Slumdog Millionaire in one week at Vista!
Chiang Mai movies beginning Thursday, May 7, 2009
… through Wednesday, May 13
by Thomas Ohlson
Best Bets: Star Trek. Wolverine.
Here is my list of movies and times for Major Cineplex at Airport Plaza and for Vista at Kadsuankaew for the week beginning Wednesday, May 7, 2009.
I’ve also included here information on film programs at the Alliance Française and CMU’s Film Space for the next three weeks.
Vista has confirmed May 14 for the opening of this year’s Oscar best picture Slumdog Millionaire. I think this is quite a coup for Vista.
This is Issue Number 28 of Volume 4 of these listings – in our fourth year!
And now there’s a blog for Pattaya, too, at http://thomatpattaya.blogspot.com/.
New website for Major Cineplex
It’s basically in a mixture of Thai and English, and this is how you work it: The link above gets you to the “Showtime” page. On the right two-thirds of the screen you will see two lists, movies, and theaters. At the top of the list of movies, click “Select All Movie.” On the list of theaters, click “Chiangmai.” This is one of four cities in the “Zone UPC-North” section, which is the 6th region down, or the 4th from the bottom. Then hit “go” either at the top or the bottom of the lists, and almost immediately you will get at the bottom of the page a list of the movies, the cinemas (โรง) they are in, and their remaining times (เวลา) for the day. If you do this after midnight, you will get a blank. Times are posted later in the morning. You have no way at the moment for getting any times except for the current day, and only the remaining times. (I try to keep this blog current with the times.)
Now playing in Chiang Mai * = new this week
Star Trek (2009): US/ Germany, Sci-Fi/ Adventure/ Action – 126 mins – All new! This much-anticipated film is a reboot of the series, going back to the series’ ’60s roots by depicting the formative experiences of the legendary heroes Kirk and Spock. The young James Tiberius Kirk is played by Chris Pine as a wild Iowa boy whose father sacrificed himself at the helm of a spaceship at the very moment the child was being born. He is convinced to attend the Starfleet Academy with an eye to joining the crew of the Enterprise.
Headed for the same destination is Spock, played by Zachary Quinto, who has had a troubled background as a half-human, half-Vulcan. How these two very opposite figures become mutually trusted colleagues is the basic story of the film. From director J.J. Abrams (Mission: Impossible III, Lost, and Alias). Early reviews: Universal acclaim: 94/81 out of 100.
Time Out Online, Tom Huddleston: It’s a genuine pleasure to report that Abrams’s Star Trek is a winner on almost all fronts. The cast – from Chris Pine’s whisky-soaked, pugilistic lothario Kirk, through Bruce Greenwood’s commanding Pike, to Simon Pegg’s overenthusiastic Scotty – are almost flawless. Perhaps the hardest task goes to Zachary Quinto, not just essaying the series’ most iconic character, Spock, but face-to-face with his predecessor Leonard Nimoy, thanks to the film’s time-mangling plotline. Luckily, Quinto delivers a note-perfect performance, managing, as Nimoy did before him, to make this taciturn, officious, archly superior lifeform enormously likeable.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine: US/ New Zealand/ Australia, Action/ Fantasy/ Sci-Fi/ Thriller – 97 mins – Though most reviews are lukewarm, I think it’s simply brilliant, starting out with eight minutes of nigh perfect popular filmmaking, a sequence that is thrilling, sensible, and, wonder of wonders, deeply intriguing! It then veers into a quiet sequence building up a love-interest, which might seem to be just padding, but no, get involved with it, because the love relationship leads to some real emotional payoffs down the line. Really, it’s a superb action film for anyone who likes the genre, with excellent performances by Hugh Jackman, Liev Schreiber, and many others. Mixed or average reviews: 44/44 out of 100.
Stay for two very short additional scenes during the closing credits.
Mor 3 Pee 4 / ม.3 ปี4 เรารักนาย: Thai,Romance/ Comedy – 90 mins – A nice little advertisement for MSN: Four teenagers make friends and chat online on MSN. Thee and Nut are brothers living in Bangkok, June and Jane are sisters who live in Phuket. Do the two pairs finally meet? Well it’s called a “romance” after all! Note: shown in Thai only, with no English subtitles.
Saranae Howpeng / สาระแนห้าวเป้ง!!!: Thai, Comedy – 90 mins – Movie version of "Saranae Show" – a popular Thai comedy TV show that has been on the air for 11 years. With many well-known Thai comedians, including Mum Jokmok (Petchthai Wongkamlao), Kietisak "Hoi" Udomnak, Ple Nakorn, and Willy McIntosh.
Scheduled for Chiang Mai cineplexes on Thursday, May 14
Slumdog Millionaire: US/ UK, Crime/ Drama/ Romance – 120 mins – This film won Oscar best picture and best director – and awards for adapted screenplay, original score, film editing, original song, sound mixing, and cinematography. Rated R in the US for some violence, disturbing images, and language. Reviews: Universal acclaim: 86/83 out of 100. At Vista only.
An impoverished Indian teen becomes a contestant on the Hindi version of "Who Wants to be A Millionaire?”, wins, and is then suspected of cheating. Trailer available here, just click.
Roger Ebert: This is a breathless, exciting story, heartbreaking and exhilarating at the same time, about a Mumbai orphan who rises from rags to riches on the strength of his lively intelligence. It tells the story of an orphan from the slums of Mumbai who is born into a brutal existence. A petty thief, impostor and survivor, mired in dire poverty, he improvises his way up through the world and remembers everything he has learned. High-spirited and defiant in the worst of times, he survives. He scrapes out a living at the Taj Mahal, which he did not know about but discovers by being thrown off a train. He pretends to be a guide, invents "facts" out of thin air, advises tourists to remove their shoes and then steals them. . . . The film uses dazzling cinematography, breathless editing, driving music, and headlong momentum to explode with narrative force, stirring in a romance at the same time. For Danny Boyle, it is a personal triumph.
Directed by Danny Boyle (Trainspotting (1996), The Beach (2000), 28 Days Later (2002), Millions (2004) [Note: Millions was given a showing at Film Space on March 14], Sunshine (2007)).
Angels & Demons: US, Crime/ Drama/ Mystery/ Thriller – 140 mins – Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon works to solve a murder and prevent a terrorist act against the Vatican. The Vatican appears not to be too pleased with this film, understandably, and Vatican officers banned the movie from being filmed in its grounds. The filmmakers had to build a scale replica of St. Peter's Square, one of the crucial locales of the story. Note that although the novel upon which the film is based is set before the events of the novel The Da Vinci Code, the film has been written as a sequel to follow after events in The Da Vinci Code (2006).
And yet a second sequel to The Da Vinci Code is in the offing:
Author Dan Brown has announced that his next installment in the "Da Vinci Code" series will be "The Lost Symbol," which Doubleday will publish in the U.S. and Canada on Sept. 15. The first print run will be a whopping 5 million copies. Much more than that will be needed if the sales of "Angels and Demons" and "Da Vinci Code" are anything to go by.
"Angels and Demons" has sold 39 million copies to date, and that number is certain to go up following the book’s recent reemergence on the New York Times bestseller list in anticipation of the film’s release. Those sales lag behind "The Da Vinci Code," whose 81 million copies sold puts it behind the Bible but not much else.
Sources said Brown has completed his manuscript. Sony has the rights to the Robert Langdon character, which gives the studio the right to negotiate a deal for the new title. The studio will be bullish. "The Da Vinci Code" grossed $758 million worldwide in 2006, and Columbia has high hopes for the sequel.
And looking forward:
May 21 – Night at the Museum 2: Escape From the Smithsonian: USA/ Canada, Action/ Comedy – After a wacky night at the Museum of Natural History, the perpetually hapless Larry (Ben Stiller) must infiltrate the Smithsonian after shipping two of his resurrected friends to Washington by mistake. As a result, he finds himself in the middle of a vast conflict between many of the museum's most noteworthy historical figures. Robin Williams, Owen Wilson, and Steve Coogan are back, and this time they're joined by Amy Adams, Jonah Hill, and Christopher Guest.