เก๋า..เก๋า a.k.a. The Possible

28 November 2006
This is the fifth, the latest and probably the last attempt to become solo of the directors from "Fan Chan six" – the group of the back-then 6 new-face directors who co-directed one of Thailand’s critically acclaimed smash hit movie "Fan Chan" a.k.a. "My Girl" in 2003. From Komgrit "S" Triwimol’s "Peun Sanit" a.k.a. "Dear Dakanda" to Songyos "Yong" Sugmakanan’s "Dek Hor" a.k.a. "Dorm" to Nithiwat "Ton" Tharathorn’s "Seasons Change" and, last but not least, Anusorn "Ping" Trisirikasem’s "Mak Tae" a.k.a. "Lucky Loser," while Vitcha Gojiew prefers editing all the movies to directing them, here comes Witthaya "Ball" Thongyooyong’s "the Possible."

The story revolves around a 1970s Thai string-combo band called "the Possible" (patterned after Thailand’s legendary musical group "The Impossible" which, ironically and hilariously, appeared in this movie as an impersonator of "The Possible.") The band received a mysterious microphone as a gift from a fan. In fact, the microphone is a time machine that brings them from their time (1969) to the present day Bangkok (2006.) The Possible had to cope up with the far more hectic Bangkok and finds the way to travel back to their time.

Almost all of the main cast, who are the members of "the Possible", are real-life professional Thai musicians. These include the debut as an actor of Thailand’s first hip hop star, Apisit "Joey Boy" Opasaiumlikit and Piya "Bo Yokee Playboy" and Sartwaha Jakrapong "Song Paradox" Siririn, just to name a few. Of course, their acting might not be that perfect but the original scores and musical plays in the movie are simply the best. A number of hit songs in the seventies are being transformed to be music of the Possible. The 13-year-old Focus Jirakul is also in the movie as a good luck charm for the director. The movie also contains a big number of guest stars which I lost my count half-way through as there are so many of those with familiar faces on the screen.

As the movie is a full-stream comedy, it is natural not to think of any reasons behind the plot and the storyline. Everything is literally possible in "The Possible." The plot is simple, though, and there is no twist and turn in the movie as the ending is predictable. However, comedy gags and puns in the movie are so funny that, once you understand the culture and background of these jokes, you just couldn’t stop laughing. Unfortunately, there are a number of gags which required virtually native Thai language skill and Thai culture awareness to be understood and fully enjoy the moment in the movie. I doubt that, no matter how hard the translators try, English or any other language subtitles couldn’t do fair with the movie. Apart from being extremely funny for those who understand the movie, there is also a moral of the story. Even though it’s a little bit too cliche, it is the trademark of the "Fan Chan six" to deliver a feel-good movie which audiences could enjoy and get something to think about when the movie ends.

5 stars out of 5. It’s probably one of the best Thai music-comedy movies. Just listening to the songs and laughing almost all the time while watching the movie is worth the ticket.

P.S. Check out the official website of the movie (in Thai) at <http://www.possiblethemovie.com>


Death Note: The Last Name

26 November 2006
Yesterday (Saturday 25th November 2006) I had a chance to watch Thailand’s premier & press screening of "Death Note: The Last Name" at Major Cineplex Central World Plaza. In order to promote the movie, there was also a cos-play competition which death-note fans would have a chance to put on a costume and represent themselves as characters they like.

The movie is the second and final part of "Death Note" on big screen. The script is almost totally different from the original comic. "Death Note: The Last Name" picks up where the first part of the movie lefts off as Yagami Light or Kira, the Death Note bearer, joins force with the special task force in search for Kira led by L. The battle of wits between the two geniuses starts. Things are getting more interesting when Amane Misa or the second Kira steps in. Even though someone might claim that the ending is the same as the original manga, this might not be the case as the twist and turn in the story makes the movie unpredictable until the end credit rolls up.

I really like the character "L" in the movie as he looks more emotional and realistic than his character in the original comic. The scene of Light, L and Misa at Light’s university is my favorite as it’s both enjoyable and hilarious. I am sure everyone would laugh when he sees the "mask."

5 stars out of 5 – the movie is worth the wait after watching the first part. It ends in style.

เขาชนไก่ a.k.a. Khao Chon Kai

22 November 2006
Today I had a chance to join the press screening of Thai movie called "Khao Chon Kai" thanks to Udomdog and Deknang.com for providing me the tickets.

Khao Chon Kai is the name of Thai military training camp in Kanchanaburi province naming after the name of the mountain in which it’s situated. For Thai high school boy who doesn’t want to be enlisted in the military service, there is an easier training to enroll and complete in 3 academic years. This training is somehow equivalent to the US army’s Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) system in a younger age. At the end of this tiresome training, one should pass a field training exercise at Khao Chon Kai.

That being said and explained, one might be able to understand what one could expect from the movie which is filmed at the actual location. The movie revolved around a group of the third year cadets who finally made it to the end of their training. However, with scattering comical gags and out-of-control dramatic elements, the movie seems to be lost and fragmented into bits and pieces. This might be the result from poor script and unreasonable plots. You might enjoy a moment in the film and then suddenly feel out of place by the shift of mood. There are rooms of improvement for those at the editing and cinematography team of the movie. I guess the best part of the movie is, unfortunately, the only supporting actress in an entire ensemble of the cast. Gosh! she is cute and certainly make the film worth a watch. See the picture below.

2 stars out of 5 – Is it only me feeling familiar with bits and parts of this movie? The beginning at the barber’s, the bathroom/toilet scenes and the final words/conversation at the very end of the movie – all seems too much to use the term "inspired by"

P.S. Visit the official website (in Thai) at <http://www.khaochonkai.com/>

日本沈没 (Nihon Chinbotsu) a.k.a. Sinking of Japan

21 November 2006
I have just been back from Thailand’s sneak preview screening of the movie called 「日本沈没」 or "Sinking of Japan" at SFX Cinema Emporium. Thanks Pradt for calling me and popcornmag for a free ticket.

The English title of the movie has already said it all. The movie tells a fictional story of the sinking of Japan – literally. In fact, the movie is adapted from science fiction novel written by Sakyo Komatsu back in 1973. It was so popular that the story was told and retold many times as movies, graphic novels, television series and radio shows.

In this 2006 version of the movie, the opening is too long with lengthy scientific terms trying to explain and give the reason behind "the sinking of Japan." Moreover, the movie spends too much time introducing the main characters and establishing a dramatic plot. Even though this plot is too simple and too cliché, once the "sinking" of Japan begins half-way in the movie, you will see a stunning and eye-popping visual effect of the disasters. This might be considered as the best part of the movie as it’s what Japanese could do best even before the computer graphic era – looking back at those classic Godzilla‘s building destruction scenes where models were being used. The movie also features one of the most beautiful theme song called 「Keep Holding U」 – a duet performance by a Korean female singer SunMin and a veteran Japanese singer/song-writer Toshinobu Kubota in the name of 「SunMin thanX Kubota」.

All in all, the movie is enjoyable to watch if you like destruction and disaster movie. Some basic knowledge of Japanese geography is useful as you could understand the story better without relying too much on multiple-lines Thai/English/Japanese subtitle.

3 stars out of 5 – just the visual effect and the music is worth the ticket.

P.S. The movie will be screening exclusively in Thailand at SF Cinema franchise starting from November 23rd, 2006. You could visit the official website (in Japanese) at <http://www.nc06.jp>

Casino Royale

19 November 2006
007 is back with a new face but not a new name. The movie took a plot from the first James Bond novel written by the original creator Ian Flemming back in 1953. The book "Casino Royale" introduced Bond as he first got his "double O" status in MI6 section. His mission is to play and win a game of poker at "Casino Royale" to stop the villain banker who supplies money to terrorist groups around the world.

The 37-year-old British actor Daniel Craig is a new 007 agent. Before the movie was released, die-hard fans and critics were skeptical of his potential to fill in the footstep of his predecessor.  However, Craig proved that he could perfectly portray the world’s most favorite spy in his own charismatic way. He reinvented James Bond with style and it’s not hard to convince the audiences that he is 007.

The movie also starred a powerful ensemble of the cast, including Judi Dench as "M" and the beautiful Eva Green as "Vesper Lynd," another MI6 agent who accompanies Bond to Casino Royale. The sharp and quick-witted conversation between James Bond and Vesper Lynd at their first encounter is remarkable. Craig and Green really have an on-screen chemistry together. Their presences provide a relief moment in the action and twisted-and-turn plot of the movie.

5 stars out of 5. All in all, the movie is worth watching. James Bond franchise has never failed the audience.

Free Hugs Campaign

13 November 2006
This is magnificent video showing a man reaching out for people trying to convey a message of "love" and "peace." Hopefully, the message would get spread out around the globe.

Anyone wanna try giving a "free hug" in Bangkok? Siam Square on Sunday seems to be a perfect choice.

What do you fear?

2 November 2006
Recently, I read an article from BK Magazine (No. 157 Oct 27 – Nov 2, 2006 issue) regarding "13 things that scare the hell out of us." I stumbled upon a list of bizarre "phobia" vocabulary that I have never imaged there are such words describing strange, but true, fearful feeling. Here are some examples:

Arachibutyrophobia = fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth

Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia = fear of long words

Phobophobia = fear of phobias

Tonguingphobia = fear of French kisses

Venustraphobia = fear of beautiful women

So, what do you think? Do you fear anything like those phobia described in the list? I, for sure, would never be "Venustraphobia."