Posts Tagged ‘blood’

BUPPAH RAHTREE 3.2 [RAHTREE’S REVENGE | บุปผาราตรี 3.2]

2010/02/21

http://www.sahamongkolfilm.com/

Thailand 2009   Directed & Written by: Yuthlert Sippapak   Cast: Chermarn Boonyasak, Mario Maurer, Somlek Sakdikul, Arkorn Peedrakul, Chantana Kittiyapan, Nuttawan Saksiri, Santisuk Promsiri

Now finally also Thailand got one: a film rating system. Thank god. Gone are the golden days when CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST was screened publicly around the clock in every mall so that mummy could keep the little ones busy with some fine entertainment while shopping the latest soaps on DVD. Even if the Thais so far did well without ratings, it was certainly only a question of time until the censors would institutionalize the power in theirs hands.

As a result BUPPAH RAHTREE 3.2 was the first Thai film getting a rating (Tarantino’s INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS was the first film ever). For BUPPAH authorities agreed to rate it 18+ (the rating goes up to 20+), but whether it will have any effect is questionable – at the end the largest group of movie goers are teenagers, and they are used to attend any movie they like, no matter what the level of sex and violence may be.

Until now censorship in the kingdom was much more random and some hope that now rating will help to classify films rather than cut them, but well, film ratings are what they are, right? We’ll keep observing what’s going on and will post updates as soon as available.

BUPPAH RAHTREE 3.2 is the fourth installment of Sippapaks franchise and it is a linear continuation of the ghost movie series. Part love story, part comedy, part horror film BUPPAH RAHTREE 3.2 is still a vague affair. Is it inconsistency, or is it creativity? You decide. Like many other films BUPPAH mixes solid suspense, gross ideas, splatter and humor and appears changing its mood and tone every five minutes.

Funny: in Thailand we can still enjoy and laugh about penis jokes, haha. Yep, that’s what the local audience likes, no shit. Unfortunately many have noticed that this also doesn’t exactly help the Thai film to grow up, or evolve for that matter. If you afford the luxury of wasting 10 minutes of your movie with a joke about the length of penises then it means you have nothing better to offer. And you simply supply according to the demand.

Overall BUPPAH RAHTREE 3.2 works quite well though: the emotional moments show the soft side of the film, while the horror produces sufficient goose bumps, and yes, you can even laugh about the funny scenes disregard how stupid they might be.

BUPPAH RAHTREE 3.2 last but not least reflects the status quo of the Thai nation: ghosts, or better spirits, are part of daily life and simply speaking also rooted in Buddhism. The films deals with the key issue of releasing souls and with reincarnation, and the fact that some spirits endlessly stick to other souls or won’t let go of certain activities they were used to, like for instance “revenge“. That’s the reason why the cartoon artist is looking for Buppah in the afterlife, as he hasn’t told her yet that he loves her. And that’s why Buppah kills again and again. In between all that the film makes fun of whatever comes its way, monks, police corruption, politicians, you name it.

The story doesn’t always develop in a linear fashion, but nevertheless gets it shit together and ends with a beautiful twist. Finally everything looks so homogeneous and it would have been better if BUPPAH wouldn’t constantly divert from the actual story that has enough substance to make a good film actually.

BUPPAH RAHTREE 3.2 improves over its running time – it may be far from art, but after a spelling mistake in the credits (sic!) at the beginning (“Excutive producer“) it develops into a pretty good popcorn film for a rainy Saturday afternoon.

J.



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NINJA ASSASSIN

2010/01/24

http://ninja-assassin-movie.warnerbros.com

USA/D 2009  Directed by: James McTeigue   Story: Matthew Sand   Script: Matthew Sand, J. Michael Straczynsk   Production: Joel Silver, Larry Wachowski, Andy Wachowski, Grant Hill  Cinematography: Karl Walter Lindenlaub   Editing: Gian Ganziano, Joseph Jett Sally   Music: Iian Eshkeri   Cast: Rain, Naomi Harris, Ben Miles, Sho Kosugi

And now for something completely different: the new, highly anticipated Wachowski brothers movie has arrived hot from the press. NINJA ASSASSIN, directed by James “V FOR VENDETTA” McTeigue continues the zigzag course of the MATRIX inventors and surprises us once more. Only this time not positively.

It would be a pure waste of time to describe the thin Plot in more than three sentences. For the sake of it thus sentence 1: a Ninja clan kidnaps children and turns them into Super-Ninjas. Sentence 2: One of the students develops his own opinion, turns against the “foster father” and everything escalates in an international guerilla war between Ninjas and police authorities. Sentence 3: Naturally, there’s also a love story.

NINJA ASSASSIN certainly wins the accolade for the worst script in recent years. I can’t imagine how such a lame story, which in addition is dreadfully written and unbelievably formulaic, featuring horrible dialogue and tremendous loopholes was ever greenlit. Any dialogue from any of the DIE HARD sequels seems like a work of Keats in comparison. NINJA ASSASSIN crosses the border to ridiculous terrain more than once and there are dozens of plain stupid scenes that leave us wondering what drugs they were on when shooting the movie. In addition the whole cast performs far below average and are a shame for anyone considering himself a serious actor. Mostly NINJA ASSASSIN is not much better than a school play.

The next problem is the aesthetics: the visual style of NINJA ASSASSIN is unbearable. The lighting must have been done by a blind person, whereas color and contrast are on Telenovela level (even the production stills look better than the film itself) and the framing and camerawork are extremely random, if not clumsy. It appears that McTeigue is simply the wrong man sitting on the director’s chair. V FOR VENDETTA already displayed his talent for wasting opportunities rather than seizing the possibilities the graphic novel offered. NINJA ASSASSIN now is no exception, but by comparison however it’s a genuine disaster. The editing more than once recalls “fond” memories of B-Horror movies and C-Ninja movies of the 70’s and 80’s, which often most inelegantly were cutting back and forth between static dialogues or badly choreographed action sequences. The hiring of Sho Kosugi, who’s mumbling his way through the film in a Brando-like tone and manner, should have been a warning sign. NINJA ASSASSIN was a great chance to pay homage to the Ninja movie subgenre, but McTeigue is not able to abstract, adapt and revitalize the genre in any appropriate way – or at all, that is. And no: NINJA ASSASSIN clearly is not that lousy on purpose, trying to be a smart B-movie satire or reminiscence.

So what’s good about NINJA ASSASSIN? If you subtract all the endless flashbacks and Rains training sequences (which make for a substantial part of the film) you can enjoy a splatterfest rarely ever seen in mainstream cinema. Once again the major studios get away with everything: NINJA ASSASSIN dwells endlessly in scenes of graphic violence. Separated limbs and divided bodies are displayed throughout the entire film and blood spurts without any sense out of everything the camera captures. NINJA ASSASSIN without a doubt contains some of the most brutal killing scenes of modern mainstream cinema, in case this alone is of any interest. However, ICHI THE KILLER was there first and did what it did earlier, better and with far less budget. And in a way it feels like FUDOH, another Miike film, was the blueprint for some of the choreographed violence now shown in NINJA ASSASSIN.

NINJA ASSASSIN will certainly not disappoint all those who expect a maximum of blood and gore. Thank god that nowadays we don’t have to sneak into some dodgy video rental store anymore to get this kind of fare, but instead are being served in the glossy multiplex cinema downtown. The marketing people should have really come up with the idea to produce NINJA ASSASSIN barf bags and hand it out to all those couples who ended up watching the film accidentally because of oh-so-cute Rain. Some will certainly need it. Hurray, isn’t that fun seeing nameless cannon fodder being turned into minced meat by the minute.

The bottom line: NINJA ASSASSIN is the worthy successor of AMERICAN NINJA and Rain is the Asian Michael Dudikoff. I guess congratulations are in order. In some twisted sense the film may have a certain charm (at least for those who indeed grew up with junk like AMERICAN NINJA), but the result is hardly what the Wachowskis had in mind and the audience is expecting. Let’s quickly summarize NINJA ASSASSIN: sorry effort.

J.