New Movies -
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Old Movies -
Touki Bouki: The Journey of the Hyena
The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry
Recap: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 , 2005, 2006, 2007 , 2008 , 2009 , 2010 , 2011 , 2012
Chocolate (Prachya Pinkaew, 2008)
Although Chocolate is from the creator of Ong-Bak: Muay Thai Warrior, it features little as exciting or physically impressive as that filmís best scenes. Although this film does seem better when considered a demo reel for the athletic ability of newcomer star Yanin Wismitanant, who plays Zen, itís clear that she is no Tony Jaa (although her character is shown studying his moves, via his films). Wismitanant fares even worse on the dramatic side, as her role gives her little to do except fight and caterwaul about her sick motherís worsening condition. Itís something of a star turn, because of Wismitanantís wire-assisted physical prowess, but itís not the slam dunk it should have been by a long shot. Hopefully Wismitanantís future projects are more fleshed out.
Like most Thai movies, Chocolate was made inexpensively, but here the production values are distractingly cheap. From awful set designs to the amateur CGI effects, the movie simply is not impressive to look at. Even worse, though, is that it fails to be the exploitation movie it desperately wants to be. Far too much attention is paid to the movieís tear-jerking elements, which never register because the plot is so sparse. Although itís mildly offensive at times (the climactic showdown features the autistic heroine sparring with a young gladiator with Touretteís), Chocolate is generally not as outrageous as fans of the genre might hope. Despite a few pleasingly bizarre moments, like the introduction of a gang of drag queens, Chocolate is ultimately an affair thatís far too serious for its own good.