In 1985, Hong Kong superstar Jackie Chan starred in The Protector, his second attempt at cashing in on the American film market. It didn't work--partially because the film sucked and partially because Chan found himself teamed up with Danny Aiello. (Not to worry. Chan's next American outing, pairing with Chris Tucker in 1998's Rush Hour, proved a bit more profitable.) Now comes another martial arts action film titled The Protector. This one stars Thai jaw-dropper Tony Jaa (Ong-bak). It has nothing to do with Chan’s 1985 film. (Although, alert viewers will spot a historic passing-of-the-torch moment involving Jaa and what looks like a certain big-nosed kung fu fighter.)
Benefit for Irish Freedom--The Irish Freedom Committee has organized a benefit in honor of the 25th anniversary of the 1981 hunger strike at Long Kesh Prison. On Thursday, Sept. 14, the film Some Mother’s Son will show at the Guild Cinema in Nob Hill. Screenings will take place at 4:30, 6:45 and 9:15 p.m. There will be a Q&A session following the 6:45 screening. The film, starring Helen Mirren, Fionnula Flanagan and John Lynch, is based on the true story of the 1981 hunger strike in which IRA prisoner Bobby Sands led a protest against the treatment of IRA prisoners. Proceeds from the $7 ticket sales will go directly to the families of Irish Republican POWs currently in prison. For more information, log on to www.irishfreedomcommittee.net.
Why is it films are always “based on the inspiring true story”? How come you never see “based on the disheartening true story” or “based on the totally depressing true story”? ... OK, so maybe it’s more of a rhetorical question. The point is simply that Hollywood loves inspirational, real-life stories. Any time a poor kid wins a national spelling bee or a tiny school wins a basketball championship, you can guarantee there will soon be a heartwarming movie made about it.
It wasn’t long after producers of “Survivor” announced plans for their 13th season that naysayers started organizing protest rallies and calling for network boycotts. What had reality show guru Mark Burnett done to so inflame the viewing public? As you probably know by now, he said he would separate this year’s contestants by race.
“The Underground” (Showtime 10 p.m.) Damon Wayans provides employment for more of his siblings with this R-rated sketch comedy show.
“Behind the Camera: The Shorts Circuit” (TCM 4 a.m.) Turner unspools an entire day’s worth of short films from famed directors both classic (Chaplin, Hitchcock, Scorsese) and modern (Griffin Dunne, Ridley Scott, Mario Van Peebles).
“Battlestar Galactica: The Story So Far” (USA 10 p.m.) If you haven’t been keeping up with Sci-Fi Channel’s excellent, darkly dramatic revamp of “Battlestar Galactica” ... well, then you’re just crazy. But, if you need to catch up on who’s who, what’s what and where’s where in the galaxy, this hour-long recap should do nicely.