I still haven’t set my TV channels since moving to Bangkok two years ago. Mostly because I am lazy. With TV to play with I am guaranteed to spend more time flicking channels than being productive. Leading my new life in Southeast Asia I read books and aspire to be cultured. Instead with no TV I spend a lot of my time in Bangkok cinemas. Last week I even watched the new Twilight Movie. Excruciating. Like 2 hours of Enya. I won’t be watching the however many Twilights they had before.
Malls, 4D Cinema and Indie Theatres
Bangkok cinemas are easy to find at every major mall. Guaranteed to be two or three within a short taxi ride – 3D, Imax etc. The central Siam Paragon mall has a 4D cinema,which is more or less a 3D cinema with seats that move and other special effects. Still haven’t been myself mostly because the 4D movies shown to date were crap. Half this year was Titanic and watching Leonardo Dicaprio while having salty liquids splashed in my face doesn’t really appeal to me (update Robocop was awesome). Instead I cross the road to a couple of my favourite Bangkok cinemas at Siam Square area. The old-school, indie Lido Cinema and Scala Theatre. Iconic 1960’s theatres which are scheduled for demolition (2013). Apparently the area needs more shiny new malls.
The Royal Anthem
In Bangkok cinemas the audience must stand to the Thai Royal Anthem (below) before each movie. Something which the UK stopped doing long before my cinema days.
Cheap Tickets – 12/12/12
I am writing this post on the 12/12/12. Today I wake to an offer of 12 Baht tickets and 12 Baht popcorn at the nearby Major Cinema. This is for every movie starting at 12.12 pm. How could I turn it down. Two cinema tickets and two popcorns for 48 Baht. That’s less than one British Pound. Including taxi both ways the overall price was less than one standard seat price of 170 Baht. Bargain. Movie for today was Cloud Atlas. Confusing. Some excitement 30 minutes in with a power cut leaving us in darkness for 20 minutes. Not half as annoying as live football matches.
The Thai Movies
In Bangkok cinemas every English movie is played with original soundtrack and Thai subtitles. They do offer dubbed versions in some. The Thai movies are sometimes with English subs. Those without English subs aren’t going to be a great loss. I won’t pretend Thai movies are great. I’ve seen a couple of the better on the big screen e.g. Ong Bak and See Prang. The current ‘blockbuster’ is “Super Salary Man.” Sounds thrilling. Thai people tend to stick to the hilarity of slapstick comedy movies. People dress up, slap someone around a bit, break stuff. Mum Jokmok is a personal favourite in these movies.