Category Archives: Movies

VOX Cinemas in Oman – Movie Lovers, Rejoice!

VOX cinemas pic  Now that all the bugs have been worked out after the initial opening, VOX Cinemas is a wonderful experience for movie lovers in the Sultanate!  I’m a little late in putting this post out but I wanted to share my experiences watching 6 movies during June of 2014 just after VOX opened in Muscat City Centre (MCC).  BTW, they are now open in Qurum City Centre (QCC) as well!  That makes 17 new theatres in Muscat to enjoy!ticket and waiting area  One thing that is different from other cinemas I’ve been to is that tickets and food items are purchased at the same counters! I’ve seen some frustrated people who simply wanted to buy a ticket real fast waiting behind huge families who were ordering every food item possible.  I definitely recommend buying tickets online (It’s a cinch!) and then proceed to one of these kiosks to push in your confirmation # and “voila”, you’ve got your tickets! You will need to go to the counter anyway if you are watching a 3D movie as you need to pick up a pair unless you have some from a previous 3D movie experience. I think the 3D glasses were 300 baizas each.ticket kiosksvox apps  If you have a smart phone, these mobile apps should come in handy!whole theatre to myself  For my first cinematic experience at VOX, I had this entire theatre to myself! It was at an 11:45am showing of “The Angriest Man in Brooklyn” with Robin Williams and Peter Dinklage who you might better know as Tyrion Lannister of GoT fame. Enjoyable movie that didn’t do well in reviews.  This movie didn’t last long in the cinema here as dramas are not that popular in the Sultanate I’ve noticed. BTW, the best time to watch a movie is late in the morning or early afternoon to avoid the crowds.  (Movies only run in the evenings during Ramadan.)  My favorite lines from The Angriest Man:

  • “Everyone has regrets except for idiots and pychopaths.”
  • “Who ever heard of a doctor without money! This isn’t Toronto!”
  • “The only normal people are those you don’t know very well.”VIP seats  I chose a VIP seat (4 OR) not realizing that the VIP are furthest from the screen!  The VIP are these leather types chairs I don’t really care for rather than the more comfortable blue cloth seats. My advice-Save yourself some money and get a regular seat.popcorn  Plenty of food options of course but the prices are a bit steep for snacks. Example of some prices: small pepsi-1.09, reg. pepsi-1.31, large pepsi-1.53,  kids popcorn (small)-.87, regular popcorn – 1.42, slushpepsi – 1.74.hotdogs!  Love the hotdogs at VOX! They had this special style in which there is only one open hole at the end of the hotdog rather than the slit along the side. Unfortunately, it often resulted in all the ketchup, mustand and mayo forming at the bottom! Steep price at 1.74 OR.color coded timings  I love the signboards which tell you how many minutes left before the next movies are scheduled to play.  Even cooler that they color-code them based on how much time is left.

Here is a list of the VOX theatres now open in both MCC and QCC:        MCC cinemasQCC theatres3D glasses  Seems like just about every movie coming up these days is 3D! (The regular 3D movie prices is 4.7 RO. VIP seats in 3D cost 5.2.)maleficent  The wife and I really enjoyed Maleficent.  The best 3D experience I’ve had thus far. Instead of things whizzing past your head and giving you a headache like many 3D movies, the artistic use of 3D made the fairyworld really come alive. We’ll definitely buy this one when it comes out on DVD.big screen experience  This is the largest cinema known as “VOX Cinema”. They have one of these 16.6 meter mega-screens in MCC and one in QCC.  It seats 261 people while the one in QCC seats 236.  I believe we watched the romantic comedy Blended and the Tom Cruise action flick Edge of Tomorrow (3D) in this theatre.  A warning if you intend to watch a romantic comedy in Oman: Omani young male punks love to attend romantic comedies in pairs and groups and are extremely loud and even shout out inappropriate comments during the film. Extemely annoying! And what’s with people putting their feet up on the seats in front of them? It shows nothing but a complete lack of class and consideration.edge of tomorrow poster  I found Edge of Tomorrow to be kind of boring.  It only got interesting once the “repeat and no risks involved segment” (a large part of the movie) finally ended.  Very groundhog day like but GroundHog Day is actually a much better movie.X-Men 3D  X-Men: Days of Future Past was not that good either but what do you expect…it’s X-Men.  Another one of those movies that I think would have been better in 2D. (Peter Dinklage was in this movie as well!)smallest theatre  This is one of the smallest theatres at MCC. I saw Godzilla 3D at midnight in this tiny theatre. I enjoyed this movie a lot more than I thought I would! On a sidenote, make sure you look very carefully when looking at movie timings and don’t book a movie by accident at midnight when you might have assumed that it was for noon… :-( In my defence, it was confusing as Movie Showtimes list 12am 1st rather than falling at the end of the day’s showings.VOX in ME  Besides our horrible experience dealing with young Omani punks during a romantic comedy, the VOX cinemas are something to experience for yourself. Great screens and awesome sound, apart from the over-the-top deafening “sound demonstration” (which is so unnecessary) before the movie begins.  Check out their website here.

“Alone Yet Not Alone” – Beautiful Oscar-Nominated Song & Movie

Read more about this fascinating and inspiring story here.

Beautiful Oman Filmed in Sizzling Indian Song “Jiya” for the Movie “Gunday”

The Daily Mail says this song is “set to make temperatures soar”.  With the cool temperatures brought on by the recent rains, let’s hope so! :-)

Anyone recognize which exact areas of Oman are in this video?  I’m pretty sure I recognize the dhow (Arabian boat) and area of Bandar Khiran from 1:19-1:22 and again at 2:08-209.  The mountains and hills of Oman are so beautiful that most of the shots could have been filmed just about anywhere.

This song was published on youtube just 6 days ago (Jan. 15, 2014) and already has more than 507,000 views!

Homeland – Season One

Homeland cover  Finally found Homeland Season One!  It was for sale at Carrefour MCC for 19 OR.  I managed to watch 3 episodes on Graboid before that scam website managed to give my computer a virus.  This series had me hooked right from the pilot and I can’t wait to watch all 12 episodes.back cover description  I’m not surprised that this comes from the Producers of “24″ as that is probably my all time favorite TV series of all time.  We own all 8 series of 24 except for season 7 which we’re having a hard time finding in stores here (even though we’ve seen it).more info on Homeland DVD  Nice to see all special features included on this 4-disc set, especially a prologue to season 2, which aired Sep-Dec 2012 and is not yet available for order from Amazon but you can pre-order it and have it shipped to you once it’s available

Anyone else out there enjoy this series?  Another series that I’ll be keeping my eye out for is Justified.  We believe that Sultan Center in Qurum has the most options for TV series.  Where are your favorite places to get movies and/or TV series in Muscat?  What are some series that you’ve enjoyed and recommend?

Here’s good news for “24 fans”.  Even though Season 8 was supposed to be the final season, due to popular demand they are coming out with Season 9 titled “Live Another Day”!!!  Read all about it here.

“Apocalypse How” – 3 Month Countdown to “Mayan Prophecy”

Today is September 21st.  If you believe the “Doomsday Mayan Prophecy” which has spread like wildfire thanks to nutters on youtube and the popularity of sensational Hollywood movies (such as Armaggedon, Deep Impact, The Day After Tomorrow, or the more popular 2012), we are supposed to have exactly 3 months left till the end of our world (or age) as we know it.  What better day to get the popcorn out and watch the Discovery Channel movie, “Apocalypse Now” which I bought from Carrefour. :-)

This movie has incredible visual effects.  I thought that it almost seemed made to generate fear from the viewer.  I also thought about how a person watching this would probably feel a bit more anxious if they didn’t have a proper worldview.  I learned from Wikipedia that 8% of people surveyed had anxiety about Dec. 21, 2012!  The number is as high as 20% in places like China and 13% in Russia, Turkey, Japan and Korea.  Do you expect that number to rise as people hear more and more about doomsday possibilities in the next few months?  I expect it will.  I think there will be an increase in cult-like groups popping up expecting crazy things to happen (Don’t drink the koolaid, folks!), especially as our world seems to be spiralling out of control with religious intolerance, an inevitable showdown between Iran and Israel/America, a deepening divide over the American Presidental election in November and a worsening world economy with increased food prices and an increasingly dissatisfied number of unemployed people.

The movie starts with the line, “Since the dawn of civilization, mankind has been preoccupied with its own demise, but never more than now.”  The film, 87 minutes in length, goes through all the expected “scientific theories” of how the world could end, including:

  • Sudden eruption of one of the planets 7 super volcanoes
  • Nuclear warfare
  • Germs-a global pandemic
  • Aliens (I kid you not!)
  • Asteroids
  • Global Warming/Climate Change and effects of rising sea levels, drought and starvation
  • Androids or some form of Super Intelligent Machines!
  • The Large Hadron Collider could produce microscopic blackhole(s) that could “gobble up the earth”.
  • Spaghettifcation” through a blackhole
  • Gamma Ray Strike
  • Deep Freeze of the Earth (next natural ice-age)
  • a Solar Flare large enough to destroy the Earth
  • Death of the Sun

One part of the movie that almost made me choke on my popcorn from laughter was the line, “In fact, this may be the last show you ever see!  The question is not whether the Apocalypse will happen.  The question is, How?”

As a Christian, I found it mind boggling that the idea of God’s Holy wrath coming down on a sinful, disobedient world worthy of condemnation for straying so far from His ideals, values and laws was missing from possible scenarios.  The film did not even mention the important historical note that the word Apocalypse” comes from the last book in the New Testament of the Holy Bible, Revelation, in which it declares the “apocalypse” (or better translated “unveiling”) of Jesus Christ.  I understand that the film was probably made by atheists who don’t hold to that worldview but they could have at least mentioned what people of different faiths believe.  The only sentence in which religion was even brought up was this one: “Since the dawn of man, almost all of the world’s religions and civilizations have pondered this point and dreamed up all sorts of apocalyptic endings for mankind.” Look carefully at the words used in that sentence: Use of the words “pondered” and “dreamed up” clearly reveal their open scorn.  The movie implies that people just “make this stuff up” and hence we have different religions.  For the most part I would agree unless a God outside of time and space has revealed the end from the beginning and proven such through prophecies. And He has! “I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.” (Isaiah 46:10)  The idea of one God declaring Truth through Revelation is not brought up in this film.   The fact that God is missing from this movie comes as no surprise to believers as the Bible declares in Psalm 10, “in all his (the worldly man, that is) thoughts, there is no room for God.” (found in verse 4 to be exact)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, that’s certainly a lot to think about on a Friday evening!  Have you seen this movie from the Discovery Channel?  If so, what was your impression?

What are your own thoughts on “the end of the world”?!  Would love to hear different thoughts out there and why you believe what you believe.