Tom Yum Goong 2 (Review)

Tom Yum Goong 2

aka ต้มยำกุ้ง 2 aka The Protector 2
Tom Yung Goong 2 Protector
Written by Eakisit Thairaat
Directed by Prachya Pinkaew

Tom Yung Goong 2 Protector Jeeja
An elephant gets stolen again, causing Tony Jaa to kick lots of people again. This time, the stunts are bigger and 3D driven, but also more CGI enhanced and less realistic, which is a shame. There is no long tracking shot like in Tom Yum Goong, and the more memorable fights are remembered because of their gimmicks, not because of their awesomeness. But that sounds like I’m bagging on Tom Yum Goong 2 a bit hard, it was still some good fun, even if it can’t live up to it’s predecessor. And let’s face it, there aren’t many martial arts films that can.

Tom Yum Goong 2 went into production in August 2011. It was delayed by horrible Thailand floods, Tony Jaa doing weird things, production infighting, Jeeja’s unplanned pregnancy, and a bunch of other problems too boring to reiterate. It’s more of a minor miracle the film was completed at all, and isn’t terrible. But the money and the problems changed a few things for the worse, and didn’t give anything in return.
Tom Yung Goong 2 Protector
The fights are now 3D, so there is less continual choreography and long shots and more 3D-ish effects, which sort of makes them worse. The made-for-3Dness makes the CGI additions a lot more noticeable, especially when you aren’t watching in 3D. But even if I was, there wasn’t that much going on that made me wish I was watching in 3D. 3D doesn’t make the kicks any harder, nor does it make the tracking shots suddenly several minutes long. All we get is a few random CGI items floating across the screen. The most creative shots they didn’t even use outside of one part, which was a POV facecam as Kham was running from a bunch of goons.
Tom Yung Goong 2 Protector eeja

Kham (Tony Jaa) – Kham is back and he’s still got his elephant, but now the elephant Korn is in danger…oh, wait, that happened last time. So Kham now has to beat up a lot of people…oh, wait, that happened last time! Eh, just enjoy him kicking butt!
Ping Pong (“Jeeja” Yanin Vismistananda) – Ping Pong and her sister Sue-sue (Theerada Kittiseriprasert) walk in on Kham standing over the body of their murdered uncle, and immediately begin attacking him and chase him down. Only after an examination of the corpse does Ping Pong realize their mistake, but by then Sue-sue has been killed by Number 02. Ping Pong uses drugged needles and agility to defeat larger foes.
Mr. LC (RZA) – Leader of an underground fighting club that does all sorts of bad things, including gun running and getting involved in international assassination attempts to foster dictatorial ambitions of warlords. He never loses, so don’t tell him he lost. His group is ranked, but he made sure to tattoo Number 00 on his head so we all know he’s the best that ever was.
Sergeant Mark (Petchtai Wongkamlao) – Kham’s old friend from Australia is in Thailand helping out with all the diplomatic things going on, and gets involved with Kham’s latest elephant kidnapping party.
Number 02 (Marrese Crump) – Largely silent fighter who wants to be the best fighter there ever was, and will punch whoever and whatever it takes to get there. Murders with a unique series of close blows. Has a complicated honor system, but is still pretty evil and loyal to Mr. LC. Marrese Crump was RZA’s stunt double on The Man with the Iron Fists, and got promoted to costar here.
Number 20 (Yayaying Rhatha Phongam) – One of Mr. LC’s fighters, loyal to him because he saved her during a sexual assault and trained her in fighting so she could get revenge on her attackers.

Tom Yung Goong 2 Protector
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - April 18, 2014 at 7:53 am

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Noboru Iguchi returns with Live (ライヴ)

Noboru Iguchi is constantly pumping out new and weird films, and his latest Live (ライヴ or Raivu)looks to be another fun festival of lots of people dying in violent ways while goofy things happen. Naoto Tamura (Yuki Yamada) discovers his mother has been kidnapped, and he’s being forced to participate in a race called Live. He soon finds others who are also competing, all with a kidnapped loved one. They rulebook gives clues, but the biggest clue that something is wrong is all the people trying to kill them. As contestants fall, Naoto must figure out a way to save his mom, and possibly his friend and that hot girl who are also in the race.

Live is based on the book Live by Yusuke Yamada. It’s due in Japanese theaters on May 10th, and will presumably show up in American festivals soon enough. Yes, Asami Sugiura will be in it. I didn’t notice any of the other Iguchi regulars, but I’m betting they’ll pop up as well. Live also stars Ito Ono and Yuki Morinaga

Official Site
via Asianwiki

Live movie Noboru Iguchi

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Posted by Tars Tarkas -  at 12:09 am

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Asteroid vs. Earth in Asylum’s latest scifi thriller!

If you aren’t thrilled by asteroids threatening the planet, then feel free to skip on by, because those of us who are won’t want to miss a thing about the new film Asteroid vs. Earth!

When a shower of massive meteors threatens Earth’s inhabitants with extinction, the world’s greatest minds devise a dangerous plan that will tilt the planet off its axis to avoid the impact.

Yes, you read that right. Instead of going to the asteroid and blowing it up, they’re going to TILT THE FREAKING EARTH! This is some hardcore crazy outside the box thinking, and I’m pretty sure this hasn’t been done before. Tia Carrere stars, along with Robert Davi, Jason Brooks, and Tukov himself, Tim Russ. Christopher Ray (2-Headed Shark Attack) directs, and Adam Lipsius writes (this is his first feature) How are they going to move the Earth? I don’t know, but I hope it involves really big skateboards.

The Asteroid vs Earth Blu-ray is available on Amazon(affiliate link) It hits the street on April 29th!

The real question is who would win in a four-way matchup, Asteroid vs Earth vs Airlane vs Volcano? A question that will haunt us, until we remember that Sharknado would destroy them all!

via Asylum
Asteroid vs Earth

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - April 17, 2014 at 2:44 pm

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Tom-Yum-Goong (Review)


aka ต้มยำกุ้ง aka The Protector
Tom Yum Goong The Protector Tony Jaa
Written by Prachya Pinkaew, Kongdej Jaturanrasamee, Napalee, Piyaros Thongdee, and Joe Wannapin
Directed by Prachya Pinkaew

Tom Yum Goong The Protector Tony Jaa
“Where’s my elephant?” – Kham, like 1000 times.

“Where’s my elephant?” demanded the small man with the big confidence. The goons stood and smirked, surely this small man was small and thus no threat. The next thing they remember is waking up in the hospital, having been kicked through the door. Thus the adventure begins as Tony Jaa searches for his missing elephants and people get the crap beat out of them from Thailand to Australia. Along the way there is a complicated plot about illegal food smugglers and amoral businesses and gang rivalries, but the plot is the least of our worries. Because Tom-Yum-Goong (or The Protector if you’re watching the American version) is the film that features a 4 minute long single take of Tony Jaa fighting his way up several flights of stairs with goons all the way. It is, quite simply, one of the most amazing fight sequences in cinema.

Tom-Yum-Goong is the followup to Ong Bak, the film that put Tony Jaa and Prachya Pinkaew on the international map. Jaa and Pinkaew would have on set troubles in all subsequent films, with the two feuding about funding and unexplained absences. Ong Bak 2, Ong Bak 3, and Tom Yum Goong 2 would all have various production problems and delays, with causes ranging from the aforementioned arguing to political strife to disastrous flooding to a marriage and a pregnancy!
Tom Yum Goong The Protector Tony Jaa
Whatever future events would be, the fact is that everything aligned to make Tom-Yum-Goong an amazing action film. The choreography is amazing, Tony Jaa pulls off a huge assortment of stunts and once he gets going, will fight what amounts to a ridiculous amount of opponents on his quest to rescue his elephants. We don’t even see the beginning shot, we just see the bodyguard fly into the room to signify that Kham and begun to beat everyone up. That was an editing choice, as the initial punches were filmed, but it works so much better to have the sudden crash. Tom-Yum-Goong is filled with creativity, from the fight up the stairway that just goes on and on to the fights in a flooded temple that is visually stunning. The villains have at their disposal a near limitless amount of goons on extreme sports equipment, from inline skates to dirt bikes, all of which come riding in to beat the tar out of Kham, and all of which fail miserably. Tony Jaa and Panna Rittikrai even developed a new style of Muay Thai they called Muay Koshasan to represent an elephant fighting style. The attention to little details that have a big impact to make the film look unique is all part of the charm.
Tom Yum Goong The Protector Bongkoj Khongmalai

Kham (Tony Jaa) – He’s just a dude looking for his elephants.
Sergeant Mark (Petchtai Wongkamlao) – A Thai cop in Australia who is tangled in not only the Kham beating everyone up mess, but also a corrupt cop mess and a political killings mess. It’s very messy to be Sergeant Mark!
Pla (Bongkoj Khongmalai) – A student turned prostitute who is forced to replay the debt of her dead relative or else she’ll be killed or worse. Helps Kham when she can. Is caught up in some political assassin intrigue, but is largely in the film for eye candy, hence her featured scene where she’s rubbing mud all over herself while wearing little clothing. Bongkoj Khongmalai is also in Dangerous Flowers.
Madame Rose (Xing Jin) – Ascending to the head of a criminal empire is hard when even your family is against you. Luckily for Madame Rose, she’s planned ahead, and just might have a few less relatives to deal with. Think of all the money she’ll save on greeting cards! It’s almost enough to buy some black market elephants…
Korn (???) – Baby elephant from a Jatubaht warrior family that’s stolen along with his father, Por Yai. Kham sets out to save them from their dark fate.

Tom Yum Goong The Protector Tony Jaa
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Posted by Tars Tarkas -  at 7:46 am

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Petals on the Wind brings more Flowers to Lifetime! #PetalsOnTheWind

Petals on the Wind Lifetime
Flowers in the Attic was one of the highest rated films of 2013, and Lifetime wasted no time in beginning to adapt the sequel, Petals on the Wind. Petals on the Wind continues the saga of the Dollanganger children who have escaped the attic and are drawn into all sorts of drama including abusive relationships and a seduction revenge plot against their mom.

When you check out the press release, you’ll also notice Lifetime announced preproduction on two more books in the Flowers series – If There Be Thorns and Seeds of Yesterday. In addition, they’re also working on a film of V. C. Andrews’ My Sweet Audrina, which is not part of the series. Wikipedia declares that My Sweet Audrina “was the only standalone novel without incest published during Andrews’ lifetime.” So, yeah. No ratings for it! Just kidding….

Petals on the Wind stars Heather Grahan, Ellen Burstyn, Dylan Bruce, Rose McIver, Wyatt Nash, and Bailey Buntain. It’s directed by Karen Moncrieff (huzzah female director!), who also directed The Trials of Cate McCall, and I remember her from some low budget action films in the 1990s: Midnight Witness, Rage, and Xtro 3: Watch the Skies. My goodness, does that make me a real 90s kid?

Petals on the Wind premieres May 26th on Lifetime.

via Lifetime

On the heels of the Lifetime Original Movie “Flowers in the Attic,” this year’s number one movie telecast on ad-supported cable, Lifetime will premiere the much-anticipated sequel “Petals on the Wind” on Memorial Day, Monday, May 26, at 9 pm PT/ET. Based on the second gothic novel of the iconic V.C. Andrews series about the Dollanganger family, the film begins ten years after the siblings have escaped the attic where their mother Corrine (Heather Graham, “Drugstore Cowboy”) and grandmother Olivia (Ellen Burstyn, “Political Animals”) kept them locked away for more than two years.

A decade after Cathy (Rose McIver, “Masters of Sex,” “Once Upon a Time”), Christopher (Wyatt Nash, “Pretty Little Liars”) and Carrie (Bailey Buntain, “Bunheads”) escaped from their grandparents’ attic at Foxworth Hall, “Petals on the Wind” continues to follow the twisted plight of the family as they attempt to put their sordid past behind them, but soon discover certain secrets can’t be left behind. When Cathy finds herself in an abusive relationship with a fellow dancer, Julian (Will Kemp, “90210″), Christopher and Cathy are forced to face the forbidden feelings they developed for one another while coming of age during captivity. But when tragedy strikes the Dollangangers once again, Cathy returns to Foxworth Hall to confront her grandmother and seek revenge on her mother with a plan to seduce her husband Bart (Dylan Bruce, “Orphan Black”). When Christopher runs to Cathy’s side, the two are determined to start over again – together.

Lifetime is currently in development on three additional V.C. Andrews’ books, including “If There Be Thorns” and “Seeds of Yesterday,” both from the Dollananger series, and the standalone novel “My Sweet Audrina.”

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - April 16, 2014 at 11:18 pm

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The Coed and the Zombie Stoner – new high art from Asylum!

Asylum is just cranking out the films faster than I can keep up with them by randomly checking their website every month or so. To wit, their tweet about the new film The Coed and the Zombie Stoner, which will be premiering exclusively on XBox Live, aka meaning I won’t be able to see it. But it looks like another Asylum softcore romp, this time the gimmick is there is a zombie pothead. Hey, that’s combining three different genres into one! Who said Asylum doesn’t know how to roll things up together. Idiots, that’s who! It says “Sex, drugs, and the walking dead” right on the poster!

When a nerdy sorority girl falls in love with a zombie, it’s only a matter of time before a zombie apocalypse is unleashed on campus. The sorority girl discovers that weed is the cure–now she must smoke out the entire school before it’s too late.

Yes, weed cures zombies now. It’s true, I heard it from Cypress Hill. I think. I can’t remember, I was pretty high, but it was probably Cypress Hill, or some guy who was on a hill. Hm…

The Coed and the Zombie Stoner stars Mindy Robinson(Asian School Girls), Jamie Noel(Bikini Spring Break), Grant O’Connell(m4m), Catherine Annette(Emmanuelle Through Time: Emmanuelle’s Supernatural Sexual Activity), Ben Whalen(A Leading Man), Andrew Clements(Bikini Spring Break), Jared Cohn(Underground Lizard People) and Lena Young(The Potstickers). It’s directed by Glenn Miller(The Bell Witch Haunting) and written by Scotty Mullen (who hasn’t written anything else) Anyone with XBox Live want to check in and say if this is any fun, feel free. Otherwise, the rest of use will have to wait until this gets a wider release.

The Coed and the Zombie Stoner Asylum

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Posted by Tars Tarkas -  at 5:16 pm

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