Sameen Amer

Sameen Amer

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

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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Is Happy Death Day 2U as ‘deathly’ entertaining as its first part?

It may not have been a cinematic masterpiece, but 2017’s Happy Death Day was a fun black comedy that put together the idea behind the Harold Ramis classic Groundhog Day and the conceit of a slasher thriller. Combined with an impressive lead performance by the charming Jessica Rothe, the result may have been silly but it was certainly entertaining. For its sequel, Happy Death Day 2U, writer and director Christopher Landon has thrown some Back to the Future into the mix and blended sci-fi, comedy, and horror into an enjoyable concoction. A sequence of events leads us back, once again, to the accursed Monday the 18th, the day ...

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Alita: Battle Angel is not a cinematic masterpiece, but it is a visual spectacle

Western adaptations of Japanese manga have largely been commercial and critical disappointments (Scarlett Johansson, anyone?). But that hasn’t deterred Hollywood from continuing to explore the genre and trying to tap into its worldwide fan base. The latest effort to do so comes in the form of Alita: Battle Angel, an adaptation of Yukito Kishiro’s Gunnm series. With the filmmaking effort of writer and producer James Cameron and director Robert Rodriguez, the movie is set in a dystopian future where the world has been left ravaged by war. The population is divided into two factions: the privileged, who live in the floating sky city ...

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Escape Room may not be the smartest movie but it surely delivers the thrills

The excitement of the escape room has captivated people around the globe, including celebrities like Ariana Grande and former President Barack Obama, and it’s easy to see why the trend has become so popular – it must surely be fun to unravel mysteries, solve puzzles and find your way out of the room(s) by completing this adventure game. But what if someone deliberately made the adventure deadly? That’s the idea behind the film Escape Room, a horror-thriller in which a group of strangers find themselves trapped inside a lethal maze and must fight for survival. A shy student Zoey (Taylor Russell), ambitious ...

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