Category Archives: Movies & Television

Racist Joke on one of LBC’s TV Shows

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Elie Sleiman on MTV’s Menna w Jor featured two jokes from the LBC TV show Haram as part of his “Joke of the week” section. I’m really glad Sleiman picked up these jokes because one of them is extremely racist and inappropriate (it’s about black people and white chocolate). I just wish Pierre or any of the guests would have pointed out that it’s a very bad joke, not just a lame one.

To be honest, I have no idea how someone approved this script but then again this whole show “Haram” should not be on air.

Start watching at Minute 09:15


Chi.N.N Got Cancelled

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Chi.N.N’s host and producer Salam el Zaatari just posted on Facebook that the show got cancelled following his appearance on MTV’s Menna W Jerr show. I watched his segment on Menna W Jerr and I felt like he wanted to end the show not Al Jadeed. I don’t know what’s happening between them but I wouldn’t have brought the matter live on another TV’s show.

In all cases, that’s too bad. I wasn’t a big fan of Chi.N.N as the hosts were witty and smart but a bit too vulgar. Still, some of their episodes were quite hilarious and they had the only decent political satire show in town.



The Narrow Streets of Bourj Hammoud

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Burj hammoud via OldBeirut

Bourj Hammoud used to be a huge garden back in the 1920s before thousands of Armenian refugees began arriving in Beirut and settling in refugee camps on the outskirts of the city. What began as a tent camp soon turned into an urban center and later on in the 1950s an independent municipality.


Burj Hammoud is one of the most densely populated cities in the Middle East and has been neglected for years by the authorities. Fifteen years ago, several houses and shops were torn to build a bridge right across the overcrowded city. As a result, hundreds of households are now living in detrimental conditions under the bridge or right next to it.

The below video by Joanne Nochu is a leader for a 90 minute film on “The Narrow Streets of Bourj Hammoud” and has received support from the Wenner Gren Foundation.

Here’s a brief on the project:

This project established a filmmaking workshop for young adults living in Bourj Hammoud, Lebanon. Bourj Hammoud is a diverse, densely populated, working-class suburb of Beirut that is dominated by Armenian social and political institutions. Earlier dissertation research in Bourj Hammoud looked at the ramifications of various urban planning initiatives as well as infrastructures and social service institutions on the formation of sectarian identity. Using videography and photography, the grantee documented how people obtained much-needed services and resources, like education, medical care, electricity and water. The presence of the grantee’s camera elicited great interest among several of interlocutors and enabled unexpected conversations as grantee and interlocutor filmed the urban landscape of Bourj Hammoud together. The engaged anthropology project established a filmmaking workshop with some interlocutors.

The Narrow Streets of Bourj Hammoud from Joanne Nucho on Vimeo.

Review: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice [2016]

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Who would win in a fight, Batman or Superman? We all went to see Batman v Superman to witness the ultimate showdown between two of the most beloved superheros and the movie turned out to be even better than I expected it to be. The movie is very dark, Ben Affleck played Batman and Bruce Wayne superbly and he’s the best Batman we’ve seen in years, Eisenberg was absolutely brilliant as Lex Luthor, Cavill’s performance as Superman was pretty much the same as his performance in Man of Steel and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman was a hit and her role, even though trivial to the plot, had a huge impact.


The action scenes were breathtaking and intense, the fight scenes between between Superman and Batman are unreal and much better than the trailer, the graphics were great (except for one lousy CGI scene), the plot is well written, the story is emotion and action-packed and will engage you from beginning to end. Also, DC comics and superheroes fans are in for a lot of surprises, especially in the final scene. If I were to compare BvS to other DC Comics movies, I would say it’s a huge step from Man of Steel but not as good as “The Dark Knight”.

Batman v Superman is a 2 and a half hours movie but it didn’t feel that long honestly. It’s a masterpiece and I would definitely watch it again. It starts showing tomorrow in Lebanese theaters.


Rating: 4.5/5

Agent 505: Death Trap Beirut (1966)

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agent 505 Source

Agent 505: Death Trap Beirut, also known as La trappola scatta a Beirut (Italy) or Baroud à Beyrouth pour F.B.I. 505 (France) is a 1966 movie shot in Beirut and directed by Manfred R. Köhler. The stars are Frederick Stafford, who was known for his lead role in European spy movies, Chris Howland and Geneviève Cluny.

Here’s the plot:

A couple of beautiful girls are murdered while sunbathing at a luxury hote. The killer too is murdered, but able to reveal – before dying- that they were disposed of because the “knew too much”. Something bad is being planned in Beirut, and it has something to do with a man called The Sheikh, who has only four fingers. It seems this isn’t a lone incident. The Sheikh is also thought to be behind the assassination of several prominent scientists.

What’s interesting is that the movie was entirely shot in Lebanon. It’s not the best spy movie out there but it’s fun and contains a lot of action scenes. Moreover, there are some pretty cool shots from Lebanon’s Golden Age (The 1960s) and I even spotted the Lebanese Police and Army taking part in a couple of scenes.

You can watch it [here], the image and sound quality are perfect.

Here are some of the shots from the movie:

beirut The seaport facing Phoenicia Hotel if I’m not mistaken

jounieh Jesus Christ statue in Jounieh

high speed3 Motorcycle chase led by the Lebanese Police

amen dekhle

high speed1 High speed chase.

car sea Amphibious Vehicle in our seas

LAF The Lebanese Armed Forces.

old2 Old Beirut Airport

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The Lebanese Passport: Probably The Most Expensive & Least Useful One

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Here’s a hilarious sketch by CHINN’s Abbass Jaafar on the Lebanese passport, the countries that we can fly to without a visa and the tons of documents that we need to prepare to get a short-stay visa. The Lebanese Passport is the world’s 9th worst passport and among the most expensive passports in the world, if not the most expensive. (and the biometric passports are not out yet!)

This reminded me of an old satiric post I wrote when the European Parliament agreed to let UAE citizens travel to Schengen Zone Countries without a visa.

EU Sets 10 Conditions To Grant Lebanon Visa-free Travel in Schengen Zone Countries

السفير اللبناني يمنع مواطن اميركي من دخول لبنان

Posted by Abbass Jaafar on Tuesday, March 8, 2016

One of The Voice Kids Finalists, Zein Obeid, Is Being Bullied Online

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Zein Obeid was one of the three finalists on The Voice Kids yesterday. The talented Syrian boy was able to prove himself throughout the whole competition and made it to the final stages after impressing all three judges. Even though he lost to Lynn el Hayek from Lebanon, he remains one of the best young talents on the show and should be praised as such.

Unfortunately, Zein has become since yesterday a target for internet bullies as people are shamelessly sharing a picture of him that says “Ma Tsawwetle B3atle Farrouj” (Don’t vote for me, send me chicken) and making fun of the little boy because of his body. This boy was brave enough to get on stage and show his incredible talent in front of millions of viewers yet some people were insensitive and cruel enough to mock him because he’s overweight.

I honestly don’t know if Zein is active on social media, and if he will be able to understand what’s happening. I don’t know if the people behind the Voice Kids show will be able to help him overcome this bullying. He’s probably still saddened by the fact that he lost, and the last thing he needs is to become an internet joke.

I won’t be posting the shameful picture being shared and I hope you all do the same. I also hope that Zein realizes that these haters are just jealous and probably will never have the guts to go on stage and sing in front of millions.

Zein, you have a bright future ahead of you. Stay strong and turn your back on all the haters!

Here are some of Zein’s best performances:




Lynn el Hayek From Tripoli Mina Wins The First Edition Of The Voice Kids

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The first edition of MBC the Voice Kids, the young Arab talent competition, ended yesterday with Lebanese Lynn el Hayek, who’s originally from Tripoli el Mina, winning the best voice title. Lynn, who is on Kazem el Saher’s team, was the only Lebanese who qualified to the finals along with Syrians Zain Obeid and Amir Ammouri.

I haven’t been really following the show but I’ve seen it a couple of times and watched a lot of videos being shared and most of these kids are incredibly talented. In fact, I was amazed by how relaxed and self-composed most of these kids were on stage, especially in the finale which was broadcasted live. I always wondered if these kids were under a lot of pressure or were actually enjoying the show, and I was never comfortable with the fact that they are getting rejected by their idols in front of a large audience and on public TV but I was told that there are coaches and specialized people that help kids cope with pressure and make sure they are happy and enjoying their time no matter what.

All in all, I’m sure it must have been really hard for the judges and everyone behind this show but I think they’ve done a good job and I’m definitely happy that a Lebanese girl won the title!

Here are couple of performances by Lynn, a video showing the moment she won and another showing the celebrations in Tripoli.





Are you #TeamBatman or #TeamSuperman?

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BvS CinemacityBeirutSouks W1366xH768px

If you are a superhero movie fan then you are in for a good treat this year. There are at least seven different movies coming out (Deadpool, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Captain America: Civil War, X-Men: Apocalypse, Suicide Squad, Gambit and Doctor Strange) and one of the most anticipated ones will be Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice.

Even though most of the movies weren’t released yet, the battle has already begun as to which superhero movie is generating the biggest buzz online and advance booking has officially begun for Batman v Superman. In fact, there’s a website specially dedicated to pre-booking for this movie for Lebanon so hurry up and get your tickets if you are a fan. [Batman v Superman LB]


One of my favorite all-time superheroes is Batman so I have high hopes for this movie. I don’t usually like avant-premieres as it’s always crowded and you rarely get a good seat but I’m definitely making an exception this time. (I’m still hoping to get an early screening invite :P).

Batman v Superman comes out in cinemas March 24 and I will be giving away avant-premiere tickets soon so stay tuned!


Best Picture Oscar Winning Movie “Spotlight” Banned in Lebanon?

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One of the biggest surprises of the Oscars last night was “Spotlight” winning the award for Best Picture. Everyone was expecting the Revenant to clinch the award, after receiving two of the biggest Oscars of the night (Best actor for Leonardo Di Caprio finally! & Best director) but it was Tom McCarthy’s drama about the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church that took home the best picture Oscar.


In case you are wondering why we barely heard about the movie “Spotlight” in Lebanon, it’s because the movie never got here and probably won’t be showing in Lebanese theaters anytime soon. It wasn’t banned by the Lebanese authorities as it was rumored, but apparently the distribution company didn’t even consider showing it in Lebanese theaters. This was confirmed by Father Abu Kassem, head of the Catholic Information Center, who stated that they never received the movie for approval but that they didn’t mind showing it if it was an objective one and highlighted how the Church reacted to these accusations and punished these priests.

I’m not sure if the General Surety commented on this matter or not, but this is yet another proof that we need a law in Lebanon to stop film censorship, or auto-censorship in Spotlight’s case, and revoke the role of The General Security and religious committees in licensing, monitoring, and censoring creative works.

Until then, you can probably buy Spotlight from any DVD store in Lebanon or just download it online.

PS:The movie won’t be shown anywhere in the Middle East, not just Lebanon.

In 2001, editor Marty Baron of The Boston Globe assigns a team of journalists to investigate allegations against John Geoghan, an unfrocked priest accused of molesting more than 80 boys. Led by editor Walter “Robby” Robinson (Michael Keaton), reporters Michael Rezendes (Mark Ruffalo), Matt Carroll and Sacha Pfeiffer interview victims and try to unseal sensitive documents. The reporters make it their mission to provide proof of a cover-up of sexual abuse within the Roman Catholic Church.