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Pixar Finishes the Decade Strong With ‘Toy Story 4’

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(2019—Director: Josh Cooley) — by Renard N. Bansale — Low ★★★★★ (out of 5 stars) “Being there for a child is the most noble thing a toy can do.” — Gabby Gabby (Christina Hendricks) to Sheriff Woody (Tom Hanks)  Potential spoilers below 1995’s Toy Story remains both a childhood monument for a majority of the past few generations, not to …

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Producer-Director Friction Undermines ‘MIB: International’

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(2019—Director: F. Gary Gray) — by Renard N. Bansale — ★★½ (out of 5 stars) “Always remember, the universe has a way of leading you to where you’re supposed to be at the moment you’re supposed to be there.” — High T (Liam Neeson) to Agent H (Chris Hemsworth) Potential spoilers below Besides the behemoth that was Titanic, the blockbuster …

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‘Dark Phoenix’: A Pitiful Farewell for Fox 2000’s X-Men Franchise

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(2019—Director: Simon Kinberg) — by Renard N. Bansale — High ★★½ (out of 5 stars) “You’re not like the other doctors.” … “No, and you’re not like the other patients.” — Young Jean Grey (Summer Fontana) and Prof. Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) Potential spoilers below Ever since the release of the first film back in 2000, 20th Century Fox’s X-Men …

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‘King of the Monsters’: Titan Duels Space Out Bloated Human Drama

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(2019—Director: Michael Dougherty) — by Renard N. Bansale — High ★★½ (out of 5 stars) “You’re a monster.”  “If I had the two of you as parents, I would’ve run away from home too.” — Chief Warrant Officer Jackson Barnes (O’Shea Jackson, Jr.) to Dr. Emma Russell (Vera Farmiga) and Dr. Mark Russell (Kyle Chandler)  Potential spoilers below When Legendary …

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‘Aladdin’: Not Wholly New, But Sure to Please Eyes & Ears

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(2019—Director: Guy Ritchie) — by Renard N. Bansale — High ★★★ (out of 5 stars) “I made you look like a prince on the outside, but I didn’t change anything on the inside. Prince Ali got you to the door, but Aladdin has to open it.” — The Genie (Will Smith) to Aladdin (Mena Massoud) Potential spoilers below (Also, following …

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John Wick vs. the Assassin Underworld in ‘Ch. 3—Parabellum’

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(2019—Director: Chad Stahelski) — by Renard N. Bansale — High ★★★½ (out of 5 stars) “Si vis pacem, para bellum.” — Winston (Ian McShane) “There are rules. They are the only thing that separate us—” “—from the animals.” — The Adjudicator (Asia Kate Dillon) and Winston (Justice Smith) Potential spoilers below In 2014, actor Keanu Reeves was at least two …

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‘Pokémon: Detective Pikachu’s’ Serviceable Mystery Shows Promise for the Future

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(2019—Director: Rob Letterman) — by Renard N. Bansale — ★★★ (out of 5 stars) “Should I talk about the fact that your childhood bed is a Pikachu bed? … “It’s a coincidence.” … “I’ve never been so flattered and creeped out at the same time.” — Det. Pikachu (voiced and facial motion captured by Ryan Reynolds) and Tim Goodman (Justice …

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‘Long Shot’: Fair Rom-Com Chemistry Soon Gives Way to Lazy Vulgarity

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(2019—Director: Jonathan Levine) — by Renard N. Bansale — High ★★½ (out of 5 stars) “Is he high?” … “He is wasted, and he’s also just stupid.” — U.S. Secretary of State Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron), to staffer Maggie Millikin (June Diane Raphael), regarding Fred Flarsky (Seth Rogen)  Potential spoilers below Director Jonathan Levine spent the first half of the …

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Confronting Loss With Kindness & Service to Others in ‘Okko’s Inn’

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(2019—Director: Kitarō Kōsaka) — by Renard N. Bansale — Low ★★★★ (out of 5 stars) “Hananoyu’s hot spring water rejects no one.” — Grandmother/Obā-chan Mineko Seki (Harumi Ichiryûsai, dubbed by Glynis Ellis) to granddaughter Oriko “Okko” Seki (Seiran Kobayashi, dubbed by Madigan Kacmar) Potential spoilers below In the list of directors perceived as “the next Hayao Miyazaki”, most minds likely …

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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, I wrote on how the …