Future Shorts Festival – Kuwait

Posted by Mark

The Future Shorts Festival is the biggest pop up film festival of its kind, showcasing the most exciting short films from around the world. As part of their world tour they’ll be making a stop in Kuwait next week at the Contemporary Art Platform.

Date: August 8th, 2012
Time: 9PM
Location: Contemporary Art Platform, Shuwaikh
Ticket: KD2

For more information on the Future Shorts Festival click [Here]


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Want to know why you aren’t watching The Dark Knight Rises this Ramadan?

Posted by Mark

Batman the Dark Knight Rises releases 26 days later in MENA after International release

It seems the reason Batman: The Dark Knight Rises isn’t out yet in the region is because Joseph Chacra & Sons, the Warner Bros licensee of the region decided to postpone the release. The reasons they’re claiming behind this delay is the fact Ramadan is a slow season for them with 45% drop in sales and that watching movies in Ramadan is haram.

Blogger Moey started an online campaign to try and get them to release the movie on time but they wouldn’t change their minds and even started deleting users comments and negative posts from their Facebook page. Watch Moeys video above and then check out the following links to his blog posts:

Update on The Dark Knight Rises
The Crime That Warner Bros Lebanon Committed Online

So if there is anyone to blame for us not watching The Dark Knight Rises this Ramadan it’s not Cinescape but Warner Bros Middle East.


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That looks familiar

Posted by Mark

According to American designer George Hull, Oscorp Tower in the new Spiderman movie was actually inspired by Kuwait’s Al Hamra Tower. On his website George mentions the following:

“Early tower design inspired by architects Skidmore, Owings and Merrill”

Skidmore, Owings and Merrill are the architectural firm behind Al Hamra Tower. So that’s basically Al Hamra Tower in Spiderman. Very cool.

Thanks @3ZOZMEGA and M7MD


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Review: Prometheus

Posted by Mark

I’ve been really looking forward to watching this movie since I first found out about it back in December and now that I’ve watched it I have mixed feelings about it. The movie is directed by Ridley Scott who also directed the original Alien movie among other blockbuster hits and although I read that Prometheus isn’t a prequel to the Alien franchise, it’s hard to believe it’s not after watching it.

Plot: A team of explorers discover a clue to the origins of mankind on Earth, leading them on a journey to the darkest corners of the universe. There, they must fight a terrifying battle to save the future of the human race. -IMDB

The movie has a lot of intese parts and the plot is incredibly good but I did find it a bit slow paced as well. A lot of people in the theater were getting restless and even I was starting to doze off which is why I have mixed thoughts about it. The movie right now is stuck between being a quick action packed movie like The Avengers or an epic 3+ hour adventure similar to Lord of the Rings. It should have either been shorter and faster or longer and deeper. Ridley Scott spent a lot of time showing the viewers some really interesting things but then when the movie finally picked up pace, it ended very quickly. I could easily see a sequel come out of this or maybe even a prequel.

As I said at the start, I have mixed feelings about Prometheus. I didn’t leave the theater thinking the movie was great but it’s been 3 hours since I finished watching it and I’m still thinking about it so it’s good in that sense. Worth watching, just don’t expect it to be action packed.

I watched the movie in Lebanon so it was uncut. The movie contains one scene where a couple make out and have sex. It didn’t contain any nudity just kissing but it would most likely be cut in Kuwait and that scene plays a crucial role in the movie. Other than that scene there are a few scenes where the female characters are wearing basically a two piece swimsuit, no idea if that would get cut in Kuwait but they’re also important scenes in the movie.

If you haven’t watched the Prometheus movie trailer then watch it now [Here]


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Stormtrooper Shemagh

Posted by Mark

That’s kick ass! It’s by Mohamed Kanoo and Khaleejesque have an article about him [Here]


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Movie: Battleship

Posted by Mark

I watched Battleship earlier tonight at the movies and I thought it sucked. The movie was filled with every cliche you could imagine and it also felt like a Transformers movie mixed in with the movie Armageddon. Once you get near the end of the movie it goes from bad to worse with some of the most cheesiest scenes I’ve ever seen which is why I have no idea how it scored a 6.5 on IMDB (it’s too high a score).

On the bright side there isn’t anything to be cut from this movie, I don’t even recall a kissing scene so it’s Kuwait safe. Still, that shouldn’t be an excuse to go and watch it. It’s not worth it. [Movie Website]


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OSN Play – Just like Hulu

Posted by Mark

I found out about this yesterday and it completely caught me by surprise. OSN now has their own version of Hulu! If you’re an OSN customer you can register and sign up on their website and then stream movies and tv shows online. How cool is that?

You don’t watch the shows live instead they’re on-demand similar to Hulu. You find the show you want and just start watching it. Right now they have a pretty good collection of content online and I’m sure their library is going to grow with time as well.

I didn’t have any streaming problems and the interface is pretty good with the ability to watch the videos in full screen mode or in a window. You can also turn subtitles on and off for those that need it.

The funny thing is I’m used to watching videos on Hulu using a US based VPN but if you do that with OSN Play you’ll be turned away in a similar way Kuwait internet users get turned away from Hulu.

So try it out, it’s very easy to register just make sure you have the code from your OSN card with you. Here is a link to their website [Link]


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The Making of Fires of Kuwait

Posted by Mark


[YouTube]

I found the video above of the making of Fires of Kuwait on YouTube. If you didn’t already know Fires of Kuwait is an Academy Award winning nominated documentary from 1992 on the oil well fires that were lit up by the retreating Iraqi forces at the end of the 1990 invasion. The video above is a behind the scenes look into what went into the making of this documentary and I thought it was pretty interesting. In case you haven’t watched this IMAX documentary yet it’s currently showing every Friday at the Scientific Center IMAX theater. For details click [Here]

If you look carefully at the 2:24 mark you can see the Big Wind (pictured below) in action.


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That’s a car chase

Posted by Mark

Since we’re on the subject of cars, check out the video above from the movie Robot. [YouTube]

via Jalopnik


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Trying out CABLiTV

Posted by Mark

CABLiTV is a local business that recently launched with the aim of bringing American television channels to the Gulf. A couple of weeks ago they contacted me asking if I would be interested in trying out their service and I agreed. I’ve now been using their service on and off since then and here’s my thoughts on it.

First just a bit of simplified information on how their service works. CABLiTV get a cable and internet subscription in the States, they connect a Slingbox to their cable box and then stream the video feed online. You can then access the video stream in Kuwait and anywhere else in the world via a Slingbox player. It’s not a new service but they’re the first one’s I know of that are based in the GCC.

The amount of American channels CABLiTV provides is bewildering. Their smallest package consists of around 210 American channels while their most premium package consists of over 285. There are a whole range of standard channels to choose from like Fox, NBC, ABC, SyFy, etc.. and depending on the package you choose you could also have access to premium channels like HBO and Showtime.

So you’ve got all these channels but how do you view them? Well you can access your channels using your web browser which is probably the easiest but also my least favorite way. You can also access the channels via the Slingbox Player on mobile devices like the iPhone, iPad, Kindle Fire, BlackBerry, Android phones and tablets, Windows Mobile etc.. which is more interesting than the browser but still doesn’t feel natural to me. The best way to access your CABLiTV account is using either a Boxee (pictured below) or a Logitech Revue since both these devices connect directly to your television. That way it feels like you’re watching proper television instead of feeling like you’re streaming a video off of YouTube.

Unlike OSN and ART, you don’t need to install a satellite dish on the roof to get these channels. All you need is an internet connection albeit a pretty fast one depending on the resolution you’re trying to stream. With my 10Mbps WiMD connection at home I sometimes managed to stream in full HD but majority of the times I would watch using the setting “Best” which is the second best setting and provides a pretty sharp picture. The slower the connection the lower the resolution but once you get past the middle setting of “Good” the picture becomes good enough for small screens like the iPhone or Blackberry while looking pretty pixelated on larger screens.

The idea of getting all these American channels to your home here in Kuwait is great but there are two downsides for me. The first which can easily be solved is you need a decent internet connection. The faster the connection the better the video quality you get and the more chance the video will stay stable while you’re downloading other things over the internet. The second issue I have is with the subscription price. Their most affordable package is KD578 a year which comes out to around KD48 a month while their most expensive package goes for KD770 a year which is KD64 a month. I’m sure there are a lot of costs involved in providing this service but it still comes out a lot to the end user and although I would love to have this service it wouldn’t replace my iTunes AppleTV account, nor would it replace my OSN subscription. So in the end I’m still going to pay for those services and then at least another KD48 on top of that for these channels.

Cost aside I do love the idea of this service. If you’re interested to find out more about what they have to offer you can visit the CABLiTV website where they also offer a free trial account. Check them out [Here]


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