Stories about good

Lack of emotion and recycled jokes fail to elevate Despicable Me 3 from a cartoon to an animated film

Despicable Me 3 is the latest entry in the hugely successful Despicable Me franchise. And although the last two prequels have done well in regards to delivering good humour, fun characters and enjoyable set-pieces, the latest release falls short of being even slightly good. The latest film follows the now-reformed Gru (Steve Carell), who still works for the Anti-Villain League. His failure to apprehend the new baddie, Balthazar Brat (voiced by South Park’s Trey Parker) – a child star from the 80s who is seeking world domination because of the pre-mature cancellation of his show – leads to him being fired from the Anti-Villain league. Furthermore, ...

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Moana finds Disney returning to its old formula

The Disney films of the 80’s and 90’s had a very specific formula for success that helped make them very successful for many years. This formula was based on having catchy tunes that would help advance the narrative, while also being a joy to listen to. With stories centering on spirited young protagonists finding their way in the world, usually aided in some part by a cuddly animal sidekick. Moana finds Disney returning to this formula after decades, and not only does Disney manage to revoke so many of the elements that made it work so well in the past, but ...

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Aasman Se Gira: The Pakistani Lend Me a Tenor

NAPA’s theatre play, Aasman Se Gira (2016), is adapted by Babar Jamal, assisted by Saddam Hussain and directed by Uzma Sabeen. The plot centres on an event manager’s decision, who invites a popular star to play the role of a traditional hero from the famous folklore, Heer Ranjha, for his grand show. The show is sold out. The play starts out great, but due to a few unfortunate mishaps, things do not go according to plan. During the play, there’s a scene where the dressing and makeup of the two main actors is almost identical. This hilarious moment is similar to Hollywood’s classic comedy film ...

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The original king cake – the pound cake

 “Beta! Mehmanon kai liye bakery sai plain cake lao!” (Grab a plain cake from the bakery for the guests.) Who hasn’t heard this line? In fact we have grown up hearing this! Plain cakes or pound cakes, span over generations. They were made by our ammis (mothers), our nannis (grandmothers), and our par-nannis (great-grandmothers). The name ‘pound’ was given to this cake because the original recipes contained one pound of butter, one pound of sugar, one pound of eggs, and one pound of flour. Sometimes while baking cakes, you just want something plain and simple with no added frills and fuss. Especially now that winter ...

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Zindagi Kitni Haseen Hai: One of the better Pakistani movies of 2016

The Pakistani film industry was once known for great dialogues, amazing stories, and family-oriented dramas with significant entertainment value – that was between the 70s and 80s mostly. Zindagi Kitni Haseen Hay will be hitting the cinema screens in Pakistan this Eid. The film is packed with nostalgic reminders of all the aforementioned elements. It is the second directorial venture of Anjum Shahzad (his first was Mah-e-Mir (2016)). It marks the film debut of the main leads, which include Sajal Ali, Feroze Khan and Jibrayl Ahmed. The story revolves around Zain (Feroze Khan) and Mahira (Sajal Ali) who accidently bump into each other. Their love ...

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Housefull 3: Awful, painful, and anything but cheerful

How is it even possible that you go watch a movie with zero expectations, but yet walk out of it feeling utterly let down. And that my friends, is precisely the kind of feat the third instalment of the Housefull series managed to pull off. Promoted as a rib-tickling screwball comedy, the only reaction Housefull 3 got out of yours truly was that of head-scratching. It surely must be a record of some sorts making a 145 minutes long comedy where not a single joke lands. So in between all the failed attempts at humour, there is this laughably ridiculous plot ...

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To win the World T20 Pakistan needs these four PSL players!

The World T20 is just around the corner and teams from all around the world are already set to have a go at one another in order to claim the coveted trophy this March. Whilst almost all the international teams have selected and announced their squads, Pakistan has delayed their selection for a couple of days, following some promising performances by emerging players in the Pakistan Super League (PSL). Now is their chance to take advantage of it. In order to be crowned champions, Pakistan needs to have a balanced team, a blend of both youth and experience. Here is ...

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11 things we learnt from Ho Mann Jahaan

“Ho Mann Jahaan”, apparently among Pakistan’s most anticipated films, released recently to packed houses and rave reviews. While there’s enough in the film to keep you glued to the seats, Pakistan has definitely seen better films lately. An amazing soundtrack, a boisterous star-cast, decent acting, ample use of flashy colours, spectacular cinematography and some great locales are some of the film’s strong points. However, there’s more to the film; and far more shades of grey that go well in one flick. So here’s a round-up of the deeper meanings and greater life lessons from “Ho Mann Jahaan”. No spoilers ...

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Overcoming the fatal product of your imagination

When I was 10-years-old, I accidentally fell into a swimming pool. I had never learnt to swim. I flailed my arms, but it did no good. I felt myself drowning. I still remember the terror as the dark water surrounded me. I gasped for air and my mouth was filled with water. At the last moment, a life guard noticed my plight. He jumped in and pulled me out. This experience sank into my subconscious mind. The result was that for years I feared the water. Then one day I mentioned this irrational fear of mine to a wise, elderly psychologist. “Go down to ...

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Maybe you are too linked in with LinkedIn

Are you receiving too many promotional messages lately? Is your email inbox being bombarded by all types of advertising emails? Are you concerned about how every other company has your contact details? How are you getting ads which are related to your age, gender or interests? How do advertising companies know so much about you when you never register or subscribe for any newsletter etc.? Are these questions bothering you? If yes, I have one more question for you: Are you searching for a job on LinkedIn? The advent of LinkedIn was welcomed with open arms by job seekers as well as employers. It provides a ...

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