Blank Production

Post by Mark

blankproduction

One of the things that got me excited about checking out The Burrow Life gym was their teaser photos and videos which they shared on their instagram account. They set a very trendy tone to the gym and because the production of their photos and videos were so good I just assumed they had gotten them done outside of Kuwait. Then last week I found out from a friend that all their photos and videos were shot locally by a small production house called Blank Production.

Since it turns out their office was in the same building as mine, I passed by awhile ago to meet up with them and check out their work. They’ve only been around for three months now but already from their small portfolio it’s obvious they’re super talented. You can watch their showreel above or check out their website with more of their work [Here]


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Star Wars: The Force Awakens is Not Cut

Post by Mark

In case you’re wondering if the new Star Wars film has any scenes that were cut in Kuwait, based on people who’ve already watched it here, nothing is chopped.


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Book Your Star Wars Tickets

Post by Mark

starwars

Star Wars: The Force Awakens‘ comes out next Thursday (the 17th) here in Kuwait, a day before the US launch. Me and my friends booked tickets yesterday since Grand Cinemas have already started selling them. When we booked last night the theater was fairly empty but I just checked now and it’s filling up pretty quickly (at least the 7:30PM showing). So if you want to catch the premier of Star Wars in Kuwait you should head over to the Grand Cinemas website and book your tickets [Link]


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Local Film: Dinosaur

Post by Mark

Dinosaur is a local short film that was produced back in 2013 but due to it being entered in some film festivals, it just became available for the public to watch online a few days ago. The film is directed by Meqdad Al-Kout who’s behind another popular local film, Mustache (Shanab). Dinosaur follows a government employee who is trying to change his job title to a higher position before retiring.

kuwait-government

I have mixed feelings about the film, overall I liked it but I did find some of the scenes a bit cheesy and I really didn’t like the film visually. But Dinosaur did have some hilarious moments with my favorite being at 15:43 minutes into the film when the employee walks into an office full of niqab ladies. There are a bunch of great moments like that in the film which made me enjoy it overall. The film is in Arabic but has English subtitles. It’s also not too long just 20 minutes so if you’ve got the time check it out on [Vimeo]


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Airlift Trailer

Post by Mark

The trailer for “Airlift”, the upcoming Indian film based on the 1990 Iraq invasion of Kuwait just got released. The movie is based on a true story and is set to be released in January. Here is the synopsis:

Ranjit Katyal (played by Akshay Kumar), a wealthy and powerful Indian businessman, who has always seen himself as a Kuwaiti, rather than an Indian, realises that he no longer wields any influence on the Iraqis, and that he and his family are in as much danger as anyone else. Ranjit unknowingly becomes the man who all 170,000 Indians look up to for getting them out safely from Kuwait. Airlift is the story of Indians stranded in Kuwait during this traumatic time. A story of how they, with the help of Ranjit Katyal, managed to survive the Iraqi invasion, and against all odds travelled a thousand kilometres across the border into Amman, Jordan. From Amman, 170,000 Indians were brought home by the largest and the most successful evacuation ever attempted by any country, in the history of the world. Over 59 days, the Indian government systematically flew over 488 Air India commercial flights into a war zone to evacuate all 170,000 Indians and safely bring them back home. Airlift is an uplifting and entertaining edge-of-the-seat thriller and is the story of the biggest ever human evacuation in the history of mankind.

Airlift, directed by Raja Krishna Menon, starts filming April 2015 and is presented by T-Series and Cape of Good Films; produced by Crouching Tiger and Emmay Entertainment. Bhushan Kumar, talking about the film, said, “It’s my conviction that the story will be equally appreciated once on celluloid as much as I loved it during narration. The character that Akshay plays is filled with heroism and I am sure he will add to the perfection with this central character role that he essays.”

The trailer is in Hindi and doesn’t have any English subtitles but there’s lots of explosions so it’s still entertaining to watch. [YouTube]

Thanks Rayboy and Nand
airlift


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Cinemagics Rooftop Movies Are Back

Post by Mark

The Cinemagics rooftop movies are back starting from this weekend. If you’ve never been to one you should and this month they’ve got some great films showing. I’ll be adding them all to the Events page but for now below is the full list of films taking place this month.

Thursday, November 5th 2015 at 7:30PM
WHIPLASH
Winner of 78 awards and nominated for over 110 worldwide, Whiplash was the little movie that caught the world by storm last year. Featuring a towering performance by J.K. Simmons (for which he won the oscar), the real star here is newcomer Damien Chazelle’s incredible pacing and fascinating editing style. It tells the story of a promising young drummer who enrolls at a cutthroat music conservatory where his dreams of greatness are challenged by an instructor who will stop at nothing to bring out the best, even if it may go to far. If you haven’t seen this yet, this is your chance to witness the experience.

Saturday, November 7th 2015 at 7:30PM
JIRO DREAMS OF SUSHI
A delicate documentary about Jiro Ono, am 85 year old sushi master who runs a 3 michelin star restaurant in a toile subway station. Carrying a certified fresh rating of 99% on Rotten Tomatoes, the site’s consensus reads “Beautiful, thoughtful, and engrossing”. A film that is generally adores by all who’ve seen it.

Thursday, November 12th 2015 at 7:30PM
MY DINNER WITH ANDRE
A film that is universally adored by critics and audiences alike, My Dinner with Andre is the first in the trilogy of the Andre Gregory & Wallace Shawn experimental films. The film depicts a theatrical conversation between the two stars as they discuss experimental theater, the nature of life, and spiritual experiences. The Boston Society of Critics names it the Best American Film, and master critic Roger Ebert once said “If i could name a movie that was entirely devoid of cliches, it would be My Dinner with Andre”

Saturday, November 14th at 7:30PM
WILD TALES
One of the most refreshingly original films in recent history, Wild Tales is an Argentinian masterpiece covering 6 short stories, all of which share the themes of violence and revenge. The film has won over 40 awards worldwide, considered by many to be one of the best of the year. Holding a 96% rating, Rotten Tomatoes called the film “Wickedly hilarious and delightfully deranged”. The film received a 10 minute standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival. A rare combination of a crowd pleaser that also captures the attention of cinephiles. Unmissable.

Thursday, November 19th at 7:30PM
THE THIN BLUE LINE
One of the most provocative documentaries of all time, and a film many considered to be the shift in the way documentaries were being made, The Thin Blue Line was eventually considered to be one of the best 5 documentaries of all time. It depicts the story of Randall Dale Adams, a man convicted and sentences to life in prison for a murder he did not commit. The film is one of the only films to ever affect a judicial verdict, as the trial was reviewed after the release of the film. Errol Morris went on to become one of the most respected documentarians around.

Saturday, November 21st at 7:30PM
ANNIE HALL
Every year at Cinemagic, we pick one highlight one master director and create a series around him/her where we show an important film of their’s each month. This year, our director of choice is the cinematic gem, Woody Allen. We begin big with what Roger ebert called “just about everyone’s favorite Woody Allen movie”, Annie Hall. A film responsible for inventing the modern comedic film, Annie Hall won the oscars for Best Film, Director, and Screenplay, and solidified Woody Allen as one of the great American filmmakers of his generation. One of the most beloved comedies of all time, there’s nobody that doesn’t love Annie Hall.

Thursday, November 26th at 7:30PM
TIMBUKTU
Nominated for best foreign film at the Academy Awards, and winner of another 19 awards worldwide, Timbuktu tells the story of a cattle herder and his family who reside in the dunes of Timbuktu when they find their lives of peace disturbed by the political arena int he surrounding cities. Variety wrote of the director “In the hands of a master, indignation and tragedy can be rendered with clarity yetsubtelty, setting hysteria aside for deeper, more richly shaded tones. Abderrahmane Sissako is just such a master.”

Saturday, November 28th at 7:30PM
WATER
Beautifully shot and elegantly told, Deepa Mehta’s Water was a beloved film worldwide upon release. The film examines the plight of a group of widows forced into poverty, focussing on a relationship between one of the widows and a man who is from the highest caste and is is a follower or Mahatma Ghandhi. Of the film, The Los Angeles Times wrote “Mehta is able to inject considerable humor in her stunningly perceptive and beautifully structured narrative…Water emerges as a film of extraordinary richness and complexity”. Winner of 23 awards.

Cinemagics is organizing these events as part of its efforts to contribute to the development of an internationally competitive Kuwaiti audio-visual production industry, partly by bringing the filmmakers and audiences together and by increasing the public’s interest in – and appreciation for – the art of film-making. Cinemagics movies are screened in the old Salmiya, on the rooftop of Xcite and LG [Map]. There is no entrance fee. Here is a link to their Facebook group [Link]


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Netflix Coming to the Middle East in 2016

Post by Mark

netflix

Netflix has confirmed they will be launching in the Middle East soon. In an email to IGN ME, Netflix’s Joris Evers said, “We plan to complete our global expansion by the end of 2016. Of course the Middle East is part of that, hence our hiring.” [Source]

Around 10 days back a local redditor noticed that Netflix had changed their usual error message while trying to access Netflix from his Roku device. The usual error message “Sorry, Netflix hasn’t come to this part of the world yet” was replaced with “Good news! Netflix will be coming soon to this part of the world. Stay tuned.” Now it’s actually confirmed which is pretty interesting news.

I wonder if the regional library of films and shows will be similar to that of the US. But I think I’m even more curious to see how this will affect OSN as well as the other regional streaming services like Telly.


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The Martian

Post by Mark

themartian

Just finished watching The Martian. After watching Interstellar last year I was really looking forward for another space related film. For some reason I was expecting The Martian to be as serious and dramatic as Interstellar but that wasn’t the case, it’s more lighthearted with lots of humor. It’s not as good as Interstellar or Gravity for that matter, but it was still fun to watch. There was o nudity, no violence, no cussing and no kissing, so you should be able to watch it in Kuwait without any censorship.

Update: I completely forgot there was one scene where you can see Matt Damon’s naked rear so I take back the last statement, it won’t be without any censorship.


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How is Magic Mike XXL not banned?

Post by Mark

xxl

How the hell did Magic Mike XXL not make the ban list in Kuwait? Cinescape have it listed as coming soon which doesn’t make any sense since the movie is all about male strippers. How long is the movie going to end up being after all the censorship, a full 5 minutes? So weird.


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Sky Cinemas – The new Cinema Operator in town

Post by Mark

skycinemas

I’ve been hearing rumblings of a third cinema operator coming to Kuwait for awhile now but I didn’t think it would ever happen. The market is just too small and Cinescape is so dominant that I figured it just wouldn’t make financial sense for a third cinema operator to want to come in and compete. I guess I was wrong.

Sky Cinemas is the new cinema operator in town and they’ve just soft launched their first location in Dalal Complex on Salem Al Mubarek Street. If you’re wondering what building that is, it’s the new tower opposite Zahra Complex [Map]. Right now they have one theater operational and it’s playing Ant-Man but by next week they’ll have two more theaters operational as well as more movies to choose from including the new Mission Impossible.

Their ticket prices are KD3.5 which is exactly like Grand Cinemas and Cinescape plus they don’t have IMAX, so I don’t really see what their advantage is. They’re also located right in the middle between Cinescape Fanar and Cinescape Marina Mall so they have their work cut out for them. If you’re interested in trying them out, check out their website [Here]

The mall they’re located in is fairly empty at the moment with I think 4 shops open only.


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