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Category 'Thailand'

Ong Bak (THAI 2003)

Director : Prachya Pinkaew
Cast : Tony Jaa, Petchtai Wongkamlao, Pumwaree Yodkamol, Suchao Pongwilai, Wannakit Sirioput and Chumphorn Tepphithak

Synopsis
Booting lives in a small and peaceful village. One day a sacred Buddha statuette called Ong Bak is stolen from the village by a immoral businessman who sells it for exorbitant profits. It soon becomes the task of a young man, Ting to track the thief down to Bangkok voluntarily and reclaim the religious treasure.

Review
by Edward Tang

Tony Jaa. He’s a guy who has already reached acclaim with his first film, just like Bruce Lee did, what 35 years ago? Jaa’s skills outweighs his charisma as he is presented in his first feature film, Ong-Bak. It’s hard to live up to the hype this film has on it’s back, but it delivers every single moment of such. From the moment I saw Tony Jaa fight, I was awe struck on how well done these fights were, especially considering the idea of good action films hadn’t hit me in the land of Thailand. But what story was there is this film?

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Sema The Warrior of Ayodhaya (THAI 2003)

Director : Tanit Jitnukul
Cast :  Voravit Kawepand, Jaran Ngamdee and Sririwat Chevasud

Synopsis
Sema, the son of a swordsmith, has just come back home from a sword fighting training institute. With his strong sword skills, he’s made a sword trainer in the household of Khun Ram. There, he met beautiful Rerai, daughter of Khun Ram and they felt for each other. Unfortunately, she’s already been engaged to Moo Khan against her own will. However, Sema and his company are mistakenly recognized as rebels and they had to flee a guerrilla band. Then he heard that Burmese had been rallying a large war, he rushed to the war scene and he couldn’t stand the sight of Thai soldiers being slaughtered. He then chopped off the head of Burmese General. Sema finally gained back his reputation, but he still had to fight for his own love.

Review
by Edward Tang

“Sema” is one of those films you pick up because of the box art. Noting that it reads on the cover “An epic action adventure from Thailand”, I was intrigued for sure. Then obviously recalling that I just had seen Ong-Bak a week earlier, I was eager to check this bad boy out. What Sema delivers is more or less a watered down epic that doesn’t deliver in the action department. Everything is just very basic, down to the story and the acting. See dumb kid, he wants to be a soldier, he becomes a soldier, he has a boner for the hot chick, they become friends, mean bastard army dude gets angry because he has a boner as well, and then from there things are sketchy. Basically the editing was so bad, I didn’t know what the f*ck was happening most of the time, but I still felt that they would deliver on the action side. I’m afraid it didn’t hit up once.

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Province 77 (THAI 2002)

Province 77 (Thai 2002)

Director : Smith Timsawat
Cast : Prinya Itachai, Matinee Kingpoyom, Erik Markus Schuetz and Pete Tongchua.

Synopsis
A recently immigrated Thai family struggles to survive in Los Angeles’ fast-paced consumerist culture, while still maintaining traditional values. The identity struggle affects Pat, a good boy tempted by a life of crime, and his sister.

Review
by Edward Tang

Well, I truly don’t know where to begin. Province 77 is billed as another version of real GANGSTA life in the likes of Better Luck Tomorrow and Boyz n the Hood. So in other words, sorry to those films for getting an unlucky comparison to a lousy film. Well I was going to try and not insult the film up front, but frankly it stinks of cliched moments and annoying characters that got older as the film went along. Granted, this film is based upon how a Thai family struggles to survive in their new environment but why is that interesting?

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Yaowarat (THAI 2003)

Director : Namchoke Daengput
Cast : Shahkrit Yamnarm, Darawan Wilaingam, Suwannaparp, Suthida Harnwisej, Sattawat Dullayawijitt, Aadchara Luengsawat

Synopsis
In this explosive action thriller from Thailand set in Bangkok’s sizzling Yaowarat Chinatown district, the precarious truce between two mafia gangs. Yaowarat and Pahurad ended in violent gunfights when Kao, one of Pahurad’s hit man killed a Yaowarat member. In retaliation, Yaowarat enlists the help of Saleng, the best hit man in the business, to take Kao out.

Review
by Edward Tang

Hmm. Thailand gets another release via Tai Seng who usually bare bones it up for a decent film. On the cover is a guy holding two pistols ala God of Guns John Woo. I wonder if that interested me? Of course it did. “Yaowarat” tries to be a cool film and edgy, starting off with a gangster boss raping the shit out of one of his girls and follows with one boring film filled with nothing in between. There were some attempts at action, but they looked completely stupid. Take this out for example, one guy has one pistol, against four other guys with pistols. Now, how does this one guy kill two of them and still survive? The action-thriller promised in the synopsis is never really met, and what we are left with is something that resembles a gangster-drama-romance type story. So in the long run, the film isn’t that bad and for the most part I got enough out of it, but the editing and the annoying voice-overs left me wanting to go home.

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Tears of the Black Tiger (THAI 2000)

Director : Wisit Sasasanatieng
Cast : Stella Malucchi, Chartchai Ngamsan

Synopsis

When Dum, a young peasant boy, falls in love with Rumpoey, the daughter of a wealthy city family, they vow that, whatever happens, they will one day be together…Ten years on, Dum is the notorious gang member “Black Tiger”. When he is commanded to execute police captain Kumjorn, Kumjorn has one last request – that Dum explain to his fiancée how he died. Dum realises that Kumjorn’s fiancée is, in fact, Rumpoey and is unable to ruin what he believes is her happiness. His decision to release Kumjorn is what finally unites the childhood sweethearts.

Review
by Liz Brkljac

This film assaults the eye with stunning colour: Bright pinks, lurid greens, bold yellows, giving it a cartoon like appearance. The characters, drawn large and vibrantly alive. Brightly painted backdrops add to the bright, cartoon like appearance. Even the blood, which there is plenty of, is the reddest you will ever see. An early scene is a shootout, featuring an unlikely, but accurate, shot whose mad trajectory finally reaches its target. There is a pause and the writer asks of the audience …….“Did you catch that? If not we’ll play it again”. His message printed on the screen. It is at this point that you realise that this highly luminescent movie is not going to be your usual run of the mill experience.

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