Sameen Amer

Sameen Amer

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

Can Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston’s comedic chemistry save Netflix’s Murder Mystery?

Based on his long list of frequent collaborators, it is only logical to surmise that it must be fun to work with Adam Sandler. But while everyone may have a great time making films with him, the end results aren’t always as much fun to watch as they may have been to make, which explains why the critical reception for most of Sandler’s films has been mixed, if not altogether negative. Still, there have been a number of Sandler movies such as Punch-Drunk Love, Reign Over Me, Funny People, and the more recent The Meyerowitz Stories, that have managed ...

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Our Planet is more traumatic than it is engaging, and therein lies its greatest fault

Filled with majestic views, dazzling imagery and mesmerising natural spectacles, Our Planet is undoubtedly visually stunning, but it is also traumatising. The nature documentary that arrived on Netflix earlier this month aims to take a look at the impact of climate change on the various life forms which populate the Earth, but takes a few questionable turns along the way. Evidently, years of work have gone into the creation of this visual masterpiece. Over the course of eight episodes, the series takes the viewer from frozen worlds to lush jungles to stunning water bodies, showing how animals live in these ...

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Homecoming will make you marvel at Beyonce’s talent and leave you exhausted by her resilience

Beyoncé made Coachella history last year when she became the first female African American artist to headline the popular music festival. Now the singer has marked the anniversary of her performance by looking back at her triumphant show in Homecoming, a concert film that captures the spectacle onstage as well as sheds light on how it shaped offstage. Released on Netflix last week – right when Coachella was rolling in for its annual visit – the film basically shows just how Beyoncé transformed Coachella into Beychella. The piece features her nearly two-hour long set, seamlessly splicing together her performances from the first ...

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Will Stuber manage to get a five-star rating?

Dave Bautista and Kumail Nanjiani have teamed up for Stuber, an action-comedy that seems to be built around a very familiar premise. When Uber driver Stu (Kumail Nanjiani) picks up a passenger, Vic (Dave Bautista), he unwittingly becomes part of a dangerous chase. Vic, it turns out, is a cop who is going after a brutal killer, and Stu has to go along for the ride. Anything for a five-star rating, right? But it seems highly unlikely that the film itself will merit five stars. This ride share adventure seems to be built on the beats of the worn-out buddy comedy. Only recently, ...

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The Lion King 2.0: Because we can’t resist Disney’s evil sorcery

Me: “These live-action adaptations of animated classics are such a racket. Disney is basically reselling us the same story with these pointless remakes, because why would they spend time and energy on creativity and new ideas when they can just use the powers of nostalgia to manipulate us into giving them all our hard-earned money? Shame on you, Disney!” Can we all make a pact not to see the Aladdin and Lion King reboot so we get something new and original from Disney for the first time in 10 years — Coleo is Cooleo (@coleoisherio) April 11, 2019 Also me: “Oh my ...

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Toy Story 4 may seem unnecessary but we should know better than to doubt Pixar

The Toy Story series is one of the brightest gems in Pixar’s dazzling crown. The acclaimed franchise not only helped the studio establish itself in its budding stages but also ensured that Pixar cemented and maintained its position as an animation powerhouse. From Toy Story (1995), Pixar’s first feature film, to Toy Story 3 (2010) – arguably the best movie of its year, animated or otherwise – the saga of Andy’s anthropomorphic toys has been a delightful, emotional ride that has impressed viewers of all ages. Photo: Giphy Nearly a decade after their last adventure, the toys are now returning to the ...

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Can Late Night’s stellar cast save the film from an otherwise uninspired script?

When Late Night premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, the critical consensus appeared to be generally positive, with praise directed at the movie’s heart and wit. Watch its new trailer though and you might be left confused why the film drew such favourable comments. The comedy drama tells the story of a talk show host, portrayed by the ever-terrific Emma Thompson, who is “a little old and a little white” and on the verge of losing her show. She hires a new writer, Mindy Kaling, a ‘woman of colour’ who revamps the show and helps revitalise the program. [caption id="" ...

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A whole new world indeed: Disney’s new Indian-esque Aladdin has left us confused

After leaving viewers less than impressed with the initial teasers for the upcoming live-action adaptation of Aladdin, Disney appeared to have upped its game with the full-length trailer for this fantasy revisit. We might not be in masterpiece territory just yet, but things are certainly starting to look a lot more promising for this film, directed by Guy Ritchie. The production, which has been mired in controversy ever since its inception, primarily for its casting choices, finds the studio continuing its trend of turning their animated classics into live-action adventures. We return to Agrabah, as the CGI-filled spectacle reunites us with street ...

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These 5 Pixar shorts are like little animated treats

Pixar has won our hearts time and again with its animated magic by putting together warm storytelling, delightful humour and dazzling visuals. Many of the studio’s films rank among the most charming movies that have ever been made. While its full-length features may get most of the attention, Pixar’s short films, too, are animated treats. Crafted with the same heart-warming touch that has made the studio a leader in its field, these short films – similar to their longer counterparts – make us feel for their characters, be they human, anthropomorphic animals or even objects. Mostly dialogue-free and reliant on sound effects ...

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If we are to go by the trailer, The Hustle is a puddle of problems

From female Ghostbusters to an all-women Ocean’s 8 heist caper, Hollywood has enthusiastically embraced the idea of gender-swap remakes. But the results haven’t generally been quite as impressive as fans would have hoped. Next in line with a gender-flipped rehash of a classic is, The Hustle, a remake of the 1988 film Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (which was itself a remake of the 1964 film Bedtime Story). And from the looks of it, it doesn’t seem like the new project will be able to surpass its predecessor or fare better than the other recent female-centric revisits. If the trailer can be trusted, there are problems aplenty with ...

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