Stormtrooper Shemagh

Post 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

Post 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

Post 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

Post 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

Post 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

Post 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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DETOUR – The Saudi Art Movement

Post by Mark

Going by the trailer it looks like a pretty interesting and well made documentary. Makes me look at Saudi Arabia in a completely different light. [YouTube]

Thanks Nocolor


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Cinemagic rooftop movie schedule for March 2012

Post by Mark

I just got the March schedule for Cinemagic and it looks like I’ve only watched one of the movies showing this month which is Triplets of Belleville. It’s a really strange but cool animation which is definitely worth watching. Check out the full schedule below.

Thursday, March 1st at 7:30pm
THE MILK OF SORROW
Fausta is suffering from a rare disease called the Milk of Sorrow, which is transmitted through the breast milk of pregnant women who were abused or raped during or soon after pregnancy. While living in constant fear and confusion due to this disease, she must face the sudden death of her mother. She chooses to take drastic measures to not follow in her mother’s footsteps.

Saturday, March 3rd at 7:30pm
BARTON FINK
In 1941, New York intellectual playwright Barton Fink comes to Hollywood to write a Wallace Beery wrestling picture. Staying in the eerie Hotel Earle, Barton develops severe writer’s block. His neighbor, jovial insurance salesman Charlie Meadows, tries to help, but Barton continues to struggle as a bizarre sequence of events distracts him even further from his task.

Thursday, March 8th at 7:30pm
TRIPLETS OF BELLVILLE
When her grandson is kidnapped during the Tour de France, Madame Souza and her beloved pooch Bruno team up with the Belleville Sisters–an aged song-and-dance team from the days of Fred Astaire–to rescue him.

Saturday, March 10th at 7:30pm
THE SWEET HEREAFTER
This film documents the effects of a tragic bus accident on the population of a small town.

Thursday, March 15th at 7:30pm
NETWORK
A TV network cynically exploits a deranged ex-TV anchor’s ravings and revelations about the media for their own profit.

Saturday, March 17th at 7:30pm
RUSSIAN ARK
A 19th century French aristocrat, notorious for his scathing memoirs about life in Russia, travels through the Russian State Hermitage Museum and encounters historical figures from the last 200+ years.

Thursday, March 22nd at 7:30pm
CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS
Werner Herzog gains exclusive access to film inside the Chauvet caves of Southern France, capturing the oldest known pictorial creations of humankind in their astonishing natural setting.

Saturday, March 24th at 7:30pm
DOWN BY LAW
The story of three different men in a Louisiana prison and their eventual journey.

Thursday, March 29th at 7:30pm
THE SON’S ROOM
A psychoanalyst and his family go through profound emotional trauma when their son dies in a scuba diving accident.

Saturday, March 31st at 7:30pm
500 DAYS OF SUMMER
An offbeat romantic comedy about a woman who doesn’t believe true love exists, and the young man who falls for her.

Cinemagic Kuwait, 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. Cinemagic movies are screened in the old Salmiya, on the roof on top of Alghanim Electronics and LG. Entrance is free of charge and includes refreshments, popcorn and much more. Here is a link to their Facebook group [Link]


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Wonderland

Post by Mark

Wonderland from Zero Film Festival on Vimeo.

Looks like a Kuwaiti version of Alice in Wonderland. I’m intrigued.


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Cinemagic rooftop movie schedule for January 2012

Post by Mark

The weather is pretty cozy right now with it not being too cold yet so it’s still a great time to catch the Cinemagic screenings next month. I’ve watched two of the movies they’re going to be showing, American Splendor and of course Akira. Both of them were really great and Akira honestly is a classic and a must watch if you haven’t already. Embarrassingly I’ve never watched Grease although I’m not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing. Here is the January movie screenings list:

Thursday, January 5th at 7:30pm
AMERICAN SPLENDOR
An original mix of fiction and reality illuminates the life of comic book hero everyman Harvey Pekar.

Saturday, January 7th at 7:30pm
DON’T LOOK BACK
Documentary covering Bob Dylan’s 1965 tour of England, which includes appearances by Joan Baez and Donovan.

Thursday, January 12th at 7:30pm
THE DINNER GAME
Each week, Pierre and his friends organize what is called as “un dîner de cons”. Everyone brings the dumbest guy he could find as a guest. Pierre thinks his champ -François Pignon- will steal the show.

Saturday, January 14th at 7:30pm
THE GREAT DICTATOR
In Chaplin’s satire on Nazi Germany, dictator Adenoid Hynkel has a double… a poor Jewish barber… who one day is mistaken for Hynkel.

Thursday, January 19th at 7:30pm
THE BEAT THAT MY HEART SKIPPED
Should Tom (Duris) make like his thuggish father or pursue his dream of becoming a pianist?

Saturday, January 21st at 7:30pm
THRONE OF BLOOD
A ruthlessly ambitious lord, egged on by his wife, works to fulfill a prophecy that he would become Emperor.

Thursday, January 26th at 7:30pm
GREASE
Good girl Sandy and greaser Danny fell in love over the summer. But when they unexpectedly discover they’re now in the same high school, will they be able to rekindle their romance?

Saturday, January 28th at 7:30pm
AKIRA
A secret military project endangers Neo-Tokyo when it turns a biker gang member into a rampaging psionic psychopath that only two kids and a group of psionics can stop.

Cinemagic Kuwait, 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. Cinemagic movies are screened in the old Salmiya, on the roof on top of Alghanim Electronics and LG. Entrance is free of charge and includes refreshments, popcorn and much more. Here is a link to their Facebook group [Link]


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