Category Archives: Movies & Television

FAIL: OTV’s Lousy Take On Homosexuality

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homo

Instead of tackling homosexuality in Lebanon in an objective and scientific matter, OTV decided to promote the show by asking whether homosexuality is a fashion trend or an illness. In order to be fair, I did bother and watch the show and while the doctors and Pierre Bou Saab were mostly spot on and made sense, the host kept asking the wrong questions and making wrong assumptions and over-generalizing.

Homosexuality is not a trend nor an illness and people don’t chose to be gay. While people are affected by environmental and social factors, almost everyone agrees that sexual orientation has nothing to do with choice, and even if it did, no one is entitled to judge others based on that or call it an illness. Moreover, I don’t know why she assumed that more Lebanese recently are rejecting this “weird phenomenon” as she calls it. There aren’t any studies or surveys to prove that and if that’s the case, awareness is much needed then. We shouldn’t portray gay people as being different or weird and we should help them in their struggle against ignorance and hatred.

On another note, the host didn’t even know what LGBT stands for and thought it was a cool term gay people use nowadays. She also said biosexual instead of bisexual in the first part (Between Minute 3:20 and 3:35) and the doctor corrected her. I’m glad she didn’t bring any religious people but the show didn’t send out the right message and promoting it the way they did was a bad move.

Here’s the [first part] for those interested in watching.

Review: The Fifty Boring Shades of Grey

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fifty-shades-grey

Before you read the review, note that I’ve never read the Fifty Shades books and I probably won’t so I don’t know much about the story except the stuff I hear from friends who are obsessed with Mr.Grey and online articles and memes about it. This being said, I was expecting to watch an erotic romance story which wasn’t the case. The movie was more of a twisted romantic story between a weird rich dude and some college graduate, and it didn’t include that many sex scenes and barely any scene involving bondage and stuff. I am not saying I was eager to watch some BDSM activity but I expected to see more of it based on what I’ve read and heard. Moreover, this whole Mr Dominant thing is quite misleading as Christian Grey is confusing and not as much in control as you’d think he is.

Overall, the movie is dull and is more like a story that never really picks up. The two things I appreciated were Dakota Johnson (Anastasia “Ana” Steele) who’s really hot, and the soundtrack which is quite good. I expect the second part to be less boring so let’s wait and see.

As far as censorship is concerned, the movie is supposed to be 125 minutes but I felt it was a bit shorter than that. I think there are a couple of cut scenes but I can’t confirm that.

Rating:3/5

The Sisters Show: The Lebanese Edition Of The Kardashians

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kardh

The Abdel Aziz sisters (@StyleinBeirut) will apparently star in a new reality show on LBC called the Sisters, a show similar to the Kardashians based on what Mondanite said, which is not really a good thing if you ask me. I personally can’t watch the Kardashians for more than 2 minutes.

Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see how Lebanese react to such reality shows. One thing is for sure, the Kardashian sisters are much prettier.

We started our own blog a year ago that we named @styleinbeirut and which has become one of the most popular fashion pages in Lebanon with more than 100k real followers.

How exactly is an Instagram page a blog?

lbci

Why ZeeZee M’s Banana Song Is A Failed Publicity Stunt

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When I first shared the horrible Banana song, a friend told me that she knew the girl and that she’s studying theater at the Lebanese University so I had a feeling that this could be a joke but couldn’t prove it. A week later, the girl shows up with Adel Karam on Hayda 7aki and claims the whole thing was a publicity stunt organized by MTV, Impact BBDO and Sa2afetna aimed at bringing back our true culture and encouraging people to make a difference and share the stories that matter most.

While Sa2afetna is a good initiative which I’ve supported in a previous post, I think Hayda 7ake was the wrong show to organize this stunt with because some of Adel’s guests are even worse than ZeeZee M and Melissa who was his guest last week is one example. Don’t get me wrong as I am not criticizing Adel here as it’s part of his show to host such singers and indirectly make fun of them, which is the reason why ZeeZee M should have revealed herself in a more serious way (maybe by uploading a second video?).

Moreover, and I’ve stated this previously, the real problem in Lebanon is not people sharing fun videos from time to time, but media relying solely on such videos and clickbaits to promote themselves and get more clicks.

On a last note, should the banana clip stay online if it’s a stunt?

What’s So Controversial About “American Sniper”?

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charlie

I finally got to watch American Sniper yesterday and I don’t understand the controversy over it. Clint Eastwood’s Oscar-nominated movie tells the story of Chris Kyle, a Texan marksman who has become the most lethal sniper in US military history and portrays what an American sniper goes through during war. The movie may seem like an American propaganda for some and a tribute to American heroes by others, but there’s nothing really controversial about an American director bragging about US troops specially those who fought in Iraq.

If people were annoyed with the first scene where Chris Kyle kills a woman and a child trying to attack an army convoy, there’s another scene where Kyle is begging another kid to drop the RPG so he doesn’t have to shoot him. There’s no doubt that US troops killed innocent civilians in Iraq and that the US intervention in Iraq was a complete mess, but let’s not forget how terrorists are using kids and women to attack soldiers as well. Two days ago, I read an article on how ISIS militants are using “mentally challenged children as suicide bombers”.

Funnily enough, the only thing that surprised me was how highly rated the movie is as I didn’t think it was that good. The story is cool but the fight scenes are real quick and I got bored at some point. It’s probably Michael Moore’s tweet that made American Sniper the boxoffice phenomenon of 2015 so far.

Rating: 3.5/5

I Watched Birdman And I’m Speechless

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birdman A Lebanon-edition poster for Birdman

My cousin called me yesterday to see if I wanted to go watch Birdman with him. I told him I’ve already seen the movie but I am not sure if I liked it or not. He laughed at first but when he finished watching it, he replied back that he got the same feeling. Birdman is a strange, beautiful and unique black comedy. It’s a movie you’d want to watch 2 or 3 times just to make sure you didn’t miss anything, and where you have to let your imagination take over. The ending is also surprising and superb. Funnily enough, the only character standing between delusion and reality is Zach Galifianakis (Jake).

In all cases, even if you didn’t like the plot, you can’t but appreciate the outstanding performance and impressive acting of Michael Keaton and Edward Norton in the movie. I am planning to watch it a second time this coming weekend.

Rating: 4/5

A Cool Tribute To Faten Hamama By Lebanese-Texan Artist Corinne Martin

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Faten

Update: Check out this amazing tribute by Magda Abu-Fadil from The Huffington Post.

Faten Hamama, an iconic Egyptian film star and the “Lady of the Arabic screen” has passed away yesterday at the age of 83. Faten Hamama lived in Beirut and London between 1966 and 1971 as she was being harassed by Egyptian intelligence during that time. She was awarded the “Al-Arz” decoration by the Lebanese President in 2001 and got an honorary doctorate from the American University of Beirut in 2013.

The above work is a tribute by my friend Corinne Martin, a Lebanese-Texan artist currently based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. You can check out her work [here].

Here’s an excerpt from an old movie showing Faten Hamama and Omar el Sharif:

[YouTube]

#Yalla3a2belkon (Single, Married, Divorced) Movie Review

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alla

I was yesterday at the avant premiere of the latest Lebanese movie Yalla 3a 2belkoun and I personally thought the movie was good and a bit funny but it could have been much better. Yalla 3a 2belkoun (Single Married Divorced) is a Lebanese social comedy about four women in their late 30s who are pressured by society and their family to get married. Darine Hamze, Nada Abou Farhat, Marwa Khalil and Nibal Arakji play the four women and all of them are great choices in my opinion, specially Nada Abou Farhat who played her role of a confident and highly sexual woman to perfection and reminded me of Sex and The City’s Samantha Jones a bit. Mario Bassil is hilarious in the role he plays too.

The movie is meant to reflect the Lebanese society, specially women in their 30s who are struggling to get married or are happily single but are being pressured by their peers to tie the knot. There’s the highly sexual woman who’s afraid of commitment, the woman in love with a foreigner, the woman going out with a married man and the high-achieving doctor who’s always dating the wrong guys. I felt that there’s a lot of deja-vu in the first part of the movie and a lot of clichés that I didn’t want to see anymore, but the dramatic twist towards the middle was well-timed and the second part was far better as well as the end. Some of the clichés I am talking about is a woman driving around real fast in a cool car and people dancing awkwardly to disco music in a pub.

There’s one thing that I didn’t appreciate much and honestly couldn’t relate to, which is the way marriage and married couples in Lebanon are perceived. I know for a fact that there are a lot of divorces taking place but you get the impression that almost every married couple is unhappy in Lebanon which is not the case or at least not to my knowledge. If I look around me, most of the couples I know are happily married and I also know a lot of single men and women who are very satisfied with their life and having a blast. One thing I liked is the fact that they mentioned civil marriage in Lebanon and the need to legalize it.

All in all, I think Yalla 3a2belkon is a good movie that has a bit of everything and is worth watching and supporting. The movie will be out in Lebanese theaters on January 15.

Rating: 3.5/5

PS: Wou yalla 3a 2belkoun if you are single and wish to get married.

Yalla3a2belkon Avant Premiere Invitation