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Central Intelligence: Onscreen Chemistry Carries Otherwise Tame Affair
Published On: 18/07/2016

While it may be rigged with clichés and met with the expectedly formulaic hits at every turn, there's still something awfully endearing about watching funny-man, Kevin Hart, and wrestler-turned-actor, Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, as they manage to keep their infectiously infectiously funny onscreen dynamics intact in the largely weak comedy, Central Intelligence. The story is centred on Calvin Joyner (Hart); a reserved accountant who isn't exactly overjoyed with the way his life turned out to be. In high school, he was voted as most likely to succeed and although, he is professionally successful is married to his high-school sweetheart, Maggie (Nicolet), he still can't help but feel like a failure. With his twentieth high school reunion just around the corner, Calvin soon finds himself crossing paths with Bob Stone (Johnson); a formerly overweight - and bullied - outcast who has grown up into a quirky ball of muscle and is now super eager to reawaken his 'friendship' with Calvin. As it turns out, Bob is a CIA agent who has gone rogue; however, according to him, he is actually under-cover trying to reveal the identity of a traitor within the agency - who goes by the name 'The Black Badger' - before classified U.S government information is sold to terrorists. Calvin, of course, has no choice but to join him for the ride. Predictable in nature, Central Intelligence - scripted by We're the Millers director who shares writing credits with Ike Barinholtz and David Stassen - is definitely not the most 'intelligent' movies you'll see. Plot holes, illogical setups and uneventful action set pieces make up most a large bulk of the story, but the film benefits greatly from the casting of Hart and Johnson who pretty much carry the movie on their shoulders. Hart, taking a step back from his usual loud-self, does a great job as the insecure accountant, but it's 'The Rock' who deserves most of the credit here; the ex-WWE wrestler shines brightest as the quirky, Unicorn-loving, Sixteen Candles-quoting hulk. In the end, Central Intelligence is a glaringly flawed affair, but the clichés and lazy set-ups are, to a certain degree, endured thanks to the irresistibly compelling onscreen chemistry of the two leads who manage to make us forget just how poor the whole package actually is. 

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Waltz: Quaint New Bakery in Dokki Offers Traditional & Modern Treats
Published On: 16/07/2016

Cairo has always had a decent amount of local bakeries serving the freshest, most affordable and most delicious bakes. But aside from the traditional petit four, freshly baked mini pizza and fino bread, sometimes we crave some Western-baked goodness which are hard to find in local shops –think some ciabatta bread or croissant with your morning coffee. The newest on Cairo's bakery map comes in the form of Waltz, a new small bakery which recently opened on Mossadak Street. Inside the small baker there's an obvious Western patisserie aesthetic, with the choice of navy blue colour, touches of wood which added a classy touch and slightly less sophisticated glossy wall with pink and yellow leaves patterns. The place has a small table with high chairs if you want to have your order in store. Though still in the soft opening phase, Waltz still has a decent variety of pastries to offer from burger buns, ciabatta bread, to mini bites and luscious desserts. We decided to try the Cheese Croissant (9LE), Chocolate Pate (10LE), Mango Mousse (12LE) and Caramel and Peanut butter Cup (15LE). Starting with the cheese croissant, the croissant itself was soft, flaky and incredibly fresh even though we visited the place at night. We just wish it would've been slightly more buttery and had more cheese as we barely felt its presence. The chocolate pate was just as fresh, loaded with a generous amount of unsweetened bold chocolate flavour which makes it perfect for breakfast. While most items in the bakery seemed old school, the caramel cup was one of Waltz's more modern take on desserts. Served as a trifle, the cup consists of layers of super smooth and rich peanut butter frosting and moist chocolate cake topped with peanuts and possibly the best caramel sauce we've had in a while. The chocolate cake texture was perfect but the chocolate flavour was too weak and got overpowered by the peanut butter frosting and caramel. Lastly, we tried the mango mousse. A layer of vanilla cake topped with mango mousse, a thin layer of cream and mango glaze, the mango mousse was perfectly executed but sadly it lacked mango flavour. We can say that it looked the part but let's just say we expected more. Waltz is a great bakery addition to Dokki area. It looks promising with its decent variety of fresh bakes and we can't wait to see what more they have to offer when they fully launch. 

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Now You See Me 2: New Film, Same Show
Published On: 14/07/2016

Despite a handful of visually entertaining moments, Now You See Me 2 is a largely disappointing sequel. Those that weren't exactly won over by the first movie definitely won't be swayed into enjoying the follow-up, which ends up resting on a seen-it-all-before premise whilst delivering flimsy execution of magic with very little flair or freshness. Picking up about a year after their last major magic stunt which ended up outsmarting the FBI and putting rival and local debunker Bradley (Freeman) safely behind bars, The Four Horseman - members including J. Daniel Atlas (Eisenberg), Merritt McKinney (Harrelson) and Jack Wilder (Franco) - have now gone underground, busy keeping a low profile whilst waiting for their next big mission from The Eye. It's not long before the group is once again put to work when FBI agent Rhodes (Ruffalo) receives word that a major telecommunication company has been stealing and selling personal information and now hopes that the group - including newcomer Lula (Caplan) - can stage an appearance and expose their shady dealings to the public. However, their plan is soon foiled when they are magically transported to China, where the company's mastermind (Radcliffe) decides to blackmail them into carrying out a heist of his own. Directed by John M. Chu, Now You See Me 2 manages to embrace a bubbly spirit and a brisk pace from the very beginning, giving the movie that 'brainless fun' trait and a unique visual style which separates it from its predecessor. Unfortunately, though, while Chu's efforts for trying to make sure that the action set pieces are slickly executed and generally engaging, there is a certain lack of substance and very little connection to the story as a whole, making all of its flashiness and visual grandness just surface-based. The main problem comes in the form of the over-explanations which lay behind the story's every move, while the magic tricks - which are not performed on stage anymore but are executed through a series of heists - are rather routine and predictable. With the slight exception of Harrelson and Ruffalo, who manage to keep their characters engaging throughout, most of the characters serve as nothing but meandering plot devices, as opposed to fully rendered characters who we, the audience, are supposed to connect to and care for. Even newcomer Daniel Radcliffe couldn't muster up enough magic to create an impact. Overall, fans of the first movie should find no problem enjoying the second round of flashy nonsense that Now You See Me 2 has to offer. As for everyone else, don't expect much.

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Blaze: New Cairo's Point 90 Mall Welcomes Popular Restaurant Chain
Published On: 13/07/2016

With a slew of malls opening in New Cairo, it was only a matter of time before some of the city's most popular restaurant chains began branching out to one of the capital's most booming districts – one of which is Blaze. With two venues under their belt already, one in Nozha and the other Mohandiseen, the chain's newest branch is at deep in the heart of New Cairo, at Point 90 Mall, opposite AUC's main entrance. Despite a strangely small, almost nonexistent indoor area, the restaurant takes over a large outdoor area and still offered a cosy setting with sofas matched with chairs to form a relaxing and inviting lounge feel. We opted for the boneless Buffalo wings (40LE) and the Texas Chilli fries (45 LE) as appetisers; accompanied by blue cheese sauce, the eleven ball shaped chicken wings were drenched with tangy buffalo sauce which had a mild spiciness to it, giving a great contrast to the blue cheese sauce. The chicken itself, meanwhile, had soaked up all the sauce, making it tender and juicy. The Texas Chilli fries came in the form of queso cheese and minced beef covering French fries on a hot skillet; however, the queso cheese had an overpowering taste rendering the minced beef almost tasteless and the fries were soggy. For our main dishes, we decided on the Cordon bleu (69LE), and the Fajita Trio (79LE), the former of which was was delightful; coming as two huge breaded chicken breasts stuffed with smoked turkey and cheese over a bed of mushroom sauce, the chicken had a satisfyingly crunchy exterior, contrasted by a tender interior. The cheese was bursting with flavour and it all came to the backdrop of a good mushroom sauce, making it a very memorable dish. Although well-seasoned, the side of rice that came with the dish didn't work well with the diced tomatoes and cheese shavings it was topped by; the cheese's sharp, red cheddar flavour and the tanginess of the tomatoes overpowered the subtle essence of the rice, which forced us to scrape it off for a better experience. Coming on a hot skillet, the fajita trio featured grilled slices of beef, chicken and shrimp sat on top of a mix of grilled bell peppers and onions which enhanced the aroma and flavour. The dish came with Spanish rice and a plate of sour cream, pico de galio, cheese and tortilla bread for a true Tex-Mex experience. Sharing the same distinct Mexican inspired flavour, the beef, chicken and shrimp had an earthy saltiness to them that gave the dish an extra punch, mixing well with what was a reddish coloured Spanish rice that was flavourful and spicy, all while having a zesty aftertaste. We also tried the restaurant's Oreo and Strawberry Cheesecake milkshakes (29LE each). Coming in cubic jar-like glass containers, the milkshakes certainly looked appealing. Boasting a very smooth, thick texture, the Oreo milkshake, while topped with whip cream, had a grainy element to it – because of the crushed Oreos – giving an authentic taste. As for the strawberry cheesecake milkshake, it had a familiar strawberry syrup aftertaste – which is not a bad thing – while still retaining a thick, smooth melted ice cream texture that was both refreshing and satisfying. We ended our meal with the French toast banana (32LE) which came as two French toasts sandwiching and topped by slices of banana, caramel and Nutella, with a couple of scoops of soft vanilla ice cream on top. With a crunchy exterior and messy, gooey centre, the flavours all worked well without overpowering each other making it a surprisingly balanced and delicious dessert With attentive and friendly staff, a cosy setting and well-executed food, Blaze is a excellent addition to the ever-growing fleets of restaurants in New Cairo, as the chain continues to grow in popularity.

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Earthly Delights: Proof That Food Can be Vegan & Tasty at the Same Time
Published On: 12/07/2016

The vegan community often jokes about the different types of vegans. The two most popular stereotypes are those of the 'healthy vegan' and the 'junk food vegan'. If you're the first kind, you were probably drawn to veganism for its health benefits as well as ethics and are obsessed with smoothies, quinoa/rice bowls, kale and clean raw desserts. The second kind are usually drawn to the vegan lifestyle mainly for ethical reasons and don't really care much for the nutrition labels on food packages. These vegans are most likely to read articles in order to find accidentally vegan foods (did you know Oreos are vegan?) and typically survive on a diet of soy chicken nuggets, fries and twizzlers. In reality, most vegans fall somewhere in between these two clichés. As people who have had their fair share of tasty vegan cuisine (both healthy and junky), we were very pleasantly surprised by Earthly Delight's frozen home delivery options. In a country where it's not easy to find vegan or even vegetarian options at restaurants or catering services, Earthly Delights, the home delivery service operated by the previous owner of the Vegan Kitchen, is certainly a saviour for many. While most natural veggie burgers don't do the best job of imitating meat, the Earthly Delights burger (110LE for a pack of four patties), made up primarily of lentils and mushrooms, had a wonderful savoury flavour, and was a great imitation of a traditional burger patty, but with that wholesome twist. Texture wise, when baked the right amount of time (slightly crispy on both sides but not burnt), it has the consistency of a medium to medium-rare burger at one of Cairo's many gourmet burger restaurants. Besides being tasty, they were also a very decent size and made for a very visually pleasing burger. For us, the burger was perfect with Earthly Delights melting vegan cheese (more on that later) and our own additions of lettuce, and tomato. The doughy gluten free burger buns (58LE), meanwhile, were a great option for those who are gluten intolerant. They may have been a little too thick for the burgers, making it a bit difficult to get everything in one bite, but would be perfect if cut into thinner slices. The melting vegan cheese (80LE) was certainly a huge surprise. Cashew cheeses usually come in the form of a spread, almost the same consistency as cream cheese but slightly thicker. Most vegan cheeses that melt similarly to regular cheese are usually much more artificial and include ingredients that a regular person won't recognise or even pronounce. This melting cashew cheese, however, had an ingredient list as simple and as unsuspicious as the rest of Earthly Delight's products - and it really did melt! When heated on the stove, it formed a wonderful thick, gooey consistency which was absolutely mind-blowing when drenched on top of the burger patty. The vegan pizza (58LE) was simple yet delicious, using homemade marinara sauce, the melting vegan cheese and some herbs. The crust was gluten free, of course, and had a wonderful crispy texture. The pizza itself had a very classic flavour and was very easy to alter to our tastes. Before baking it in the oven, we added some chopped mushrooms, onions and tomatoes. While it was definitely a bit too small, it was a decent size for one person. The pesto sauce (45LE, produced by KAJU but is on the Earthly Delights menu and delivered through them) was exactly what one expects and hopes for. There's not much to say about it besides that it was a perfectly classic pesto and was wonderful when used as a dip with some toasted bread. For dessert, the chococo truffles (58LE, also produced by KAJU) were a wonderful treat, despite being small in portion. Though noticeably different in flavour to traditional chocolate truffles, as one takes the time to chew it, they find a mixture of rich flavours; the dark chocolate taste paired with the dates and coconut was superb. While the food was pricey, one can't really expect less from a catering service which offers all vegan and gluten free options with natural ingredients in Egypt. We received a good amount of food to last us for a few days. While the portion sizes were not huge, it was a good amount for a gathering or for one person if they want a few meals for the week. Overall, Earthly Delights offers quality vegan food, using ingredients any healthy vegan would love with the dining experience of a junk food vegan. They create 'naughty' foods such as pizza and burgers which are actually deceivingly healthy and delicious, made with completely plant based and clean ingredients and are easy to keep and prepare. Photo: Earthly Delights/Facebook

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Garbi: Great Greek Eats at Dokki Restaurant
Published On: 11/07/2016

Opening a new restaurant in central areas like Dokki and Mohandiseen these days is a bold move. While 6 of October City and New Cairo are the Cairo's new dining-centres, the hustle and bustle of central Cairo – and the lack of parking spots – isn't exactly conducive to a relaxing dining experience. That hasn't seemed to deter Greek cuisine specialist, Garbi, located near the Shooting Club in Dokki, however. Divided into two indoor spaces, white is the main theme of whole place with small touches of grey, wood, greens. One of the indoor areas seems a little gloomy, but boasts a relaxing ambiance and we loved the grey patterned chairs. The other, meanwhile, is much more bright and cheerful, thanks to the eye catching glass ceiling with a shattered texture, the white bricks walls and the huge flat screen TVs surrounded by greens. With a decent variety of food, we had to go with the Greek classics. We started our meal with Bifteki (38LE) as an appetiser, and for the mains we went with Fourno Kotopoulo (72LE) and Souvlaki Kreatos (85LE). Served in their outstanding pita bread, the Bifteki might best be described a Greek-style sliders and boasted some interesting flavours, despite not being filled with feta cheese as is the norm. The perfectly seasoned juicy patties were complemented by a delicious combination of sweet caramelised onions, which worked perfectly with the tzatziki sauce, and thinly sliced tomato to add some freshness. Moving to the mouth-watering Fourno Kotopoulo, this tajine of tender grilled chicken cutlets smothered with creamy spinach mixture with bold garlic, olives, and red onion flavours was definitely the star of the meal. Despite the side of white rice being very bland in taste, it was a fantastic dish overall. The same goes for the Souvlaki Kreatos – two grilled beef skewers with tzatziki-drizzled vegetables lying on fluffy pita bread. Aside from the beef being a little overcooked and chewy, it was super flavourful and, let's just say, that kids won't be complaining about eating grilled vegetables if it's always seasoned like that. Again, though, it was served with bland white rice. We couldn't resist trying the restaurant's 'Chicken Gyro' (48LE) – and we're glad we did. Wrapped in pita bread, the chicken was marinated well and was bursting with flavours, while the diced tomatos and onions were fresh, with the garlicky tzatziki bringing it all together. We finished our meal with Rizogalo (28LE) which is a Greek version of Rice Pudding. Topped with nuts, a dust of cinnamon and a drizzle of honey, what makes this Greek rice pudding different from Egyptian rice pudding is that it's not overly sweet, because it relies only on the honey for its sweet kick. The consistency and the texture were tender and the cinnamon was a nice surprise. Overall, despite slow service, the food was well executed, looked as good as it tasted and is an excellent example of Greek cuisine. Despite its parallels to Egyptian cuisine, Greek food is criminally under-represented in Egypt, but with Garbi on the scene and the Greek still enjoying popularity in Maadi, don't be surprised to find more Greek restaurants popping up across the city. 

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Lychee: Salads & Oatmeal Breakfasts at Popular Juice Bar
Published On: 11/07/2016

Lychee originally opened as a juice and smoothie bar in 2012, something rare to find in Cairo. Any health-obsessed foodie would be tremendously excited by the new food options added to the menu recently, since it promises wholesome and quick food to be enjoyed with Lychee's already well-loved smoothies and juices. This place is small and has a very "healthy fast food" sort of vibe. We love the urban organic health-nut feeling we had while hanging around the chalk boards which listed the smoothies and their ingredients. The empty jars and bottles stacked on the wooden shelves and the little Polaroid photos on the walls certainly help to add to this aesthetic. It was packed to the brim with young Cairenes sipping smoothies, and although they have a small bench which can seat 5-6 people, this place is certainly more grab-and-go, as one would expect a juice bar to be. We started out with 'The Kale Way' salad, which the menu described as including apples, salted peanuts, dried goji berries, dried cranberries, cucumber, golden flax seeds and a kale mix. We were expecting a crunchy, sweet medley of freshness perfect for the summertime, but sadly this salad did not deliver on this at all. The salad did not contain nearly enough of the components that were meant to add the most of the unique flavor (the berries, apples, and peanuts) making it quite bland. Besides lacking in overall flavour, it was also an extremely inconvenient salad. The kale mix and apple chunks were not chopped up enough, making it difficult to even grab a forkful and eat it, while the cucumber was spiralized into one long, thin slice which caused us to have to eat it like a spaghetti noodle. We were disappointed to say the least. For our next dish we tried something a little more hearty and sweet; the breakfast oatmeal (40LE). It comes with frozen blueberries, banana, chia seeds and your choice of almond milk or skimmed milk. Despite not having the requested almond milk, the oatmeal – made with water – maintained a thickness and creaminess that was made all the better by the fact that it wasn't sickeningly sweet. The frozen blueberries added a fruitiness once they melted into the warm oats, while the addition of cinnamon to our order really pulled the whole thing together. It was comforting, filling, packed with protein and included wonderful health benefits thanks to the chia seeds and generous servings of fruit. For a tiny dessert, we tried their new gluten-free cookie (15LE) and while it was not as moist as one would hope a cookie would be, it was quite tasty and resembled a cinnamon bun. It was wrapped up to-go style and stacked up on the shelf with the other cookie flavours, making it easy to pick one out and leave if you're in a hurry. When we tried some of their juices and smoothies, it was obvious that these were the real winners. Their kiwi blend (18LE) was sweet and refreshing, and there was definitely no question that they use the ripest of kiwis. From the grab-and-go fridge, we picked out the Calming Greens juice (25LE) and it is certainly called "calming" for a reason; unlike any other green juice we've tried before, this one included chamomile (which is well-known for its calming abilities) and blueberries. These two ingredients along with some pineapple and carrot added enough sweetness to mask any bitter taste from the kale and arugula, making it very well balanced. As for a smoothie, we opted for 'I Love Watermelon' which was a simple blend of watermelon, mint and passion fruit juice. Watermelon and mint is a pretty popular combination along the Mediterranean, but passion fruit? This seemed interesting. In a word, this smoothie was superb. It was incredibly sweet, hydrating and even invigorating, making it the perfect icy-cold treat for the summer. The sweetness of the watermelon was perfectly balanced out by the tanginess of the passion fruit. This smoothie has officially convinced us that passion fruit is the yin to watermelon's yang, and will definitely leave you craving more. Altogether, our order came out to 168LE, which wasn't too bad considering no one really expects a place that sells cold-pressed juices filled with organic ingredients to be too cheap. Even though it was pretty frustrating that they were out of a few things (such as the almond milk) and the waiters seemed a bit lost at times, service was still friendly and accommodating. Since some of the new food options weren't a total success, there is no doubt that Lychee is first and foremost a juice and smoothie bar and unquestionably excels in this area.

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Versal: Big, Wholesome Dishes at 'Country Cuisine' Restaurant in New Cairo
Published On: 10/07/2016

Identity can either be the cause of success or downfall of a restaurant. Promising to offer 'country cuisine', while also using words such as 'American' and 'traditional' to describe its menu, Versal's concept and identity are as vague as any - though it does show potential. Located in the New Patio complex in New Cairo, Versal boasts a two floor venue with a terrace. With a dominant white theme, the atmosphere imposes a relaxing feel, with a classic touch – but we were here for the food. From, burgers and chicken masala, to spicy rigatoni and fondue; Versal's menu doesn't have an obvious direction and might be considered 'international'. Undeterred, however, We started things off with Swiss Cheese Fondue (74LE), which came in the form of a small fondue pot filled with melted Swiss cheese and three small plates of potato wedges, sautéed mushrooms and pieces of Fino bread. The cheese had a smooth texture, though it was a bit watered down, which was apparent in both the taste and the consistency. The mushrooms were perfectly made and had an amazing salty aftertaste which was enhanced with the tanginess of the cheese, while the potato wedges also made for a perfect canvas for the cheese. We then opted for two house specialities; Country Chicken (74LE) with an additional Pasta side dish (10LE) and Signature Fillet (112LE) which both came in generous portions almost fifteen minutes later. Smothered in white gravy – also known as country gravy in southern American cuisine - the two breaded chicken breasts had a strong shell and crust which didn't crumble as we sliced it and inside was well-cooked and retained good seasoning, while the gravy gave an extra punch which overall made it a well-rounded dish. Drenched in rich and savoury white sauce, the pasta was delicious and well-cooked. The two pieces of beef fillet in the other dish, meanwhile, were almost hidden under a mountain of toppings - parmesan white sauce, bacon bits and sliced cherry tomatoes - giving it a bit of a messy presentation. The thin fillets were well-cooked, though, and had a great 'premium meat' taste to them, while all the toppings complimented the meat, with the bacon bits giving a smoky aftertaste which worked well with the tanginess of the cherry tomatoes. Served with the fillets, was very well-seasoned white basmati rice, while the mashed potatoes were a bit lumpy, but was covered in gravy and delivered in terms of flavour. We watered our meals with the humorously named Bob Marley (28LE) and Root Beer Float (32LE) that wasn't really a root beer float. A mixture of mango, strawberries, honey and a scoop of vanilla ice cream, the Bob Marley cocktail was refreshing, with the vanilla overpowering other flavours and giving an overly sweet taste. The Root Beer Float, on the other hand, was essentially Coke with a pinch of mint and, though the scoop of vanilla ice cream made for a great visual the cocktail was far from a root beer float. We ended the night with a recommended homemade Cheesecake, with our choice of strawberry, blueberry or Nutella sauces. Brought externally from local brand, Krem Gram, the cheesecake comes layered in individual jars and is by far one of the best cheesecakes we've had in a long time; smooth, creamy, with just the right amount of sweetness and a delightful crunchy biscuit base. And so while Versal's mishmash menu had us worried, credit is due for the quality of its dishes, which were delicious, wholesome and well-executed. But what is 'country' about its cuisine? The dishes are wholesome, generous and homely. Now it's a matter of maintaining that quality. 

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Independence Day Resurgence: Twenty Years On, Time Hasn't Been Kind
Published On: 06/07/2016

Given that it's taken twenty years for director Roland Emmerich and writer Dean Devlin arrive at a continuation of their 1996 sci-fi blockbuster, Independence Day, we're not sure whether to be surprised at how utterly uninvolving Resurgence really is, or whether we should have expected that, with a two-decade gap between films, it was always going to be difficult to capture the same essence of the original. Over the twenty years after the events of Independence Day, humanity has been preparing itself for the possibility of another extra-terrestrial attack, hoping that their newly-found technologies, weapons and defence-systems – built from the alien equipment and machinery left behind by the last visitors – will can fight off any outside threats. When not seducing a Dr. Catherine Marceaux (Gainsbourg), tech-guru David Levinson (Goldblum) sits as the head of global defense and research program, Earth Space Defence. When an even larger alien-space ship returns to the planet with plans of drilling all of the Earth's resources, familiar faces are soon pulled into the chaos, including ex U.S President Thomas Whitmore (Pullman), David's father, Julius Levinson (Hirsch) and a fighter pilot, Jake Morrison (Hemsworth) and Dylan Hiller (Usher). What should have been a large-than-life spectacle has instead resulted in painfully dull extension of what stands as one of the first sci-fi blockbusters of its kind. With a bigger but not a necessarily a better premise to work with, Emmerich struggles to keep his centre, with the film's focus become incoherent and its storylines and characters flimsy. The destruction sequences – which naturally go on to blow all major global landmarks – are over-the-top and while the sight of the three-thousand mile wide alien ship does stand out as one of the most spectacular things about the entire movie, there is very little human-connection in the film or stress on what's really at stake. With Will Smith opting to stay out, Resurgence ends up relying on the wit and charm of Jeff Goldblum and the handsome-heroism of Liam Hemsworth to carry the movie through the wreckage; a task for which unfortunately, none of their thinly-drawn characters are able to realise. Loud but somehow still dull, the spirited nature of its predecessor is completely diminished – overall, a quite unnecessary sequel. 

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Finding Dory: Not as Good as 'Nemo', But a Fun Ride Nonetheless
Published On: 02/07/2016

While it may not be as engrossing as its predecessor, Pixar's follow-up to its 2003's animated smash-hit Finding Nemo – the studios' most successful stand-alone film to date – still manages to find its own groove in the familiar but, painfully adorable aquatic sequel, Finding Dory. Taking place a year after their last oceanic adventure, Marlin (voiced by Brooks), Nemo (Rolence) and Dory (DeGeneres) are now living a relatively happy and peaceful life together with the clown fish making sure that their absentminded single friend is made to feel comfortable, happy and safe in her new environment. However, things soon throw Dory - who is still struggling with her short-term memory loss - out of the loop when, during a field trip with Mr. Ray (Peterson), a long-lost memory of her birth parents - Jenny (voiced by Keaton) and Charlie (Levy) - is triggered, inspiring the blue tang to go on a search for her loved ones. Deciding that it's probably best not to leave her alone, Marlin and Nemo soon join their friend on her journey from their home in Australia to the California's Monterey Marine Life Institute which she vaguely remembers as being her home. However, once they get there, Dory is separated from her buddies and without them there to keep her in check, Dory must rely on her intuition and the help of an escaped Octopus named Hank (O'Neill) and whale shark, Destiny (Olson), to find her way back home. With the story of Marlin and Nemo pushed to the sidelines, steps into the title role with relative ease, with the film utilizing her memory challenges as a basis for both laughs and tears. The voice-work is equally engaging; DeGeneres embraces her role as the titular character with plenty of heart, O'Neill shines as the cranky octopus, Hank, while both Burrell and Olson - Bailey-the-beluga-whale and Destiny-the-low-vision whale shark respectively - offer plenty of moments of both earnestness and hilarity. Helmed by the returning writer-director Andrew Stanton and co-director Angus MacLane, there is a lot of familiarity at play here, however, although the story - which has taken the producers thirteen years to bring to light - may not feel all that fresh, Finding Dory is still a delightfully entertaining and an admittedly funnier Pixar sequel whose beautifully-envisioned premise is packed colour, vibrancy and plenty of laughs to keep the viewers - especially the young ones - happy. 

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Ice, Ice Bottle: Coca-Cola is Doing ‘Sahel Season’ in Style

We're slap bang in the middle of what has come to be affectionately known as Sahel Season; a time when Cairenes hightail it to the North Coast at every opportunity possible to get a much needed dose of sun, sea and sand – and, this year, Coke. Yes, expect to see Coca-Cola across the most popular b