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Find the best things to do from the daytime to the nighttime in Bangkok with our events calendar of 2017’s coolest events, including parties, concerts, films and art exhibits.

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Movies, Animation

Ralph Breaks the Internet

With so many animation franchises content to tread water—or in one interminable case, ice—it’s seriously refreshing to see a sequel that’s not only an upgrade on the original, but more thoughtful too. If Wreck-It Ralph launched us head-first into a 16-bit wonderland fit to blow the synapses of bright-eyed kids and weathered gamers alike, this surprisingly vibrant follow-up is a giddy, sugar-coated joy. And it’s an expansion pack that plugs in plenty of new ideas: about friendship, insecurity and the mind-bending transience of the online world. It’s not every animation that features an eBay-spoofing riff involving a corn chip shaped like Beyoncé. The story sends arcade-villain-turned-good guy Ralph (voiced by John C. Reilly) and his new BFF, arcade racer Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman), into the internet to find a new part for her broken arcade game. Their arcade’s newly installed “wifey”, as the endearingly slow-on-the-uptake Ralph calls it, is a portal to a host of opportunities for witty visual representations of cyberspace. If it’s sometimes a touch literal—the internet is a sci-fi city filled with buildings marked “Amazon” and “IMDb” and (presumably for legal reasons) “Buzzfood”—the finer world-building is sharp. Every facet of cyberspace has a walking, talking avatar, including a patronizing search engine that notes its “autofill is a touch aggressive today,” and weasely clickbait pop-ups that are shunted aside by ad-blockers clad like burly security men. Refr

Time Out says
Movies, Action and adventure

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

The first Fantastic Beasts had a lot of heavy lifting to do. It needed to establish a world connected to the Harry Potter universe, but also one that was self-contained. It had to introduce several busloads of new characters and kick off a story complex enough to sustain another four movies (at least). With all that done, the second instalment should have earned itself some breathing room, a bit of time to cut loose and enjoy the possibilities of a new magical universe. But as beautiful and inventive as it is, The Crimes of Grindelwald often feels like we’re starting the world-building all over again. Trying to establish where everyone is at the beginning of this sequel without giving too much away is going to get confusing, so our apologies in advance. Fascist wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp, looking rough) has broken out of jail in London and fled to Paris to lay the groundwork for an uprising. In order to stop him, the wizarding government approaches Grindelwald’s ex-friend Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law, relishing his fairly brief screen time), who refuses the mission but enlists the help of animal-lover Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) for a more secret version of the same mission. There are about eight other major characters involved, but we’ve only got so much space. Short version: A wizard war is a-brewing. Moving most of the action to Paris gives the film’s creative team the opportunity to run wild with some gorgeous production design. Visually, the world couldn

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Larry Horricks
Movies, Action and adventure

Robin Hood

A war-hardened Crusader and a Moorish commander mount an audacious revolt against the corrupt English crown in a thrilling action-adventure. Packed with gritty battlefield exploits, mind-blowing fight choreography, and a timeless romance, ROBIN HOOD is a never before seen story of how Robin Hood became the icon and legend as we know him today.

Photo: Illumination/Universal
Movies, Animation

The Grinch

The Grinch is back, free of the grip of Jim Carrey, voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch and, in Grinch terms, a bit less grinchy (ungrinchy?) than you might expect. Unlike the 2000 live-action Carrey movie, this new spin on the Dr. Seuss tale is computer-animated by Illumination, the same studio behind Sing, The Secret Life of Pets and the Minions movies, so by design it feels a little closer to the slim, hand-drawn 1957 book that bore it. (The Grinch’s green color, meanwhile, has another source: the 1966 Chuck Jones cartoon that first brought the character to screen.) British actor Cumberbatch plays the Grinch as a grouchy American, all prissy and nasal and mischievous, but with a sad, soft aspect too—a side of his character amusingly winked at in a scene where he plays “All By Myself” at home on a huge organ. He’s a grump, of course, but this is the 21st century, so he’s a grump with issues and a bit of a backstory. There’s not much psychological exploration, though (fine by us); the film is mainly a series of slapstick episodes, not always neatly hung together, and with barely any memorable side characters. Even the Grinch himself fails to make a massive impact at times. This new version features the voice of Pharrell Williams as the narrator, dipping in and out of Dr. Seuss’s warming rhymes. That binds to the film to its authentic source, but the gaps between the spoken verse still remind us that this is a slender story s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d into a feature. That said, it’s likab

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Movies, Horror

Overlord

Operation Neptune is in full flow as Allied troops storm the beaches of Normandy. Overhead, the US is flying in air support. One misfit team, led by a grizzled commander (Wyatt Russell), is tasked with destroying a radio transmitter located at a fortified church behind enemy lines. When their plane is shot down, the bruised and battered troops scramble to the church only to discover that, beneath its foundations, the Reich has been busily amassing an unholy army of undead mutants. On paper, Overlord sounds like a run-of-the-mill midnight movie. In reality, it has much more going for it, most significantly the talented young cast—including British actor Jovan Adepo as the captivating lead. Admittedly, the characters are thinly-written cliches – the brooding man-of-few-words commander, the wise-cracking crack shot, and the heart-of-gold newbie. But these simple archetypes are forgivable, especially in the case of the gloriously-over-the-top-jack-booted antagonist, played by Game of Thrones actor Pilou Asbæk. Meanwhile, Mathilde Ollivier impresses as a tough-as-nails villager who would be a worthy addition to the French Resistance. The story is also much more artful than the premise suggests, playing with the concept of monstrosity and asking what separates good from bad in times of war. And how far are each side willing to go? Or rather, who are the real monsters here? Be prepared for blood, guts and gore. The violence, both in the high-octane opening scenes and the more mon

Time Out says
Photo: Reiner Bajo
Movies, Action and adventure

The Girl in the Spider's Web

Lisbeth Salander, your #MeToo moment has arrived: If ever there was a perfect time for the avenging hacker of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series to make a rebooted comeback, it’s now. So call it a spectacular failure to read the room that the new action-tooled The Girl in the Spider’s Web—James Bond without the bondage—strips its hero of everything that made her spiky and singular. It’s not that the movie doesn’t have a terrific lead (The Crown’s Claire Foy, who knows from mining subtle shades of rebellion) or a sleek, inky visual template, established by David Fincher in 2011 with his Rooney Mara–led The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Problematically, Spider’s Web sees nothing to celebrate in Salander but a bland video-game avatar, someone who speeds across icy ponds on her Ducati, flees explosions in slo-mo and barely gets it on (one listless same-sex sleepover with a club kid hardly counts). Foy wasn’t made to frown at laptops; what little psychology there was in the literary version of this antihero has been scaled back to nothing. Meanwhile, sad little girls play ominous games of chess and several actual spiders make their long-legged presence known—but wouldn’t a properly cryptic Lisbeth have been better? Worse, she’s up against one of those generic madman-steals-a-nuke-app scenarios that went out with Roger Moore. (Ineffectual side characters include Get Out’s Lakeith Stanfield as an NSA agent and Sverrir Gudnason as this installment’s hero-journalist Mikael Blomkvist,

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Bohemian Rhapsody
Photo: Nick Delany
Movies, Drama

Bohemian Rhapsody

The afterlife has rarely been quiet for Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, who died young in 1991 after a flurry of creativity. First came Wayne’s World, with Mike Myers head-banging to Queen’s 1975 hit Bohemian Rhapsody. Then came a massive tribute concert later in 1992 and a globetrotting stage musical, We Will Rock You in the 2000s. Now, 27 years on, comes the authorized movie biopic to push the Freddie Mercury legend even further into the realm of the unreal. Bohemian Rhapsody is as brash, loud and mask-wearing as Mercury at his most playful. Another movie would try to get behind that mask—or play with the idea of it—but this does neither. Instead, it grabs the legend by the neck and gallops recklessly with it, climaxing in a wholesale extended re-creation of one of the most famous rock gigs of all time, Queen at Live Aid. Modest and inquiring it is not. It boasts a film-stealing, possessed performance by Rami Malek, who pouts, struts and quips as Mercury, turning the rest of the cast into bit players. The energy of Malek’s imitation helps to bind what amounts to a series of gossipy but harmless rock-world anecdotes into something vaguely coherent. The story starts and ends with Queen playing Live Aid at Wembley in July 1985. In between, we see how Farrokh Bulsara, born in Zanzibar, became Freddie Mercury and helped to transform a student band into a stadium-rock behemoth. The movie, though catchy and often seductive, is an act of brazen myth-making. Facts and chronology

Time Out says
Hunter Killer
©DR
Movies, Action and adventure

Hunter Killer

Impressively silly even for a submarine thriller (a genre that often plunges into ponderous waters), Hunter Killer exists in a fantasy world reflecting its delayed release, following a shoot that began in mid-2016. A reform-minded Russian president (Alexander Diachenko) is kidnapped by rogue elements, dudes who have never heard of fake news. A Hillary-esque U.S. leader (Caroline Goodall) soberly weighs responses in her war room, nary a Big Mac wrapper in sight. A belligerent admiral (crazy Gary Oldman, pre-Oscar) gets into shouting matches with a brilliant junior officer (Common). All of it amounts to desperate nostalgia, not only for Bruckheimer action dramas but for an alternate political landscape marked by showdowns over honor conducted by semi-intelligent people. Still, even this kind of WWIII escapism—it’s based on a 2012 novel by Don Keith and George Wallace called Firing Point—requires a sturdier hero than Gerard Butler, who finds himself in a time machine that delivers actors to rejected Tom Cruise projects. Butler plays sub captain Joe Glass, whom you wish you could call a man of few words; he talks way too much. (Perhaps Rock Hudson in Ice Station Zebra wasn’t that bad after all.) Splitting the difference between scenes of Navy SEAL rescue attempts, underwater evasive maneuvers and your own countdown clock toward an incipient nap, Hunter Killer feels both generic and underheated. You’re struck by the amount of technology on display: laser-targeted missile launches

Time Out says
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