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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Cinescape Increases IMAX Ticket Prices

Post by Mark

book

For some unknown reason, Cinescape have increased the ticket prices of their IMAX movies. They increased the price from KD4 to KD5 while all the other ticket prices remained the same. I tried to find out why the increase happened but I was told a memo was sent out to Cinescape employees not to discuss it. Very odd.

Update: On a side note has anyone watched Rogue Nation, is anything cut?


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A Film Called Kuwait

Post by Mark

kuwaitfilm1

I recently found out about a French film thats coming out called Kuwait. I was curious to what it was about and why it was going to be called Kuwait, so I contacted the director and was able to get a bit of information from him. First the synopsis:

KUWAIT tells the story of Stéphane, a lonely and pragmatic 18-year-old girl, who lives in a hamlet in France. Her father has disappeared a few days ago and Stéphane is worried. Her life changes dramatically the day a wide open hole appears in the family garden. Is it connected to her father’s disappearance? Stéphane is going to try and understand what happened with her neighbour Frank. What she will discover will shake her life…

kuwaitfilmposter

According to the director, in the film, the girls father disappears and she then later on in the film finds out he moved to Kuwait. The reason the director chose Kuwait as the destination is because as a kid he spent 3 years living in Kuwait. The film starts shooting in September and for more information you can visit the films website [Here]


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Best Movie Theater in Kuwait

Post by Mark

cinemagics

nima

This is going to be a long one.
Winner: LITERALLY NO ONE WINS. LITERALLY.

I watched Van Helsing a few years ago. It’s a shitty movie with Hugh Jackman and Kate Beckinsale. Early in the movie, Van Helsing goes to Kate Beckinsale’s village, only to be attacked by 3 sexy flying vampire women. Because the flying sexy vampires are sexy, anytime there was a closeup of one of them, the frames were cut. The Flying Sexies would just die off one at a time. I remember this because at one point, the last remaining Sexie was outside flying around and screaming then suddenly CUTCUTCUT she’s inside already turned to ash around a crossbow bolt to her now visible chest. The editing was so jarring that I literally felt sick, like being in strobe lights for too long. I got up and walked out of the Cinema in Kuwait for the last time.

So why do we censor such things but not violence? Think about this, if a movie showed a woman getting her arm taken off, not a problem. Shirt taken off, problem. A horde of zombies grab someone and bite their goddamn face off, no problem. Someone kisses their wife for good luck before embarking on some death-defying last-ditch effort against all odds. That’s a fucking problem. “Tsk. Why are you kissing? Ha? Who told you to kiss? Tsk. Shino hatha? There’s a camera here and we can all see you. Tsk. Respect yourselves.”

They also censor blasphemy. When the bad guy says, “I will be a god” or something like that, I know it’s wrong. He’s an asshole. What do you expect? That’s why we’re all paying money. To sit here silently in the dark and watch someone kick his ass. Why do I need that part of his asshole behaviour to be kept from me? Doesn’t context matter?

Whether they censor a brief kiss from the movie or cut a movie into spastic chaos, it doesn’t matter to me. The result is the same; I am ripped away from the movie and put into a movie theatre sitting next to the sonofabitch friend that convinced me to give this shit another chance. (You lied to me Mohi, you lied right to my face.)

So now people are reduced to looking up the running time of the film from the cinema companies here and comparing them with the actual running time of the film to see how much of the movie is cut. Some friends of mine went to watch Rush Hour 2 or 3. It was literally an hour long. Allegedly, films are watched by a panel of men. The men have a button each. They press the button when something is worth censoring. It doesn’t take a consensus, just one to be offended. The process is then repeated through a panel of women. Allegedly. But I believe it just because of how ridiculous it sounds.

Now think about this, and this is what drives me to rage, a group of people, that have never met you, watch something uncut, on your behalf, to mark the things that you would not be able to handle, and remove them from your experience. We are treated as children. Undeveloped enough to be able to comprehend reality from film. The whole thing is institutionally condescending. And honestly, what’s the point of censoring movies when everyone has OSN at home and the internet everywhere else they go? At this point is it little more than a empty gesture of righteousness?

TL;DR
I won’t go to the cinemas here or anywhere films are censored. Even if it’s just a kiss. Even if it’s a kids movie. Because they censored the lion king. The Lion King.

Runner up: Cinemagics
I was the man with the plan behind the Game of Thrones private cinema night that Mark wrote about. I loved that place. What a fun night. And is there anything more enjoyable than watching a movie on a rooftop in Old Salmiya on a cool winter night? Fantastic movies and beautiful viewing areas, I can’t recommend Cinemagics enough. If you’ve never experienced it, do yourselves a favour and check them out.

mark

Winner:Cinemagics
I’ve been posting about the Cinemagics rooftop movies for years now and every year they keep making it better. This year for example they replaced the previously uncomfortable chairs with super comfy air sofas. They also added a live food station and their movie choices are also unmatched. Best part is you can watch their movies for free and thats because Cinemagics is trying 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. And to top it all off, they’re located down the street from where I live. An easy winner here.

Runner up: Cinescape 360 Mall
I have to agree with Nima regarding the censorship issue, I stopped watching movies for a long time in Kuwait because I got pissed off after going to watch The Simpsons and realizing it was censored. But I’ve recently started going back to the movies again but now I make sure whatever I watch isn’t censored, or at least minor censorship, like I wouldn’t mind one kissing scene being chopped. That said, the movie theater I frequent the most, or should I say the only theater I actually go to now is the Cinescape one at 360 Mall. Its aesthetically pleasing and their IMAX 3D theater is the best one in Kuwait from what I’m aware of (let me know if there is a better one cuz I’d love to check it out). Note to Cinescape, just buy cinescape.com already, it’s what I always type before realizing I need to go to kncc.com instead.


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Watch the Game of Thrones Finale in a Cinema

Post by Mark

cinemaroom

Last week me and some friends rented out the cinema room at Cinemagics and watched episode 9 of Game of Thrones. It’s a small VIP theater with 12 reclining leather seats, a large 5×2.5m screen and a dolby digital surround system. It was pretty fun since we all had dinner at my place first and then walked over to Cinemagics which is just down the street from me. I wasn’t planning on posting about the room until after the finale tomorrow since I was going to book the room again. But, I decided to travel for a couple of days so I won’t be here anymore for the final episode.

The room is very cozy and the seats really comfortable. They provide you with water and popcorn and they also will stay open late for you since last week we ended up heading there are 10:30 at night and leaving around midnight. The only thing I would recommend is if you’re 10 people NOT to try and take the lift up to Cinemagics together. We got stuck for a few minutes and it wasn’t fun. Anyway if anyone is interested in booking the cinema room tomorrow, you can contact Yousif on 67001250.


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A new kind of cinema censorship

Post by Mark

censored

The scene above is from the movie Mad Max, seems the censors are now airbrushing some scenes with revealing clothing. Not sure how I feel about this, on one hand its better than completely cutting the scene, but on the other hand it’s still censorship and that sucks.

via @HHajyah


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Short Animation: Sandarah

Post by Mark

Sandarah by Yousef

Sandarah is a short animated film by Kuwait animator Yousef Al Bagshi. The film was uploaded 7 months ago but it seems to have just been discovered recently. It’s Yousef’s first animation and it took him nearly a year and a half of work to complete it. The film is gorgeous, I really love his illustration style and the way he renders the light in all the scenes. The story is also captivating and from what I’ve been told based on a true event that took place during the 1990 Iraqi invasion. The film is under 7 minutes long so make sure you watch it.

Thanks to everyone who sent this in.

sandarah


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