Khalid Rafi

Khalid Rafi

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

Moana finds Disney returning to its old formula

The Disney films of the 80’s and 90’s had a very specific formula for success that helped make them very successful for many years. This formula was based on having catchy tunes that would help advance the narrative, while also being a joy to listen to. With stories centering on spirited young protagonists finding their way in the world, usually aided in some part by a cuddly animal sidekick. Moana finds Disney returning to this formula after decades, and not only does Disney manage to revoke so many of the elements that made it work so well in the past, but ...

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The Underworld needs to go under and never resurface again

I must admit I’ve never cared much for the Underworld movies. For me, they are very akin to the Resident Evil movies — both are going on five plus movies, both follow the stories of a female protagonist played by a C-list actress battling monsters like werewolves, vampires, zombies. And both series, upon the release of a new film, make you ask the question: ‘Exactly who paid to see the last one?’ Underworld: Blood Wars is the fifth entry in the Underworld franchise, and yes it’s utter trash and just as bad as the last four. Kate Beckinsale returns as vampire ‘death-dealer’ Selene in her traditional skin tight leather costume. This time ...

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There’s really nothing about Inferno that warrants a viewing

Much has already been said about the literary merits of Dan Brown’s novels, whose success often mystifies critics and people who don’t want to read books where characters talk like expository plot-devices who must explain anything and everything they come in contact with. But I suppose what even greatly mystifies such people, myself included, is that they’ve actually churned out three big screen adaptations of these books, that are at times the cinematic equivalent of watching someone solving a highly complicated crossword puzzle. With Inferno, the sequel to 2009’s Angels and Demons you have Ron Howard back behind the camera, and ...

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Sully: Clint Eastwood can simply do no wrong

Clint Eastwood is no stranger to showing his love for American heroes, or at least people who satisfy his definition of an American hero. And that’s something that’s best reflective of the latter part of his career with films like Flags of Our Fathers (2006), J. Edgar (2011) and American Sniper (2014). And something he continues to explore with his 35th film behind the camera: Sully. Based on the remarkable true story of the ‘Miracle on the Hudson’, when on January of 2009, Captain Chelsey “Sully” Sullenberger successfully landed a US Airways plane on the Hudson River, after an influx ...

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Blair Witch: Unoriginal and barely scary

Seventeen years ago, for better and worse, The Blair Witch Project (1999) changed the horror genre forever. On the plus side, it brought a new meaning to the term “viral marketing” by turning a $600,000 movie into a $248 million global hit – thanks largely in part to those viral online ads. On the other hand, it also gave birth to the found-footage genre, which represents just about the most uninspired and hackneyed conventions of filmmaking out there today. I must say, I’ve never cared for The Blair Witch Project, but having said that, I do understand that the film really struck a chord ...

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Will Magnificent Seven prove to be a worthy remake?

Hollywood’s obsession with remakes does not seem to be ending any time soon. The least we can hope for is that they at least bring something fresh to the films they are attempting to reinvent. With the fall movie season looming over us, one of the most anticipated films of the season is set to be released towards the end of this month, which actually happens to be a remake of a remake (originality in tinsel-town is in short demand these days); The Magnificent Seven.  Ethan Hawke, Denzel Washington, Vincent D’Onofrio, Byung-hun Lee, Chris Pratt, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, ...

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Will Rang Raaz: The Secret of Colour be a step forward in Pakistani cinema?

Making it as an independent filmmaker in Pakistan is not easy. Having a film industry that consistently puts dance numbers, good-looking actors and fancy costumes over character, story and plot is bad enough. But the fact that studios here are not ready to invest and original ideas only makes it worse. But that hasn’t stopped aspiring filmmaker and playwright Hamza Bangash from bringing his ideas to life and overcoming a number of barriers that can come in the way of any aspiring filmmaker. In 2014, his short film Badal premiered at the Cannes Film Festival’s Court Metrage, which is an incredible achievement in itself. And now, two ...

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Nerve: It’ll surely get on your nerves

With the Pokémon Go epidemic sweeping worldwide (which is getting people to run into traffic while looking at their smartphones) it seems the timing for Nerve could not have been better. It is a thriller about people performing embarrassing and increasingly death-defying stunts in the name of a shadowy online game in an attempt to gain popularity and cash. Emma Roberts stars as Vee, a high school senior who lives on Staten Island with her clingy but hardworking mother Nancy (Juliette Lewis). Vee is afraid to tell her mom that she wants to go across the country to an arts college in California because she is ...

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The idea behind Suicide Squad is way better than the finished product

I don’t think there was any movie this summer that was as widely hyped as Suicide Squad – the third film in the DC Extended Universe’s (DCEU) cannon of films – after 2013’s Man of Steel and this year’s Batman VS Superman: Dawn of Justice. And you can understand DC wanting to hype up the movie considering how disappointingly Batman VS Superman fared earlier this year, critically and commercially. So, Suicide Squad; the premise is fairly simple. Viola Davis plays Amanda Waller, a high-up government agent who decides to assemble a taskforce containing the worst of the worst; rogues, thieves, ...

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Star Trek Beyond: An oasis in the barren desert of summer 2016 blockbusters

After the disappointing Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013), many people believed the future of the Star Trek franchise was in danger. Not from a financial stand-point, but rather a creative one. And let’s face it, for all its excitement “Into Darkness” did feel very much like a sub-par remake of the far better 1982 film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. There was a general consensus among most fans that the series was beginning to forget its roots, which were essentially about exploring space and spreading peace throughout the galaxy. There was even more disappointment among the fan base ...

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