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‘Avengers: Endgame’ Gradually Accelerates to Deliver Glorious MCU Nostalgia

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(2019—Directors: Anthony Russo & Joe Russo) — by Renard N. Bansale — High ★★★½ (out of 5 stars) “I am…inevitable.” Potential spoilers below Wow, has it already been one year? As a matter of fact, it has been exactly one year since my Avengers: Infinity War review was published here at Impacting Culture. Back then, …

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‘Missing Link’: Laika’s Near-Great Latest Is Rousing & Exquisite

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(2019—Director: Chris Butler) — by Renard N. Bansale — High ★★★½ (out of 5 stars) “The ‘word’, my dear fellow, is ‘trust’.” — Sir Lionel Frost (Hugh Jackman) to Mr. Link/Susan (Zach Galifianakis)  Potential spoilers below 2016 was a remarkably diverse year for animation, and it culminated with Disney’s Zootopia winning the Best Animated Feature …

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‘Shazam!’ Enlivens the DCEU With Jolly Abandon

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(2019—Director: David F. Sandberg) — by Renard N. Bansale — High ★★★ (out of 5 stars) “If a superhero can’t save his family, he’s not much of a hero.” — William “Billy” Batson (Asher Angel) to Frederick “Freddy” Freeman (Jack Dylan Grazer) and their other foster siblings Potential spoilers below When it comes to superhero …

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Wheels Up for Disney in 2019 With ‘Dumbo’ a la Burton

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(2019—Director: Tim Burton) — by Renard N. Bansale — High ★★★ (out of 5 stars)  “Your children don’t need you to be perfect. They just need you to believe in them.” — Colette Marchant (Eva Green) to Holt Farrier (Colin Farrell) Potential spoilers below (Also, following their initial mentions, I shall distinguish between the two …

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‘Us’: Jordan Peele Elevates Modern Horror Cinema Again

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(2019—Director: Jordan Peele) — by Renard N. Bansale — High ★★★★ (out of 5 stars)  “Once upon a time, there was a girl…and the girl had a shadow.” — Red (Lupita Nyong’o) to Adelaide Wilson (Lupita Nyong’o) “What are you people?” … “We’re Americans.” — Gabriel “Gabe” Wilson (Winston Duke) and Red (Lupita Nyong’o) Potential …

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‘Captive State’: A Hazy & Fragmented Update on Alien Invasion Sci-Fi

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(2019—Director: Rupert Wyatt)  — by Renard N. Bansale — High ★★½ (out of 5 stars)  “Strike the closed zone. Light a match. Ignite a war.” “Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.”  Potential spoilers below Aliens exist, and they wish to conquer our world. Resist, and the last thing you see before they cause you to burst …

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‘Captain Marvel’: An Engaging, If Somewhat Fleeting MCU Throwback Prequel

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(2019—Directors: Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck) — by Renard N. Bansale — Low ★★★½ (out of 5 stars)     “Name a detail so bizarre a Skrull could never fabricate it.” … “If toast is cut diagonally, I can’t eat it.” — Carol Danvers/Vers/Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) and Agt. Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Samuel L. Jackson) …

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‘The Hidden World’: A Sturdy & Rousing Trilogy Finale

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(2018—Director: Dean DeBlois) — by Renard N. Bansale — ★★★½ (out of 5 stars)     “They don’t have a leader—just a boy.” — Grimmel the Grisly (F. Murray Abraham) on Hiccup, Chief of Berk (Jay Baruchel)  Potential spoilers below Greetings, cinema of 2019! Back in my review for Incredibles 2, I mentioned how the 2008 …