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Movie Reviews at SFX Cinema, Maya Mall

SF Cinema at Maya Mall, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Joker (2019) Oct 8, 2019

Movie Review: Joker (2019)

Rating: star star star star star (5 stars out of 5)
Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz
Director: Todd Phillips
Writer: Todd Phillips, Scott Silver
Awards: Golden Trailer Awards, Venice Film Festival
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Run Time: 2h 2min
Premiere Date: 4 October 2019
Country: USA
Screening Location: SFX Cinema Maya, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Purchase Movie Ticket: star

Heath Ledger
After Heath Ledger's benchmark-breaking portrayal of the Joker in Batman: The Dark Knight, what actor in his right mind would attempt to fill-in those unfathomable shoes? Who is he who dare say he is worthy? Joaquim Phoenix? I'm not a Batman fan but I wanted to see how Joaquim pulls this one-off. His last convincing role I've seen was Gladiator. As a character actor, he has juice. But the Joker role is Holy Grail!

Joker (2019)

The movie starts off with a dreary and dark Gotham City. Hopelessness and despair permeated the city streets. Rats run the place, social unrest is everywhere and nerves are short. Arthur Fleck (before he became the Joker), a disturbed and unhinged clown-cum-comedian, was making both ends meet in a dead-end clown job as he lives and supports his delusional mother inside a drab dwelling. It was one mishap after another that pushed him to the brink of insanity until he finally snapped! This saw the rise of a pied-piper heeding the cry of the disgruntled masses - the Joker is born.

Joaquim Phoenix was nothing short of brilliant in this film. The contortion of his frail body (did he work on this? At Gladiator, he was buffed), the sagging underwear, his uncontrollable cry of laughter, his spacey dance-like undulation, the marginal erosion of Arthur as the genesis of the Joker kept looming bigger, all connected the dots in his metamorphosis from strung-out victim-of-life to the iconic Joker.

Ending Thoughts
I was prepared to be disappointed thinking no one could possibly top Heath Ledger as the Joker. But Joaquim Phoenix showed everyone it is humanly possible. His restrained but intense acting took us deep into the inner workings of his psyche as he tries to compose himself while he bleeds inside. His misfortune unrelentingly piled-up one on top of each other...until he finally snapped. Or should I say, until he realized his deliverance! Despite the gruesome acts in the latter part of the movie, there was simply no hate for him...only empathy and compassion - because it could happen to you. Everything in the movie was compelling, real and brought a sense of urgency. I was truly blown away by this movie. What a masterpiece! I won't be surprised if this becomes Movie of the Year at the Academy Awards. Don't miss this one!

--- Gigit (TheLoneRider)
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Chiang Mai, Thailand

important places in Chiang Mai IMPORTANT PLACES
Chiang Mai Bus Station Bus Station
Chiang Mai Train Station Train Station
Chiang Mai airport Chiang Mai International Airport
Nong Buak Hard Park Nong Buak Hard Park - free yoga classes daily

hotels in Chiang Mai HOTEL
Chiang Mai Arun Dara Villa Arun Dara Villa - 7 exclusive rooms, 1 swimming pool for every room, grand opening
Chiang Mai Nawa Sheeva Hotel Nawa Sheeva Hotel - big rooms, high ceiling, salt-water pool, restaurant, cafe
Chiang Mai Nawa Saraan Hotel Nawa Saraan Hotel - low density (4 spacious rooms), stone garden setting, Koi fish pond, Old City location
Arun Suite, Chiang Mai Arun Suite - 3 bedrooms in a 3-storie guesthouse within Old City, ideal for families

birds nest restaurants in Chiang Mai RESTAURANT
La Pizza Chiang Mai La Pizza Chiang Mai - Italian pizza, pasta, wine, dessert, coffee
Chiang Mai birds nest restaurant Natural Bird Nest by Burapa - authentic bird's nest soup

Thai massage in Chiang Mai WELLNESS
ITM  International Training Massage School ITM - International Training Massage School - Chiang Mai's most prestigious massage school
Float Chiang Mai Float Chiang Mai - sensory deprivation float pod
Chiang Mai, Royal Thai Lanna Massage Zira Spa - upscale authentic Thai massage and spa treatment

motorcycle rental in Chiang Mai MOTORBIKE RENTAL
Chiang Mai birds nest motorcycle Tawan Bike - motorcycle rental | +66 91 635 2863 | Si Phum, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50200


Chiang Mai FYI / Tips
  • crop-burning season in Chiang Mai is between late Feb to early April. But laws change everytime. This year, 2019, there is a 61-day ban on burning so the farmers started burning early. When my plane was approaching Chiang Mai on Jan 24, 2019, there was already a thick blanket of smog covering the entire city (and beyond). But within the city itself, you won't feel it (but that doesn't mean the air is healthy). To monitor air conditions in real time, refer to site: Chiang Mai Air Pollution: Real-time Air Quality Index (AQI)
  • hot season begins March and lasts until June
  • wet season begins July and lasts until September
  • best time to visit Chiang Mai is mid-September to mid-February - after the monsoon and before the burning
  • you have to try Khao Soi, this is north Thailand's culinary staple
  • the tourist area where most of the hotels, restaurants, ticket offices, tour operators are, is located in the Old City
  • to exchange your dollars to Thai Baht, the Super Rich Money Exchange give the best rates. There are many branches scattered around Chiang Mai
  • get a red cab (songthao) outside the train station for Baht 50 (instead of paying B100 if inside the train station) to Old City - if you haggle nicely enough...I did!
  • shared red taxi (songthao) - B30 standard fare plying all over Old City
  • for only B50/day, best to rent a bike to go around the Old City - it's a 2.5km2 with lots to discover
  • FREE daily yoga classes from 9:00am to 10:15am at Nong Buak Hard Park (southwest corner of Old City). Resident and passing-through teachers take turns conducting yoga classes.
Blues/Jazz Bars in Chiang Mai
  1. North Gate Pub - at Chang Phueg Gate, great Tuesday jam session, Blues on Sundays by the 11pm band
  2. Taphae East - 88 Thapae Rd. (just north of Night Bazaar). Fridays at 9:30pm by Chiang Mai Blues Band
  3. Boy Blues Bar - at the Night Bazaar. Mondays at 9:30pm is open mic
Chiang Mai Cost Index
  • B60 Chiang beer
  • B250 1 hour drop-in yoga session
  • B200 one hour Thai body massage at WAYA Massage (highly recommended)
  • B50 noodle soup with meat
  • B50 coffee
  • B40 pad thai
  • B30/kilo wash-only laundry
  • B50/kilo wash+iron laundry
  • B100-150 dorm bed/night
  • B250 fan room/night
  • B30 internet cafe/hour
  • B170-190 Movies Sat-Sun and public holidays
  • B130-150 Movies weekdays
  • B100 Movies Wednesdays (movie discount day)
  • B750 1/2 day Thai cooking lessons
  • B900-1000 1 full day Thai cooking lessons
  • B400 Muay Thai boxing ticket
  • B2500 starting room rate at the luxury hotel, Nawa Sheeva (highly recommended)

  • Transportation
  • B450 bus, Chiang Mai to Bangkok
  • B160-180 bus, Chiang Mai to Pai
  • B1250 bus, Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang
  • B1650 slow boat, Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang
  • B210 bus, Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai, 3-4 hours
  • B360 Green VIP bus, Chiang Mai to Mae Sai (Thai border town for visa run to Tachileik, Myanmar)
  • B50 bicycle rental, 24 hours
  • B200 motorbike rental, 24 hours
  • B273 #51 sleeping train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai
  • B638 #7 a/c train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai
  • B50 red taxi fare from point to point
  • B100 red taxi fare from train terminal to city

  • Tours
  • B2000 full day elephant sanctuary
  • B750 Chiang Rai one-day tour
  • B1500 mountain biking scenic ride
How to Get to Chiang Mai from Bangkok by Train from Bang Sue Train Station

For more train info: Bangkok to Chiang Mai trains - departing from Hua Lamphong - MRT (Bangkok)

(I'm using Bang Sue as a starting point because I was closer to it, but you may be closer to the Hua Lamphong station)

  1. take the MRT train to Bang Sue Station. Take the #1 Exit to the north provincial trains
  2. Proceed to Counter 2. You will see an information booth, a train schedule chart and the ticket counter. Choose the train and pay at the ticket counter.
  3. daily train schedule:
    • 8:48am - #7 Train, arrive Chiang Mai 7:30pm, not sleeper, B638
    • 2:06pm - #109 Train, arrive Chiang Mai 4:05am, sleeper
    • 6:31pm - #9 Premium Train, arrive Chiang Mai 7:15am, sleeper, B938 upper deck, B1038 lower deck
    • 7:56pm - #13 Train, arrive Chiang Mai 8:40am, sleeper, B768 upper deck, B838 lower deck
    • 10:22pm - #51 Train, arrive Chiang Mai 12:10pm, sleeper, 3rd class B270 (non sleeper), 2nd class B438, B728 upper deck, B798 lower deck
Chiangmai Blogs by TheLoneRider
  1. Prasnopanishad: Understanding Prana Jan 17, 2020
  2. Hiking the Monk's Trail Jan 15, 2020
  3. Chaturanga Jan 10, 2020
  4. Movie Review: Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker (2019) Jan 7, 2020
  5. You Spooned Me Jan 3, 2020
  6. 2019: A Year in Review Dec 31, 2019
  7. Friends, Coffeemates and Breadmates (Dec 2019) Dec 31, 2019
  8. Visiting Mae Sot Dec 27-30, 2019
  9. Let's Make it About You - an Epiphany Dec 17, 2019
  10. Movie Review: Knives Out (2019) Dec 12, 2019
  11. Shut-Up! Dec 7, 2019
  12. Movie Review: Ford vs Ferrari Dec 5, 2019
  13. Roasted Red Bell Pepper Puree Dec 3, 2019
  14. Coffeemates and Breadmates (Nov 2019) Nov 30, 2019
  15. Bhujangini Mudra Nov 25, 2019
  16. Mathangini Mudra Nov 24, 2019
  17. Kaka Mudra Nov 23, 2019
  18. Movie Review: The Cave (2019) Nov 23, 2019
  19. Movie Review: Panic: The Untold Story of the 2008 Financial Crisis (2018) Nov 22, 2019
  20. Pasini Mudra Nov 20, 2019
  21. Aswini Mudra Nov 18, 2019
  22. Sambhavi Mudra Nov 16, 2019
  23. Manduka Mudra Nov 15, 2019
  24. Movie Review: Midway (2019) Nov 15, 2019
  25. Tataka Mudra Nov 14, 2019
  26. Movie Review: Zombieland: Double Tap (2019) Nov 11, 2019
  27. Sakti Calana Mudra Nov 10, 2019
  28. Vajroli Mudra Nov 9, 2019
  29. Coffeemates and Breadmates (Oct 2019) Oct to Nov 5, 2019
  30. Yoni Mudra Nov 1, 2019
  31. Movie Review: Judy (2019) Oct 31, 2019
  32. Viparita Karani Mudra Oct 31, 2019
  33. Khecari Mudra Oct 30, 2019
  34. Mahadeva Mudra Oct 28, 2019
  35. Movie Review: Roger Waters - Us + Them (2019) Oct 27, 2019
  36. Sacred Cacao - Chakra Dance Journey Oct 26, 2019
  37. Movie Review: Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) Oct 24, 2019
  38. Partner Healing with Natascha Oct 24, 2019
  39. Maha Bandha Mudra Oct 24, 2019
  40. Movie Review: Liam: As It Was (2019) Oct 23, 2019
  41. Point-Of-Failure Birthday Workout Oct 22, 2019
  42. Mula Bandha Mudra Oct 21, 2019
  43. Hugfest at Thapae Gate, Chiang Mai Oct 19, 2019
  44. Anushasan Mudra Oct 18, 2019
  45. Ling Mudra Oct 17, 2019
  46. Movie Review: Official Secrets (2019) Oct 15, 2019
  47. Jalandhara Bandha Mudra Oct 15, 2019
  48. Learning Thai with Cee Oct 13, 2019
  49. Uddiyana Bandha Mudra Oct 10, 2019
  50. Nabho Mudra Oct 9, 2019
  51. Movie Review: Joker (2019) Oct 8, 2019
  52. Maha Mudra Oct 7, 2019
  53. 20 Essential Mudras by T. Krishnamacharya Oct. 6, 2019
  54. Mindfulness Gong Bath by Vee (Veerayuth Pongsiri) Oct 3, 2019
  55. Cuddle Party by Abundant Love CM Oct 1, 2019
  56. Vayu Mudra Oct 1, 2019
  57. Movie Review: Hail Satan? (2019) Sep 29, 2019
  58. Visa-Run to Tachileik, Myanmar Sep 28, 2019
  59. Sankalpa Mudra Sep 27, 2019
  60. Surya Pradarshini Mudra Sep 26, 2019
  61. Movie Review: Ad Astra (2019) Sep 25, 2019
  62. Movie Review: Rambo 5 Sep 22, 2019
  63. Eye-Gazing at Heart Space Sep 20, 2019
  64. Vayu (Pranic Wind) Sep 20, 2019
  65. 2-Week Yoga Challenge by Agnese Erba Sep 17, 2019
  66. Movie Review: Farewell Song (2019) Sep 16, 2019
  67. The Mudra Project Sep 13, 2019
  68. Movie Review: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019) Sep 12, 2019
  69. Sunday Vinyasa Flow with Marina Forster Sep 8, 2019
  70. Shamanic Breathwork by Rachel Constantino Sep 4, 2019
  71. Movie Review: Yesterday (2019) Sep 3, 2019
  72. The Conscious Peoplescape of Chiang Mai Aug 31, 2019
  73. Movie Review: Midsommar (2019) Aug 28, 2019
  74. Of Winos and Yogis Aug 26, 2019
  75. Movie Review: Ready or Not (2019) Aug 22, 2019
  76. The 9 Jhanas of Buddha Aug 22, 2019
  77. Full Moon Ceremony at Heart Space Aug 15, 2019
  78. Yin Yoga - Water Element by Martina Barabas Aug 15, 2019
  79. Movie Review: The Art of Racing in the Rain (2019) Aug 14, 2019
  80. Hatha Mix Yoga with Christin Aug 13, 2019
  81. Boy Blues Bar Rocks Chiang Mai Aug 5, 2019
  82. Back to my Beloved Chiang Mai Aug 1, 2019
  83. Kaleidoscope of Chiang Mai's Peoplescape July 27, 2019
  84. Secret Sunrise: Nelson Mandela International Day July 17, 2019
  85. Movie Review: Anna (2019) July 15, 2019
  86. Farewell Picnic with Alan and Nicola July 15, 2019
  87. Movie Review: Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019) July 4, 2019
  88. Secret Sunrise: Water July 3, 2019
  89. Hotel Review: Arun Suite June 27, 2019
  90. Movie Review: Rocketman (2019) June 25, 2019
  91. Bruce Lipton: Epigentics to Transcend Genes June 24, 2019
  92. Optimizing Life thru Heart Math May 8, 15 and 22, 2019
  93. Movie Review: Aladdin (2019) June 13, 2019
  94. Connective Cacao and Sound Journey June 12, 2019
  95. Movie Review: X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019) June 6, 2019
  96. Chiangmai BLUES June 6, 2019
  97. Movie Review: John Wick 3 - Parabellum (2019) June 4, 2019
  98. Hatha Slow Flow with Neil Jefferson June 3, 2019
  99. Meditating with One Million Meditators Movement June 1, 2019
  100. Vinyasa Happy Flow Series by Vaida May 31, 2019
  101. Muay Thai at the Chiang Mai Boxing Stadium May 30, 2019
  102. Yoga Flow Through the 7 Chakras May 30, 2019
  103. The Outsiders (people you need to push out of your sacred circle) May 31, 2019
  104. Fascinating Peoplescape of Chiang Mai May 22, 2019
  105. World Meditation Day at Heart Space May 21, 2019
  106. Movie Review: Avengers: Endgame (2019) May 14, 2019
  107. Movie Review: Arctic (2018) May 13, 2019
  108. Abs Yoga May 12, 2019
  109. Kundalini and Vinyasa Yoga with Nicola Symons May 10, 2019
  110. Secret Sunrise Interactive Dance May 9, 2019
  111. Tok Sen Massage from Ying May 8, 2019
  112. Bruschetta: Nawa Saraan Style Apr 22, 2019
  113. Thai Cooking at Pra Nang Thai Cookery School Apr 20, 2019
  114. Movie Review: Hellboy (2019) Apr 15, 2019
  115. Bonding with the Elephants in Chiang Mai Apr 11, 2019
  116. Ziplining in Chiang Mai with Eagle Track Zipline Apr 10, 2019
  117. Movie Review: Shazam! (2019) Apr 4, 2019
  118. Movie Review: Captive State (2019) Mar 27, 2019
  119. Getting Thai Massage from Chiang Mai's Best (Lar Thanakrit Khamtanong) Mar 21, 2019
  120. Movie Review: Captain Marvel (2019) Mar 19, 2019
  121. Being the Soul of Nawa Saraan Hotel Mar 18, 2019
  122. Peoplescape of Chiang Mai Jan 24 - Mar 13, 2019
  123. Movie Review: Vox Lux (2018) Mar 2, 2019
  124. Movie Review: The Favourite (2018) Feb 25, 2019
  125. Curing Cancer with Yoga? Feb 21, 2019
  126. Movie Review: Alita Battle Angel Feb 19, 2019
  127. International Training Massage School (ITM): Level 1 Feb 11-15, 2019
  128. Sandesch Album Launch by Christoph Joerg Feb 13, 2019
  129. Movie Review: Spider-Man - Into the Spider-Verse (2018) Feb 3, 2018
  130. Movie Review: Green Book Jan 30, 2019
  131. Meditation in a Sensory Deprivation Tank at Float Chiang Mai Jan 29, 2019
  132. Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) Jan 27, 2019
  133. Movie Review: Aquaman Jan 26, 2019
  134. Reiki Share at the Mastermind Brain Spa Jan 26, 2019
  135. Resuming Life in Chiang Mai Jan 24, 2019
  136. 4 Days in Chiang Mai at Nawa Saraan Hotel Jan 2-6, 2019
  137. Mike Chong Aug 8, 2018
  138. An Intimate Conversation with my Universe in Chiang Mai Aug 8, 2018
  139. Kneaded and Pampered at Zira Spa Aug 4, 2018
  140. Savoring a Baht 3,500 Birds Nest Soup at Natural Bird Nest by Burapa Aug 3, 2018
  141. Yoga Exploration at The Yoga Tree with Gernot Aug 1, 2018
  142. Laughter Yoga with Saffiya Arnous July 31, 2018
  143. Yoga with Adam at Hidden House Yoga, Chiang Mai July 29, 2018
  144. 2 Weeks in Chiang Mai July 25 - Aug 7, 2018
  145. A First Timer in Chiang Mai Apr 9-23, 2016
  146. Chiang Mai's Amazing Peoplescape Apr 9-23, 2016
  147. Dance Mandala in Chiang Mai at The Yoga Tree Apr 19, 2016
  148. Songkran Waterfight Festival in Chiang Mai Apr 13-15, 2016
  149. Border Crossing from Siem Reap (Cambodia) to Bangkok (Thailand) to Chiang Mai April 9-10, 2016

Travel Tips for Thailand

How to Get a 60-Day Thai Tourist Visa and then Extend by another 30 Days

    60-Day Thai Tourist Visa

    NOTE: There is no need to go back to your country to get the Thai tourist visa. Any major city with a Thai Embassy will do. Apparently there is also no need to have an invitation from a Thai establishment to justify the visa.

  1. Bring the following to the Thai embassy:
    a) proof of money (bank statement will suffice)
    b) flight booking to Thailand
    c) onward flight back to your country from Thailand
    d) filled-in tourist visa form
    e) 2 passport pictures
    f) hotel booking in Thailand (they didn't ask me for this but better be safe)
    g) passport with at least 6 months validity
  2. After handing over all the documents, they will ask you to come pick your passport with the visa the following day from 4 to 5pm. That's it!
  3. NOTE: after 2 successful attempts, I was already questioned the 3rd time.

    30-Day Extension

    NOTE: When your 60-day visa is close to expiry and you want to extend your stay. No need to leave Thailand.

  1. bring the following to the Immigration Office:
    a) passport (make sure your Tourist Visa hasn't expired yet)
    b) Baht 1900
    c) photocopy of your passport + visa duration date stamp + TM6 card (white immigration card) and sign all the copies
    d) completed TM7 visa extension form (available at the Immigration Office)
    e) one 4cmx6cm passport picture
  2. submit the above to the Front Desk. They will give you a stub with your number on it. Take a seat and wait for your number to be called
  3. when your number is called, your picture will be taken. Then go back to your seat. They will call you again.
  4. when they call you again, they'll give you your passport with your extended visa. That's it!
  5. when there are no lines, the whole process can take only 10 minutes
General Travel Tips
  1. arrive early - in case there is a snag (visa snag, documentation snag, transport ticket snag, etc.), you will have ample time to troubleshoot the problem if you arrive early (to the airport, to the bus terminal, etc.)
  2. put detailed itinerary on the Calendar apps of your smart-phone according to timelines - this is where you do all your thinking and planning. Once written down, you don't have to think anymore while you are on the just follow the steps. This frees your mind for something else that might happen while you are already en route
  3. avoiding scams - as a general rule, I ignore the touts or anyone I don't know who call out to me. The calling comes in many forms - "Hi! Where are you from?", "Excuse me! Excuse me!", "Where are you going?". I don't look them in the eye and I remain non-verbal with them. If you reply to them, you just gave them an 'in' to hound you. In order not to look rude, I smile and wave the 'not interested' hand to them, without looking at them.
  4. power bank - hand-carry your power bank. Do not check it in. You can be called in when you are already inside the plane to go all the way to the loading dock so you can personally remove the power bank...and chances are, you'll have to surrender it to them. And you might delay the plane departure!

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