Hassan Sardar

Hassan Sardar

The author is an aspiring filmmaker and a diehard Liverpool fan. He also teaches Screenwriting and Cinematography, and loves tattoos and flip-flops. He tweets as @CineSardar (twitter.com/CineSardar)

Is it a mistake to increase the number of teams from 32 to 48 in the 2026 FIFA World Cup?

Fourty-eight teams. Now that would be a long list of participating countries to remember. I, for one, wouldn’t make it past 15, 20 tops. But fourty-eight!? You have got to be kidding me. The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) decided to expand the leading global tournament to a whopping 48 countries from the current perfectly reasonable number of 32 teams, starting from the 2026 FIFA World Cup. The sport’s world governing body, in a landmark unanimous vote, chose to increase the countries at a meeting held in Zurich on Tuesday. Current FIFA president, Gianni Infantino, has been the driving ...

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Confessions of a Baywatchaholic

Oh dayum! The international trailer of Baywatch just dropped and boy am I, erm … nostalgic. Okay, and admittedly a little excited too *sheepish grin*. Guys like myself of a certain age would totally relate with the feeling and also agree when I say Baywatch was arguably the perfect TV antidote for a pubescent kid in the 90s with raging hormones. All those secret sessions, watching Baywatch episodes away from the prying eyes of your parents. And you can rest assured, it wasn’t our fascination with David Hasselhoff and his red swimming trunks that we were trying to be discreet ...

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xXx: Return of Xander Cage is nothing more than a cash grab

xXx was a bad film, the sequel even more terrible. But here we are, about to receive the threequel in roughly a week’s time; Hollywood and its predictable obsession with making a franchise out of everything. Quelle surprise. xXx: Return of Xander Cage is a cash grab. It’s as simple as that. The first installment with Xander Cage as the spy was a rip roaring success at the box-office while the follow up with Ice Cube as Darius Stone, a new agent, barely broke even. So it kind of made financial sense to give it another shot with Xander Cage ...

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Sherlock S04E01: Back… with a whimper!

If you thought with 2016 over, the infamous celebrity death streak would show some signs of abating, then think again. Twenty-seventeen was not even a day old and the celeb version of the Grim Reaper was back with a bang. Princess Leia’s untimely demise was sad but Sherlock becoming the first shock casualty of this new year was totally gut-wrenching. A whole goddamn year I waited for him. He even arrived; munching on ginger nuts and nonchalantly tweeting about his liberating recall from a certain inevitable fatal assignment, while his murderous excursions were being brushed under the rug by the MI6. I was getting in the ...

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Alienacs, rejoice!

I have always found Ridley Scott to be an infuriatingly hit-and-miss filmmaker. On one hand, we have got cinematic masterpieces including Blade Runner, Gladiator and Black Hawk Down, while on the other, we have got celluloid monstrosities like G.I. Jane, Robin Hood and Exodus: Gods and Kings, where you are forced to wonder what the hell the Knighted Englishman is smoking. Ridley Scott and Jussie Smollett in Alien: Covenant (2017).Photo: IMDb Every single time a Ridley Scott movie is on the radar, you tend to anticipate its arrival with a bizarre mixture of cautious excitement, and Alien: ...

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Why did the Indian film industry churn out such horrendous movies in 2016?

The be all and end all of movies for some, while a bad joke masquerading as cinema for others, Bollywood is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. But yet, every single year, it manages to churn out films that are indisputably bad and 2016 was no different. So, in no particular order, let the bashing begin. 1) Fan: Rather watch a ceiling fan Fan is Shah Rukh Khan’s attempt to marry the only two characters he could act out, the wacky (Darr etc.) and the silly (Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa etc.), before he became the irritatingly tiresome Rahul and the tediously boring ...

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Eight sports moments of 2016 that were just downright crazy

From elating victories to crushing defeats, and no shortage of nuttiness, the year 2016 has been another exhilarating year in the world of sports. So without further ado, let the craziness begin. 1. Roses are red and water is, ermm … green The road leading to the 2016 Olympics was not short of obstacles. It was widely known that Rio’s bays and rivers were heavily polluted, but during the games, it was the swimming pools that made the headlines for all the dirty reasons, after turning a yucky shade of green. These are the Olympics, for crying out loud, the most prestigious sporting event in the world. The ...

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Will Christopher Nolan’s ‘Dunkirk’ be just another glorified World War movie?

Faux-clever and quasi-mysterious to some, while pseudo-intellectual and cine-snob to others; irrespective of the amount of criticism levelled at Christopher Nolan over the years, we can all agree that The Dark Knight-famed filmmaker is one the most famous people alive. Whenever probed for a favourite director, most of the film students I teach would invariably come up with Nolan. Now whether that is a real reflection of his work or simply a by-product of his popularity is up for debate, but what we cannot deny is the cine-cult status that Nolan enjoys. So whether you like it or not, an early peek into ...

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Sexual abuse: How safe is it to let your kid play football in England?

Imagine taking your little one to his usual Sunday cricket practice. You reach the academy and drag an unenthusiastic child out of the car while putting his reluctance down as usual weekend morning blues. The overtly chummy coach, whom you have known for quite a while now, is there to receive your son. You hand over your kid to him, wave at them and leave the ground content with the fact that your lad is in safe hands. But is he really safe? Hundreds of parents all across England must have thought the same when they left their kids in a ...

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India – adding insult to their own sporting injuries

Remember the time when the green sticks were a force to be reckoned with? Sweeping all away; left, right and centre. Even then, we found pleasure in knocking down our big bully of a neighbour, especially in their own backyard. Out of the 39 matches that have been played between the arch rivals on Indian soil, Pakistan has won an impressive 23 encounters to India’s 14, with just two draws. So, it’s no wonder that India tries its best to avoid this embarrassing statistic being bumped up even further. But one would expect that these tactics would solely be restricted to on-the-field gamesmanship; ...

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