Stories about sci-fi

Blade Runner 2049: An evolved extension of the original cult classic?

Welcome back to Los Angeles (LA). The year is 2049 and LA is as grey, rainy and full of neon as it was some 30 years back. The whole landscape might have evolved, but there is no mistaking the fact that this is the same world that cinephiles fell in love with from the Blade Runner. The official trailer of Blade Runner 2049 has recently dropped and the moody and atmospheric world building is exceedingly reminiscent of its predecessor, the original 1982 Ridley Scott’s cult classic which was based on Philip Kindred Dick’s 1968 short story Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? It’s not just the visuals; the plot ...

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Life: Another movie about space that wastes space

The possibility of life on Mars has been a source of endless fascination for us Earthlings. The existence of extra-terrestrial beings along with its worst case implications form the basis of the thriller Life. The movie is a sci-fi horror vehicle that pairs a talented cast with a routine plot to yield mediocre results. The action takes place on board the International Space Station, where a six member crew – portrayed by actors Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, Ryan Reynolds, Hiroyuki Sanada, Ariyon Bakare, and Olga Dihovichnaya – captures a capsule returning from Mars. Upon studying the Red Planet’s soil samples, the astronauts ...

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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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Interstellar – A quest for the human spirit

Set in the near-future where an agricultural crisis has brought the world to its knees, Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) is a widower who lives on a farm with his two kids, daughter Murph (Mackenzie Foy) and son Tom (Timothée Chalamet), and his father-in-law, Donald (John Lithgow). Though a farmer by default due to a “blight” that has affected the food supply on Earth, Cooper was once a pilot, an engineer and an explorer – a past life he often dreams about. Photo: Interstellar Official Facebook Page While Tom is more than satisfied being a farmer and is encouraged ...

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Scarlett Johansson’s ‘Lucy’ will challenge you intellectually

French writer cum director Luc Besson, whose work includes The Fifth Element, The Lady, The Professional, La Femme Nikita and Taken, is back to captivate the moviegoers with a high-concept hypothetical thriller – Lucy. It is a compelling hybrid, graced by volatility and lots of violence, intermingled by surreal bedlam that will challenge you intellectually. The creative inspiration of Lucy is based on a philosophical point of view that humans use merely 10 percent of their brain capacity, and if someone unlocks the rest of this cerebral capability, they will ultimately develop superpowers. Lucy is a story of an American woman, Lucy, played by Scarlett Johansson, studying in Taiwan, who is forced to ...

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4 reasons “Edge of Tomorrow” was such a… fail

From the day that the trailer for Edge of Tomorrow was revealed, it was surrounded by a buzz. With Tom Cruise playing the lead and the amazing visual effects, I was sure we were in for a mega summer blockbuster; in fact, the day the film was released in Pakistan, all the shows were sold out! That, in itself, seemed thoroughly promising. Boy was I disappointed. There was absolutely nothing extraordinary about the movie, in fact, in my opinion, it lacked a power-punch packed script and failed to keep the audience engaged in the overall plot. Its slogan, ‘Live, Die, ...

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X-Men: Days of future past – Hollywood’s version of DDLJ?

Are you a Bollywood movie buff? Did you fall in love with Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge? (DDLJ) Did you pray for Simran to catch that train which Raj was lunging out of? The heaving, the pleading, those stretched arms, the intensity, that suspense and the never ending drama? And just when you thought you were about to have a nervous breakdown, Simran grabs on to Raj’s hand and tears of exuberance fall out of your eyes. Well, we have another DDLJ in town; please go watch X-Men: Days of Future Past. After watching the movie, I even checked online if they have changed the genre ...

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Watching Carl Sagan’s documentary ‘Cosmos’ changed my life!

It was sudden. It was unexpected. I was in grade nine when my life took a dramatic turn. Like many of my peers at school, I was planning on pursuing electrical or computer engineering at NED University of Engineering and Technology. My father is an engineer and so is my eldest brother. The path seemed to have been laid out. But then, on a fateful night, Cosmos got aired on Pakistan Television (PTV) and by the time the first episode ended, I had decided to become an astronomer. In less than an hour, a science poet from Brooklyn had fundamentally altered the trajectory of my ...

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Oscars 2014: ‘Her’ deserves the Best Picture award

In an era of re-boots ,superhero franchises and weak attempts at capturing the ‘essence’ of classics , very few films stand out as being relevant to the complexities and issues of the modern world . This year’s Oscar season crop has seen some improvement when it comes to directors and actors, old and new, engaging in challenging and thought provoking roles and issues.  While most people hotly debate whether Leonardo DiCaprio’s Oscar drought will end , whether the McConaissance movement will gain a major boost or whether Christian Bale has finally cracked the code to completely control body weight and ...

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Broken Triad: Storm of Assassins – When a Pakistani takes a crack at sci-fi

I was pleasantly surprised to find out that a LUMS student was having his fantasy novel published by Ferozsons this year. As a young student novelist myself, I know for a fact how unwelcoming and poorly equipped our publishing industry really is. This is especially so when it comes to entertaining  modern English fiction novels written by young student writers. For a writer, to get a simple third party review done becomes a matter of calling in ‘favours’. It is for this reason that I decided to take a stand for all novelists and readers out there and provide an ...

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