Stories about films

The Night Before: Just another stale Christmas themed stoner comedy

The Night Before (2015) is a Christmas comedy that takes place essentially in one single night. Ethan (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), Isaac (Seth Rogen) and Chris (Anthony Mackie) have been friends since childhood and every Christmas, they hit the town together till the wee hours of the morning next day. But this Christmas, things might just be different as they somehow get invitations to the Nutcracka Ball – the Holy Grail of Christmas parties. For a Christmas night that is supposed to be remembered for ages, nothing really memorable happens and I forgot about this film soon after watching it. That isn’t to say ...

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Clouds of Sils Maria: This film gives ‘art films’ a bad name

So after hearing so much praise for months, I finally had the chance to see Clouds of Sils Maria; a film which was a festival darling and stars Juliette Binoche. As the film begins, it slowly comes as a realisation that it is more in love with its content than telling an actual interesting story. After being offered to perform in a revival of the play that made her famous 20 years earlier, Maria Enders (Juliette Binoche) goes back to her past – to the celebrity lifestyle that she despises so much – along with her assistant, Valentine played by Kristen ...

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The Force is sound asleep (and snoring too!)

Every now and then I am asked to critique a movie and I am happy to oblige. Because good, bad or average, these films that I am asked to evaluate are nonetheless cinema. However when I was asked to review a Disney merchandise advertisement masquerading as a cinematic endeavour, I was a little perplexed. My first instinct was to politely refuse, considering I wasn’t being paid by Disney to write hack reviews. I mean, how else could you justify all the rave reviews that this seventh episode of the Star Wars franchise is garnering? Let’s get this clear right from the ...

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Presenting the 10 best films from Tinseltown in 2015

2015 has been a great year for Hollywood films. I personally can’t think of the last time there was as much anticipation for the movie calendar as there was this year. We saw the return of beloved 70’s and 80’s icons like Rocky Balboa, Han Solo, Max Rockatansky, The Terminator (for better or worse), a 70-year-old director, George Miller redefine the action genre and the most beloved movie franchises – Star Wars and Rocky – got rejuvenated. So naturally with the year coming to an end it’s only fair that we talk about the films that we loved the ...

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Singh is Bliing: All that glitters is not gold

Akshay Kumar is one of the most loved and sought after celebrity in Bollywood and this is why his movies do exceptionally well at the box office, irrespective of their script, subject, direction and content. Kumar paired with Prabhu Deva is a lethal combination, substantiated by 2012’s block buster Rowdy Rathore. This is why the audiences were desperately waiting for the Kumar starrer Singh is Bliing. Kumar’s fans wondered if Singh is Bliing will be a blockbuster at the box office like his previous films? But will this movie be as entertaining as his previous endeavours? Photo: Singh is Bliing Facebook page If ...

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Does Pakistan needlessly love to hate on its censor board?

There was a huge hoopla regarding the certification of Swaarangi in Pakistan. After initially being banned by the Central Board for Film Certification (CBFC), the film went on to get a Universal (U) certificate from the respective censor boards of Sindh and Punjab. This prompted the producers to appeal to the Information Ministry to form a separate independent panel that reconsidered the ban initiated by the CBFC. The ministry formed a six-member panel, compromising of independent individuals to review the film again, and after doing so, they cleared the film for release. As a result of which, Swaarangi will be released all over Pakistan. It is interesting to note that Swaarangi had ...

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Dear Faisal Qureshi, just stop the hypocrisy. Please.

Dear Faisal Qureshi, Let me start by saying that while I am a film critic whose reviews are published weekly in Pakistan, I rarely watch Bollywood ‘films’. In fact, the last time I tried, my brain snapped shut, and I vomited uncontrollably for a few minutes. Later, I was diagnosed with Post Bollywood Stress Disorder (PBSD), a mental health condition provoked by a shockingly bad Bollywood film. I was sure I would never watch something as horrific again, until I saw your video response to Indian actor Saif Ali Khan’s comments on the Pakistani ban on his film, Phantom.

Now, I must admit, at the very least, you ...

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10 great foreign language films that we should all watch

While all of us have seen classic Hollywood, Bollywood and Lollywood blockbusters, many of us are unaware of a lot of amazing movies that have been directed by foreign film industries which are equally worthy of our attention. Therefore, I have come up with a list of 10 such foreign movies which I believe everyone should watch in order to appreciate cinematic finesse and art of other regions as well. Seven Samurai – Japan, 1954 Photo: IMDb Akira Kurosawa is an auteur in the broadest sense. His work has influenced many people including the likes of Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas and ...

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Why I think you shouldn’t watch ‘Horns’

These days, with an over abundance of clichéd romantic and post-apocalyptic dystopian movies, original films, like Horns, are a breath of fresh air. Based on the book of the same name by Stephen King’s son Joe Hill, Horns is a fantasy drama that tells the story of a man who suddenly grows a pair of horns after he is accused of his girlfriend’s murder. The story is set in a small town, where the Harry Potter-famed Daniel Radcliffe’s character, Ig Perrish, has been accused of killing his girlfriend Merrin Williams (Juno Temple) by bashing her skull in. However, due to the absence of any concrete ...

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How Hollywood reacts to Gaza: Welcome to the dark side

Since the early 20th century, Hollywood has been persistently flourishing and progressing towards better and greater dimensions; shaping filmmaking trends for rest of the world’s leading film industries to follow. One of its achievements remains its ability to manage a global diversity of artists, producers, directors, technical teams, supporting staff and crew members, and how it enables all of them to render their services on the single platform of Hollywood. This film fraternity has produced a galaxy of legends and stars who have earned intriguing rewards in terms of name, fame, money, career, passion and self-attainment. The lustrous charm of this industry and the overall ...

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