Sunday, January 15, 2012

Too Many Gangsters For Comfort?

THE year of the dragon is also going to be the year of gangsters, at least where local movies are concerned.

Thanks to the success of last year's KL Gangster and Kongsi that collected RM12 million and RM8 million respectively, local producers have set their eyes on making gangster-themed movies.
This new trend is replacing the horror genre, which, while still popular, is on the downtrend due to the lacklustre performance of many horror films last year.

Among the horror films that failed to find an audience last year were Momok Jangan Panggil Aku, Sumpahan Puaka, Seru, Penunggu Istana and Rasuk.

At least a dozen gangster-related films are in various stages of production. One of the most anticipated is, of course, KL Gangster 2.

A prequel to KL Gangster directed by award-winning director Syamsul Yusof and produced by Skop Productions, the film retains some of its original cast members -- Zizan Raja Lawak, Syamsul Yusof and Aaron Aziz while adding veteran actor Rosyam Nor into the already impressive line-up.

The film just wrapped up last week and is expected to be released in cineplexes late this year or early next year.

Another must-watch gangster film is Hantu Gangster, from the team that made last year's controversial Nasi Lemak 2.0.

Nasi Lemak 2.0 was released in time for National Day and the comedy, which touches on the multiracial aspect of Malaysia, made an astounding RM7 million at the box-office.

Just like Nasi Lemak 2.0, Hantu Gangster is directed by Namewee.

This action comedy also has an impressive line-up -- Farid Kamil, Diana Danielle, Thaiyuddin Bakar, Amber Chia, Reshmonu, Noh Hujan and Datuk David Arumugam.

The film centres on gangsterism in Klang and is aimed for National Day this year.

Among other high-profiles gangster-related films are:

Bara Jiwa, produced by Tayangan Unggul Sdn Bhd and directed by Osman Ali whose most recent film, Ombak Rindu, collected RM11 million. Bara Jiwa stars Remy Ishak and Diana Danielle. The film became the talk of the town last year due to a freak accident which resulted in one of the actors being admitted to the hospital for burns during a scene involving explosives. Bara Jiwa focuses on the lives of street kids who grow up in Kuala Lumpur. Bara Jiwa is now in post production.

PE3, directed by Farid Kamil and produced by MIG Productions. Unlike Farid's previous film, Kongsi, which is an action comedy, PE3, short for Pelan Ke Tiga (Third Plan), is a serious film with lots of fighting and action scenes. The film focuses on gangsterism in Penang and it stars Farid Kamil himself, Diana Amir and Kamal Adlli. PE3 is awaiting a release date.

8 Jam, directed by box-office director Ahmad Idham Ahmad Nazri, features Malaysia's most popular actor Shaheizy Sam in the lead role. It also stars Nurliana Samsuddin as his love interest. The film tells the story of a man who has to fight for his life and protect his girlfriend hours before he is sentenced to death. Produced by MIG Productions, the trailer, which is already available for viewing on YouTube, features fighting scenes on an LRT train and station, a first for a local film. 8 Jam will be released in cineplexes in July.



Mael Lambung is another film directed by Ahmad Idham, but is produced by Excellent Pictures. This action comedy brings back the cast of last year's surprise hit, Hantu Bonceng -- Zizan Raja Lawak, Thaiyuddin Bakar and Juliana Evans. Mael Lambung tells a story of bumbling gangster Mael who has to protect his area from other gangsters. The film is now in post-production.



Taikun is another film about gangsterism presented as a comedy. Directed by Ahmad Idham's protege Ismail Bob Hasim, Taikun features Angah Raja Lawak and Along Raja Lawak in the lead roles. The duo was responsible for the success of last year's horror comedies, Alamak Toyol and Suatu Malam Kubur Berasap. Produced by MIG Productions, Taikun is now in post-production.

Satu Lawan Satu is a film directed by young director Pierre Andre and produced by MIG Productions. Pierre also stars in the film alongside his brother, Mikael Andre. Satu Lawan Satu is Pierre's first action film after making a name directing romantic comedies and horror films such as 9 September, I'm Not Single, Jangan Tegur and last year's Al-Hijab. Shooting for Satu Lawan Satu wrapped up two weeks ago.



Budak Pailang is a film that focuses on the younger gangsters. Directed by Hashim Rejab, the film centres on a group of school kids who are recruited as gangsters. The film stars newcomer Aeril Zafrel, Epy Raja Lawak, Zul Handy Black and Wawa Zainal.

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