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GH: Merantau. People are legitimately excited about it. It's hard to ignore Indonesia turning out their own Ong Bak. It's got great set-pieces. It's one of those movies where I watch scenes from and the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The two Euro-trash bad guys: they're terrific! The fight in the elevator is pretty amazing. The whole construction thing is actually a really good stunt and scene. I think at the end of the day because the story's really old hat, you come away being really impressed by the scenes but not really thinking, "Whoa, that movie blew me away!" like Ong Bak did because it was so new.
I kind of feel that Indonesia is doing it and that it's worth showing. The guy in it, Iko Kuwais, is certainly good at what he does and he's a pretty good actor but he's a really good stunt guy and a screen fighter, I think.
GH: Raging Phoenix is only good for the crack factor. "Jeeja" Yaning Wismistananda plays a chick who's abducted because she smells good and her kidnappers want to harvest her smells. She's rescued by a gang of b-boys who teach how to use break-dancing and popping and locking to fight. Then she discovers that an even better fighting style is to get messed up on cheap Thai whiskey and do drunken Muay Thai. Then she drinks some insane amount of alcohol in the end to win. It's really ridiculous in a real psychotronic way.
I would recommend Power Kids (pictured) over Raging Phoenix, though. Power Kids is phenomenal. If you like seeing children abused, this is the movie for you.
DC: And dish it out.
GH: I hope they got paid a lot and I don't think they did. It's got all these goofy jokes and really mean gags in it, like making fun of retarded people, making fun of white people, making fun of anyone who's not Thai and anyone that's different. It's really mean in a Hong Kong from the 80s kind of way. It comes at you so fast and ridiculously that it's hard to get upset. The kids are great. I don't now what they did to make them this good.
DC: The villain is Johnny Nguyen from (NYAFF 2009 featured film) The Rebel. Watching him beat up on little kids is fun.
GH: It's a bit like they combined Bugsy Malone with the ending of Police Story and there's so much glass exploding everywhere. So much stunt glass gets broken with these kids' faces in this movie. It's pretty great.