Ray Elbe, the Kuwait based MMA fighter just finished filming season 2 of Al Batal, the first Arab MMA Reality TV show thats similar to the Ultimate Fighter but based out of the UAE. This is the second season and is going to feature 12 fighters of Arab ethnicity flown in from around the world to compete for the opportunity to be champion in either the 70 kilo or 84 kilo weight division. Ray is leading one of the teams on the show so if you’re interested, the show premiers September 27th on FOX Movies, check out the trailer above. [YouTube]
A few months ago OSN launched a video streaming service similar to Netflix called ‘Go’. For just $10 a month you get access to a large library of movies and TV shows which are all available to watch at any time from your desktop or your mobile devices.
I found out about the service today and after playing around with it for a few hours I liked it, even though I don’t have a use for it.
The service isn’t anywhere near perfect but it’s a good start nonetheless. I have two main issues with ‘Go’, the first is the limited library. In the TV shows category they only have 15 shows, all old seasons which most of us have watched before. I compliment them on the fact they have one of my favorite shows ‘Boss‘ available but that show got canceled like 2 years back. The movies category is a lot better just don’t expect any of the latest blockbusters. Their movie section actually reminded me of Blockbuster back when I used to rent videotapes from them in Canada. Once I would be done watching everything in the top 20 I would wander randomly around the store looking for old classics I might have missed out on. Groundhog Day, Good Morning Vietnam, Top Gun, Medicine Man.. all classics available to watch along with other more recent hits. If only they would allow us to sort through the movies by release date, it would make things a lot more practical.
The second issue I had with ‘Go’ was the quality of the video stream. I’m on a 10Mbps connection and I had difficulty getting a decent quality stream going. They don’t even let you control the quality of the video, they do it automatically for you based on your current speed so if your connection is fluctuating so will the quality of the video. One minute I’m watching a clear 1.3Mbps stream a few seconds later it drops down to 300Kbps, then back up to 800, then back down to 500. It’s really irritating and I wish they had an option similar to YouTube where I could choose the quality, hit pause and let it buffer up a bit and then hit play. On my iPhone things were slight better just because the screen is smaller so compression artifacts didn’t show as much.
On the plus side $10 a month is pretty cheap and I loved the fact I could play anything I wanted instantly. Even skipping randomly into different sections of the movie was fast. On the iPhone you could also leave the app while watching something and when you come back to it, the app will remember your last position and continue playing from where you stopped.
As I mentioned in the beginning, it’s not a bad start for a service that just recently launched. You don’t need to be an OSN subscriber to sign up to ‘Go’ and they also have a 7-day free trial so you could give it a spin before deciding if you want it or not. Here is a link to their [Website]
This absolutely sucks. I used to love recording live UFC event and then waking up early morning to watch them. It’s the only reason I still had my OSN subscription. Instead, OSN are now getting Bellator which no one wants to watch while the UFC has moved to Abu Dhabi Sports.
Spotify is my favorite digital music service and whenever I post about it on the blog people always ask me how I manage to get it working. Geek in Kuwait has put together easy step by step instructions to follow to get Spotify and Netflix working in Kuwait. So if you’re interested in getting those two services working, follow this [Link]
Note: I use StrongVPN to bypass blocked websites. Also with Spotify unlike Pandora, once you sign up you no longer need to use a VPN to use it.
The Masked Hitman is a 4 part short film that will be aired this coming Ramadan. The film by Khaleel Hayat is based around a hitman that was kidnapped as a child and had his parents killed by a gang that kidnaps children to use in drug trafficking. After escaping their clutches, the hitman is coming back for revenge. Not your regular run-of-the-mill Ramadan series that’s for sure.
Originally the film was going to be shot in Canada but due to the film containing weapons and Canadas strict rules, the film is now being shot in Kuwait. The Masked Hitman will be uploaded onto YouTube in 4 parts with one episode per week during Ramadan. Once the first episode is out I’ll be posting it here on the blog so stay tuned. [YouTube]
The Kelsey Grammer TV series Boss was one of my favorite American political dramas but it sadly got canceled last year. On the bright side I think I just found a great alternative, House of Cards. House of Cards stars Kevin Spacey as a congressman and in the same way Boss was offering a behind the scenes look into US politics, House of Cards does pretty much the same thing.
Kevin Spacey’s character was promised the position of Secretary of State by the US President if elected. But when the President ended up getting elected (and all because of Kevin Spacey’s help), he decides to backtrack on his promise and give the position to someone else which pisses Kevin Spacey off who decides to take revenge. Kevin Spacey’s character is an amazing mastermind and watching him plan and set things in motion all to help him gain more power and control is really exciting and just makes you want to continue watching to see what he has planned next.
The first episode starts off a bit slow but it quickly picks up and then becomes really hard to stop watching. House of Cards was originally created for Netflix but you can also watch it on OSN and it’s also available online on OSN Play. So if you’re looking for an alternative to Boss or if you’re into political dramas then check out House of Cards.
I’m not a fan of The X Factor but for those of you who are you might be interested to know they will be coming to Kuwait to hold auditions on November 30th at Courtyard by Marriott Hotel starting at 8AM. If you’re interested in trying out check out The X Factor Arabia website for more details [Here]
On the other hand I’d love to try out for the Fear Factor if they ever bring that to the Arab world.
The BBC show Big Meets Bigger came to Kuwait a couple of years back and when the episode was finally aired it was uploaded online to the BBC website but no one outside the UK could watch it. Today though someone uploaded the video onto YouTube and it’s now finally available for everyone to watch. The episode is divded into four parts, the first part is above and I’ve listed the rest below.
Interesting tidbit, the charactar Ashur who they call “the Syrian” on the TV series Spartacus (and who is probably the most hated character on the show) used to live in Kuwait back in the 80s. His real name is Emad Tarabay. I tried to get more details like what school he attended but he wouldn’t share any details with me.
Update: I am aware Emad is originally Lebanese, but on the show they call him “the Syrian”.
The explosion didn’t actually happen in real life but on the latest episode of the popular TV show True Blood. According to the show there are only 5 factories in the world that produce the synthetic blood beverage “Tru:Blood” and one of them was located in Kuwait. I guess Kuwait found a profitable alternative to oil.
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