Tuesday, May 10, 2005


The opportunity to screen the just released Criterion disc of The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou is incredibly tempting. But instead, I'm opting for the other end of the cinematic spectrum with this ludicrously charming action picture from those reckless folks in Thailand who upped the bar for asian (nay, world) action cinema with Ong Bak: The Muay Thai Warrior. The director is producing, the stunt co-ordinator is directing, and Tony Jaa is nowhere to be found, but get this: There is a collection of Thai olympic athletes on hand to deal death to terrorists like a weird blend of Gymkata, Chuck Norris's 1980s action pictures and Die Hard. Oh, but the action cliches (uh, I mean homage) do not end there. Borrowed bits from Terminator 2, Broken Arrow, Jackie Chan's Supercop (aka Police Story 3) and even Apocalypse Now make cameo appearances. But wait, there's more. Thai flag-waving and nationalism (the americans are certainly not the only ones flag-waving in their whiz-bang explostion extravaganzas) are on display alongside kung-fu fighting amputees, muay thai boxing children and some of the craziest motorcycle and truck stunts ever captured on film. To witness three guys and a girl going at it with flaming logs, sparks a-flutter, is sublime (action) poetry...in motion.
Those that thought the cringe-inducing stunt-man damage could not be topped in Ong-Bak, well in two short years, the bar is a bit higher with Born to Fight. This is indeed expoitive trash of the highest order. Turn off your brain and prepare to wince.

Showtime @ 8:30pm along with fresh trailers from the new C.S. Lewis' Narnia film, The 4th Romero Zombie Flick and the latest Harry Potter.


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