Sameen Amer

Sameen Amer

The author is a Lahore-based freelance writer and critic. She tweets as @Sameen (twitter.com/Sameen)

Did Disney just ruin our childhood with its adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time?

If you read Madeleine L’Engle’s fantasy novel A Wrinkle in Time as a child (or even as an adult for that matter), then chances are that your mind’s eye probably didn’t conjure up an image of Oprah Winfrey in a blonde wig whenever the character of Mrs Which appeared in the story.  And if you were to come up with a fantasy casting for a movie adaptation of the 1962 classic, then once again, blonde Winfrey probably wouldn’t have been the first person you pictured in that role. Photo: IMDb But that somehow is exactly what we’re getting in the ...

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After Harley Quinn, Margot Robbie brings her charm and magnetism in the darkly comical biopic, I,Tonya

Directed by Craig Gillespie, the biographical sports comedy is based on the real life of Tonya Harding (played by Margot Robbie), who rose to infamy because of her involvement in the attack on her fellow skater. Photo: Screenshot Sports rivalries can add excitement to games by raising the stakes and making the experience more intense and thrilling for both the participants and viewers. But there is also a dark side to such rivalries, especially when they get out of control, turn ugly and overzealous fans or over-competitive athletes take things to dangerous levels. This is exactly what ...

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The Hitman’s Bodyguard would have been a clichéd action movie if it weren’t for Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L Jackson

Even when the script they have to work with isn’t quite exceptional, talented actors still have the ability to elevate the mediocre material they’re provided and turn it into an entertaining cinematic experience for the audience. That is exactly what Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L Jackson have done with The Hitman’s Bodyguard, an otherwise middling action comedy that benefits from the chemistry and charisma of its leads. The actors portray two bitter rivals who must set aside their differences and work together to evade countless armed baddies on a journey across Europe. Reynolds appears in the role of Michael Bryce, a ...

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Beatriz at Dinner: An impactful clash between race, social class and ideals

It’s a clash of personalities and perspectives as two very different people end up at the same gathering in Beatriz at dinner. The movie is from an odd but touching drama genre with an impressive cast and a terrific performance by its lead actress. The protagonist is Beatriz (Salma Hayek), a massage therapist and spiritual healer who works mainly with cancer patients at an alternative clinic. One of her private clients is the wealthy Kathy (Connie Britton), the mother of a Hodgkin’s survivor, Tara, who Beatriz helped during her cancer treatment and recovery.   After Beatriz is done with her massage session at Kathy’s posh residence, ...

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Logan Lucky may not be as glamourous as the Ocean’s trilogy, but it is equally slick

Steven Soderbergh makes a triumphant comeback with Logan Lucky, a heist comedy that sees the acclaimed director return to filmmaking after a four-year hiatus from big screen ventures. The movie, his first directorial effort since 2013, follows the adventure of three siblings who are attempting to pull off a daring, elaborate robbery. Things aren’t going too well for the down-on-their-luck Logan family as the film commences. Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum), a Southern, blue collar construction worker who once had a promising football career that was derailed by a knee injury, is fired from his job “for liability reasons involving insurance”. His brother, Clyde ...

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The Zookeeper’s Wife may not be the most forceful World War II film, but it is heart-breaking and poignant

While Adolf Hitler and the Nazis were busy writing the most harrowing chapter in modern history, several heroic people were risking their lives to save their fellow human beings from brutal extermination during the Holocaust in World War II. The Zookeeper’s Wife is the tale of one such family. Based on real events, the story begins in Poland in 1939 at the Warsaw Zoo, where Antonina Żabińska (Jessica Chastain) helps her husband, Jan Żabiński (Johan Heldenbergh), take care of the animals in a beautiful menagerie. But their idyllic lives are turned upside down when German forces invade Poland. An airstrike ruins their ...

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Even with not one but three acting legends, ‘Going in Style’ is bland, unexceptional and unmemorable

Some films try to bring out the best in their cast by giving their actors a solid script and a compelling story to work with. Other movies just want to coast on the charisma of their stars without bothering to make an effort in any other department. Going in Style falls firmly in the latter category. The heist comedy – which is a loose remake of the 1979 Martin Brest film of the same name – has managed to assemble a cast that includes three of the best actors to have ever graced the big screen. However, the movie has ...

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Don’t waste your time, effort or money on The Emoji Movie – the filmmakers didn’t either

Every once in a while, you come across a film that is so devoid of merit that it feels like it exists just so you can recommend it to someone you hate. That’s what The Emoji Movie is like. Try as hard as you can to think about something positive to say about this cinematic mess and you’ll still draw a blank. The story is downright nonsensical. An emoji named Gene (voiced by TJ Miller), who lives in a smartphone that belongs to a teenager (Jake T Austin), has one purpose in life – to make the ‘meh’ face whenever he ...

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Cars 3: Not a masterpiece but still a marked improvement from Cars 2

Over the last two decades, Pixar has impressed the world by releasing some terrific films, such as Finding Nemo (2003), Ratatouille (2007), WALL-E (2008), Up (2009), and the Toy Story series (1995 – present). But while many of the studios’ adventures rank among animation’s finest offerings, there have been a couple of missteps that have received a more lukewarm reception. Among its less imaginative efforts is the Cars franchise, a series that tells the tales of anthropomorphic vehicles. Although it may not have struck a chord with the critics, Cars has still been a monetary success, thanks to massive merchandise sales. The lucrative merchandising has led to the continuation of the series, which now gives us its ...

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Spider-Man: Homecoming: Predictable yet apt and entertaining

Marvel Comics’ superheroes have been ruling the summer box office for nearly a decade now. What started with the first adventure of Iron Man in 2008 has since turned into the most successful franchise in movie history. The Avengers have become a cinematic behemoth as more superheroes have joined the folds of the mighty collective over the years, and have altogether produced more hits than misses along the way. The latest adventure in the series takes us on another journey into the world of Spider-Man. A superhero which has already been the subject of two prior series, and is now getting another reboot in the shape of the ...

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