Fri, Sep 02, 2011 - Page 16 News List

Other movie releases

Compiled by Ho yi and Ian Bartholomew  /  Staff Reporters

The Dream Never Sets (日落大夢)

After tackling the subject of matrimony in Let’s Fall in Love (尋情歷險記, 2009), documentary filmmaker Wuna Wu (吳汰紝) turns the lens on her father Wu Te-sheng (吳德勝), a zealous inventor and entrepreneur who has spent more than a decade and tens of millions of NT dollars designing what he calls the world’s best high-tech, multi-functional food processor. Puzzled at her 60-year-old father’s undertaking, the director decides to learn more about the man by following him around, from the family factory to a trade show booth in China. Both the daughter and the audience gradually discover that the man is not only an obsessive inventor and dreamer, but a doer who is determined to make a success of the food processor, which he first designed for his terminally ill wife, who died of cancer in 1999. On a large scale, the documentary touches on the history of Taiwan’s small and medium-sized enterprises through the life story of Wu Te-sheng, who is representative of countless hard-working Taiwanese businessmen who made fortunes when the country’s economy took off in the 1970s and 1980s, but are now venturing into China.

The documentary’s rough production values may dampen audience enthusiasm, but the straightforward work has the simple charm of a family video.

Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark

An above-average frightener, written by Guillermo del Toro and starring Katie Holmes and Guy Pierce. Has drawn mixed reviews from critics ranging from enthusiastic endorsements from Roger Ebert to something approaching disdain from industry magazine Variety. A small child (Bailee Madison) goes to live with her father and his new partner in a lovely new home, which inevitably has plenty of secrets, some of them rather nasty. While many of the devices are obviously derivative, this is a handsomely made film, and though directed by Troy Nixey, has Del Toro’s fingerprints all over it. Without giving too much away, the film will certainly put your next visit to the dentist into perspective.

BKO: Bangkok Knockout

There seems to be nobody out there in the vastness of cyberspace who entertains the view that BKO: Bangkok Knockout is a good or even adequate film. There are plenty, though, who cannot help but rave about the whip-smart stunt and martial arts choreography put together by Thai action legend Panna Rittikrai. A bunch of fighters gets tricked into participating in life-or-death combat for the entertainment of high-stakes gamblers. There are about 15 minutes of tiresome set up, and then the mayhem begins, one action set piece following another, with a minimum of transition. What the performers lack in acting skill they more than make up with phenomenal athleticism and impressive, well-filmed stunt work.

Four

A movie of shorts by four acclaimed Thai directors — Eakasit Thairatana, Kongkiat Komsiri, Pawat Panangkasiri, Chookiat Sakveerakul — that focus on the supernatural and include horror, action, thriller and comedy. By trying to please everybody, Four fails to provide enough suspense for adrenalin junkies, enough horror for gore fiends, or enough laughs for those just out for a good time.

Lord of the Dance 3D

There are those who love Irish dance, or at least Michael Flatley’s dramatic and glamorized version of it, and there are the rest of us, those who find the whole business of people tapping their feet for an hour, jumping about in sequined costumes and pretending to enact a timeless story about good and evil, to be utter tosh. This cinematic version of a performance of Flatley’s popular stage show, which takes footage from performances in Dublin, London and Berlin, provides a substitute for those who cannot make a live performance. 3D is occasionally deployed in scenes to give depth to the serried ranks of dancers.

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