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MAG Interview: Hassan Waqas Rana by Kamran Jawaid

This post is the unedited copy of the review published in Mag the Weekly, on 18th of June 2016.

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Hassan Waqas Rana – An Insight On the Man & Big Budget Cinema of Pakistan

By Mohammad Kamran Jawaid

A few years ago when WAAR came, I was one of the most vocal of its critics. So impassioned was my review (with due reason, of course), that the director himself voiced his opinion in the comments. One of my strongest arguments were the problems with the screenplay. Now years later, when I had an opportunity to have a long detailed conversation with WAAR’s producer Hassan Waqas Rana, he himself admits that the screenplay was at fault; he was, as he points out, a first time screenwriter. Although we talked about WAAR is detail, most of my conversation was about Mr. Rana’s next big – evidently far more extravagant – venture Yalghaar, set to come out this year.

Talking about WAAR, Mr. Rana says that “I didn’t write Dr. Zhivago”, later adding that critics should understand what they are writing about. “It had the philosophical context of a bloody axe”, he adds to the genre of his first film.

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Mag Review: Warcraft by Kamran Jawaid

This post is the unedited copy of the review published in Mag the Weekly, on 18th of June 2016.

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Man vs Invading Fantasy Creatures In a (dud) Fantasy World

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By Mohammad Kamran Jawaid

In the first few minutes of the motion picture adaptation of the massively popular fantasy-strategy game Warcraft, we are briefly introduced to who may be the audience’s most relatable character: an Orc chieftain named Durotan (who has Toby Kebbel’s voice) – a brawny, pony-tailed ogre-looking warrior, with deep sad eyes and family values. His wife (voiced by Anna Galvin), is pregnant, and their world is ravaged and infertile. To his, and other Orc tribes, there is one way for the future – to invade another realm. And so, with this prologue, begins one of the most incomplete, half-explained movies you’ll see this summer.

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Mag Review: Alice Through the Looking Glass by Kamran Jawaid

This post is the unedited copy of the review published in Mag the Weekly, on 18th of June 2016.

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Alice Is Bonkers Again! – She’s Talking Women’s Lib and Time Travel

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By Mohammad Kamran Jawaid

I underwent a mild shock (well, actually, more of a “hmm…how odd” expression) after watching Alice Through the Looking Glass, and going over to the popular movie review aggregator site Metacritic. The overall critic’s score of there is at a paltry 34% average. Far worse films have far better reviews.

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MAG Review: Aksbandh by Kamran Jawaid

The post is the updated copy of the review published in Mag the Weekly on May 28, 2016.

In ‘Aksbandh’, a Lot of People Will Die (Sometimes Laughing)

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By Mohammad Kamran Jawaid

Aksbandh is a far better title for a found footage film, let me tell you. The last one, Paranormal Karachi Nights, sounded a tad off, especially because the movie is set on a rest house deep in the woods around Drigh Lake – which is quite a bit of walk away from the city (well, approximately a 77 hour walk, if you trust Google maps). The goofier aspect of the previous title, however, is still embedded in the story.

Actually, calling the event a story, would be giving the movie too much credit; a much better word would have been “incident”.

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Mag Review: X-Men: Apocalypse by Kamran Jawaid

The post is the updated copy of the review published in Mag the Weekly on May 28, 2016.

And For Our Next Show, We Bring (Humdrum) Apocalypse to the Screen — Again

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By Mohammad Kamran Jawaid

In the heart of X-Men: Apocalypse – the latest part of the second X-Men trilogy that sounds both as ominous and dreadful as its title – there is a small gem of an action sequence with Quick Silver. Like in the last movie – X-Men: Days of Future Past, perhaps the second most memorable X-Men movie of all time – the speed-demon mutant, played by Evan Peters, zips across the location (this time the X-Men’s mansion), saving a lot of students, some in the nick of time, while having a bit of fun in the process. Sprightly written, and well executed, the sequence comes to us with an important message: even if the title bodes of evil, if the movie is having fun the audience will have fun.

Now, if only the filmmakers – director Bryan Singer and screenwriter Simon Kinberg (with story guys Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris), took this advice, it would have been wonderful day at the movies.

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Feature: A FAQ on Today’s Pakistani Cinema

This post is the unedited copy of the feature/analysis published in MAG the Weekly on 21st May, 2016

MediocreMediocre Movies, Creativity and the Box-Office – F.A.Q on Today’s Cinema

By Mohammad Kamran Jawaid

Filmmaking is a dangerously creative field. From it comes works of awe-inspiring, soul-lifting wonder, spanned across time, genres and audience tastes. From it also emerge personal convictions, arguments and career destroying egotistical wars, billions in trade, politics and the gnawing need to be in the spotlight. It’s a wonderful, disastrous high.

One of the biggest problems in movie industry is the narcissistic grudge-match between the audience, the filmmaker, and the critic. The maker, regardless of aptitude or skill-level, cares little of the audience (on certain passion-projects), and reviewers, who are (sometimes) rightly labeled as faultfinders with inadequate knowledge of making movies, point them out as the guardian of audiences tastes.

The concept of this feature sprang from such a conversation, a few weeks back, at a meeting with Mag – The Weekly’s editors. Presented below are some basic FAQ’s on the most basics of differing opinions.

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MAG Review: Mah-e-Mir by Kamran Jawaid

This post is the unedited and updated copy of the review published in Mag the Weekly, on the 13th May, 2016.

In ‘Mah-e-Mir’, Apparently, Failure to Communicate Is an Option

By Mohammad Kamran Jawaid

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There is a horrifically big, fantasy full-moon out every night in Mah-e-Mir, the pompous, all-over-the-place, drama fit for a stage-play.

The moon is so big, (and so badly composited over clouds), that it defies convention, comprehension – and lest I forget, laws of gravity and direction. This moon, popping up, down, left and right, is its own entity, and no matter how overly-dramatic, it is one of the good things I got for the price of my ticket.

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MAG Review: Captain America: Civil War by Kamran Jawaid

This post is the unedited copy of the review published in MAG-The Weekly on 13th May, 2016.

 

To Fight the Good Fight – for Peace, Justice and a Differing Point of View

By Mohammad Kamran Jawaid

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In Captain America: Civil War, a line-up of do-gooder heroes, most of whom are thoroughly introduced movies ago, face off against each other because of a difference of opinion. Anyone who believes that issues can be handled without conflict and a body-count (mostly bruises here, because these heroes are, of course good guys), has to be kidding. Peaceful negotiation is a job for the United Nations – a body that would, generally, take a long-time, to come to come to a point of mutual understanding.

Such balderdash, thankfully, doesn’t bother movie-dom – unless, of course, when it makes sense.

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MAG Review: Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice by Kamran Jawaid

This post is the unedited copy of the review published in Mag the Weekly on 1st April 2016.

Damn the Kaboom! Titans Clash…Without Much Sense.

By Mohammad Kamran Jawaid

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At the pivotal, poster-image of the ‘technically’ first cinematic meeting of Superman and Batman, found at the center point of the Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, (the part where Batman tries to run Superman over with his Batmobile), the dark knight asks a necessitous question: Does the man of steel bleed? A far more pertinent remark, at least to the viewer, would have been: Do you know your comic book history?

Bummer, if you don’t.

In a market – television, film, the internet – so needlessly overflowing with superhero fatigue, Batman V Superman (BvS) is ‘only’ the second title of the new ‘DC Cinematic Universe’ (the first one was the Man of Steel) – a place, at least movie-wise, where Superman, Batman, and in this movie, Wonder Woman, come out of play. Their playground, about as publically hazardous as Marvel’s, is still nascent and juvenile, tackling serious-sounding themes and faux brood (borrowed straight from Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy) with unskilled subtleness comparable to violently swinging a sledgehammer in a china shop.

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MAG Review: Bachaana by Kamran Jawaid

The post is the unedited copy of the review published in MAG the Weekly, on: March 05, 2016 (Page 24). Print copy attached.

 

‘Bachaana’ Needs No Saving

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By Mohammad Kamran Jawaid

I suppose small, uncomplicated stories are in at the moment. While they may not work for most motion pictures, the lack of too much detail, suit Bachaana, the debut of director Nasir Khan, starring Sanam Saeed and Mohib Mirza, just fine.

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