Khalid Rafi

Khalid Rafi

The author enjoys writing and is passionate about Pakistan Cricket. He tweets @TheKhalidRafi (twitter.com/TheKhalidRafi)

Rambo: Last Blood draws first failure

  The final chapter of the Rambo series was released this week, called Rambo: Last Blood. Fans of the series, including me had high hopes from the movie considering the unique story line it introduced years ago through Ted Khotcheff’s, First Blood. Nevertheless, after watching the movie, it became nearly impossible to believe that the series began not as a franchise but as a smartly made, action-packed and contemplative stand-alone film. The series opened with a distinctive plot about a soldier coming back home from the Vietnam War who is struggling to grapple with PTSD. In many ways the film offered ...

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Ready or Not, here is the best summer movie of 2019

Summer season at the box office usually means a cascade of blockbusters ranging from superhero movies to big-budget action flicks with a few animated movies, and now live-action animated movies, thrown in for good measure. These are movies that, after nearly a year of aggressive marketing, aim to cash-in on what is considered to be the prime season for moviegoers. It is, therefore, a surprise when a film like Ready or Not comes out during the same time; a film that has neither the year-long anticipation nor the massive budget and cast of well-known actors. Its low budget can be illustrated by the fact ...

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Pacino, De Niro, Pesci and Scorsese – can The Irishman be anything but epic?

Few filmmakers have a left a mark on cinema quite like Martin Scorsese. Whether it’s through his early classics like Taxi Driver and Raging Bull or his later hits like The Wolf of Wall Street and Shutter Island (and pretty much everything in between), Scorsese’s enduring popularity across generations is undeniable. Despite having quite a varied filmography, the genre that Scorsese has always felt most at home with has been the gangster genre. He has shaped how most moviegoers view gangsters through films like Mean Streets, Casino, The Departed and his magnum opus Goodfellas. Gif: Giphy [caption ...

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Top Gun was a cultural phenomenon – can Maverick even come close?

For moviegoers of this generation, it’s hard to underscore just how big of a cultural phenomenon Top Gun was when it came out in 1986. In many ways, it still is; evident by how people endlessly give reference to it and its characters, or how nostalgic they get at the sound of its smash-hits such as Take My Breath Away and Danger Zone. Top Gun’s success, however, is attributed most to the fact that it was the ultimate high-concept film for that era: a striking and easily communicable plot-line starring the number one heartthrob of the time in the lead ...

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The Lion King: Nostalgic but distracting

The success of 2016’s live-action remake of The Jungle Book opened a new dimension for Disney; a dimension in which they could dust off their animated properties from the past and cash-in on the nostalgia through new live-action remakes. It’s not as if they hadn’t done this before with live-action reiterations of Alice in Wonderland and Sleeping Beauty (Maleficent). However, the success of Jungle Book consolidated this as a long-term corporate strategy. Since then, live-action remakes of Beauty and the Beast, Dumbo and Aladdin have all hit the big-screen, with remakes of Mulan, Peter Pan, The Little Mermaid and even Lilo and Stitch already in the ...

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Spider-Man: Far From Home is amazing but it needs to get over its Avengers hangover

Spider-Man: Homecoming was a breath of fresh air and the biggest reason for this was a conscious attempt by Marvel to avoid repeating everything we have already seen in Spider-Man movies of past as well as everything that has gone wrong and/or led to the downfall in popularity of previous franchises. Therefore, instead of a packed narrative that would have included everything from an origin story to an over-sized, over-stuffed cast of villains, Homecoming played it remarkably low-key, positioning the film as much of a John Hughes-esque high school movie as it was a Spider-Man adventure. In Michael Keaton’s The Vulture, the ...

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Dark Phoenix: not with a bang but a whimper

When the X-Men franchise was rebooted in 2011 in the form of X-Men: First Class, many were sceptical as to whether or not it would be able to offer fans something different. Bryan Singer’s original trilogy had pretty much delivered what fans had expected from an X-Men movie. Much to everyone’s surprise though, X-Men: First Class did offer something new, while the sequel, X-Men: Days of Future Past, practically shattered the ceiling for the franchise. The reboot had been a big success both critically and commercially until X-Men: Apocalypse, where you could feel that the wheels were starting to come off. ...

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Godzilla: King of Monsters is not great but delivers what it promised: monster action

Cinematic universes are all the rage these days, and staying true to this enduring trend of our times, Legendary Pictures has brought two of America’s most well-known movie monsters, King Kong and Godzilla, under one roof in what they call the MonsterVerse. Now most cinematic universes tend to get stale with the progression of each inter-connected film due to the heavy-handed interference of studios themselves, who care too much about uniformity, marketing and selling the film like a product. The MonsterVerse – which till now has given us Godzilla (2014), Kong: Skull Island (2017) and now Godzilla: King of ...

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Rambo: Last Blood seems like a fitting end to a much-loved, explosive series

The Rambo series holds a special place in the heart of movie-lovers (particularly those who grew up in the 80’s) which is perhaps something modern audiences will never be able to fully grasp. Looking at the Rambo offerings now, you wouldn’t be remiss to think of them as the barely scripted, cartoonishly-violent and dated action movies that they are. How dated you ask? Well, one of them is set during the Soviet-Afghan war and involves Rambo going to Afghanistan to train the mujahedeen. Despite three sequels that got gradually worse with each instalment though, the appeal of seeing a jacked Sylvester ...

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Horror that cuts deep: It Chapter Two promises a very scary and fitting end

After the unprecedented success of It, which took in over $700 million worldwide, the hype surrounding It Chapter Two – which was always in the offing – only grew stronger. In a day and age where good horror movies are few and far between, this does not come as a surprise. Like the second section of the famed Stephen King novel, It Chapter Two is also set 28 years after the events of the previous film, with the members of the ‘Losers’ Club’ returning as adults to their hometown of Derry, Maine, ready to confront the evil Pennywise (who has reappeared) one last ...

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