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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. …

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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 …

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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 …