Alpha: A glimpse into why the age-old bond between man and dog has stood the test of time

‘Man’s best friend’ is a pretty common expression that refers to the powerful relationship that we humans have shared with pet dogs for ages. The first recorded use of this phrase dates back to Frederick the Great of Prussia from the 18th century. Ever since then, it has become part of the general colloquialism. But have we ever wondered why we share such an intense bond with our canine buddies? Worry not my friends, because we now have an upcoming movie that precisely aims to answer that very question. The From Hell and The Book of Eli famed Albert Hughes’s new historical drama, Alpha, just had its first trailer released on ...

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Game of Thrones S07-E02 was a visual spectacle, proving that this season is on steroids

If there were more than seven episodes in season seven of Game of Thrones (GoT), the second episode could have been more of a ‘set the stage and build the intrigue’ episode. But as I pointed out in my previous review of the season seven premiere, GoT is equipped with a turbocharger and things are escalating pretty quickly. Fans who complained that the season premiere was a let-down won’t be complaining once they watch this week’s episode. The episode kicks off exactly where the last one ended. Tyrion Lannister and Daenerys Targaryen have a lot of strategising to do, especially if Daenerys wants to become the queen of the seven kingdoms and ...

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It’s 2017, movies like ‘Chain Aye Na’ stopped being funny and entertaining ages ago

Would somebody please, for the love of God, make this guy stop? Ever since this debate over the revival of Pakistani cinema has surfaced, I have been unable to wrap my head around the fact that these discussions invariably tend to feature a certain Syed Noor. The only reason these dialogues could feature this supposed icon of our not-so-iconic film industry is if we plan on telling our new age filmmakers that this is that one guy you should not emulate under any circumstances. But since Noor is still revered as a cinematic godfather-like figure amongst certain factions of the media, he took this as an encouragement ...

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Why “log kya kahangay” will always be a part of the Pakistani mentality

I have been talking about dreams for practically my whole life, in particular broken dreams. I grew up in a Pakistan where adhering to societal conventions was more important than following your individual desires. These were the 80s and 90s and the phrase ‘log kya kahangay’ (what will people say) was a ready response to many career choices that did not fit the triumvirate of doctor, lawyer, engineer, or usually for women, getting married and that dreaded phrase – settling down. Over the years, I’ve lost count of the number of times men and women have told me about the dreams they were forced to give ...

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#TheNorthRemembers: Game of Thrones season 7 starts with a bang, and the best premier episode so far

The season six finale of Game of Thrones (GoT) had left all of us on the edge of our seats. Diehard fans were aching to watch the season seven premiere. Everyone wanted to know what would happen and how things would go down. A few months after the season finale, it was reported that shooting had been delayed. All us poor fans could do was wait, and wait we did. We waited for one entire year for the next season. If you think the year flew by, you clearly aren’t a GoT fan. But all this is in the past now. The season seven premier ...

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Is ‘Punjab Nahi Jaungi’ a little too similar to B-town’s ‘Namaste London’?

Okay, I give up! A lot of people do not agree with my hyper-critical approach when it comes to reviewing movies. I’ve been called an eternal cynic, a tag which is probably the most publishable amongst various other labels I have had the pleasure of hearing. Bearing that in mind, I have decided to radically alter my ways with this piece and tried to analyse a cinematic work purely based on how the majority would tend to receive it. The dubious honour for this novel experiment goes out to the first full length trailer of the upcoming Pakistani romantic comedy, Punjab Nahi Jaungi. What makes Punjab Nahi ...

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Jumanji returns after 22 years, but with a remote-controlled twist

If you were a kid growing up in the 90s, chances are you saw Jumanji and loved it. Following the story of a sinister board game whose gameplay affects real life, the film was one of the benchmark children films of the 90s and for many people, one of their first introductions to the late and great Robin Williams. Now some 22 years later, it makes a return in the form of a sequel but there’s a twist. Instead of a board game, this one is about a Jumanji videogame which when played, consequently sucks its players into its world and transforms them into the characters of ...

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Yes, Mashal Khan’s story is a difficult watch, but it’s a necessary watch to keep us from forgetting

In April, a deranged mob of college students murdered Mashal Khan, an intelligent, curious, and outspoken journalism student, over views and comments that some regarded as ‘blasphemous’. The mob-led murder caught the world’s attention after a shakily recorded cell phone video of the lynching went viral. Just like that, the door had been flung open, exposing the sheer inhumanity and intellectual neglect that constantly simmers below the surface of Pakistani society, even within its supposedly enlightened institutions. In these past few months, many minutes of prime-time were devoted to and much ink was spilled over Mashal and Pakistan’s notoriously inhumane and antiquated blasphemy laws. This week, the story ...

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Pakistan issued its first third gender passport – but giving respect to the transgender community is asking for too much

As a part of Pakistan’s minority group who seems to care about our country’s transgender community, watching this video was disturbing to say the least. Shortly after the holy month of Ramazan was over and Eid was being celebrated, a group of Pakistani men of all ages thought it was amusing and entertaining to publicly harass a group of transgender people in Murree. The video itself left viewers, including myself, completely taken aback and disappointed. It was a stark reminder of how pathetic people can be. I couldn’t help but wonder how much time it would take for people of this country to become responsible and empathetic citizens. ...

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Stronger: Jake Gyllenhaal gives us an insightful view of the Boston Bombings

Remember those years when we as a collective used to root for Leonardo DiCaprio to win his first ever Oscar. Well guess what, we have got another cinematic bandwagon to jump on to. Ladies and gentleman, may I present to you, Jake Gyllenhaal, the powerhouse performer who after DiCaprio’s academy win is now the best actor to not have earned the accolade. Ever since his iconic portrayal of a psychologically troubled teenager in the cult classic Donnie Darko, Gyllenhaal has gone from strength to strength. Between Prisoner, Nightcrawler and Nocturnal Animals, the 36-year-old is truly at the peak of his craft. But surprisingly, he’s been nominated for the Oscar on just one ...

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