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Zaki Hasan Movie Reviews

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

Zaki Hasan | Posted 07.11.2014 | 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 06.26.2014 | 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 06.13.2014 | 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 06.02.2014 | 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 05.30.2014 | 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!).

Zaki's Review: Need For Speed

Zaki Hasan | Posted 05.14.2014 | Entertainment
Zaki Hasan

While I doubt there's enough gas in the tank to mount a franchise that can compete with Fast & Furious (much less match the video games' distance record), Need For Speed is still a satisfying bit of here-and-gone sensory stimulation that delivers exactly the kind of high-octane, high-velocity thrills promised by the title.

Zaki's Review: Non-Stop

Zaki Hasan | Posted 04.30.2014 | Entertainment
Zaki Hasan

In Non-Stop (or, as I call it, "Liam Neeson Action Movie 2014"), Neeson stars as air marshal Bill Marks, a harried, hard-drinking behemoth of a man who also (of course) happens to hate flying.

Zaki's Review: 3 Days to Kill

Zaki Hasan | Posted 04.22.2014 | Entertainment
Zaki Hasan

Giving the proceedings far more credibility than they really deserve is Costner, effortlessly cool, and clearly having fun with his new action hero configuration. Over the years, I've seen Kevin Costner be pretty good in fairly mediocre movies, and fairly mediocre in pretty good movies. 3 Days to Kill is the former.

Zaki's Review: RoboCop (2014)

Zaki Hasan | Posted 04.13.2014 | Entertainment
Zaki Hasan

The first Robo did so well by wrapping a human story that's both remarkably poignant and hysterically funny inside a big budget blockbuster. People bought their tickets to see effects and explosions, but they responded to the heart and the satire.

Zaki's Review: The Monuments Men

Zaki Hasan | Posted 04.09.2014 | Entertainment
Zaki Hasan

With The Monuments Men, director/star George Clooney switches gears slightly from the high-minded political meditations of previous efforts such ...

Zaki's Review: Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

Zaki Hasan | Posted 03.26.2014 | Entertainment
Zaki Hasan

While Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is the latest manifestation of Hollywood's current vogue of restarting storied franchises from the ground up, the prev...

The Cinema Year That Was: Zaki's Flick Picks 2013

Zaki Hasan | Posted 03.02.2014 | Entertainment
Zaki Hasan

True stories, high stakes, big spectacle, and big funny won the day with this year's movie offerings. Here's a countdown of my top cinematic experienc...

Zaki's Review: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Zaki Hasan | Posted 02.19.2014 | Entertainment
Zaki Hasan

Read my 2012 review of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey here A little over eleven years ago, on the eve of the theatrical release of The Two Towers,...

Zaki's Review: Thor: The Dark World

Zaki Hasan | Posted 01.23.2014 | Entertainment
Zaki Hasan

While Thor's second solo feature swaps in director Alan Taylor, the edifice that Kenneth Branagh helped build last time is so sturdy that any changes are akin to changing the drapes.

Zaki's Review: Elysium

Zaki Hasan | Posted 10.09.2013 | Entertainment
Zaki Hasan

Showing just how redundant things have gotten in Hollywood of late, Elysium, director Neil Blomkamp's lavishly expansive yet lovingly personal sci-fi opus, is actually the third flick this year depicting the aftermath of a global apocalypse.

Zaki's Review: The Wolverine

Zaki Hasan | Posted 09.25.2013 | Entertainment
Zaki Hasan

Believe it or not, Fox's X-Men franchise is now 13 years old. And in those 13 years they've cranked out six movies that've run the qualitative gamut from X-cellent to X-crement.

Zaki's Review: The Lone Ranger

Zaki Hasan | Posted 09.02.2013 | Entertainment
Zaki Hasan

Disney's big budget opus The Lone Ranger is a bit too long and a bit too uneven at times. But the high stakes project, which re-teams global superstar Johnny Depp with his Pirates of the Carribean helmer Gore Verbinski, is also undeniably fun.