The best things to do in Bangkok this weekend

Make the most out of Bangkok with our guide to the weekend's best events and activities

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There are a lot going on in Bangkok, from an art exhibition to edgy gigs and parties, and here are cool ideas to enjoy your weekend in the city to the fullest.

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Photo: Courtesy of A24 / Gabor Kotschy
Movies, Horror

Midsommar

Review by Joshua Rothkopf Unusually for a horror director, Ari Aster knows the real world is awful enough. Life doles out plenty of pain. Hereditary, his 2018 feature debut and probably the scariest movie in a decade, basically went: My grief over a family tragedy is so unbearable, it must be caused by witches. (When that turned out to be the case, you weren’t shocked so much as relieved.) Midsommar, Aster’s ruinous, near-psychedelic latest, goes something like this: My grief over a family tragedy is so unbearable, it’ll make me cling to a bad boyfriend. If that doesn’t sound like horror to you, allow me to introduce you to many toxic relationships. And if you’re still unconvinced, Aster will hit you over the head with a giant hammer wielded by Swedish pagan cultists. Horror is what happens to people who are already emptied out and vulnerable. It’s an insight that has already yielded Aster two world-class performances, first from Hereditary’s Toni Collette as a ragged, raging mother at sanity’s end, and now from Midsommar’s apple-cheeked Florence Pugh as Dani, an Ativan-popping grad student trembling with concern for her suicidal sister. Pugh is exquisitely neurotic in these early scenes—she’s such a handful that when the movie cuts away to the guy squad of her frustrated boyfriend, Christian (Jack Reynor, deft in a tricky part), all of them seething in unison at her constant imposition, you almost feel sorry for them. But then comes the wail from deep inside Christian’s p

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Movies, Drama

Parasite

Bong Joon-ho’s latest is the dazzling social-satire-cum-home-invasion-drama we need right now

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Rastejantes (2019)
©Paramount Pictures
Movies, Horror

Crawl

One day destined to be seen as a stealth metaphor for climate-change denial—a brutal Florida hurricane plunges a house and its broken family into disaster—Crawl will, for the time being, serve nicely as a merely okay giant alligator movie. Competitive college swimmer Haley (Kaya Scodelario, in square-jawed Sigourney Weaver mode) sneaks her way into the storm’s path to check in on her divorced dad (Barry Pepper, born to this kind of trashy fun), whom she discovers in the crawlspace below their old house, unconscious and a victim of gator abuse. Both become trapped down there, with relative safety only feet away. That gives them plenty of time to talk through her abandonment issues while dodging sharp teeth. A depressing lull takes over once you realize that pretty much the whole movie is going to transpire in a cellar, which reminds me of the joke about “such small portions”: It’s gunky, vermin-infested—and so underlit! Director Alexandra Aja used to be a visual genius; he had a brief flourish during the torture-porn years of High Tension, The Hills Have Eyes remake and Piranha 3D, all his. Crawl’s concentrated setting could have been an exciting challenge for him, but it’s one that Aja never quite exploits. Neither do screenwriters Michael and Shawn Rasmussen, though they do give Pepper a deliriously dumb line, which is all you need from a horror time-waster like this: “We are going to beat these pea-brained lizard shits.” Follow Joshua Rothkopf on Twitter: @joshrothkopf

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Photo: George Kraychyk/CBS Films
Movies, Horror

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

Review by Joshua Rothkopf The most thrilling idea—thrilling in a good way—of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark comes in its first few minutes, when we’re introduced to Stella (Zoe Colletti), an introverted 1968 Pennsylvania teen who’s obsessed with horror: watching it, reading it, even conceiving it. (She’s got a typewriter and a love of Night of the Living Dead to prove it.) The notion that horror could be a conduit for creativity and healthy individuation is the same one that attended the release of Alvin Schwartz’s darkly clever ’80s and ’90s children’s books of illustrated short stories, on which the film is based. At the time, Schwartz was attacked by cultural watchdogs, but he’s no doubt having a raspy posthumous chuckle at the long shadow of his influence. Drawn from several of his tales, this decent-ish movie adaptation, about a gang of kids chasing down small-town terrors that are both supernatural and varsity-jacket clad, hews closely to our cultural moment of Stranger Things and It. Still, the film emits its own frequency, one that might be especially audible to thoughtful young viewers. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark has the fingerprints of The Shape of Water’s Guillermo del Toro all over it (he cowrote the script and produced), from his celebrated penchant for expressive creature design, to some strenuous political signposting—that’s a lot of Nixon and Vietnam War footage on those TVs, buddy. Yet there’s a sincere fondness for the power of imagination, one

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Disney
Movies, Animation

The Lion King

Review by Joshua Rothkopf Something is off about this defiantly unmagical remake of The Lion King, a film that is both photorealistic—down to every artfully crafted lens flare and whisker on Simba’s chin—and the furthest thing from real. It’ll either mildly disturb you or make you feel like your skin is on backward. Granted, it’s still The Lion King: still a study piece of Hamlet-derived musical theater, only with 100 percent more Beyoncé, which is never a bad thing. (Look deep into the lemon eyes of her lioness, Nala, and you can swear you see her.) But Disney’s animated movies have traditionally been invitations to dream bigger than nature; even when you go to one of its theme parks, you submit to pretending. This new Lion King is an invader of the real world, its characters akin to stuffed trophies mounted on the wall. They’re lifelike, yes, but somehow not alive. Almost certainly, kids aren’t going to mind this, even as their imaginations get a little shortchanged. Set in one of Africa’s uncannier valleys, today’s Lion King remains a story about talking and singing animals; no amount of digital work is going to change that. And vocal talent is what semi-saves this remake from Jungle Book director Jon Favreau’s more computerized instincts. As the regal Mufasa, sensible leader of the Pride Lands, the rumbling James Earl Jones still has his Darth Vader sonority on tap. He remembers to give an actual performance, as does Donald Glover, voicing the cub who would be king with

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Photo: Eric Milner
Movies, Horror

Child's Play

Review by Joshua Rothkopf We’re not above enjoying a Chucky movie, provided it doesn’t feel like it was made by a cranky, overtired child. The original 1988 Child’s Play and its six sequels (that’s not a typo) never pretended to be art. Still, there was solidity, craft, attempts at special effects, Jennifer Tilly being strange. Today’s rebooters, Norwegian director Lars Klevberg and scripter Tyler Burton Smith, don’t have the blessing of concept creator Don Mancini. While that might have foretold something adventurous, they’ve used their freedom to dumb things down even further. After an initial flurry of pitch-black, Verhoeven-esque satire—a computerized “Buddi” toy is programmed to be murderous by a disgruntled Vietnamese factory worker—the film quickly settles into a routine of trashy kills, poor plotting, inept editing and a surprising lack of fun. Not helping matters is dead-eyed snark source Aubrey Plaza, somehow less expressive than the doll itself (creepily voiced by Mark Hamill). She plays a wage slave at a generic big-box store who sneaks home a defective Buddi for her lonely kid, Andy (Gabriel Bateman). As single moms go, her character is conceived terribly—she’s vacant, unobservant and a bad judge of boyfriends. (Chucky’s subsequent rampage might have been more productively targeted at the screenwriter.) In this film’s universe, leering supers get table-sawed in the crotch: The kills are hard-R and splattery, something of a misjudgment. The remake’s one new idea

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Juntos Para Sempre 2 (2019)
©DR
Movies, Family and kids

A Dog's Journey

Audiences are invited along on A DOG'S JOURNEY, the next chapter of the beloved bestselling series by author W. Bruce Cameron. The family film told from the dog's perspective serves as the much-anticipated follow-up to the soulful story of one devoted dog who finds the meaning of his own existence through the lives of the humans he teaches to laugh and love.

The Current War
Dean Rogers
Movies, Drama

The Current War

Three brilliant visionaries set off in a charged battle for the future in The Current War, the epic story of the cutthroat competition that literally lit up the modern world. Benedict Cumberbatch is Thomas Edison, the celebrity inventor on the verge of bringing electricity to Manhattan with his radical new DC technology. On the eve of triumph, his plans are upended by charismatic businessman George Westinghouse, who believes he and his partner, the upstart genius Nikolai Tesla, have a superior idea for how to rapidly electrify America: with AC current. As Edison and Westinghouse grapple for who will power the nation, they spark one of the first and greatest corporate feuds in American history, establishing for future Titans of Industry the need to break all the rules.

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Anna - Assassina Profissional (2019)
©Shanna Besson
Movies, Action and adventure

Anna

Beneath Anna Poliatova's striking beauty lies a secret that will unleash her indelible strength and skill to become one of the world's most feared government assassins. An electrifying thrill ride unfolding with propulsive energy, startling twists and breathtaking action.

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