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Zaki Hasan
Born and raised in Chicago -- with a decade-long detour in Saudi Arabia -- before settling in the San Francisco Bay Area, Zaki Hasan is a professor of communication and media studies, and co-founder of Mr. Boy Productions, an LA-based independent film and video company. A lifelong pop culture buff, Zaki has been a media scholar and critic for more than fifteen years and is a member of the San Francisco Film Critics Circle. He is co-host of the MovieFilm Podcast, co-author of Quirk Books' Geek Wisdom: The Sacred Teachings of Nerd Culture, and his work has been featured in Q-NewsIllume, and The Huffington Post.  In addition, he has appeared as a panelist on Al Jazeera America's The Stream and HuffPost Live. Since 2004, his blog Zaki's Corner has been his one-stop forum for musings on news, media, politics, and pop culture. He was included in 2010's Top 35 Political Blogs by, and has been nominated for "Best Blog" and "Best Writer" in 2010, 2011, and 2012 by the Brass Crescent Awards, receiving an Honorable Mention for "Best Blog" in 2011.

You can e-mail him at

Entries by Zaki Hasan

Zaki's Review: The Martian

(1) Comments | Posted October 2, 2015 | 1:55 AM

I first read Andy Weir's bestseller The Martian a little over a year ago. Actually, "inhaled" might be a better word to use. The story, about an astronaut stranded on Mars, his struggle to survive and the struggles on Earth to try and bring him home, is about as...

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Zaki's Review: Sicario

(1) Comments | Posted September 29, 2015 | 1:43 AM

After being entranced and unnerved by Denis Villeneuve's uncompromising morality fable Prisoners two years ago, I knew right away he was a director to keep an eye on, and I eagerly awaited word of his next project. Well, with the arrival of his equally entrancing and raw Sicario, it's clear that...

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The MovieFilm Podcast: Scaling Everest and Revisiting The Visit

(0) Comments | Posted September 22, 2015 | 10:23 AM

For this week's show we start by offering quick takes on M. Night Shyamalan's The Visit and the new IMAX-3D spectacle Everest, before diving into the latest headlines out of Hollywood. Arnold Schwarzenegger is...
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Zaki's Review: Everest

(0) Comments | Posted September 18, 2015 | 3:31 AM

"Because it's there," said famed mountaineer George Mallory in 1924 when asked why he wanted to climb Mount Everest. Those words came just before his third and final try at the mountain, as he disappeared shortly thereafter, with his frozen remains finally discovered some seventy-five years later. And yet, Mallory's...

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Zaki's Review: The Visit

(1) Comments | Posted September 11, 2015 | 10:36 AM

The last ten years have been tough ones for M. Night Shyamalan. After the late-'90s/early aughts trifecta of The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, and Signs marked him (per a Newsweek cover story) as "The Next Spielberg," he ran aground with 2004's The Village, and things only got rougher from...

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The MovieFilm Podcast: Furious 7 to Straight Outta Compton -- Summer Movies in Review!

(0) Comments | Posted September 8, 2015 | 11:05 AM

Continuing a post-Labor Day tradition, the MovieFilm gang is back with a super-sized episode taking stock of the summer movie season that just ended. From Furious 7 to Avengers to Straight...
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Interview: Patricia Clarkson on Learning to Drive

(0) Comments | Posted August 28, 2015 | 2:47 AM

The first time I saw Patricia Clarkson onscreen was in her feature film debut in Brian De Palma's 1987 crime epic The Untouchables. The subsequent decades have seen the hugely talented Clarkson rack up a truly impressive list of credits working alongside some of the most popular and well-respected actors...

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Zaki's Review: American Ultra

(0) Comments | Posted August 21, 2015 | 3:26 AM

American Ultra posits a mildly amusing premise -- what if a stoned-out slacker found out he was Jason Bourne? -- and turns it into ninety or so minutes of filmmaking that are probably a lot more engaging than they have any right to be. Directed by Project X's Nima Nourizadeh...

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Zaki's Review: Straight Outta Compton

(1) Comments | Posted August 20, 2015 | 3:11 AM

The first time I heard of N.W.A. was in summer of 1989. I was watching a news story with folks breathlessly bemoaning a new kind of music that used salty language and exhorted listeners to commit violence against police. I didn't think much of that moment at the time, partly...

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The MovieFilm Podcast: The Fascinating Failure of Fantastic Four

(5) Comments | Posted August 19, 2015 | 4:01 PM

It's a packed show this week, as we're honored to be joined by the esteemed Sean Gerber of Modern Myth Media to guide us through all the big Disney, Star Wars, and Marvel...
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Zaki's Review: The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

(0) Comments | Posted August 14, 2015 | 3:11 AM

With the arrival of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. after twenty-plus years in development, we've completed the series-to-feature process for all four major espionage-themed TV shows of the 1960s. The Mission: Impossible movies began their run in 1996, The Avengers (no, not those Avengers) arrived in 1998, and I Spy hit cineplexes...

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INTERVIEW: Joel Edgerton Gives The Gift

(0) Comments | Posted August 8, 2015 | 12:53 PM

For more than a decade, Joel Edgerton has been one of the most magnetic personalities onscreen with appearances in Zero Dark Thirty, Warrior, The Great Gatbsy, and more. Now the busy actor has added "director" and "writer" to his considerable resume with this weekend's release of  The Gift.


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Zaki's Review: Fantastic Four (2015)

(11) Comments | Posted August 6, 2015 | 1:56 PM

Click here to read my retro reviews of the previous Fantastic Four films

Honestly, people. It really shouldn't be this hard.

With this week's release of Fox's Fantastic Four, we now have three separate origin movies for Marvel Comics' First Family in just over twenty years. (Though, granted,

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The MovieFilm Podcast: Mission: Impossible + Joel Edgerton on The Gift

(0) Comments | Posted August 5, 2015 | 1:05 PM

The dog days of August may be here, but that doesn't mean the MovieFilm crew has missed a step as we celebrate three years of the show! To start things off, we have my...
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INTERVIEW: Dr. Philip Zimbardo and Director Kyle Patrick Alvarez on The Stanford Prison Experiment

(0) Comments | Posted August 2, 2015 | 12:32 PM

When it comes to research into human behavior in groups, one of the most notable, foundational studies is the 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment. Conducted by Dr. Philip Zimbardo, a psychology professor at Stanford University, the experiment enlisted fifty volunteers -- half designated "prisoners" and half "guards " -- with the...

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Zaki's Review: Mission: Impossible -- Rogue Nation

(0) Comments | Posted July 29, 2015 | 11:20 AM

Click here to read my 2011 review of Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol

After 19 years and five films, you have to give it up to the Mission: Impossible movies. Sure, I may have gotten off to a bit of a rocky start with the first two big screen...

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INTERVIEW: Screenwriter Jeffrey Hatcher on Mr. Holmes

(0) Comments | Posted July 24, 2015 | 1:50 PM

Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes has been played by more actors than any fictional character in history. And director Bill Condon's Mr. Holmes, currently in theaters, adds a new chapter to that storied legacy by casting Sir Ian McKellen (re-teaming with his Gods and Monsters director) as the legendary sleuth during...

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Zaki's Review: Pixels

(0) Comments | Posted July 23, 2015 | 1:26 PM

I realized as I set down to write this review that Pixels is one of those flicks that's pretty much impervious to any kind of critical analysis. Director Chris Columbus's ode to the bygone arcade culture of 1980s -- when Donkey Kong was king -- isn't egregiously offensive, but it's also not...

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The MovieFilm Podcast: Pixels, Mr. Holmes, and Ant-Man!

(0) Comments | Posted July 22, 2015 | 12:01 PM

It's the big 75th episode of the MovieFilm Podcast! We start off this week's show by discussing new release Pixels, directed by
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INTERVIEW: Amy Schumer, Judd Apatow, and the Trainwreck Comedy Tour

(0) Comments | Posted July 17, 2015 | 2:17 PM

Every since her hit sketch series Inside Amy Schumer premiered on Comedy Central two years ago, Amy Schumer has quickly ascended to the top of the cultural conversation thanks to boundary-pushing, always-hilarious meditations on modern life. Now the comedian is making her leading lady debut in the feature film Trainwreck (in...

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