Posts tagged "Prachya Pinkaew"

Tom-Yum-Goong (Review)

Tom-Yum-Goong

aka ต้มยำกุ้ง aka The Protector
Tom Yum Goong The Protector Tony Jaa
2005
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 - April 17, 2014 at 7:46 am

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The Kick

The Kick

aka 더 킥 aka วอนโดนเตะ!!

2011
Story by Prachya Pinkaew
Screenplay by Lee Jong-suk Lee
Directed by Prachya Pinkaew


Thai and Korean co-production The Kick shot on people’s radar for two reasons: Director Prachya Pinkaew, and Jija Yanin having a supporting role in the film. That’s all that was reported, and for the longest time it was hard to tell what kind of role Jija even had in the flick. Well, time has passed, and now The Kick is available on DVD and we can see Jija has a substantial supporting role in the last 2/3rds of the flick and participates in several fight scenes. There is also plenty of other action from the Korean actors, but the film does drag at points due to pacing and humor issues. It is far from Prachya Pinkaew’s best work. It’s almost another Jakkalan, though it does give us an interesting Korean/Thai hybrid film, something I don’t think there are too many examples of.

Though I thought I wouldn’t care about the Korean family, they began to grow on me (except for the young kid!) and even though they spend a good amount of time yelling at each other, they also come together to deal with bigger threats. Each family member has a different martial arts move skill, and the fights jump from solo to various pairings to group fighting. Unfortunately due to the amount of characters we rotate through the scenes quickly when all hell is breaking loose. The fight scenes in the last 20 minutes are great, but they also make the prior 90 minutes look terrible. I wish it had been more consistent on the choreography. In fact, I’d probably suggest just skipping until the end for most casual fans and people who don’t like putting up with nonsense.

Prachya Pinkaew has become a household name in martial arts film fan circles, with Ong-Bak, Tom-Yum-Goong, and Chocolate under his belt, and several upcoming films that look to be awesome as well. Several of the stars are members of the Korean Tigers tae kwon do group.

Moon (Cho Jae-hyun) – Father of the clan who is dealing with his own family issues and expectations while trying to raise his own children and instill similar values on them. Cho Jae-hyun headlines many Kim Ki-duk films. He’s also somewhere in Love So Divine
Yoon (Yea Ji-won) – Mom of the family who uses her skills for cooking. Most of her fights are comedic in nature.
Tae Yang (Taejoo) – Older son of the family and aspiring dancer. His dad is not too fond of his dancing dreams, even though Tae Yang incorporates the martial arts in his dancing. Often runs into trouble for some reason, he just must have awful luck. Taejoo sometimes is credited as Na Tae-joo.
Tae Mi (K Kim) – The lone daughter who plays soccer with the tae kwon do skills she learned from her father. Usually runs across her brother getting into random trouble. K Kim is also known as Kim Kyung-suk, she is a World Tae kwon do champion
Wawa (Jeeja Yanin) – Niece of zoo owner and friend of the family Mum, and the girl Tae Yang tries to impress. Has mad skills. See more Jija in Chocolate, Raging Phoenix, and Jakkalan.


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Posted by Tars Tarkas - September 10, 2012 at 2:06 am

Categories: Movie Reviews, Ugly   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Crystal Sky to destroy cinema, babies

Crystal Sky announced their upcoming features, and they’ve done it: They’ve ruined cinema. Sorry, movies, you had a good run, but three more Baby Geniuses films is enough to force everyone to television…where they’ll be forced to watch the Baby Geniuses tv series.

You might think I am joking, but I am not. The Baby Geniuses trilogy (3, 4, and 5) has been filmed and is in post production. Jon Voight returns for all three installments, and his buddy Bratz director Sean McNamara helmed all three. I don’t know who directed the 13 episodes of the tv series, perhaps Satan had some free time on his schedule.

Not wanting Baby Geniuses to be the low point of their presentation, Crystal Sky also announced plans for Dracula: The 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse. If you think that sounds like a title for tween girls to swoon over another brooding pale guy, you don’t know tween girls, and are also working for Crystal Sky, because that’s the point. As the explanation goes:

“It’s the first installment in a franchise about a young, romantic Prince of Darkness, his Army of the Undead and a series of events that shake Transylvania to its core,” said Paul, who calls the vampires “the bad boys” of their time. He said the intent is to create a Twilight-type franchise, which will spin off movie after movie in years to come.

Currently no one is cast as Dracula or his fellow bad boys, but Pearry Reginald Teo is directing.

Don’t worry, there are more films coming! Tekken: Rise of the Tournament is a prequel to Tekken, which was awful awful awful. But don’t worry, this one will be directed by Prachya Pinkaew (Ong Bak, Tom-Yum-Goong, Chocolate) which means it could be awesome awesome awesome. I don’t know if I’m able to process this radical shift in fortunes. Hopefully it will be a GI Joe 2, where the second film looks like it will rule.

Crystal Sky also has a giant dog franchise starting with Chilly Christmas. Trust me, there is a giant dog in the film according to the plot synopsis. This is another franchise attempt, and will probably have a better chance than the Dracula film. The world needs more giant dogs. C. Thomas Howell, Tom Arnold and Brooke Langton star, while Gregory Poppen directs.

The official position is a wary excitement for Tekken: Rise of the Tournament, and acceptance of Chilly Christmas even though we’ll probably not watch it.

Baby-Geniuses-2--Super-Babies

The original babies now have babies...

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - May 20, 2012 at 9:59 pm

Categories: Movie News   Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

The Kick stunt trailer

The Kick (that Korean/Thai co-production we’ve devoted a few posts about) has a stunt trailer up, and it’s got some butt-kicking action. And Jija Yanin finally shows up in some of the media, which is good, and she’s kicking people, which is good. Some of the stunts are awesome, so I can’t wait for this one!

Click here for the stunt trailer

We’ll embed it when someone uploads it to YouTube. The plot again for those who missed it:

Moon is a Taekwondo master running an old Taekwondo gym in Bangkok. All five members of his family are also the masters of Taekwondo in different styles: his wife Yoon in cooking style, son Taeju in dancing style, daughter Taemi in soccer style, and the youngest Typhoon can break anything with his strong forehead.

Moon wants his children to be Taekwondo coaches to take over his gym in future. However, regardless of their father’s will, Taeju wants to be a famous pop singer and Taemi is only interested in her secret crush at school.

One day, Taekwon family encounters treasure robbers on the street by accident and happens to get caught into fight with them. With surprising martial art skills, TK family knocks down the robbers and takes back the stolen treasures. The head of the robbers Pom, who is notorious for many crimes, escapes alone and trembles with rage.

TK family becomes famous in public. But, They do not know that Pom is planning to get his revenge.

The Kick

The film delivers!

via Twitch

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - September 29, 2011 at 1:28 pm

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Posters and Images for Prachya Pinkaew's The Kick

The Kick is an upcoming Thai/Korean martial arts film from Prachya Pinkaew featuring Jija Yanin and a bunch of Korean martial artists (the K-Tigers), including taekwondo world champion Na Tae-joo. It sounds like it will have some fun scenes, beating up bad dudes and bad dudes plotting revenge against a whole family of martial artists.

Synopsis:

Moon is a Taekwondo master running an old Taekwondo gym in Bangkok. All five members of his family are also the masters of Taekwondo in different styles: his wife Yoon in cooking style, son Taeju in dancing style, daughter Taemi in soccer style, and the youngest Typhoon can break anything with his strong forehead.

Moon wants his children to be Taekwondo coaches to take over his gym in future. However, regardless of their father’s will, Taeju wants to be a famous pop singer and Taemi is only interested in her secret crush at school.

One day, Taekwon family encounters treasure robbers on the street by accident and happens to get caught into fight with them. With surprising martial art skills, TK family knocks down the robbers and takes back the stolen treasures. The head of the robbers Pom, who is notorious for many crimes, escapes alone and trembles with rage.

TK family becomes famous in public. But, They do not know that Pom is planning to get his revenge.

The Kick Poster
The Kick Poster
The Kick Jija Yanin
The Kick

Synopsis from Twitch
Images from the difficult to navigate Daum

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - September 12, 2011 at 1:09 pm

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Jeeja Yanin update – Tom-Yum-Goong 2, Chocolate 2, The Kick, Jakkalan

Some news concerning “Jeeja” Yanin Vismitananda that may be of interest:

The biggest news currently is Jeeja costarring with Tony Jaa in Tom-Yum-Goong 2, which will be in 3D. All the familiar faces were at the news conference, director Prachya Pinkaew, action choreographer Panna Rittikrai, costar Petthai “Mum Jokmok” Wongkumlao, and studio executive Somsak “Sia Jiang” Techaratanaprasert,

Jeeja will also be headlining a 3D sequel to Chocolate Hiroshi Abe will also be returning, and it will be directed again by Prachya Pinkaew, who seems to be directing everything ever.

As proof of that, Pinkaew is also directing The Kick, a coproduction of Thailand and South Korea that features Jeeja in a supporting role to Mum Jokmok in a plot involving theft of ancient daggers. The Korean company CJ Entertainment is proclaiming it the first Korean martial arts film and first taekwando film, which as anyone who collects Korean martial arts films can tell you is complete bunk.
Here is a behind the scenes video:

And finally, here’s a trailer for the bicycle messenger comedy Jakkalan, which hit theaters in Thailand April 28th. It’s directed by and costars Mum Jokmok, who was in the first Tom-Yum-Goong

Some posters:
Jukkalan Poster Jeeja
Jukkalan Poster Jeeja
I had meant to get these films up on individual entries, but kept putting it off and off so now we get a giant post. And, yes, these films will get the full review treatment once they start showing up in a format I can see them.

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - May 3, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Categories: Movie News   Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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