Last night I got the chance to watch the premier of the new James Bond movie Skyfall at Grand Cinemas in the Al Hamra Tower. As soon as I got to the floor Grand Cinemas was located on we were given a goodie bag by Aston Martin, that included an iPhone 5 case with the Skyfall logo on it and some other Aston Martin branded merchandise. The attendants were quite helpful, answering our questions and giving us directions to which theater we’d be seated in. We then were able to get some popcorn and soda. They only had regular popcorn available and no water, that will obviously change once Grand Cinemas opens. The first thing I noticed as soon as I entered the theater was just how cold it was. Movie theaters tend to get chilly, but it was incredibly cold, much colder than other theaters. The seating was quite comfortable and the only real negative thing (beside it being too cold) that bothered me was that they kept the “Exit” signs lit up throughout the movie which caused a green glare on the side of the screen which was slightly distracting at times.
Once the show started, about 15 minutes of advertisements for Aston Martin played which wasn’t a big surprise since it seemed like they were the ones who helped put this event together. Once the movie began, I instantly noticed how the image seemed crisper and sharper on the screen. It was a good sign. Then about 10 minutes into the movie, the sound was acting up, we couldn’t hear what the characters were saying but we could still hear the music and the sound effects. It felt like we were watching a silent movie. After a few minutes of that the entire sound cut which happened a minute or so before the movie intro credits started rolling. This situation also made things kind of awkward because you could hear people all around you just crunching away at their popcorns while the theater stayed surprisingly quiet throughout this whole ordeal. This went on for a good 10 or 15 more minutes, I was thinking of walking out of the theater because the movie was basically being spoiled. Then one of the guys in charge walked in and made an announcement that the theater amplifier blew out and that they needed a few minutes to switch it out. Not sure how an amp could blow out at the very first show, but apparently it did. As soon as he left they thankfully stopped the movie. Sure enough a few minutes afterwards the movie had started, the movie was rewinded to where the technical errors began and the sound was working. After that it was smooth sailing, I really liked how crisp the image was and the volume of the movie was just loud enough. Did I mention how it was cold? It became nearly unbearable near the end to the point that it became distracting.
Now about the movie. I’m going to come out and say this right away, Skyfall is probably my favorite Bond movie. Daniel Craig and Javier Bardem were both fantastic and seemed to feed off each others on-screen energy. Bardem’s role as the villain was really memorable and his character will be remembered for a long time. Sam Mendes did a great job at directing this movie which includes one of my favorite fight scenes that I’ve experienced in a movie, the cinematography, the lighting, the intensity of the scene, it was just beautifully shot. The movie had some amusing moments, some charming Bond moments, it was aggressive when it needed to be and it was surprisingly dark at times, especially for a Bond movie. Bond movies are usually more upbeat and they’re typically about Bond being nearly superhero like, saving the day. Let me put it this way, Skyfall is to Bond as The Dark Knight was to Batman. This movie release is going to coincide with the 50th anniversary of James Bond and the movie features some neat little nods to past Bond movies and in a way, there were segments in the movie that felt like old-school Bond. It’s a little on the longside though, running at about 2 hours and 30 minutes long but it is definitely worth the watch.
So all in all, I feel like Grand Cinemas will be a great addition to Kuwait. Except for that little incident regarding the sound which was fixed, the only downside of last night was how cold it had gotten, I’ll just remember to bring a coat next time I decide to watch a movie there.
On the occasion of the James Bond 50th anniversary, a James Bond World is going to be setup next month at the exhibition hall in 360 Mall. There will be a whole bunch of activities taking place at James Bond World but probably the biggest highlights will be the actual cars from the James Bond movies. Among the cars that will be on display is the Aston Martin that was used for the big crash scene in “Casino Royale”, the Aston Martin with mounted weapons used in “Tomorrow Never Dies”, the Vanquish DBS from “Quantum of Solace” and the DB5 featured in the latest James Bond movie “Skyfall”.
Originally the hot actress Gemma Arterton from “Quantum of Solace” was also supposed to attend the opening night but that was when the opening night was originally set for October 26th. Now that the event has been pushed back she most likely won’t be able to make it.
James Bond World is set to open to the public on November 1st. The pictures of the James Bond cars in this post were taken by my contact who also provided me with the information above.
Update: Just added all the pictures of the cars I received below.
The largest cinema chain in the Middle East is opening in Hamra Tower this coming Friday with the movie Skyfall. The theater once open will have a total of 9 screens with one of them being a VIP theater which I’ve previously been told will rival those of Dubai. [Link]
Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World, a new documentary narrated by Academy Award winning actress Susan Sarandon, will make its Middle East debut on Monday, 1 October 2012 at 7 PM at the Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah’s (DAI) al-Maidan Cultural Centre. This new ninety-minute film, from executive producers Michael Wolfe and Alex Kronemer, “takes audiences on an epic journey across nine countries and over 1,400 years of history. It explores themes such as the Word, Space, Ornament, Color and Water and presents the stories behind many great masterworks of Islamic art and architecture.”
Hamad Al-Tourah is a Kuwaiti writer and filmmaker who is currently getting ready to shoot a short film here in Kuwait in about 3 weeks time. Right now he’s in the pre-production phase and is currently casting actors/actresses for the roles. He is also raising funds to cover the cost of equipment and production so he’s got a Kickstarter kinda thing going on.
Here is the summary of what the short film will be about:
Playtime is a short film about Matthew, a 10 year old expatriate who’s just moved to Kuwait with his single mother, whose just been hired for a post at an American Army Base. One night, after his mother leaves him alone for the first time, he escapes to track her down. Instead, he quickly crosses paths with Dalal, a teenage Kuwaiti girl who lives next door. Fearing a second abandonment, Matthew convinces her to help him find his mother.
What Matthew doesn’t know is that Dalal needs more help than he and that the only way to combat his own feelings of alienation is to stop depending on the care of others. Having descended far into the depths of the Kuwaiti desert, Matthew must fend off some threatening characters and return the two of them safely home.
Hamad is trying to raise $8,000 to make the film and right now he’s at the halfway point with around $4,000. Every donation gets you a perk and you can donate as little as just $10. To find out how you can help click [Here]
I just found out from Jacqui that OSN have released an iPad App for their OSN Play service. OSN Play allows you to stream movies and tv shows on the go and now with the iPad App you’ll be able to stream the content onto your iPad wherever you are in the Middle East. It’s perfect timing with the olympics currently taking place.
But I can’t get the App to work for some odd reason. I logged into my account but whenever I try to stream anything I get the error “You’ve now registered the maximum number of devices for this account.” I have no idea what that means but I’m hoping its a technical issue from their side that will be worked out soon.
If you’re an OSN subscriber you automatically have free access to OSN Play and you can download the App from [Here]
Update: Turns out every time you log in to OSN Play from a different computer it adds that computer as a device. You can have maximum two devices which I already have which is why I couldn’t get OSN Play to work on the iPad. There is a workaround without having to remove an already added device. OSN Play allows you to have other members in the house create sub accounts so I just created a second account for myself and this should solve the problem.
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]
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:
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]