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284 MOVIES (released titles only)

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#50- Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

#100- Black Swan

#200- Mysteries of Lisbon

Last- Once Upon a Time in Anatolia

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Ong Bak 2: The Beginning

Ong Bak II: The Beginning
Written By Panna Rittikrai
Directed By Panna Rittikrai, Tony Jaa
Starring Tony Jaa, Sarunyu Wongkrachang,Natdanai Kongthong,Primorata Dejudom,Sorapong Chatree

In the 15th century, there are a lot of shitty people in Thailand and a lot of other people who are just trying to get by.  Young Tien has a very high midichlorian count which causes him to be shepherded from his first clan (?) just before another clan comes and wipes it out.  Captured and enslaved, he uses the force to escape and ends up with someone who recognizes his raw talent.  It's here that he enters the Jedi Academy and learns all about various fighting and weapon styles.  Luckily, he didn't have to eliminate all emotional attachments, so before he accepts the crown as king he gets to go and take care of the clan that originally killed his family and friends.  There's also a girl.

The Woman
um, i wasn't really paying attention to this very much. i slept through the first one the first time i saw it and thought i didn't want to break tradition. so yeah. tony jaa is really good at muy tai or whatever you call it. he would have kicked jcvd's ass in "bloodsport". this one was not as good as the first one. this was an entirely different movie and should have had the respect for ong bak to be called something different. the throw away line at the end by the narrator to connect the two movies was not quite enough for me. it didn't send me into a tirade like my companion, but i think that may be because i don't care. i'm glad this is off of the list.

This was disappointing to me.  A lot of things happened, but I think it's charitable to call it much of a "plot," because outside of the fighting the main character had nothing to do with what was going on.  He was always being chased or kicking ass (or sometimes being schooled); but with the exception of one time he acted on the direction of others, and even in that last scene sinisterness outside of him led to his actions.

Where the original Ong Bak was innovative and interesting, this movie felt stock.  It wasn't really derivative of the first film because it didn't use the tricks which that one (largely successfully) employed. Instead it was much more standard martial arts action type stuff.  The settings were really cool and the production value was high for something like this (hence the plethora of trailers and logos in front of the film), but the camera itself didn't do too much and the director really just let people yell at each other.

The martial arts exhibition was also weak.  Again referencing the first one, this was a showcase of Jaa's talents; but it was too fractured to let anything really big happen.  There were some great pieces and what he did was impressive enough but the fights didn't keep my eyes glued to the screen in the same way.  The experience would have been served by more of less.

And the tie-in?  The connection to the first movie?  Tenuous is a generous description.

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