Sameen Amer

Sameen Amer

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

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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Will Blinded by the Light make us fall in love with Bruce Springsteen all over again?

Of late, the international film industry seems very enamoured with projects based on the lives, music, and/or impact of some of the world’s greatest musicians. The (otherwise disappointing) Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody just won Rami Malek an Oscar earlier this year. The Elton John biographical musical Rocketman is set to arrive in cinemas soon. Yesterday – the Danny Boyle directed comedy about a musician who proceeds to take credit for The Beatles’ songs after finding himself in a world where he is the only one who remembers the Fab Four – is also awaiting its summer release. Also inspired by the world of music is Blinded ...

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The Silence is nothing more than a cheap knockoff of A Quiet Place

It would seem rather obvious that attempting a cheap knockoff of a well-made, successful film merely a year after its release is not the best of strategies. Clearly Hollywood didn’t get that memo. Almost exactly a year after A Quiet Place arrived in cinemas, Netflix has unveiled The Silence, a movie which follows pretty much the same premise, albeit a lot more shoddily. Just like the John Krasinski hit, John R. Leonetti’s thriller is set in a world which is under attack by creatures that hunt by sound and tells the tale of a family with a hearing impaired teenage ...

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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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