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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 …

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Romance Fights to Survive Across the Iron Curtain in ‘Cold War’

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(2018—Director: Paweł Pawlikowski) (watch trailer here) — by Renard N. Bansale — ★★★★ (out of 5 stars)     “Two hearts, four eyes, oy oy oy. / Crying all day and all night, oy oy oy.” “Believe in yourself.” … “I do. It’s you I don’t believe in.” — Wiktor Warski (Tomasz Kot) and Zuzanna “Zula” …

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Adam McKay & Christian Bale Storm Through the Fog of Politics in ‘Vice’

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(2018—Director: Adam McKay)  — by Renard N. Bansale — High ★★★½ (out of 5 stars)  “You are the President. War is yours.” — Vice President Richard “Dick” Cheney (Christian Bale) to President George W. Bush (Sam Rockwell) Potential spoilers below Three years after The Big Short propelled writer-director Adam McKay from comedy auteur of the …