Friday, May 8, 2009

Movies Update - Friday, May 8

Horsemen sneak into Major Cineplex without warning!


Chiang Mai movies update, Friday, May 8, 2009



by Thomas Ohlson



Horsemen showed up unexpectedly on Thursday at Major Cineplex – such a surprise that not even their website listed it or its times. Not surprisingly, no one bought a ticket to the first showing at 11:30 am, and it was cancelled. In the picture here you see Lou Taylor Pucci as Alex Breslin in the mystery thriller.


 I saw it today, and my comments are below. You will also see a revised schedule for Major Cineplex, good for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and possibly Monday, which is yet another holiday, Ploughing Day, though it’s not a big one.


And, Major Cineplex still has a 20 baht surcharge for Wolverine!


And, a sale of movies.


Now playing in Chiang Mai    * = new this week  

* Horsemen: Canada/ USA, Drama/ Horror/ Mystery/ Thriller – 110 mins – A strange film, with an intriguing premise and an interesting relationship between father and sons. Dennis Quaid plays a bitter detective emotionally distanced from his two young sons following the death of his wife. While investigating a series of murders of rare violence, he discovers a terrifying link between himself and the suspects in a chain of murders that seem to be based on the Biblical prophecies concerning the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: War, Famine, Pestilence, and Death. That’s a fascinating idea to me, and I just wish it had been more coherent in its telling. Rated R in the US for grisly and disturbing content, some sexual images, and language.


The film’s distributor, Lionsgate, opened the film to just 75 theaters in the US in early March, apparently hoping to sneak it in quietly and wait for real income from other sources and DVD. July 14 is the date set for the DVD release, and it will include an audio commentary by the director Jonas Akerlund and the director of photography Eric Broms, and deleted scenes. I’ll bet anything some of the deletions are good, and needed in the film. I really wanted the present film to be better, but nevertheless there are some nice things in it. There are only two reviews in existence so far:

Variety: Much of the initial action, as it shifts from blood-splattered crime scene to detailed autopsy and back, plays out in territory well trod by the latest and not-too-latest works of the torture-porn/Splat Pack school. A scene in which Breslin investigates a tattoo/S&M parlor connected to the murders typifies the approach of screenwriter David Callaham (Doom), as the script tries to immerse us in a faux-seedy world torn from a dozen other movies.


Thankfully, Breslin's shattered home life, where he remains estranged from his two young sons (Lou Taylor Pucci, Liam James) following the death of his wife from cancer, adds something vaguely human and original to the story. Quaid is best in these domestic sequences, in which he makes the tiresome pull between work and family seem believable -- much more so than when he's on the beat and merely going through the motions.


A Nutshell Review: as the trailers would have pretty much revealed, the serial killer victims are all tortured with meat hooks of sorts, and he's faced with more than one killer who model themselves after the biblical Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

Sounds like your average detective movie right? I guess a memorable film from the genre like Se7en will only come once in a blue moon. This film by Jonas Akerlund tries to elicit similar moods devoid of humor and is all seriousness in tone, but its plot turned out to be quite flimsy thin, and those who have experienced enough of the genre, would have guessed the culprit for the last act somewhere by the mid-way point.


Dennis Quaid shows how he ages well into delivering stellar, lead performances, and makes it believable he's a man constantly struggling with a work-life balance.

Ultimately, the message here is how important parents play in nurturing their children, and should be very much involved in their development, rather than thinking that cash would be a sufficient substitute and settle everything.

Technically, one aspect which irked me, was how low the cropping turned out to be. I have read that there were constant boom mikes spotted in shots, so it could be a bad by-product of having to address that problem. So there were a lot of heads cut off at the foreheads during shot-reverse-shot conversational pieces, and various other medium to close up shots, that irritated the hell out of me. 


I, too, noticed the strange cropping at the top of the film.





Classified Ad!   DVD movie sale, and other items!


One of my longtime and enthusiastic readers, Jim Messenger, is leaving Chiang Mai and selling his collection of movies and other items. He is having a sale tomorrow (Saturday, May 9) at his house, which is near Suthep and Canal roads, next to Wing 41. If you’re interested in any of these items, or would like a complete list of items for sale, email him at




20 B/W master copies movie classics from 20’s top 40’s,

10-15 master copies movie classics from the 50’s and 60’s, 

10-15 master copies movie classics from the 70’s to present,

3-60 master copies movie classics from today,

100-150 copies of modern movies,

7 DVDs from today: 1 series Rome (Vol 1 and 2),        

7-8 V CD-DVD storage boxes.




20 classical music CDs,  (now 50b each)

30-50 music cassettes ( ??? ) .. make an offer.


2 computers


1 DMD Duron Processor (1.01GH2, 896.MB RAM), DVD, burner, 2 speakers) (it works perfectly… 7000B or best offer A really good computer. Good virus protection and servicing. ) .. make an offer.

1 Intel Celeron (63 MB RAM) (VCD Player) (perfect for writers now 3000b or best offer). make an offer.


1 AIWA double cassette player and radio (1 cassette not work, (now 300 B). make an offer.

1 Aconia CD/Radio small stereo, (1 year old, perfect condition…. now 700b)

1 small Aconia Cassette Player (100B…75B... make an offer).         


1 mountain bike BCA American (... make an offer.

1 motorcycle Honda Dream 100 cc 14 yrs old, make an offer.


Many other items.





No comments: