Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Thai Film Market: A look at upcoming films in 2004

As a sidebar to the Bangkok Int'l Film Festival, some booths were set up near one of the theaters from the various local film distributors.

Restraining myself from throttling one of the hapless kids running the booths for not including subtitles on any of their DVD releases, I just wandered about pleasantly smiling and picking up literature.

Here's a rundown of the films being promoted:
  • The Overture - Promising flick about a Thai classical xylophonist. First, have any movies ever been made about xylophonists? This is definitely a first about Thai classical musicians, because the director Itthisoontorn Vichaitak says so. Big names are behind this, including Prince Chatrichalerm Yukol (Suriyothai) and Nonzee Nimibutr (Nang Nak, Jan Dara).
  • Evil (Pisaj) - A teen horror story. I'll quote the English text from the promotional flyer: "Madeaw [Chukiat Sakweerakul] the 21-year-old maker of 7 films (!), will bring you the bunch...hallucinated teenagers, an 11 years old boy who believes that gost can eat human alive, a middle-aged woman who is about to be taken over by something including the most pervert, thrilling and dreadful experience that can ever happen to single men's life." There you go. Due out on February 20.
  • The Eye 2 - The joint HK-Thai-Singapore production The Eye was so damn successful of an international hit that a sequel just had to be made. This one looks pretty good, just from the casting of HK starlet Shu Qi as the star. From what I can gather, she's a suicidal type who is overcome with horrific visions after one attempt too many. March 19 is the release date.
  • 102 Bangkok Robbery - Tanit Jitnukul (Bangrajan) turns from directing historical battle epics to a big-budget actioner in which a huge heist takes place over 102 minutes in Bangkok. Release will be April 30.
  • Born to Fight - Another big action movie, introducing Deaw Shupongse Changprung, a Thai martial artist and stuntman who is seeking to following in the footsteps of Tony Jaa (Ong Bak).
  • Heaven's 7 II - A sequel to the big dumb action flick from a couple years ago that was a riff on the Seven Samurai/Magnificent Seven concept.
  • Bannok TV - This looks promising. It's based on the story of a local access television station run by the Akka hilltribe of northern Thailand. The shows are produced by the children of the hilltribe. The director is Sukanya Vongsthapat, who has been the producer behind such films as Sayew, Fake, Ong-Bak and Heaven's 7.
  • Tom Yum Goong - Thai kickboxer and stuntman turned leading action hero Tony Jaa returns for the followup to Ong-Bak. The English text on the promotional flyer reveals no insight into any actual plot, which leads me to believe there isn't one. But who cares, when there will be moves by Tony? It promises "budget of over 100 million baht with the bigger action scene, the more intense story line, rehearsing-designing-inventing the ingredient of the hot and spicy mixture that is twice harder of "Mae Mai Muai Thai" that you have never seen before." That is a direct quote.
  • Sars Wars - I love this one. They need to move faster on exploiting Asian health crises though. They need a Killer Ninja Chicken Flu movie and quick. There is no English text on this one, though there is a refence to "Sars zombies". That's all I needed to know.
  • The Remixer - Don't know about this either, other than Oxide Pang is the director. It appears to be a teen thriller of some kind.
  • Dark Water - A scary movie.
  • Unhuman - A scarier movie.
  • Siamese Outlaws - From the iconic Five-Star Productions studio comes a new Thai "western" featuring a bunch of tough looking outlaws with guns in a vaguely "western" looking setting. Again, the emphasis is on tough guys and guns.

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