Khalid Rafi

Khalid Rafi

The author is an aspiring writer and a passionate lover and supporter of Pakistan Cricket. He blops at The Blazing Reel. (www.theblazingreel.wordpress.com) and tweets as @TheKhalidRafi

Annabelle: Creation is better than it’s sequel yet brings nothing new to the horror genre

Annabelle: Creation is the latest installment to be released in the Conjuring universe. The series was initiated after James Wan’s The Conjuring witnessed massive success at the box office in 2013. Since then, a sequel, a prequel and now a pre-prequel to both The Conjuring and 2014’s Annabelle have been produced. Set in the early 60s, Annabelle: Creation follows the story of a former toy maker Sam Mullins (Anthony LaPaglia) and his wife, Esther (Miranda Otto). Following the tragic death of their young daughter, the pair has gone 12 years without a child. That is, until they happily welcome a nun and six orphaned girls into their California farmhouse. However, ...

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With John Wick’s David Leitch at its helm, Atomic Blonde will definitely deliver on the action

In 2014, two stuntmen David Leitch and Chad Stahelski made their foray into directing their debut feature John Wick. The film wasn’t anything more than a predictably-plotted action film. However, one thing it did differently from every other action film around was that it made sure you felt every punch of the action. With their extensive experience in stunts, Leitch and Stahelski proved that there was still room in Hollywood for slick, well-choreographed and well-shot action films that didn’t have to rely on rapid editing cuts and big explosions to capture the audience’s attention. Since then, both Leitch and Stahelski have gone ...

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Ozark fails to come into its own as the crime-drama it is so desperately trying to be

Netflix has been dominating the television landscape for a number of years now. Their strategy of rolling out entire seasons in a day has been a successful one because of how quickly it has turned people to binge-watching. Another reason for their success is that they have not only produced great shows, but produced genre-diverse shows, which means they have got a little something for everyone. Shows like House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Master of None, Making A Murderer and Narcos are all part of this list. Ozark is the latest show to join this list. Created by Bill Dubuque – the writer ...

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War for the Planet of the Apes isn’t nearly as intelligent, interesting or exciting as its prequels

War for the Planet of the Apes serves as the third and final instalment in the rebooted Planet of the Apes trilogy, which like most rebooted blockbusters of the present has looked to offer a bleaker and more serious version of its old, campy predecessor. Set a few years after the events of the last film, War for the Planet of the Apes follows the ape leader Caesar (motion-captured by Andy Serkis) and his primate community hidden in a dense forest, wanting only to be left alone in peace. However, a group of humans led by a ruthless colonel (Woody Harrelson) are still raging against the repercussions of ...

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Jumanji returns after 22 years, but with a remote-controlled twist

If you were a kid growing up in the 90s, chances are you saw Jumanji and loved it. Following the story of a sinister board game whose gameplay affects real life, the film was one of the benchmark children films of the 90s and for many people, one of their first introductions to the late and great Robin Williams. Now some 22 years later, it makes a return in the form of a sequel but there’s a twist. Instead of a board game, this one is about a Jumanji videogame which when played, consequently sucks its players into its world and transforms them into the characters of ...

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Lack of emotion and recycled jokes fail to elevate Despicable Me 3 from a cartoon to an animated film

Despicable Me 3 is the latest entry in the hugely successful Despicable Me franchise. And although the last two prequels have done well in regards to delivering good humour, fun characters and enjoyable set-pieces, the latest release falls short of being even slightly good. The latest film follows the now-reformed Gru (Steve Carell), who still works for the Anti-Villain League. His failure to apprehend the new baddie, Balthazar Brat (voiced by South Park’s Trey Parker) – a child star from the 80s who is seeking world domination because of the pre-mature cancellation of his show – leads to him being fired from the Anti-Villain league. Furthermore, ...

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Half Widow: Not Pakistan, not India, but the world through Kashmir’s eyes

Throughout history, cinema has functioned as a voice against oppression. Be it films such as Mississippi Burning or Fruitvale Station that highlight racism in the US’ past and present, or films such as Schindler’s List and Life is Beautiful which focus on the Holocaust and the oppression of Jews during World War II. The Battle of Algiers is yet another movie which focuses on the oppression of the Algerian people by the French, and their subsequent struggle for independence. Photo: Facebook Cinema has always played an important role in connecting the viewer with these moving stories. Kashmiri filmmaker Danish Renzu aims to do something similar with his latest film, Half ...

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Black Panther seems to be diversely epic and will fare better than Captain America

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)  doesn’t seem like it’s slowing down anytime soon, despite the fact that many were disappointed by their recent streak of films after Captain America: Civil War. But I suppose that’s understandable when you set such a high standard. Regardless, their upcoming line up of films starting with Spider-Man: Homecoming looks quite promising. But one particular film you should get excited about is Black Panther. Directed by Ryan Coogler and featuring a talented cast led by Chandwick Boseman as the titular character, the film follows Boseman’s  T’Challa character. He is forced to return home to the fictional and technologically advanced African ...

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The Mummy is nothing new or special, but it works well enough for what it is

Never has intellectual property been a more valuable asset in Hollywood than it is today. In the age of franchise blockbusters, any almost marketable property can now be rebranded for 21st century audiences with a big enough movie star and sleek looking visual effects. Over the last decade, all major studios have found their personal cash-cow which they can milk through a connected universe of characters and films. Disney has the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Warner Bros have the DC Extended Universe, while Paramount has the much reviled Transformers series. Universal Studios is the latest to join the club with The Mummy, which is set to be ...

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Wonder: An important film that may genuinely pull at your heartstrings

These days, it is rare for children films to tread waters that aren’t edging towards the more sappy and sentimental side of life. But if first impressions mean anything, Wonder feels like a much welcome change of pace for this particular genre and seems like a film that may genuinely pull at your heartstrings. The film, based on The New York Times bestselling novel of the same name written by RJ Palacio, focuses on the story of a young boy named August (Auggie) Pullman (Jacob Tremblay), a fifth grader who is starting school for the first time and is also ...

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