Sameen Amer

Sameen Amer

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

Men In Black: International will leave you wishing to be ‘neuralysed’

The 2019 summer movie season isn’t going quite the way film buffs would have hoped. The big budget cinematic offerings so far have mostly been subpar, with very few intriguing exceptions. Men in Black: International, unfortunately, isn’t one of those exciting outliers. The lacklustre spin-off of the Men in Black (MIB) series shifts the setting from the US to the UK branch of the galaxy-defending organisation but doesn’t bother to bring anything new or even slightly interesting to the franchise. Molly (Tessa Thompson), who witnessed the Men in Black in action when she was a child, manages to track down the MIB headquarters ...

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The Secret Life of Pets 2: A disjointed sequel struggling to find a reason to exist

The financial success of a movie pretty much guarantees whether or not a sequel will eventually pop up, as Hollywood studios eagerly try to milk any and every cash cow they can lay their hands on. But not all films actually merit or deserve a sequel. The Secret Life of Pets, for instance, clearly didn’t. The 2016 animated adventure – a peek at what pets get up to when their owners aren’t home – was no masterpiece, but it did rake in a lot of money. Illumination unsurprisingly decided to give the film a sequel, even though it seems like ...

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Murder Mystery: an unexceptional, unmemorable summer movie

After starring together in Just Go With It, Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston have reunited for another comedy outing. But instead of taking the big screen route, this time around they have chosen to bring their adventure to the smallest of small screens. Available on a smartphone, or laptop if you so prefer, near you is the duo’s latest offering, Murder Mystery, the tale of a getaway gone awry. Created in the image of the many mystery movies which have come before it, only with a more comedic slant, this Netflix film focuses on a couple that goes to Europe on ...

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Frozen II: Prepare to be enchanted by some more musical magic this winter

Just when we finally managed to get ‘Let It Go’ out of our heads, Disney has decided to unleash another instalment of Frozen, and the trailer for the upcoming sequel suggests that the past isn’t quite in the past anymore. History, in fact, appears to be of some importance in Frozen II, the much anticipated sequel that continues the tale of Queen Elsa (Idina Menzel) and Princess Anna (Kristen Bell), the feisty sisters from the Kingdom of Arendelle who won our hearts in 2013 when the original adventure – which was inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale ‘The Snow Queen’ – ...

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Artemis is one giant leap in the wrong direction for Andy Weir

The massive success of a debut project may propel its creator to global stardom, but it can also have some side effects. Operating under the shadow of an acclaimed first effort while struggling to meet its standards thenceforth can have its downsides, an idea that is conveniently illustrated by the phenomenon of the sophomore slump. Artemis appears to be Andy Weir’s sophomore slump. The American writer’s first novel, The Martian – the story of an astronaut stranded alone on Mars – was one of the most exciting, interesting and compelling science fiction adventures of recent years. Unfortunately, exciting, interesting and compelling are three of ...

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Aladdin: all spectacle and no heart

Disney has been busy churning out live-action remakes of its animated classics, and these revisits have been earning tonnes of money despite the fact that they invariably fail to elevate the original material in any significant way. The studio’s latest remake is Aladdin, a live-action adaptation of the beloved 1992 animated film of the same name. And does it exceed or even match the joy of the original? No. No, it does not. The storyline is all too familiar. With his pet monkey and partner in crime, Abu, by his side, Aladdin (Mena Massoud), a street urchin and petty thief, meets and ...

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Why are people hating on Batwoman before it’s even released?

Batwoman is all set to join the CW superhero family with her own show later this year, and the whole thing has somehow become way more controversial than it should be. Australian actress Ruby Rose stars as the protagonist Kate Kane, Bruce Wayne’s cousin, who takes over Batman’s mantle to protect Gotham as a vigilante. A quest to save her kidnapped girlfriend spurs the street fighter to don Batman’s very long cape (The Incredibles’ Edna would clearly be disappointed) and fight for justice. Photo: IMDb Seemingly the show is as overly dramatic as everything else in the Arrowverse, ...

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We thought Big Little Lies couldn’t get any better! Enters Meryl Streep for season 2

Two years after the misadventures of the Monterey Five earned Big Little Lies massive critical acclaim, the series is all set to return to HBO for a second season this summer, with a cast that now includes yet another Oscar winner. Meryl Streep has joined the star-studded ensemble that already features Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Zoe Kravitz and Laura Dern, and we are clearly about to experience, yet again, just how interesting and compelling strong, powerful women can be in leading roles. Photo: Screenshot Photo: Screenshot The drama, based on the novel of the same name ...

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Dead to Me is not as novel as Big Little Lies yet it’s hard to resist its charm

Tinged with flavours of crime and mystery, the female-led comedy-drama has risen triumphantly and blessed us with some very intriguing television series over the last few years. With fierce women in the driving seat, shows like Killing Eve, Big Little Lies and Good Girls have captivated viewers with their fascinating characters, interesting twists and dark wit. Joining the list is the new Netflix series, Dead to Me, another dark comedy with a mystery woven into its fabric. Created by Liz Feldman, the show arrived on the streaming giant earlier this month. The terrific Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini lead the cast, telling the ...

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Can ‘Far From Home’ help fans move on from the trauma caused by Endgame?

With Avengers: Endgame busy decimating its cinematic competition and destroying box office records in the process, Marvel has unveiled the trailer for its next big screen adventure, Spider-Man: Far From Home. The clip gives us a very brief peek at the upcoming film, which serves as the 23rd instalment in the most successful franchise in movie history. *Spoiler alert: both the trailer and this article contain Endgame spoilers, so if you have not yet seen it, proceed with caution!* Set after the events of Endgame, the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s (MCU) second Spider-Man episode – following 2017’s Homecoming – explores its titular ...

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