Can ‘Arrival’ live up to its hype?

From the creative mind of Denis Villeneuve that brought you Enemy (2013) and last year’s crime-thriller Sicario (2015), here comes a new sci-fi film, Arrival. When a mysterious spacecraft touches down across the globe, an elite team, led by expert linguist Louise Banks (Amy Adams), are brought together to investigate. Joining the cast along Adams are Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker. Amy Adams in Arrival (2016).Photo: IMDb As mankind teeters on the verge of global war, Banks and her team race against time for answers. However, to find them, she will take a chance that could threaten her life, and quite possibly be the end of  humanity. Amy Adams and ...

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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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Rounding up the usual suspects in Casablanca

Morocco – a country filled with diverse culture, memorable sights, sounds, and a remarkable cuisine. There are so many things that make this country stand out in my eyes. The divine bed and breakfast boutique hotels known as ‘riads’, the beautiful resorts, and the list goes on. My trip lasted a total of ten days, and started in Casablanca, followed by Marrakech and Fes. “Mystical” is the one word that describes my trip to Morocco the most. As I walked down the streets, I felt everything was alive around me. The atmosphere was thriving, and the energy was inexplicable. Women were ...

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Sullivan’s Travels: A deliciously dark comedy and far from ordinary

The golden age of Hollywood has produced numerous memorable films, ones that even decades later, still influence filmmakers from around the world. But Sullivan’s Travels (1941) is not any ordinary film. This delicious dark comedy by Preston Sturges was highly controversial for its time that brought a special sense of humour to mainstream American filmmaking. This is the first of my ‘Bucket List Pick’; A film that you have to watch before you kick the bucket. The film stars Joel McCrea as a famous Hollywood director Sullivan who feels like he hasn’t created anything of value for the common masses. ...

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Our actors are wasting their talent on Pakistani dramas like Sanam

Does anyone miss Fifty Fifty? Studio Dhai and Ponay Teen? It’s the age of Snapstories going viral and two second GIFs primarily providing the fodder for comedy. I have often tried to watch some comedy serials on television but it’s difficult to tolerate them for more than five (10, if you’re really that starved for entertainment) minutes. That’s all the more reason why I feel terrible when I see a talented comedian like Osman Khalid Butt playing regressive, emotional, and clearly messy roles like Haarib in Sanam. In the recent episode of Sanam, Haarib berates Aan (Maya Ali) for not picking up her phone because her mother just had ...

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The Assassin’s Creed movie promises an action-packed journey, but will it?

Almost everyone plays video games these days. If you look around, you’ll notice how millions of people immerse themselves into the world of virtual reality every day. These games are critically acclaimed universally, and witness millions in sales, sometimes, on the first day of their release alone. Many film studios have tried to adapt video games into big screen movies, unfortunately, only a handful have been able to hit the jackpot and almost none have pleased critics. Movies like Mario Brothers, Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, Hitman, Alone in the Dark, Max Payne, Warcraft, Prince of Persia, and Doom along with the Resident Evil series and the Tomb Raider series are considered disappointments on a whole. Neither the critics’ ...

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Of coexistence, mannequin challenges and Pakistan

The history of the region where Pakistan exists today would tell you a lot about its pluralistic values. This is the land where Hindus and Muslims have peacefully coexisted for years. This is the land of Muslim Sufi saints like Baba Bulleh Shah, Baba Fareed and Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai, who preached values of humanity, coexistence and religious tolerance which is why they are revered today, not just Muslims, but by Hindus and Sikhs of the region as well. Even when you fast forward to 1947, it is evident that the post partition era of Pakistan was also very pluralistic. Do we not know our very ...

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Paterson – Where ambition meets poetry

Paterson is a new deadpan comedy from the renowned Indie filmmaker, Jim Jarmusch. The film takes place in the city of Paterson, New Jersey, and coincidentally enough, the city and our main protagonist share the same name. Paterson (played by Adam Driver) is a bus driver and every day, he adheres to a simple routine: drives his daily route, observing the city as it drifts across his windshield and overhearing fragments of conversation swirling around him; he writes poetry into a notebook; he walks his dog; he stops in a bar and drinks exactly one beer; he goes home to his ...

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Your husband beat you up? No worries, now you can cover it up with makeup

A Moroccan TV show recently taught women how to cover up bruises they got as a result of domestic violence. After a lot of hue and cry, the video was removed but it still sparked outrage on social media, and Moroccan rights groups were extremely vocal about insisting that the show be cancelled completely. But let’s take a step back, shall we. Let’s go back to the moment the producer and the team of that show actually decided that this feather-brained idea would be a great seller. Let’s go back to the moment where everyone said, “Hey, you know what would be fantastic? If ...

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Why was this Christian boy beaten for drinking water from a mosque?

News and images of Pakistani Christians being beaten up or being wrongly prosecuted are not surprising for the Pakistani public, especially since Pakistan ranks number six on the Open Doors World Watch List for Christian prosecution. Verily, one cannot turn a blind eye to such violence when it takes place so often. With the growing intolerance rate in Pakistan, many members belonging to minority groups continue to pay the price for acts they don’t even know constitute as crimes. And, realistically, they aren’t. A couple of days ago, a Christian boy was shown to be brutally beaten up in a video ...

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