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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Eidi or sawaiyan? What does Eidul Fitr mean to an average Pakistani?

  Every year, Eid comes with a multitude of expectations; sheer khurma, new clothes, the fresh smell of mehndi, and most importantly, eidi. For most, it means sleeping in, over-eating and repeat, but where’s the fun in that? Eid is all about family, love and celebrations. This Eid, we wanted to get a gist of what people in Pakistan feel about the holiday in general. The responses are heartwarming and hilarious. We hope this Eid is filled with health, happiness and countless blessings! Eid ...

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Victoria and Abdul: An enthralling story of Victorian taboos and secrets of love, race and class

In most biographical dramas, the notion of adaptation is never fully exercised; it is often an amalgamation of history, art, rhetoric and entertainment. Every once in a while, filmmakers craft their historical and biographical pieces very critically; filtering factual bits and pieces to create rigorous dramatic composition that eventually gives superlative performances. For instance, Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List, Roman Polanski’s Pianist, Tom Hooper’s The King’s Speech, Marc Forster’s Finding Neverland, Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street, James Mangold’s Walk the Line, and Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Last Emperor. Dangerous Liaisons (1988), The Grifters (1990) and The Queen (2006) famed English director Stephen Frears’ freshest project is also a carefully crafted realistic biographical drama about the ...

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Half Widow: Not Pakistan, not India, but the world through Kashmir’s eyes

Throughout history, cinema has functioned as a voice against oppression. Be it films such as Mississippi Burning or Fruitvale Station that highlight racism in the US’ past and present, or films such as Schindler’s List and Life is Beautiful which focus on the Holocaust and the oppression of Jews during World War II. The Battle of Algiers is yet another movie which focuses on the oppression of the Algerian people by the French, and their subsequent struggle for independence. Photo: Facebook Cinema has always played an important role in connecting the viewer with these moving stories. Kashmiri filmmaker Danish Renzu aims to do something similar with his latest film, Half ...

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Same old cast, same old war, same old producers – will Yalghaar be any different from Waar?

Forget sawaiyan and prepare yourself to feast on three sumptuous cinematic delights this Eid instead. We have got the Salman Khan starrer Tubelight vying for our attention against two local offerings. While Yasir Nawaz’s Mehrunnisa V Lub You might sound like a safe bet, owing to its over the top Bollywood vibe, it is Hassan Waqar Rana’s Yalghaar which has gotten yours truly all psyched. Seasoned stalwarts like Shaan Shahid, Humayun Saeed, Ayub Khoso and Adnan Siddiqui are all part of the incredible roster along with Bilal Ashraf, Umair Jaswal, Gohar Rasheed, Ayesha Omar and Sana Bucha amongst many others. The huge ensemble cast reads like a dissertation on the who’s who of the Pakistani entertainment industry. Photo: IMDb [caption ...

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Speaking in English may not be Pakistan cricket players’ fundamental job, but it should be a part of their job

In a world where there are numerous issues to be addressed, we get carried away by unnecessary matters a little too often. This is evident through the recent case of Sarfraz Ahmed’s off-the-record comments on the absence of Urdu reporters in a post-match press conference. Ahmed made these comments after Pakistan defeated Sri Lanka in a nail-biting match due to heroic efforts by the captain himself. Even in his wildest dreams, Ahmed could not have imagined being mocked over something so insignificant, let alone becoming a trolling trend on social media. Most of our Pakistani cricketers do not have a strong grip on the English language and being able to speak in ...

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Black Panther seems to be diversely epic and will fare better than Captain America

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)  doesn’t seem like it’s slowing down anytime soon, despite the fact that many were disappointed by their recent streak of films after Captain America: Civil War. But I suppose that’s understandable when you set such a high standard. Regardless, their upcoming line up of films starting with Spider-Man: Homecoming looks quite promising. But one particular film you should get excited about is Black Panther. Directed by Ryan Coogler and featuring a talented cast led by Chandwick Boseman as the titular character, the film follows Boseman’s  T’Challa character. He is forced to return home to the fictional and technologically advanced African ...

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