Maleeha Lodhi: Spilling tea with the architect of Pakistan’s diplomatic coup at the UN

On a bright Sunday morning, right after Pakistan managed to raise the Kashmir issue at a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) meeting – despite India throwing everything and the kitchen sink to stop it – we sat down for a conversation with UN Ambassador Dr Maleeha Lodhi at her official residence on the Upper East Side in Manhattan. We unpacked how Pakistan managed to orchestrate the UNSC meeting after five decades, what’s next for Pakistan at the UN, and what a typical day in her life looks like during these extraordinary times. “The fact that the UNSC meeting took place showed that ...

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13 Reasons Why season three will be yet another disappointment

It’s been a year since the second season of Netflix’s chaotic and traumatising 13 Reasons Why aired and they are back with another unneeded and unwanted third season. The last season ended with secrets finally coming out, a letdown of justice and an almost school shooting. Season three’s trailer was recently released and it has left people feeling confused, somewhat surprised and also overjoyed. The people behind the show realised that they can’t possibly keep milking Hannah Baker’s (Katherine Langford) suicide every season, hence they entered the realm of murder mystery. The trailer shows the death of a major character, Bryce Walker, who was last seen ...

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Pacino, De Niro, Pesci and Scorsese – can The Irishman be anything but epic?

Few filmmakers have a left a mark on cinema quite like Martin Scorsese. Whether it’s through his early classics like Taxi Driver and Raging Bull or his later hits like The Wolf of Wall Street and Shutter Island (and pretty much everything in between), Scorsese’s enduring popularity across generations is undeniable. Despite having quite a varied filmography, the genre that Scorsese has always felt most at home with has been the gangster genre. He has shaped how most moviegoers view gangsters through films like Mean Streets, Casino, The Departed and his magnum opus Goodfellas. Gif: Giphy [caption ...

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With zombies and sequels losing popularity, is Zombieland 2 a smart move?

There was a time a few years ago when zombies were all the rage. From The Walking Dead to World War Z, it looked like Hollywood was desperate to cash in on the audience’s love for those slow, meandering creatures. Zombieland rode that wave of zombie interest very well back in 2009 and helped to further bolster the growing resumes of future A-listers Emma Stone and Jesse Eisenberg in a film where Woody Harrelson was the most well-known actor (not counting that brilliant surprise cameo by Bill Murray). But the fever has died down since and zombies no longer capture ...

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Top Gun was a cultural phenomenon – can Maverick even come close?

For moviegoers of this generation, it’s hard to underscore just how big of a cultural phenomenon Top Gun was when it came out in 1986. In many ways, it still is; evident by how people endlessly give reference to it and its characters, or how nostalgic they get at the sound of its smash-hits such as Take My Breath Away and Danger Zone. Top Gun’s success, however, is attributed most to the fact that it was the ultimate high-concept film for that era: a striking and easily communicable plot-line starring the number one heartthrob of the time in the lead ...

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The King’s Man: Grounded and grittier while preserving the original essence

Hollywood has got a knack for milking every franchise as much as possible and the same is happening with its Kingsman franchise. The latest entry is not a sequel but a prequel, titled The King’s Man, with its trailer released just recently. I had come across Kingsman: The Secret Service accidentally a couple of months after its release and had ended up watching the movie with my eyes glued to the screen the entire time. The stylised action sequences, the over-the-top plot along with the brilliant performances of Colin Firth and Taron Edgerton, were definitely the highlights of the movie. The movie was ...

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Mulan: More serious, less playful than the original

Most of Disney’s live-action adaptations have been fairly loyal to their animated counterparts, but it looks like the studio might be going in a dramatically different direction with its upcoming revisit to Mulan. Directed by New Zealand filmmaker Niki Caro and starring Chinese-American actress Liu Yifei in the titular role, the remake appears to have a more serious, less playful tone than its predecessor. The story is based on the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan, the daughter of an ailing warrior who disguises herself as a man and takes her father’s place in the army. The teaser trailer suggests that this could ...

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Will Charlie’s Angels 2.0 fall before they even fly?

Hollywood really seems to have taken the 3R’s of conservation – reduce, reuse, recycle – to heart and has been busy reducing creativity, reusing plots, and recycling projects through its plethora of remakes, reboots, and revisits. Clearly everything must return to the screen in one form or another, which must be why we are now getting another Charlie’s Angels reboot. The standalone sequel sees a new cast pick up the crime-fighting baton as the newest recruits of the agency, headed by the unseen and mysterious Charlie Townsend. The current set of Angels include fierce spy Sabina (Kristen Stewart), brainy former MI6 agent Jane (Ella ...

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In conversation with President Arif Alvi: ‘Pakistan’s fourth industrial revolution is here’

Dr Arif Alvi is an acquired taste. He isn’t your typical flash in the pan Pakistani politician who rides his 1,000-watt charisma to answer difficult questions. Instead, Alvi is that rare Pakistani leader whose substance overwhelms his style. He quotes ideas from Plato, Maulana Maududi, Karl Marx and Thomas Piketty with equal ease. Even if you’re a resident of his former constituency in Karachi’s Defence area, you might not know that he was shot twice while protesting against Ayub Khan’s military rule. I got the opportunity to interview the president over Eid at the Governor’s House in Karachi. We had ...

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Good Boys has Seth Rogen written all over it and will leave you in a laughing fit

I watched Superbad, starring Jonah Hill and Michael Cera, when I was just a teenager and I remember laughing my way throughout the film. And now the same writers, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, are bringing another hilarious venture: Good Boys. The movie stars Jacob Tremblay as Max, Brady Noon as Thor, and Keith L Williams as Lucas, as three sixth graders who are invited to a kissing party but have no idea how to kiss a girl. And in order to learn the art of kissing, they end up making some terrible decisions which later gets them involved with drugs, ultimately pushing ...

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