Monday, November 27, 2017

Paddington 2 - Movie Review (4/5 stars)

By Hamza Shafique (Instagram / Facebook)

I will be honest I have never read any book nor watched any TV show on the British classic character Paddington bear from 60s. So, had no idea what to expect from it as I have not even seen the first film. At first, I thought it’s a kids movie but when I found 32-year-old me having side-splitting laughter along with my 30 year old sister, I realized I was wrong. Paddington 2 is a British live-action/CGI animated comedy film based on the stories of the classic character from English children's literature called Paddington Bear created by Michael Bond.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Life Lessons from Tumhari Sulu

By Hamza Shafique (Instagram / Facebook)

Suresh Triveni’s Tumhari Sulu is the newest addition to the list of women centric comedy dramas. Beauty of these movies is that they always have a message embedded with in a story that focuses on the life and issues of ordinary Desi (south Asian) women. These movies are always composed of relatable realistic characters, which keeps the whole experience interesting and also thought provoking. I am a huge fan of this genre, English Vinglish and Queen are one of my most favorite films of all times and now Tumhari Sulu joins the rank after them. Tumhari Sulu embodies plethora of Desi Household realities that call for a life lesson post from me, so I will list all the important highlights from the film followed by a short review.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Better Watch Out - Movie Review (3.5/5 stars)

By Hamza Shafique (Instagram / Facebook)

Chris Peckover’s “Better Watch Out” is a one crazy film and I loved it. It’s a weird yet entertaining blend of Horror, Comedy and Thriller, something which is very rare in this genre. I will be honest I am not a big fan of such films because most of the time they tend to get on sillier side, plot is always clichéd and acting in such films is just limited to loud screams/frantic running. This one, luckily has nothing of that sort. In fact, amidst all the big familiar releases from all over these days, this one comes out as refreshing reminder that’s this genre exists. “Better Watch Out” makes people being killed and tortured very pleasurable. 

Sunday, November 19, 2017

A Constant Reminder

By Hamza Shafique

Today while driving to work I just remembered an old friend randomly.

Back in 2008 when I was living in KSA, I was way more interested in the internet world, whether it be reading about different stuff on Wikipedia, blogging about photography or online discussion forums where I would discuss random topics with total strangers across the world. Chatting with total strangers from unique places around the world really gave me the exposure and access to the world which otherwise I couldn’t have. Just imagine I could discuss the dynamics of Surfing with a surfer from Malta or political scenarios in Jerusalem from a Jewish Journalist supporting Palestine. All this was new and exciting. With time, I lost my interest in it, got busy with life and forgot about most of modern day pen friends of mine.

Today while driving to work, out of nowhere one such friend came to my mind and I thought to check where is he, what he is up to and if he still remembers me.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Justice League - Movie Review (3.5/5 Stars)

By Hamza Shafique (Instagram / Facebook)

To be honest Justice League felt like a darker, grimmer version of Avengers. Zack Snyder’s Justice League had a lot in common with the first Avenger movie, for example an alien invasion, super god like antagonist with horns, Team’s internal conflicts with one of the team member literally going berserk over the others like Hulk, post credit scenes and off course Joss Whedon. In case you don’t know Who Joss Whedon is, he is the writer director of Avengers movies and was hired to oversee the post-production here, including directing additional scenes which were also written by him. With Whedon on board, film underwent two months of reshoots in London and Los Angeles worth $25 million. I understand Zack Snyder’s style suits the darker world that DC wants to create but DC also needs to have someone like Joss Whedon on the project to pull Zack out of the dark zone to the fun zone occasionally. Justice League is a fun well balanced film, it’s not as good as Wonder Woman but heaps better than Suicide Squad/ Man of steel and a massive achievement considering the horrendous Batman vs Superman. There were a lot of moments that tickled the little DC nerd in me but then there were also few moments which made me think that if with 300-million-dollars budget they couldn’t get it right, then there is a chance they may never get it right.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Social Connect with Sid Vohra

By Hamza Shafique (Instagram / Facebook)

Parikshit, Sid (the upside down guy in middle) and Malavika- complete team of morning show

Radio morning shows are life lines, for people who are stuck in traffic for hours while commuting between emirates daily. I too live in Ajman and commute daily to Dubai for work and throughout the approx. 1hour drive what keeps me entertained are the voices of Siddharth aka Sid and Malavika aka Malu (recently joined by Parikshit ) airing on City 1016. City 1016 is a Desi radio station that plays mostly Bollywood songs. I recently met both of them at Jab Harry Met Sejal promotional event where they did a splendid job as host. Sid also has a You Tube channel where he posts videos with the hashtag #GETUPGETOUT and his videos are all true to the hashtag and cover his outdoor activities in Dubai. I contacted Sid for a social connect through his Instagram account and fortunately got a positive response.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Murder on the Orient Express - Movie Review (3/5 stars)

By Hamza Shafique (Instagram / Facebook)

Kenneth Branagh’s Murder on the Orient Express is based on the 1934 novel of the same name by Agatha Christie. As protagonist, we have Branagh portraying Hercule Poirot, the world’s greatest detective, along with Penélope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, Josh Gad, Derek Jacobi, Leslie Odom Jr., Michelle Pfeiffer and Daisy Ridley in pivotal roles. It’s a mystery drama with a very simple plot set in early 1900s.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Re Visiting Dubai Garden Glow

By Hamza Shafique (including photography) 

I first went to Dubai Garden Glow when it was just opened, I remember there was an interesting dance combined with lights music show which we watched while enjoying warm beverages from Tim Hortons, in Dec-Dubai winter. There was also a Pakistani small out let as well called Truck Ada. Overall it was a very pleasant trip, Place looked quite modern/unique and price of 60 Dirhams also felt ok for the whole experience. This time while passing on Sheikh Zayed Road my uncle spotted the colorful lights display and I thought it would be a great idea to visit again. But this time the entry ticket of 60 Dirhams felt expensive.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Thor Ragnarok - Movie Review (4/5 stars)

By Hamza Shafique (Instagram/Facebook)

It’s official, Marvel movies don’t need reviews, we all know by now that Marvel has cracked the code to pure entertainment (something DC is still learning). Every film that comes out of Marvel Studio is marvelous. Each episode of Marvel cinematic universe is laced with CGI loaded larger than life action sequences embedded with in a balanced and well-paced screenplay. Thor Ragnarok is no exception.