Not only that but he revealed that the Hattori Hanzo character was not only based on the Hattori Hanzo of Shadow Warriors but a James Inglehardt character. I think that’s pretty interesting stuff.
And then we get this from an AICN correspondent. I was a little more concise, but what this guy says is more in-depth:
This is Quentin Tarantado again.
TARANTADO, not Tarantino. In Filipino, it means “idiot” or “fool” or worse, and I’m reporting on the opening of Cinemanila 2007 last August 8. So it’s apt to say that Tarantado is now reporting on Tarantino, because literally, Quentin Tarantino has been invited to Cinemanila to receive a lifetime achievement award for promoting Asian films.
I think the award is well-deserved because if it wasn’t for Tarantino’s love for the disreputable B-movies of Eddie Romero (“Mad Doctor of Blood Island” and he produced “Flight to Fury” starring ex-Philippine president and present jailbird Joseph Estrada and Jack Nicholson in a bit part.) or Cirio Santiago (“Caged Fury” and “Dune Warriors”) and his love for Hong Kong movies (“Reservoir Dogs” reputedly was based partly on Ringo Lam’s “City on Fire”) then his films just wouldn’t be the same. Since his name is now well-known, he’s lent his name to promote an occasional Asian film like “Hero” or “Oldboy”. Naturally, everyone crowded around him and since most people in this country is short, he stood out like a well-lit telephone pole that had just freshly impaled an ant hive. He was given the keys to the city by the mayor of Quezon City and he was given the lifetime achievement award (a heavy-looking gold statue of a sitting naked man, a.k.a. a “bulol”) His acceptance speech was very gracious, describing Filipinos as warm and welcoming, he mentioned his first Filipino film was Eddie Romero’s “Twilight People” with Pam Grier as the Panther Woman; his favorite version of The Island of Dr. Moreau. The Filipinos ate it up.
He eclipsed the two other awardees, Robert Malengreau, festival director of the Brussels International Film Festival (who also took the trouble to greet us in Filipino) and His Supreme Highness Chatrichalerm Yukol, a film director and a Prince of Thailand, to boot. Malengreau is significant because he’s been promoting Asian films in Europe for years.
The other awardee, His Highness Chatrichalerm Yukol directed the opening film, “King Naresuan” which he explained is part two of a planned trilogy. In part 1, Naresuan had been kidnapped and taken to Burma, where he learns fighting. In this installment, he becomes a prince, and he leads his armies in one successful campaign after another for his king until he learns of a plan to assassinate him, so he declares Siam as independent and decides to flee back to Ayutthaya.I guess part 3 would have the prince turn into a king and would be on how he protects Siam from its enemies.
The movie is roughly two hours long. The first part, where they establish the characters, seems a bit clumsy and tentative, like a first time director’s work (HSH Chatrichalerm Yukol has done 24 movies so I’m not sure why this is the case. If forced to speculate I feel maybe his heart wasn’t in this, because of what I saw later.) One strand sticks out, though, the love story between Rachamanu and Lurkin (Lurkin being the female). Maybe it’s the nature of their story, maybe it’s the actors, but the audience was clearly sympathetic to them. They overshadowed Naresuan’s love story because Naresuan is played straight, flawless and heroic, while Rachamanu is a second banana, and might suffer the usual fate of second bananas so I constantly feared for the safety of the loversI think this imbalance is a good thing because it kept our sympathies with the movie until the ending, where I can now believe HSH Chatrichalerm is a veteran director because suddenly he’s dealing with action and violence with aplomb and panache.
I might have added that they tend to make the hero too perfect: a combination of Saint and Heroic Warrior, but the director has managed to give the movie a tone that he’s recounting legends (actually it’s history probably liberally sprinkled with dramatic license) and we have heroes who have descended from the undergoing titanic struggles. So, the worshipful tone isn’t off-putting. I would recommend this movie despite the stiff acting and clumsy scenes at the start because it’s firstly a glimpse at Thai history, because of Rachmanu and Lurkin’s hot chemistry and because the ending is properly rollicking and spectacular.