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Renard’s Top 10 Films of 2017

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— by Renard N. Bansale — Potential spoilers below Another year in cinema, another belated top ten films list. Again, my apologies to all those who prefer top ten lists published within a week or two on either side of New Year’s Day. Cinema in 2017, in response to the chaos of the year before, seemed exhausted and bleak. The ideological …

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‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Reaches the Stars

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– By Carly Twehous – Spoilers Below Whenever I hear of a new show—and especially after I see the trailer for one—naturally, I have some expectations. Usually, the bar is pretty low. First seasons and pilot episodes are not always the prettiest things out there, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that the show itself is going to be terrible. (Case …

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‘Mary & the Witch’s Flower’: Studio Ponoc’s Safe But Assured Feature Debut

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(2017—Director: Hiromasa Yonebayashi) — by Renard N. Bansale — ★★★½ (out of 5 stars) “What’s done is done until it’s undone.” — The Incantation for “the Spell to Undo All Magic” Potential spoilers below It saddened the animation world in 2014 when Japan’s famous Studio Ghibli announced that it will go on an indefinite hiatus. This followed the announced retirement …

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Stitching Together a Perilous Romance in ‘Phantom Thread’

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(2017—Director: Paul Thomas Anderson) — by Renard N. Bansale — High ★★★★ (out of 5 stars)  “Kiss me, my girl, before I’m sick.” — Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis) to Alma Elson (Vicky Krieps) Potential spoilers below When news broke that writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson was going to make a period romantic drama starring Sir Daniel Day-Lewis in what may end …

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‘The Last Jedi’: A Dense, Subversive, and Gripping Middle Act to the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy

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(2017—Director: Rian Johnson) — by Renard N. Bansale — Low ★★★★½ (out of 5 stars) “What do you know about the Force?” … “It’s a power that Jedi have that allows them to control people…and make things float.” … “Impressive. Every word in that sentence was wrong.” — Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and Rey (Daisy Ridley) Potential spoilers below What …

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‘The Post’: Spielberg’s Express Delivery of Prestige Journalism

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(2017—Director: Steven Spielberg) — by Renard N. Bansale — High ★★★½ (out of 5 stars) “You know, my husband once said that ‘the news is the first rough draft of history.’” — Kay Graham (Meryl Streep) to Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks) Potential spoilers below To say that Steven Spielberg has had a storied career is one of cinema’s greatest understatements. …