Photo: Janet Pierson at The Alamo Drafthouse South - Opening night of SXSW 2009Speaking of Janet Pierson - I have to say, "WELL DONE!" Janet Pierson is the head of SXSW's Film Programming, taking over the absolute unthinkable travesty that befell Austin when the anointed Adonis of the Hip & the Cool... Matt Dentler left Austin for the skyscrapers and filthy lucre of New York. I remember just a few months ago, Janet was sitting at the couch over my shoulder here and we were talking about the general concepts of programming a festival. She was nervous and almost overwhelmed by the enormity of the void she was being asked to fill, but she's really come through brilliantly so far! So let's get going with the day. No SXSW can get going without the joys of registration & bag pick up! Almost instantly upon entering the Austin Convention Center - I began being asked if I'd seen me on the bag yet? About 5 people said this to me. By the time that I reached the 4th floor... I began to believe it. Especially when Charlie Sotello showed me this:
March 14, 2009, 6:26 a.m. CST
Cuz I can
March 14, 2009, 6:34 a.m. CST
I was there instead of being in London. Hope the rest of the festival is as good!
March 14, 2009, 6:55 a.m. CST
by Demon Disco
Damn you, Headgeek! Beaten to the punch. Oh, the humanity! Okay, I keed, I keeeed! Seriously, though, Ong Bak 2 looks crazy great, even if ol' Jaa has gone bat-shit nutso. Did anyone see Chocolate, BTW? That girl was amazing. What was her name? Anyways, check it out, Ong Bak fans. Peace.
March 14, 2009, 7:01 a.m. CST
by Demon Disco
and Warrior King. Several flavors of awesome. The one-take sequence up the staircase where Jaa batters all manner of hoods as he descends to the end of movie boss is a sight to behold. Okay. I'm gonna unstick my lips from Jaa's ass now as I'm sure he'd like to sit down. Peace.
March 14, 2009, 7:08 a.m. CST
by Motoko Kusanagi
Nobody will ever be like Lee.<p>I love Jaa's stunning work, though.
March 14, 2009, 7:13 a.m. CST
Ong Bak 2 sounds amazing--thanks for the write-up, Harry.
March 14, 2009, 7:35 a.m. CST
by TiNSeLToWN TeRRoR
I gotta see this fucker.
March 14, 2009, 8:07 a.m. CST
Ong Bak 2 must have been really good indeed for you to run wild with the visual metaphors. I'll have to check it out soon, and I already want to see The Snake based on the trailer, but Pontypool is the movie that is the must see for me this SXSW. It's from the guy who did Hard Core Logo. Hmmmm. "twitching and vibrating like one's cock before coating the interior fleshy drapes of the most awesome vagina ever!" Does one "coat" a sweet vag with one's twitching cock? Sounds more like painting than sex.
March 14, 2009, 8:17 a.m. CST
It's very scary...fighting snake.
March 14, 2009, 8:31 a.m. CST
Cause the review seems like you typed it up while drunk or high.Not that i'm judging, just saying. If it hits theaters in the states i'm there.
March 14, 2009, 8:40 a.m. CST
...Already seen The Square. Its pretty shit. TV filler worthy I guess.
March 14, 2009, 8:46 a.m. CST
March 14, 2009, 8:47 a.m. CST
...I love chocolate pussy juice as much or more than the next guy but..."shit balls on my eyelids"? Come again?
March 14, 2009, 8:50 a.m. CST
Ong Bak 2 is definitely a lot worse than Ong Bak 1, troubles on the set with Tony Jaa running from his responsibilities as a director to run with the monkeys is not good for your movie. The story line is not coherent and the ending is one of the worst of any movie. This year the best martial art movie is Ip Man by a clear mile, not having any mention of it so far on this site is criminal Harry. You're losing it.
Loved ong bak 1 but the trailer for ong bak 2 left me kinda underwhelmed? i'll reserve judgement till ive seen the flick but i dont like that trailer..jaa's fighting looks lame compared to his first 2 films..we'll see.
March 14, 2009, 10:39 a.m. CST
March 14, 2009, 10:52 a.m. CST
miller hi-life is the champagne of beers not miller lite.
March 14, 2009, 11:04 a.m. CST
I saw it last night as well. The fighing portions are, as I expected, pretty incredible and intense. The story, however, isn't all that great. It sort of bills his character as this warrior that continues to be re-incarnated because he has cursed karma. I didn't go to this to see Tony Jaa try for an Oscar though, I went to see him kick total ass, and that he did. By the way, the Q&A at I Love You, Man was passable. The lot of them - Segel, Jones, Favreau, Rudd, Presley - just stood around and and got asked the usual "Is your chemistry on-screen the same in real life" lame-o questions that most of these things generate. The movie was fairly good though.
March 14, 2009, 11:20 a.m. CST
...set it on fire, and put it in between... Snake fighting life: strong food and strong drink at midnight.
March 14, 2009, 11:26 a.m. CST
The scene where Ip was fighting like 20 karate guys and the fight with the general... All were very short and the story was mediocre at best with some over the top acting that was dreadful...
March 14, 2009, 11:28 a.m. CST
worse than Chocoate, and Warrior King has some good fights but sadly is an atrocious movie, a bit like Ong Bak 2, the poor bastard, needs some real people around him instead of the Thai fuckin mafia
March 14, 2009, 11:29 a.m. CST
March 14, 2009, 11:56 a.m. CST
by The Reluctant Austinite
Man, reading this opening day coverage was like setting the Wayback Machine for 1998. This is the writing style that put Harry on the map. I've been to SXSW, Fantastic Fest, BNAT and other Alamo events, but reading this is the closest you'll ever get to a first hand experience if you've never been. Tim League, perpetual beer in hand (how does he make it through these events?), getting everyone to sample the Champagne of Beers while dressed in some garb from "Animal House" is an Almao staple. Massawyrm unable to finish a beer; yeah, I've seen that. I know the panic of trying to arrange your viewing schedule to see the "hot" stuff which constantly changes just like Harry's viewing choices. I can almost smell the Alamo food. I may be sitting here in Louisville, but this piece put my spirit in Austin.
March 14, 2009, 12:46 p.m. CST
by The Reluctant Austinite
to see the "Stunt Rock" trailer and the first four minutes of "Teen Wolf"!
March 14, 2009, 2 p.m. CST
Like vodka. Really dangerous so.<br> (See what's gonna happen when you put a review for a movie named 'Snake' and a fighting movie into the same article? :D)
March 14, 2009, 3:05 p.m. CST
twenty four hours with the king of snake!
March 14, 2009, 3:09 p.m. CST
tony jaa is the man.
March 14, 2009, 5:30 p.m. CST
I was on no drugs and was not intoxicated.
March 14, 2009, 7:21 p.m. CST
Not only did I love OB2 (hey, I'm an aficianado, NOT a critic! so blow me), I want to see much more of the characters' developments, like the alleged leopard-woman. Also, I have never ever seen an initiation/rite of passage that involved an elephant stampede, and I've never seen a bull elephant that large used in a martial arts scene, ever! I also loved the Buddhist connection; reminds me of the old song, "You'll get yours yet/ However big you think you are." (and need I say it, it beat the heck out of most CGI)
March 14, 2009, 7:36 p.m. CST
by The Reluctant Austinite
Any special guests? Anything special on the menu? I want to hear about it all!
March 14, 2009, 9:43 p.m. CST
by Itto Ogami loses Daigoro
I look forward to seeing Ong Bak 2 but goddamn Donnie Yen, Sammo Hung, and Wilson Yip killed it in Ip Man. And the sequel will supposedly have a young Bruce Lee in it, can't wait.
March 14, 2009, 10:11 p.m. CST
Thanks Harry. Definitely enjoyed your detailed review of DAY ONE. When I first saw ONG BAK on dvd, I was fucking floored by the AMAZING Tony Jaa! Sounds like a great day one. Look forward to more reviews! FINALLY sitting down tonight to watch LET THE RIGHT ONE IN.
March 14, 2009, 11:15 p.m. CST
Always making lemonade out of lemons.
March 16, 2009, 5:13 p.m. CST
Can someone explain that to me? What happened to his weight loss surgery?
March 17, 2009, 12:42 a.m. CST
i want to elevate harry from his wheelchair and give him a gentle peck on his sweaty bum but bloody hell does he go over the top! Youre great for starting this site and that but.....talkbackers talk crap 90% of the time but theyre right about the gushing! Post BAD reviews! I know it might mean you lose an interview or 2 but if youre honest maybe theyll say 'hey, you didnt like my movie but you explained why and didnt just say it was garbage'. You are an important person to us in that you get us excited and its not nice to be let down, boo hoo. But youre great. I wanna see progress on the stomach op.....do like Harvey Pekar, the writer of the American Splendor comic books, and document your 'illness'. You seem open about it already so why not? I actually am really interested coz i know someone who had a similar op and shes skinnier than victoria beckham now. I like progress, me
March 17, 2009, 6:53 a.m. CST
He's morbidly obese and his joints are shot. He supposedly had weight loss surgery but he's somehow found a way to still be obese.
March 17, 2009, 4:19 p.m. CST
From purely an action standpoint I am sure Ong Bak delivers all over the damn place - in spades! But, even though not having seen Ong Bak 2, I am sure the story is lacking while the narrative of Ip Man was strong. While I have read the producers took some liberties with the story of Sensei Bruce's master, what they delivered on screen was a coherent and entertaining movie. And even though Yen going to town on the Japanese during the occupation scene was awesome, it still pales to any of the scenes that Jaa gets down in. In the end both flicks will have a place on my shelf! Yen is a bad ass and Jaa, being a Thai brother, gets much respect!
March 17, 2009, 5:42 p.m. CST
by Mr Nicholas
I'm happy he's OK and if the movie has turned out as well as you say, I'm thrilled for him.
March 17, 2009, 9:49 p.m. CST
Cock twitching before entry is not a good sign.....
March 17, 2009, 9:51 p.m. CST
Ip man was solid though....
March 18, 2009, 9:55 p.m. CST
I got lil'chubby reading about Ong Bak 2.
March 19, 2009, 1:44 a.m. CST
What the fuck else would we call it?
March 22, 2009, 1:26 a.m. CST
Mar 22nd, 2009 01:21:20 AM What the hell fan sight is this??? The first film by Alex Proyas in years and years is out, its damn interesting and cool and waaay smack in the middle of this sight's wheelhouse... and not a peep from anybody. WTF!?!?!?!?
March 23, 2009, 2:21 p.m. CST
by Bionic Bigfoot
Ong Bak 2 probably does have some great fight scenes. I just hope nobody totally spazzes out for it and writes wreckless rambling jibberish about it though.
March 25, 2009, 4:12 a.m. CST
I am not sure of the reason, is she really a single now? I heard Kevin has come back to her some days ago.
March 28, 2009, 7:50 a.m. CST
before I read this review. Damn its a good film. A slow burn sort of a film where things build up to one of those moments thats just so emotionally intense it feels like it takes the air out the room! Damn good film. I recomment it but keep in mind that its a slow proper film, not arty not special effecty, just really good casual layed back story telling. And yes we do have dollars here in Austalia Harry they're just not worth as much as your mighty American dollar and they've got pictures of famous australian people nobody here in autralia other than trivia buffs know about. But hey at least our coins have native animals on them!
Oct. 27, 2009, 1:26 a.m. CST
อัศเจรีย์ is 'Question Mark' in Thai! Story went around in Thailand has it that 40% of the film's budget decided to disappeared and caused the movie's delay and screwed up the entire production. Its a wonderful movie but the above kinda explained the sudden ending. Anyhoo, wait till you guys see Tony's disciple, Jeeja Yanin's new flick. Yipe, same girl as in Chocolate!