Noman Ansari

Noman Ansari

The author is the editor-in-chief of IGN Pakistan, and has been reviewing films and writing opinion pieces for The Express Tribune as well as Dawn for five years. He tweets as @Pugnate (twitter.com/Pugnate)

The unsung heroes of Pakistan (I)

“A hero is a man who does what he can,” Gottfried says to Jean-Christophe, in Youth Part 3: Ada, a work from Nobel Prize winning French writer, Romain Rolland. It is a simple thought, isn’t it, to be a hero by simply doing what you can? Yet, it is this simplicity that makes the thought potent, because it dictates that any one of us can be a hero by doing what we are capable of. It is a thought that many of us can take to heart, especially those living in Pakistan. Many amongst us would just turn and look the other ...

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Zulqarnain Haider: Cricketer, whistle-blower and hero

At the spot-fixing trial of Mohammad Asif, Salman Butt, and Mohammad Amir, the most startling piece of news came towards the end. According to various reports, the lion’s share of the spot fixing money, distributed by now disgraced sports agent, Mazhar Majeed, went to cricketer Mohmmad Asif. The question immediately begged itself, why did the majority of the money go to one cricketer? BBC’s Gordon Farquhar speculates in his blog: “He said £2,500 went to Amir, £10,000 to Butt, who was looking wretched in the dock at this point, and £65,000 to Asif. Asif? The man who said in his defence the no-ball was ...

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Relax and let Siri look after you

“Hi Siri!” “Hey honey! What can I help you with?” OK, so this particular assistant isn’t quite as ‘personal’ as that, but admittedly, does sound a touch seductive, especially if you are into the whole android – pun intended – female from the future kind of thing. Siri is also smart, funny and very useful, and essentially, is like an aide for your pocket. But I am getting ahead of myself. What exactly is Siri, you ask? Well, Siri is voice-recognition based personal assistant application, integrated in the iOS5, and offered only on the iPhone 4S smartphone, which is manufactured by Apple Inc. ...

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Ra.One: India’s hero is super

Ra.One is extremely illogical, unevenly paced, clumsily acted at times and misses a lot of opportunities – yet like that annoying stray cat, which rubs against your leg outside of your house every day, the film is somewhat charming, even if its flaws do scratch you on the face along the way. This charm, in large part, is due to Armaan Verma (Prateek Subramanium), the charismatic child actor in Ra.One who easily steals every scene he takes part in. This is his first Bollywood shindig, and obviously uncorrupted by the exaggerated acting culture of the Indian film industry, he does ...

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The Three Musketeers: Ridiculous, not ridiculous fun

Very early on in The Three Musketeers, the servant Planchet (James Kimberley Corden), in a scene that falls distinctly flat, is discourteously awoken while sleeping on the balcony, by loads of pigeon droppings on the face. In more ways than one, this failed scene sums up the entire film; not only does The Three Musketeers stumble clumsily from passage to passage, but on the whole, for viewers, feels like having pigeon poop dropped on one.  Directed by Paul WS Anderson, whose career highlights include mediocre video game based films like Mortal Kombat (1995), ...

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NA brawl: Left jab, upper cut

The two antagonistic tribes, face off in a habitat where they are forced to coexist, as viewers watch bemused, for the language spoken by this warring species is only decipherable to its own kind, and the experts who translate on television for the viewing audience. Like with communication between all primitive beings, misunderstandings can happen. Sometimes, these verbal squabbles lead to physical altercations, which don’t come as a surprise to those of us watching, because the aggressive body language on display betrays a deep seated level of animosity. On this particular instance, between the testosterone flowing opposing males, it starts with both ...

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Heroes die, legends live forever: RIP Steve Jobs

They say that till your deathbed, you will remember the exact moment you learned of a significant global event. I remember all of mine, so far. I recall, as a child, I was listening to the radio with my parents in Saudi Arabia, when Sadam Hussein invaded Kuwait. I recollect celebrating in my cousin’s home in Riyadh, when Imran Khan lifted the cricket world cup. During the fateful hour on September 11th, I was listening to the Howard Stern radio show, who was broadcasting live from New York near the twin towers. And just a few hours ago, on ...

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Facebook Timeline: My life’s album!

The words “Wow”, and “Awesome”, took turns taking residence in my head as I first browsed through  ‘Facebook Timeline’, the upcoming Facebook user page revamp, scheduled to start rolling out in a few days. I was highly impressed by how a larger mish-mash of my personal information was presented to me in an attractive and intuitive package, and by how the new tools available to me were not only robust, but were placed exactly where I looked. So good was the design, in fact, that it took me less than a minute to master Facebook Timeline, which is a ...

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The worth of a Pakistani life

I was recently unsettled by a report I read from The Bureau of Investigative Journalism – a private British non-profit organization based out of London. The unsettling report, states that 385 civilians have been killed by American drone strikes on Pakistan during the past seven years, including at least 168 children. One of the victims mentioned in this documented account, Din Mohommad, tragically lost a son, two daughters, and a nephew, with three of those children not old enough to go to school. While looking for official US responses to the report, I wasn’t surprised when they employed the infamous ‘stick ...

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Bhai log: Unintentional self-parody

Director Syed Faisal Bukhari, in Bhai Log (which literally translates to ‘Brother People’), has either made one of the worst movies ever to grace the silver screen, or a piece of satirical genius. I have trouble deciding, because I refuse to believe a director could be so blissfully unaware of his work diving to such depths in the pool of unintended self-parody. My interest in the film actually began after a friend invited me to join them for a viewing at Karachi’s premium movie theater, Atrium Cinemas. At first I was reluctant, but the feeling quickly dissipated after the ...

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