay for monks to pilot airplanes?

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