Category Archives: Movies & Television

Review: 300 Rise of an Empire

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300: Rise of an empire is the sequel to the awesome 300 movie that came out few years back and that I’ve personally watched 5 times. It’s basically a follow-up of 300 with events taking place before, during and after the epic Battle of Thermopylae that opposed 300 Spartans led by King Leonidas and the might army of the Persian King “God-King” Xerxes.

I watched 300: Rise of an empire yesterday at Vox and I have to say it was a decent action-packed movie but definitely not as impressive as the first one. The battle scenes are nice but a bit fast-paced and Themistocles who’s leading the Greek armies and most of the battles is not as powerful and charismatic as Leonidas. Moreover, the only sex scene in the movie seems a bit out of place, and there’s this scene with Themistocles riding his horse that’s just ridiculously fake. I understand it’s a fantasy action film but 300 was the same and didn’t have such scenes or at least they felt a bit more realistic.

In all cases, I think it’s a decent sequel/presequel to 300 but I doubt that I’ll be watching it more than once.

PS: It is recommended that you watch 300 before watching 300: Rise of an empire in order to better understand what’s happening.

Lebanese Ziad Doueiri’s Upcoming Movie Foreign Affairs Among The Top 200 Most Anticipated Films for 2014

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We never got to see Ziad Doueiri’s last movie “The Attack” because it was banned in Lebanon. Let’s hope we get to see this one in Lebanese theathers specially that it was placed in the 75th rank of the 200 most anticipated movies for 2014 and Gerard Depardieu is in it.

The film is set soon after the end of the first Gulf War, and portrays American efforts to facilitate an Arab-Israeli peace agreement. A diplomat turned used car salesman is called back to help break the ice between the most important political figures of the time.

French actor Gerard Depardieu, who featured in the films Life of Pi, My Afternoons with Margueritte, and Potiche, has been cast as one of the film’s main characters.

The high-profile French magazine Le Monde mentioned the film in an interview with Depardieu on his future projects.

Producer Jean Bréhat described the French actor’s role to www.lemonde.fr: “[Depardieu plays] a disillusioned character who is somewhat of an alcoholic. He acts as a negotiator for the Americans during the secret discussions which preceded the Oslo Accords.” [Now]

Lebanese Artist Roy Dib Wins Teddy Award For Best Short Film At Berlinale

[YouTube]

Roy Dib‘s Mondial 2010 won the TEDDY Award for The Best Short Film at the Berlin International Film Festival. His movie is about a “a Lebanese gay couple who decides to take a road trip to Ramallah. The film is recorded with their camera as they chronicle their journey. The protagonists and the viewers are invited through the couple’s conversations into the universe of a fading city.”

I don’t know if Roy is planning to show his movie in Lebanon. I am not sure it will get approved given the topic at hand but in all cases congrats to Roy for this achievement!

Here’s an interview with Roy and the movie trailer below:

via StopCulturalTerrorismInLebanon

Daniella Rahme Wins MTV’s Dancing With The Stars

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I didn’t really follow Dancing With The Stars this year, but everyone was talking about Daniella in the past weeks and she apparently deserved the win. Personally speaking, I can’t really tell if she’s a better dancer than Maya (who’s a professional dancer) but one thing is for sure is that she’s gorgeous!

Daniella was voted Miss Lebanon Australia 2009 and Miss Lebanon Emigrant 2010.

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Why The Beirut Cinema Week Got Cancelled

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The Beirut Cinema Week was supposed to take place back in January and bring “together Lebanese cinema—professionals, investors, the intellectual and general audience”. Unfortunately, recent bombings in Lebanon have forced the organizers to postpone the event.

Here’s what Sabyl Ghoussoub, the director of the Lebanese Film Festival, had to say about that. [Interview]

Do you feel the security situation in Lebanon is stifling creativity?

No, the situation leads us to create more. It stimulates creation. The only problem is that investors do not follow, so many projects do not end.

Do you see any artists, film or otherwise, in Lebanon who are using the current situation as a way to express themselves?

Living in fear of a bomb exploding or in a permanent state of war makes us see life differently. There are many situations in Lebanon, artists who actually live here and artists from the diaspora who merely pass [through]. These are different experiences, different views, but their work is all in one way or another affected by the situation.

Hussein Sharafeddine (AA The Preacherman) on Hayda Haki

[YouTube]

To be honest, I was glad Adel decided to get Hussein on his show but I was rather disappointed with the segment as a whole. What happened with Hussein is a very alarming and serious matter and the fact that he was kept for 36 hours before he got released is unacceptable by all means. I think Adel should have focused more on that matter and less on the “Byjama”. He could have gotten Marwan Charbel on the line to understand why it took so long to release Hussein and how this whole misunderstanding took place and how it can be avoided in the future.

Giveaway: Win Three Tickets to the Beirut Premiere of ‘The Lego Movie’

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The Lego Movie is coming out next week on the 6th of February in Lebanese cinemas, and I am sure a lot of you are as excited as me to watch it. That’s why I am giving away 3 tickets (each ticket admits two people) to the Lego Movie Premiere on February 1st, 4pm at Vox Cinemas at Beirut City Centre.

In order to get in the competition, you have to answer the below question:

Which Lebanese-American artist is famous for building custom three-dimensional sculptures and large-scale mosaics using LEGO bricks?

Hint: I once posted about him.

I will draw the 3 winners by the end of the day and announce the winners tomorrow morning.

NB: You need to put your proper email in the email field while commenting since winner will be contacted by email. You can only comment once, anyone caught commenting more than once will get disqualified.