Stories about Hollywood movies

Why quality war movies are not Bollywood and Lollywood’s forte

South Asia’s film industries have failed to produce a war film of international impact that would contribute to the myths indispensable to a culture’s self-image and provide a viable soft power platform. Films narrowly focused on jingoism and self-righteousness only preach to the choir. They quickly degenerate into self-indulgence. The paucity of South Asian war films and their quality leaves much to be desired. Whining about Hollywood cultural assaults discounts the entertainment quality of its movies and the innumerable, politically anti-American, Hollywood war-movie fans worldwide. The Naked and the Dead, The Great Escape, From Here to Eternity, Platoon, Full Metal ...

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Kate Winslet survived in Titanic but will she be able to make it out alive in The Moutain Between Us?

The upcoming film, The Mountain Between Us, seems like yet another joyride full of jumps, scares and goose bumps. It is based on the book ‘Mountain’ by Charles Martin. The film stars Kate Winslet as Alex, a thriving photojournalist and Idris Elba as Ben, a neurosurgeon. Furthermore, it is the Palestinian directors, Hany Abu Assad’s, Hollywood debut and trust me, if you love survival films you are in for a treat. How can anyone not love a film with Rose from Titanic starring in it? Our all-time favourite survivor is seen in numerous excruciating conditions, from surviving underwater to manoeuvring the wildlife of the mountains. The trailer of The Mountain Between ...

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My Cousin Rachel: Get ready for emotion. For heartbreak. For curling your hands to the edge of seats because this movie has it all

A 19th century backdrop. An alluring dame. A naive Englishman. A thirst for revenge. This sets the premise for the romantic mystery, My Cousin Rachel, which is based on Daphne du Maurier’s 1951 novel. Get ready for emotion. For heartbreak. For curling your hands to the edge of seats because this movie has it all. The movie is breathtaking to say the least. It has a strong Gothic style that showcases the callous yet flirtatious leading lady Rachel Ashley (Rachel Weisz). Notting Hill (1999), Changing Lanes (2002) and Venus (2006) famed director and writer, Roger Michell’s latest emotional drama adaptation sparkles with intense grief, passion and excitement. Set in the 1830s in Cornwell, England, it is ...

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You think you’re cool because you smoke?

Picture this: Brad Pitt puts a cigarette between his lips; he takes a puff and blows smoke out of his mouth. Tom Cruise takes out a pack of cigarettes, lights one up and for a moment, his face stands illuminated behind the flame of his lighter. Heartbroken Shah Rukh Khan smokes a cigarette one after the other, the ashtray on his side full of cigarette butts as he sits thinking about his beloved. Or better yet, Robert De Niro throws a cigarette butt on the floor and crushes it aggressively. How appealing does that sound? Now imagine this: a skeleton lying on a death bed, frail and ferociously coughing, ...

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Latent serendipity – How I tried to follow Bill Gates and Stephen Hawking

When I was a kid, I liked to dress up in the stories of successful people. I read about how Bill Gates used to rock in his chair when he was thinking, and for a few months after that, I made sure to rock back and forth whenever I was programming. I read a book about Stephen Hawking that described how Oxford graduate students would buy huge sketchbooks to scribble physics formulas in, and so I went out and bought a huge sketchbook to carry around with me. We all do this. We read little snippets of people’s lives in long ...

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From Entourage to Avengers 2, 15 summer blockbusters to watch out for!

Summer is the busiest time of the year at the box office and we are honoured to see some of the best and most entertaining movies of the year. This year should be no different and there is already a great line-up of movies coming our way in the coming months. Here’s my pick of the 15 movies that cannot be missed: 15.  Me and Earl and the Dying Girl Photo: Facebook page Sundance is known to bring out some great films – last year Whiplash and Boyhood both came from Sundance and became major Oscar contenders. Me and Earl and the ...

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Furious 7: One last ride with Paul Walker

Who knew that Rob Cohen’s The Fast and the Furious (2001) would lead to the creation of a movie franchise that would have seven installments and would earn over millions at the box office? Recently released Fast and Furious 7, or simply Furious 7, is a sequel to Fast and Furious 6 and has all the major characters from the previous film reprising their roles. Set in Los Angeles, Tokyo, Azerbaijan and Abu Dhabi, Furious 7 takes viewers on an exciting ride through high speed chases, car crashes and one-on-one fights that can leave one glued to the screen. Photo: IMDb The ‘last ride’ idea comes from a ...

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Tim Burton might have missed the mark with Big Eyes

It’s the 1960s and no one wants to buy ‘lady art’, not least from a withering divorcee and single mother, or so starts Tim Burton’s latest offering, Big Eyes. Photo: Facebook page Based on a true story, the film centres around artist Margaret Keane (Amy Adams) and her new realtor husband Walter Keane (Christoph Waltz) who, with his knack for selling and compulsion for artistic fame, ends up taking credit for her paintings and successfully making them into a commercial art sensation. It is only ten years down the line, once Margaret takes her daughter and leaves Walter, ...

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The Pakistani film industry in its ‘survival’ phase

Well into my interview with Afia Nathaniel, the Dukhtar movie director puts me on the spot. I am meeting her at the May Fair Hotel in London, right before the European premiere of her first film. Until now, I have had the opportunity to get in a couple of good questions, but now she has taken over. She is wearing what appears to be a red-coloured, gold-patterned cotton kurta and black specs. She starts asking me the questions now, which is my professional nightmare come alive. The filmmaker has become the journalist.  “How many films can you count on your fingers that have ...

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Hell hath no ‘Fury’ like the Germans scorned!

Fury is a quintessential war movie that yet again reminds us of what horrors men are capable of when they wage war. It portrays and reveals the story of a lonely tank squad from the US army’s 66th armoured regiment, the second armoured division during the finishing days of the Second World War, and how they struggle to survive and endure in the face of un-seemingly terrible odds, behind enemy lines, in Nazi Germany. Starring in the lead role, as the central protagonist, is Brad Pitt who dons the character of a US sergeant Don ‘War Daddy’ Collier. He is a battle-hardened veteran who has experienced ...

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