Sameen Amer

Sameen Amer

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

Christopher Robin is a warm and emotional trip down memory lane

“Deep in the Hundred Acre Wood, Where Christopher Robin plays, You’ll find the enchanted neighbourhood, Of Christopher’s childhood days.” But Christopher’s childhood days are bound to come to an end. So what happens then? That’s the story of Christopher Robin, a charming fantasy comedy based on the beloved characters that were created by author AA Milne and illustrator EH Shepard almost a decade ago (inspired by the former’s own son and his toys). In Director Marc Forster’s new film, Christopher Robin (portrayed as a kid by Orton O’Brien) leaves his childhood friends behind as he grows up, trading the imaginative lands of the Hundred Acre Wood ...

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Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again isn’t solid filmmaking, but then again it isn’t meant to be

With its feel-good vibes and irresistible nostalgic draw, Mamma Mia! won over audiences around the globe in 2008, leaving viewers so engrossed in having fun that they didn’t notice (or mind) that the ABBA jukebox musical wasn’t exactly a cinematic masterpiece. Its financial success – the film became the highest grossing musical of its time – all but guaranteed that a follow-up would eventually materialise, and that sequel (which also serves as a prequel) is finally here in the form of Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again. Directed by Ol Parker, the film brings more of the same joyous energy that made its ...

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Dark and suspenseful, will ‘Glass’ help Shyamalan get his groove back?

M Night Shyamalan has admittedly had more misses (Lady in the Water, The Happening, The Last Airbender, After Earth) than hits (The Visit, Split) of late. But while he may not be the most consistently impressive filmmaker, the Indian-American director has still created quite a few interesting horror thrillers over his career, which is why the viewers’ attention is piqued whenever he releases something new. His latest venture is the upcoming Glass, the third instalment in the Eastrail 177 trilogy, which bring Shyamalan’s previous films Unbreakable (2000) and Split (2016) together, and serves as a sequel to both. The worlds of ...

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Incredibles 2: The journey may be predictable this time around, but it’s still a whole lot of fun

More than a decade after they first conquered the big screen with what turned out to be an instant Pixar classic, the Parr family is back for their second adventure in Incredibles 2, a return to the world created by Director and Writer Brad Bird that revisits much of the same turf as the original but makes sure it never ceases to be fun. Our protagonists – parents Bob (voiced by Craig T Nelson) and Helen (Holly Hunter), and their kids Violet (Sarah Vowell), Dash (Huck Milner) and Jack-Jack (Eli Fucile) – are, once again, dealing with ostracisation. Superheroes are still ...

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Given its stellar cast, Ocean’s 8 is not the masterpiece one would expect

While Hollywood has always been very fond of remakes and spinoffs, it has more recently developed a fascination with female-centred continuations of beloved cinematic adventures and established franchises. From the 2016 Ghostbusters reboot to the upcoming The Expendabelles, The Hustle and The Rocketeers, several female-led reimagining are bringing old tales back to the big screen with a new twist. An example of this phenomenon currently in cinemas is, of course, the much-talked-about Ocean’s 8, the all-female spin-off from Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s trilogy. The action-comedy is centred on the character of Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock) – the younger sister of the (probably) late Danny Ocean – who is trying to pull off ...

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Likely to be a winner, ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ humorously targets the internet and Disney itself

It may not have made as much money as Frozen (2013) or received as many awards as Big Hero 6 (2014) or Moana (2016), but that doesn’t change the fact that 2012’s Wreck-It Ralph was one of the most inventive animated films Disney has made as of late. The story of Ralph (voiced by John C Reilly) – the antagonist of the Fix-It Felix Jr arcade game, who no longer wants to be the bad guy – and Vanellope (an effervescent Sarah Silverman) – the glitch in the game Sugar Rush, who wishes she was a racer – the film ...

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Can Mowgli surpass The Jungle Book’s success?

Why? That is probably the first thing you’ll wonder when you think about the upcoming film Mowgli, yet another adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, which comes just two years after Disney gave its 1967 animated classic a live action remake. Why are we getting another The Jungle Book movie so soon after the previous one? It’s a phenomenon we’ve seen time and again: twin films – two similar but separate projects developed at the same time by two different studios. That is certainly what has happened in this case as well. And it’s the massive success of Jon Favreau’s 2016 take on the fantasy ...

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Can Bohemian Rhapsody do justice to a band as legendary as Queen?

Seeing how eager Hollywood is to immediately turn even mildly intriguing people and events into subjects of elaborate films, it seems peculiar that there hasn’t been any major Queen or Freddie Mercury biopic thus far. Watch the trailer for the upcoming Bohemian Rhapsody – a film that has been in development hell for the better part of a decade, but will finally come out later this year – and it quickly becomes apparent why filmmakers might have been reluctant to pursue such a project: it’s just so hard to do justice to a band as legendary as Queen. After all, ...

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Breaking In: Move over ‘Taken’ and ‘Die Hard’, there’s a new parent in town!

From Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) and his legendary particular set of skills in Taken to the yippee-ki-yay-ing John McClane (Bruce Willis) in Die Hard, Hollywood has often given us tales of action hero fathers doing whatever it takes to save their children. Now, Breaking In is on a mission to prove that a mother can be just as fierce as any of her male counterparts! Helmed by V for Vendetta Director James McTeigue, the home-invasion thriller stars Gabrielle Union in the lead as Shaun Russell, a single mother who must protect her kids from armed dacoits. Photo: Screenshot While visiting her late father’s mansion with her ...

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Does ‘Life of the Party’ have what it takes to be the next ‘Bridesmaids’?

Actress Melissa McCarthy’s cinematic collaborations with her husband, filmmaker Ben Falcone, may not have impressed critics thus far, but their movies have seen enough financial success to inspire the couple to continue making more comedies together. Their new project is the upcoming Life of the Party, another offering from the duo’s production company, On the Day. The pair is firmly in charge of this vehicle – the film has been directed by Falcone, written by Falcone and McCarthy, and stars McCarthy in the lead role. The protagonist is Deanna (McCarthy), a 40-something woman in the process of getting a divorce from ...

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