February 28, 2011

Movies That Mention Turkey

While watching the movie I am Number Four a few days ago, i saw a Turkish map in one of the scenes and it stayed for 4 or 5 seconds.

Don't worry, there aren'y any spoilers in this post and i won't reveal anything about the movie.

That Turkish map had nothing to do with the main story. It was some sort of a passionate destination, and it could have been anything. And interestingly Turkish map stayed on the screen pretty long enough to make sure that everybody would see it. Because you see, in movies, you actually miss details more than you would ever imagine, but this 4 second scene was impossible to miss.

Well, I really don't think that one of the assistants grabbed the first thing she found early in the mornnig which happened to be the Turkish map, knowing that they were going to shoot a scene about the dreams of a young girl and any object would be just fine. No, there must definitely be more than that.

That map might be there because the director is a true Turkish fan. That'a a probability. After all, this is his movie and if he wants to add a scene about Turkey, then he adds it.

Or maybe, there is some sort of a lobby group in Hollywood who try to influence the directors and/or the producers to convince them to insert such scenes into the irrelevant movies. Because you see, this is actually a great opportinity for publicity. That scene will be seen by tens of millions of people.

And in fact, that's exactly why i think somebody could have actually paid for that scene. It seems really unlikely that the director would grant such a publicity just because he is deep in love with Turkey.

I sometimes come upon Hollywood movies which are somehow Turkey related. Here are some of the films that i can remember on the fly which mentions Turkey  in a way or other.

  • I am Number Four: As i said before, this was a total easter bunny for me because the movie itself has nothnig to do with Turkey. 
  • 13 Days:  It totaly makes sense in this movie because it is about an incident in history, and Turkey has a role in it.  
  • Green Zone: This movie is about Middle East. Even though Turkey is not really mentioned most of the movies that takes place in Middle East, this one is particularly different. The American base in one of the cities in Turkey has something to do with the story, and actually it is one of the key points. 
  • Conspiracy Theory:  This is perhaps the weirdest one. The movie is about a guy who keeps "creating" conspiracy theories. And in one of this theories, he says there will be a terrible eartquake in Turkey and it will kill tens of thousands of people. This is actually one of the details in the story, something you will probably forget 10 seconds later you watch - unless of course you are not Turkish, you don't expect such an eartquake in Istanbul. And the weirdest thing is, that eartquake actually happened and killed tens of thousands of people, only 2 years after the movie was made. 
  • Three Men and  Baby: This is one of those "I don't know anything about Turkey but I can't stop myself shooting a scene about it which is essentially bullshit." One of the three guys in this movie is an actor and goes to Turkey to shoot a film. And while he is Turkey, he makes a phone call with home, and in the background we see a fictional part of Turkey, which actually has nothing to do with it. As far as i remember, there were some camels and some people who were wearing some Arabic clothes. The fact is, there aren't any camels in Turkey and people don't dress like Arabs. For more about this false image of Turkey, you can read this article about the movie Turkish Ottomans. I am not realy sure if it was this movie or the sequel to it, but there was definitely a scene about Tukey in one of them.
So OK, this was really a very quick list and there must really be tons of them. You are free to add new movies to the list.

    February 18, 2011

    how singapore police uses social media to fight crime

    do you how singapore police uses social media to fight crime? depending on your own field of interest, such a topic may concern you or may not.

    what i actually wonder is, why is there a facebook ad on this topic? why does it look like a friendly news story instead of a facebook ad? and why does the link take me to a site full of freindly singapore police?

    is it just a coincidence or is it a campaign to attract people especially the potential tourists who race to cancel their vacations in tunusia and egypt? and if so, i hope my country is not sleeping at all.

    in case you wonder, you can click here to see where the ad is linked to. 

    February 15, 2011

    bullies never fail me

    i spend quite a lot of time on online games. they are free, they are simple and they are interactive. playing against other players instead of a computer makes even the simplest game a great fun.

    and it has been quite a time since i first started to play online strategy games, more than 10 years. the evolution of such games is actually following the evolution of offline pc games. they were extremely simple in the beginning, and now you can see the graphics have evolved to a next level, with still a lot of room for improvement as long as your pc and the web browser in it allows.

    and there is something never changes: the bullies. you can always find them, no matter what game you are playing. well now, even though most of the players i met are pretty cool and mature guys and gals, you can never expect everybody to behave. some are just immature bullies, who are either just some losers in real life, or just real kids who are still trying to find a way to deal with the society, or both.

    org castle
    nowadays i am playing this game called castle of heroes. it has been a while since a game captured my interest for more than a month, so i guess this game is really cool- of course, depending on what you expect from a game.

    The basics of the game is quite easy and actually inituative. You make buildings, you make armies, and you attack other players or maybe the AI in the game to gather resources. It is pretty much the same for almost all such games. Now, of course the parameters differ from game to game so it may take a while to master it, but it is quite easy.

    There is one thing though, which is not predictable, which makes such games so appealing, and that is the human factor. You play against other players not some computer.

    But not all the players are so fun. I was attacked by another player some time ago.

    undead castle
    OK now, almost all of these games have some sort of a bashing control system. The game doesn't allow a powerful player to attack to a newbie. So there is a range system. No matter which parameter this range system considers, you have to be within the same range to attack another player. This means that if a guy has been playing this game for a year and if he has built an immerse army, he can't simply attack you and farm your resources. So this system provides some sort of a protection. 

    But yet, it would be no fun if the range is too narrow. After all, these games are based on a combat concept, and if you can't attack anyone because of a very strict range system, then the game is no fun. Meaning that, a powerful player can still attack me especially if he is over the average and i am below the average.

    And that's what happened with this guy. Just because we are in the same range doesn't automatically makes our armies equivalent. But that's OK, that's the part of the game. So I can live with that.

    a typical war scene from the game
    Now, one day when I woke up, I saw that this guy has attacked and sieged me. And I was still pretty new to the game so I couldn't figure how to attack back. For a friendly gesture, I asked him how I was supposed to attack back, because i simply didn't know how to do that. He replied me saying that he would not tell it to me. I guess he didn't get it that I was just trying to be friendly, and this information he was not going to tell me was not a rocket science after all. Well, this should have been my clue actually, and i should have really understood that this guy was nothing but a kid, a "behind the keyboard bully" as we say in turkish.

    So, again for the sake of being friendly, i told him that maybe he would have wanted to play fair. He replied me saying that he was fair, or the game wouldn't allow him to attack me anyway. Now of course, this is just a silly excuse, because as i told you, just because we are in the same range doesn't mean that we are equal. no, he was much more powerful than me. but the thing is, i wasn't even talking about the army sizes. i was talking about the gameplay itself.

    inside of an elf castle 
    anyhow, i learnt how to do it and then i scouted his armies, and saw that it wouldn't be wise to attack him. and i told him that. i mind you, i was still trying to be friendly.

    i got a very stupid message saying that i wouldn't dare to attack him, but he would keep attacking me until i would get angry and make the move. i told him that he was nothing but a bully and ended the conversation. i told him that i would not reply his messages any more. and i didn't.

    last thing the guy said that i was a loser. and honestly, that was just the dumbest thing he could have ever said. i really doubt that the guy is older than 16.

    he indeed kept attacking me.

    well now, i was already in a guild, a very friendly and a powerful one. so i told the guild master about the guy, and they made him stop attacking me.  so simple and effective and in the very same language this keyboard bully understands. he didn't bother me anymore.

    it really never fails. these bullies are eveywhere. and i guess i just have to consider it as the part of the fun.

    if you like online and free strategy games as i do, just give it a try and join me in the castle of heroes before it is too late and i get tired of it.

    February 05, 2011

    silly saturday perfect

    my blogmate Ayak started this silly saturday niche some time ago. she shares those silly little things, those embarassing moments in her blog pretty much regularly. i will give the link to her blog at the end of this post in case you may want to check out yourself, but somehow i doubt if it will be any use because sometimes i feel like she is the only one who reads me, lol.

    i have a very silly saturday story for today, and for a change, i will share it in my own blog because this is so stupid that it deserves its own monument. and besides it is upmostly upsetting that i really have to try to cool it off or it may literally burn my nerves.

    now, my job mainly consists of two particular tasks: 1. translating a movie for subtitles. 2. synchronizing (or spotting as we call it) the subtitles with the movie.

    the clients we work for are free to choose their own translators. meaning that i dont translate all those movies. but, it is me who does the spotting (at least for most of the times)  if they come to us for subtitling. and even though this spotting job might seem a very fun and easy job, believe me it is not. it is easy to spot the subtitles if im already the translator. i know what goes where. but if the client uses a diffeent translator, it is very probable that they will work with someone who doesnt understand or care the basics of subtitling. if that is the case, then my job is a nightmare. there are times when i spend two or three days working on the same movie, practically meaning that i re-translate the entire thing because it is uselss in the original form.

    so, there is this turkish film which is going to be released pretty soon (hint: follow me on twitter and you will know which movie i am talking about). and as it is the case with turkish films almost all the time, we have a deadly short deadline. now, the subtitling project is the very last sub project for the entire film making process, so we are always the guys who have to work fast to catch the deadline.

    and yesterday i finally received the dvd of that film. now, i have been asking for that dvd for like a week. i told my boss everyday that i needed the dvd. and she (supposedly) talked to the client. i recieved it only yesterday.

    now, the first stupid thing i realized was the hand written date on the dvd. it said february 2nd. let me remind you, it was february 4th yesterday. so for whatever silly reason i dont know, they sent the dvd to me two days after they actually made it. and all that time i was crying out that i needed that dvd. unfortunately, this is the kind of misorganization i have to deal with all the time.

    the feet suffer because of the mindless head:
     a turkish proverb.

    so i got the dvd yesterday. and as always, there are several projects going on at the same time. so im making my plans. i will take the dvd home with me. i will finish some other translation on saturday (today) i will work on the spotting of that movie on sunday (tomorrow). and yesterday (friday) was another busy day for me and i could hardly leave the office at midnight.


     Now I have to go back to the office, which wont take less than 2 hours in the messy Istanbul traffic, i will get into my room, take the dvd which wont take more than a stupid one minute, and go back to home in the  still messy Istanbul traffic. and i will be wasting my entire saturday because...  yes, i am a moron who is incapable of taking the stupid dvd with himself even though he is ridicolously making  plans about it.  

    and this is my silly saturday perfect.

    so anyway, if you want to check this marvellous blog that Ayak runs, just click somnewhere on this very sentence. 

    and even though it is completely irrelevant, i couldnt help but give the link for this (in)famaous one minute video.

    February 01, 2011

    what is the point of possesion?

    i really don't understand why demons kill people in movies. i can understand if a mindless beast attacks and kills you instinctively, but there is something which doesn't really make sense to me if a demonic creature tries to kill you.

    i mean, what is the point? Satan and his creatures try to spread evil, right? so they actually have nothnig to do with your life. a demonic creature will gain too little if nothnig by taking your life. what will happen next? will you go to hell? well, if you are a bad human being you will go there anyway so what's the rush? and besides, if you are indeed a bad guy, it means the evil is now one person less in spreading the malice on earth. or if you are a good person, you will go to heaven and it means the demon lost the game, doesn't it?

    i willl tell you why demons kill people in movies: because this is the only way they can abuse you. it is etiher because they want to make a good movie or because patheticaly trying to promote some religious ideology, they know that they want to make you fear. and what is more fearful than claiming your life? so, demons kill you.

    and have you noticed the skeptical priest pattern in exorcist movies? there is always a skeptical priest, even a non-believer in these movies who miracolusy finds the faith in himself because yes, he confronts the Satan himself in the end. Creating a good conflict is everything in a movie, and i am sorry guys but this skeptical exorcist thing is the weakest conflict ever. If I come across with Satan himself and if i am really sure he is Satan, what the heck am i going to suspect? That is the moment i become the most faithful. No conflict. Final.

    So that must be the real reason why Satan does not posses human bodies in real life, because it would be too obvious for him while in fact his biggest trick is to convince everybody that he doesn't exist.

    I may enjoy an exorcist movie, but only because of the reasons why i would enjoy a good horror movie. There has to be some quality in it. I must feel the sincerety of it.

    From my point of taste, the movie Last Exorcism is a good one. The movie The Rite, however, is a pathetic one.