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Zaki Hasan Movie Reviews

Zaki's Review: Furious 7

Zaki Hasan | Posted 04.10.2015 | Entertainment
Zaki Hasan

With the tragic and unexpected death of star Paul Walker in late 2013, the Fast & Furious franchise was hit with a nearly insurmountable challenge heading into its seventh lap. The franchise's minders deserve all the props in the world for pulling it off with Furious 7.

Zaki's Review: Chappie

Zaki Hasan | Posted 03.06.2015 | Entertainment
Zaki Hasan

The sci-fi fable, about a robot that gains sentience, has an intriguing premise at its core, but it's rare to see a talented filmmaker with so many tools and so much talent at his disposal squander a compelling idea so thoroughly.

Zaki's Review: McFarland, USA

Zaki Hasan | Posted 02.20.2015 | Entertainment
Zaki Hasan

The true-life tale, directed by Whale Rider's Niki Caro and featuring Kevin Costner as the harried coach of an underdog cross country team in California's Central Valley, tells its by-the-bootstraps story so winningly that, predictable though it may be, it's still hard not to find it thoroughly rousing.

Zaki's Review: Kingsman: The Secret Service

Zaki Hasan | Posted 02.19.2015 | Entertainment
Zaki Hasan

When it comes to screen spies, 007 is the undisputed distance champion, and where the failed xXx franchise went wrong was in attempting to take the piss out of the old man without first earning that privilege.

Zaki's Review: Jupiter Ascending

Zaki Hasan | Posted 04.12.2015 | Entertainment
Zaki Hasan

Unfortunately for the filmmakers, the audience, and (given the $175 mil price tag) the studio, Jupiter Ascending isn't exactly the second coming they were hoping for. Instead, it's a melange of misplaced ambition that's asphyxiated by tangled plot threads that are at once overcooked and undernourished.

Zaki's Review: Black or White

Zaki Hasan | Posted 03.31.2015 | Entertainment
Zaki Hasan

While it attempts some measure of high-minded resolution to the many complicated issues it raises, it's simply casting too wide a net to feel truly satisfying. In trying to be color blind, it just comes off as tone deaf.

Zaki's Review: American Sniper

Zaki Hasan | Posted 03.23.2015 | Entertainment
Zaki Hasan

The very fact that American Sniper asks to be accepted as an artifact that will stand for time immemorial virtually necessitates a higher degree of investigation then the film is able or willing to offer.

Zaki's Review: Blackhat

Zaki Hasan | Posted 03.17.2015 | Entertainment
Zaki Hasan

Honestly, this was a rough one. Whether we're talking about the overly-complicated story, the overly-simplistic dialogue, or the clunky pacing, Blackhat is such a smorgasbord of missteps that it's genuinely hard to divine what the filmmakers' actual intent even was.

Zaki's Review: Selma

Zaki Hasan | Posted 03.14.2015 | Entertainment
Zaki Hasan

If there's one thing Selma makes clear, it's just how many parts had to be working in concert for the slow, fitful movement toward progress to occur.

Zaki's Review: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Zaki Hasan | Posted 02.15.2015 | Entertainment
Zaki Hasan

All my previous qualms about the girth (and necessity) of individual installments notwithstanding, there's no denying that the totality of this saga represents a singular achievement in cinematic history.

Zaki's Review: 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' (2014)

Zaki Hasan | Posted 10.09.2014 | Entertainment
Zaki Hasan

While this picture benefits from motion-captured CGI portrayals of the titular teens that leap, twist, and bound through a digitally-created New York cityscape with unquestionable aplomb, it comes undone.

Zaki's Review: 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

Zaki Hasan | Posted 10.02.2014 | Entertainment
Zaki Hasan

You can pinpoint the exact moment in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy that actor Chris Pratt, best known until now as an affable supporting player in...

Zaki's Review: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Zaki Hasan | Posted 09.10.2014 | Entertainment
Zaki Hasan

As director Matt Reeves has said on several occasions, Dawn depicts the moment when it could have been "Planet of the Humans & Apes" but for the unwillingness of individuals on either side to bend.

Zaki's Review: Transformers: Age of Extinction

Zaki Hasan | Posted 08.26.2014 | Entertainment
Zaki Hasan

Age of Extinction is still a Michael Bay Transformers movie, with everything that implies. Nonetheless, it manages to navigate the perimeter of that specific box with a good deal more aplomb than I'd have expected after my nerve-deadening, sleep-inducing experience with the previous two films.

Zaki's Review: 22 Jump Street

Zaki Hasan | Posted 08.13.2014 | Entertainment
Zaki Hasan

The filmmakers are obviously acutely aware of what a minefield it can be when attempting to sequelize a successful comedy (helpfully lampshaded via a very funny prologue with the returning Nick Offerman), so they seem intent on playing with those tropes.

Zaki's Review: Maleficent

Zaki Hasan | Posted 08.02.2014 | Entertainment
Zaki Hasan

If nothing else, Maleficent serves as a perfect example of why Jolie is one of the most in-demand actors on the planet. Through the sheer power of her personality (with, of course, an able assist from Rick Baker's remarkable prosthetics), she's able to create a character who has equal parts bombast and fragility.

Zaki's Review: A Million Ways to Die in the West

Zaki Hasan | Posted 07.30.2014 | Entertainment
Zaki Hasan

Yes, it's gross. Yes, it's tasteless. But none of that is a problem if you're making some kind of bold social observation, blazing some new trail, or just plain being funny. Instead, A Million Ways to Die in the West feels like lukewarm leftovers from comedies that got there first and did it better.

Zaki's Review: X-Men: Days of Future Past

Zaki Hasan | Posted 07.23.2014 | Entertainment
Zaki Hasan

Days of Future Past is ceaselessly engaging, surprisingly emotional, and refreshingly smart. More than that, it makes many (though not all) of the disparate bits of the big screen X-Men franchise fit together as if they were conceived with this end in mind from the beginning.

Zaki's Review: Godzilla (2014)

Zaki Hasan | Posted 07.16.2014 | Entertainment
Zaki Hasan

To its credit, the film does its level best to fix some of the Sony version's most egregious flaws. For one, there's no try at reinventing the wheel with how this most iconic of movie monsters looks. This is unmistakably the same Godzilla that several generations of viewers have come of age with over the past 60 (!!) years.

Zaki's Review: The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Zaki Hasan | Posted 07.02.2014 | Entertainment
Zaki Hasan

It feels at times like two separate movies awkwardly scotch-taped together, which has me a bit worried about Sony's big mega-franchise plans. But as far as this entry goes, despite its flaws, I left the theater feeling satisfied. Not amazed, but satisfied.

Zaki's Review: Transcendence

Zaki Hasan | Posted 06.17.2014 | Entertainment
Zaki Hasan

Transcendence looks snazzy, but upon closer examination you realize it's nothing more than a polished simulacrum of other, more accomplished films.

Zaki's Review: Draft Day

Zaki Hasan | Posted 06.11.2014 | Entertainment
Zaki Hasan

Draft Day is an above-average entry in the field, and a predictably proficient a piece of popcorn entertainment. While some the broad strokes of the story may be fairly easy to call out fairly early on, it packs in enough "what's gonna happen?" suspense to make the eventual third act pay off worth hanging in there for for.

Zaki's Review: Noah

Zaki Hasan | Posted 06.01.2014 | Entertainment
Zaki Hasan

One thing you can't say about Noah, the big budget reimagining of the biblical flood fable (starring Russell Crowe as the titular boat builder) is that it lacks in ambition.

Zaki's Review: Sabotage

Zaki Hasan | Posted 05.28.2014 | Entertainment
Zaki Hasan

It's a strange time to be Arnold Schwarzenegger. The one-time (and future?) Conan the Barbarian's heyday sitting astride the global box office, bounding from blockbuster to blockbuster, seems like an eternity ago.

Zaki's Review: Muppets Most Wanted

Zaki Hasan | Posted 05.21.2014 | Entertainment
Zaki Hasan

We're happy to tag along as we watch these beloved characters go through their prescribed, low-tech paces, tossing off groan-inducing puns and one-liners while still making time for the occasional celebrity cameo (there's a bunch!) and/or musical number (there's a few too many!).