Posts Tagged ‘gore’

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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ZOMBIELAND

2010/02/21

http://www.zombieland.com/

USA 2009  Directed by: Ruben Fleischer Script: Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick  Produced by: Gavon Polone  Cinematography: Michael Bonvillain  Editing: Peter Amundson & Alan Baumgarten  Music: David Sardy  Cast: Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin, Bill Murray

There’s hardly anything more entertaining than a good horror comedy, and ZOMBIELAND is about as good as it gets. Planet Earth is ruled by zombies and the last dudes alive are trying to make it to the holy land: a supposedly zombie-free zone, an amusement park on the west coast. Needless to say that this trip is not a vacation and that it takes more than just guts to make it to the destination alive.

ZOMBIELAND is the most original zombie movie in recent memory, simply because it was about time someone disrupted the “new wave” of the genre which hasn’t added much to what Romero et. al. have done decades ago. Not to forget that even Romero himself isn’t going anywhere new.

Not since Peter Jackson’s early films and especially BRAINDEAD (a.k.a. DEAD ALIVE; and yes, we’re still waiting for the complete & uncut release of this masterpiece, ideally on Blu-Ray) have we seen a funnier, wittier and smarter zombie film than ZOMBIELAND, which may be twisting every possible cliché into a comical situation, but at the same time pays homage to the genre instead making fun of it.

ZOMBIELAND, as we see it, is a much more serious and honest zombie movie than many crappy films claiming to be so totally tough and badass. The gore factor alone doesn’t make a sincere zombie movie, you also need to understand and love the genre. In other words: only when you truly master your subject you can transcend it and apply a perspective of your own that does more than just repeat what’s been there before.

It would be pointless to dwell into each and every funny scene or gory moment here; you’ll have to watch these for yourself for maximum impact. ZOMBIELAND is very much driven by situations, not by a storyline, so as mentioned the movie is playing out its comical moments and twists and turns along the way as it doesn’t have to care much about a complex story. What may not work with other films, the recipe is more than right for ZOMBIELAND. One remark though: the movie is definitely worth watching for the hilarious Bill Murray sequence alone.

ZOMBIELAND proves that dedication to the genre is the key. With just 4 ½ characters and a very basic storyline it manages to entertain us with loads of absolutely great ideas and make for one of the most rewarding movie experiences of 2009. It’s all about the details, just like Harrison’s character Tallahassee says at one point: sometimes you have to enjoy the small things in life.

J.




CHEUN: KAAT-DTA-GAM RAM-LEUK [SLICE | เฉือน]

2010/02/01

http://www.slicethemovie.com/

Thailand 2010  Directed & Written by: Kongkiat Khomsiri  Story: Wisit Sasanatieng  Cast: Arak Amornsupasiri, Chatchai Plengpanich, Sonthaya Chitmanee, Sikarin Polyong, Attapan Poolsawasdi

One of the most ambitious Thai films of late 2009 was certainly CHEUN (SLICE) by ART OF THE DEVIL co-director Khomsiri: Papa Chin, a dodgy cop, is looking for a serial killer, and he only has one last chance to find him within the next 15 days according to his fed-up superiors. His last resort is Tai, a former colleague, who is now doing time in prison and is released temporarily to help searching for the killer who apparently is an old acquaintance from the past. Tai goes back to the place where he grew up and starts putting the pieces together – just to find out a shocking truth indeed.

CHEUN turns out a really serious, no-nonsense crime thriller. Particularly convincing are the emotional moments that can excel even the expected and very graphic scenes of violence. CHEUN – quite surprisingly – is not a simple, predictable slasher movie, but avoids severe plot holes, features good actors and is beautifully shot, edited and scored. Ambitions do pay off.

Despite some minor “references” to other films (borrowing ideas from DON’T LOOK NOW, A BITTERSWEET LIFE or OLD BOY) CHEUN remains an original, skillfully written and equally convincing as drama, emotional coming-of-age story or brutal thriller. CHEUN is also very smart when it comes to connecting the various storylines without losing track.

Particularly astonishing about CHEUN however are the extremes that Khomsiri plays around with while keeping everything perfectly balanced: the brutal murders couldn’t be any more graphic, while the emotional scenes are truly touching. CHEUN may actually be the better drama: more and more do we start to sympathize with the killer, more and more is it not anymore about who the killer actually is, but why he kills. The reasons behind quickly become more fascinating than the atrocities.

The uncomfortable truth (still) is: when we look into an abyss, the abyss also looks into us. The killer didn’t turn himself into a monster, but society did. CHEUN is one of the few films in recent memory that doesn’t compromise or let us off the hook – long after the film is over we keep thinking about it.

CHEUN is authentic, down to earth, genuine, and reminds me of the completely underrated Hong Kong drama SLOW FADE. It doesn’t reach its extreme levels of permanent depression and decay, but the downwards spiral is equally inexorable. The showdown doesn’t gear towards redemption, but a last knockout.

I can’t help but wonder why I am doing this to myself. And can’t wait to watch CHEUN all over again nevertheless.

J.