Rhatha Phongam in THE PROTECTOR 2

For a brief while there in the first decade of the 2000’s it looked like Thailand’s Tony Jaa was laying claim to the title of best action star of the 21st century. Ong Bak introduced him as a viable and extremely capable action lead, and the next few years saw that status confirmed with two sequels and The Protector (aka Tom Yum Goong). And then he went nuts. In his defense he was trapped in an incredibly restrictive contract and his ego had grown to elephant-sized proportions, but that’s a long story for a different day. The good news is that he looks to in the process of making a comeback. He’s currently filming Fast & Furious 7, has two Dolph Lundgren films in the can and is rumored to be attached to sequels for The Raid and SPL. He also made a sequel with the same people whose tight grip almost drove him mad. The Protector 2 begins similarly to its predecessor with Kham (Jaa) living a bachelor’s life in rural Thailand with his pet elephant Khon. Trouble starts when the pachyderm is abducted by some ruthless thugs for nefarious purposes forcing Kham to once again leave home to rescue Khon and kick some ass along the way. A repetitive plot is bad enough, but while the first film was loaded with fantastic fight sequences and visibly impressive stunts to make up for it the sequel limps along under the weight of action “assisted” by ridiculously obvious wire work […]


Buffalo Girls

There are roughly 30,000 child boxers in Thailand, but lest you think it’s simply adolescents being introduced to the sport, think again. These are kids as young as eight years old. They don’t wear head gear. They’re often the only thing separating their family from an even lower level of poverty. And many of them are little girls. Buffalo Girls is a new documentary that follows two players in this particular world, Stam and Pet, as they train, compete and attempt to do right by their families. One is a scrappy little underdog whose family home is dependent on her winnings, and the other is a taller, seemingly tougher girl whose home situation is far more fragile. Their stories share many of the same beats, and like last year’s Warrior you can’t help but want both fighters to win, but only one of them comes out of this story with a happy ending.


This isn’t the kind of news we normally like to report here at FSR, namely because it’s almost entirely lacking in details. But it’s good news, so I’m bucking the system and saying the hell with the rules. Per the sexy folks over at Twitch, the word on the street is that Tony Jaa is prepping to return to the screen with a non-Thai production. The rumors contain no mention of the film, the role, or anything else aside from two very enticing details. It will be a Hong Kong production, and Sammo Hung will be handling the fight choreography. Hung is well known as an actor and director in his own right, but recent years have seen his work as an action director and fight choreographer take center stage. Donnie Yen’s excellent Ip Man films and Andy Lau’s fantastic Detective Dee & the Mystery Of the Phantom Flame are the most recent examples, and they bode well for anything he touches going forward. Jaa burst onto the scene in 2003 with Ong-bak, but over the course of six years and only three other lead roles he managed to lose almost as many fans as he gained thanks to odd outbursts, self-imposed isolation, and other behaviors that fall under the umbrella of ‘hissy fit meltdown.’ There’s no denying the man’s athleticism and fighting skill, but he’s at his best when those are his only concerns. (Well, he might want to dedicate a little bit of time to an acting class […]


The first trailer for the sequel to The Hangover has hit the web and it has absolutely everything that a teaser trailer for a sequel to a highly successful film should. First we get a bunch of reminders about how much everyone like the first film. Then we get assurances that the main characters we loved from the first film are all going to be back. Then we see a brief glimpse, though not too much is given away, that new hijinx will be had involving a monkey. And finally, the characters make meta, self-referential comments to each other about how weird it is that they’re all back together and having the same things happen to them. You see, you want to let a potential viewer know that there is going to be new stuff, but not too much new stuff. This will be very much in the same wheelhouse as the first film. There’s nothing that you aren’t comfortable with here. As a matter of fact, squint and you might think you’re watching the first film all over again. And didn’t we all have so much fun with that? So anyways, The Hangover Part II is on the way, and I hope it makes me laugh my ass off. I imagine it will. Get teased yourself after the jump.



Are you a fan of inspirational sports movies? How about stylistic, unrealistic, bone crunching action movies with heart? If you answered yes to either of those questions take a look at the first trailer for the new action extravaganza from Thailand, Fireball.

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