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Last week brought one of the biggest box office hits of 2020 to U.S. theaters: “Demon Slayer the Movie: Mugen Train,” which is a continuation of the hit anime series “Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba” from Japanese animation studio Ufotable. The film is based on the manga of the same name crea…

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Imagine a show that combined concepts from “Stranger Things,” “Game of Thrones” and “Avatar: The Last Airbender.” It sounds too good to be true, but alas, director Lee Toland Krieger has given us quite the show through his recent release “Shadow and Bone.” This Netflix original series is bas…

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Romance films capture the heartstrings and sometimes even include a comical outlet, but “Monday” is not your typical love story. Directed by Argyris Papadimitropoulos, “Monday” tackles the complex subjects of an adult relationship and focuses more on life situations than romance. “Monday” wa…

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What’s worse than being stalked by a creature from your nightmares? Being stalked thousands of feet in the air with nowhere to run. Such is the setting of New Zealander Roseanne Liang’s film “Shadow in the Cloud.” Starring Chloë Grace Moretz as Flight Officer Maude Garrett, Garrett is an Air…

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Old Hollywood dominated the late 1930s and early 1940s while the world was engaged in World War II. Although, Hollywood was lunged into a war of its own through propaganda films and the constant battle between studios. Several influential filmmakers, such as director Orson Welles and screenw…

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The day monster lovers have long-awaited has arrived with “Godzilla vs. Kong.” Directed by Adam Wingard, the film brings together the titans, who fans will finally get to see battle for supremacy. When Godzilla turns on humanity, many look to Kong to lead them to salvation. Others, however, …

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America in the 1960s was dominated by civil rights protests, assassinations and craze over the first man to walk on the moon, but all the while, thousands laid down their lives for the Vietnam War. On Aug. 28, 1968, multiple organizers led thousands of people and filled the streets of Chicag…

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Released on Sept. 4, 2020 to theaters and Premier Access on Disney+, the live-action adaptation of “Mulan” has received praise and criticism alike. A remake of the 1998 animated Disney feature of the same name, “Mulan” tells the same story of a young woman who defies her place in society to …

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If asked about their favorite artists, people familiar with contemporary Christian music would likely name artists such as Lauren Daigle, Hillsong or MercyMe. There is one individual though who has flown under the mainstream radar while leaving quite the mark on the industry, and he happens …

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The Russo Brothers, Joe and Anthony, have finally wrapped up the production of one of their most anticipated films, “Cherry.” Starring the duo’s favorite friendly neighborhood Spiderman, Tom Holland has broken out of his typical acting mold. As an original Apple TV+ film, “Cherry” was releas…

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There are moments in life where an event occurs that no one thinks much of. Then, without warning, the world changes. For the characters in “Greenland,” that life-changing event is a comet. Ric Roman Waugh’s film was released on Dec. 18, 2020, in the United States and depicts humanity’s chao…

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Around 2014 or 2015, there was a new trend emerging in popular horror films: Post-horror. This term was coined by film theorists and genre enthusiasts alike, and it can be loosely defined as films within the horror genre which prioritize atmosphere and mood over the generic jump scares that …

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Justin Timberlake shines in the music world with his iconic, trendy pop songs but has hit the spotlight for his starring role in the new film, “Palmer.” Directed by Fisher Stevens, “Palmer” was released on Jan. 29 and is available to stream on Apple TV+. This film focuses on ex-convict Eddie…

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Continuing its quest to bring further diversity to film, Disney released “Raya and the Last Dragon” with inspiration from Southeast Asia’s rich cultures. The film follows Raya, a young heroine and keeper of the Dragon Gem, on her journey to restore her world and banish the shadowy Druun by f…

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On Feb. 19, Alexander 23 released a nine-track extended play record, or EP, titled “Oh No, Not Again!” Some of the songs on the EP have been released for a while, but they were still great additions. The only one I feel should not have been included was “IDK You Yet” since it is Alexander 23…

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It’s not often that a film takes what is popular and familiar down a completely different path, but that is exactly what “Mortal” does. Norwegian writer and director André Øvredal has produced works such as “Trollhunter” and “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark,” but “Mortal” provides a new sp…

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Released on Feb. 5, “Malcolm & Marie,” directed by Sam Levinson, tells a romantic drama from an artistic point of view that some would find either entertaining or emotionally draining. This Netflix original stars only two characters: Zendaya as Marie and John David Washington as Malcolm.

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With director Aaron Schneider at the helm, Tom Hanks is making waves again with “Greyhound,” a World War II naval film based on the novel “The Good Shepherd” by C. S. Forester. The film depicts the harrowing journey Allied ships braved in the Battle of the Atlantic as they fought to cross th…

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Directed by Jude Weng, “Finding ‘Ohana” is a Netflix original released on Jan. 29. It follows the story of two teenage siblings from Brooklyn that connect with their Hawaiian heritage. Starring Kea Peahu, Alex Aiono and Kelly Hu, this film focuses more on trends than its original idea of hig…

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On Jan. 29, Arlo Parks released a new album titled “Collapsed in Sunbeams” and many of its tracks made it to Parks’ top 5 most popular list on Spotify. Every track that has gained a great deal of popularity since its release is well-deserving of its spot. Though Parks has less than 4 million…

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Jan. 15 brought the release of “WandaVision,” the first of Marvel Studios’ planned series for Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Currently, the show is five episodes into its eight-episode season and it has been a wild ride for viewers.

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On Jan. 22, Moon Taxi released a new album titled “Silver Dream.” With a two-year span between the last album and their latest, it was about time for some new music from such an upbeat band during these trying times. The tracks “Morocco” and “Red Hot Lights” were both so iconic during their …

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Released on Jan. 15 and currently available to stream on Netflix, “The Dig,” directed by Simon Stone, starts 2021 the right way in the world of cinema. Starring Carey Mulligan, Ralph Fiennes and Lily James, “The Dig” takes a unique approach to the lifestyle and problems people encountered du…

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Christmas Day of 2020 brought the release of Pixar's “Soul,” the latest addition to the studio’s repertoire of fun and friendly films. As is typical of Pixar, the film makes use of a lighthearted atmosphere to address the deeper themes placed within its story.

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Roger Ebert once said movies are the “most powerful empathy machine in all the arts.” “Pieces of a Woman,” directed by Kornél Mundruczó and written by his partner Kata Wéber, is an unfortunate example of how the medium of film equally lends itself to exploitation and manipulation. “Pieces of…

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“Wonder Woman 1984,” directed by Patty Jenkins, continues the long-anticipated story with Gal Gadot as the fierce Wonder Woman, Diana Prince. Gadot returns in this sequel to tackle new foes and face some old ones. Starring Chris Pine, Pedro Pascal and Kristen Wiig, “Wonder Woman 1984” was re…

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Released in theaters on Nov. 13, and then onto streaming platforms Dec. 11, 2020, “Wolfwalkers” is the newest film from the Irish animation studio Cartoon Saloon. It follows young Robyn Goodfellowe, an English girl in the Irish town of Kilkenny where her father Bill has been hired to hunt do…

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“Happiest Season,” directed by Clea DuVall and written by DuVall and Mary Holland is a heartwarming addition to the Christmas rom-com canon. The film follows Abby (Kristin Stewart) and Harper (Mackenzie Davis), a young couple who have been together for about a year. Abby has a general dislik…

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Fifteen years ago, director Ridley Scott released his cinematic epic “Kingdom of Heaven.” Set during the Crusades, the film follows Balian of Ibelin, a young blacksmith-turned-lord who sets out for Jerusalem in search of God, forgiveness and a new life. He soon finds himself wrapped up in th…

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“Freaky,” directed by Christopher Landon, is a clever take on the slasher genre, despite occasionally suffering from clunky dialogue and some weak characterization. Landon, known for directing the “Happy Death Day” films, focuses his narrative on Millie, a high schooler who exists on the per…

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25 years ago, a computer animated film called “Toy Story” changed the face of children’s films and launched the new studio Pixar into the annals of history. As the first film composed entirely of CGI, “Toy Story” was innovative and unique in more ways than one. A kids’ movie that’s also enjo…

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“Rocky IV,” directed by Sylvester Stallone, continues the storyline of Rocky Balboa, a boxing Heavyweight Champion played by the director himself. As sports films go, the Rocky franchise is known for its iconic scenes and music, but the films don’t overly consume themselves with the sport of…

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“Yes, God, Yes,” directed by Karen Maine, is a deceivingly simple film, utilizing its minimal plot to tell a complex story. Few would call “Yes, God, Yes” ambitious, especially since the film clocks in at a modest 78 minutes, shorter than some episodes of Netflix’s most banal content, a la “…

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Brandon Cronenberg’s new sci-fi gore thriller “Possessor” is magnificent. Released back in January at Sundance, the film is jam-packed with innovative visuals and eloquently conveyed themes, making the violent and occasionally horrifying film one of the best movies of 2020.

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“The Da Vinci Code” is a name that has lived in infamy through the early 21st century. Based on Dan Brown’s 2003 book of the same name, its story sent shocks through Christendom not just for centering on a secret that would upend Christianity as the world knows it, but for Brown promoting th…

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Aaron Sorkin’s new Netflix political courtroom drama “The Trial of the Chicago 7” is a fairly solid film. Not totally adept at anything, the film also contains no serious mistakes, making it a very mediocre piece of cinema.

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On Oct. 27, JAWNY, formerly known as Johnny Utah, released his first album “For Abby," which consists of 10 tracks. However, whoever keeps up with JAWNY’s releases would know that the majority of the songs were released as singles before the album was dropped, with some released back in 2019…

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This November marks 20 years since writer and director M. Night Shyamalan released his hit film “Unbreakable.” As with any anniversary, it’s worth reflecting on how the film has withstood the test of time and where it stands now.

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There are plenty of horror films that make their way back to screens during the Halloween season, and “The Strangers” is a good addition to the list. Directed by Bryan Bertino, “The Strangers” focuses on multiple intruders that cause Kristin McKay (Liv Tyler) and James Hoyt (Scott Speedman) …

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Noah Baumbach’s coming-of-age dramedy “Kicking and Screaming” turned 25 this October. The film, unrelated to the more popular Will Ferrell movie of the same title, is a roaringly funny examination of several recent college graduates as they are forced to come to terms with the fact that they…

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New Horror Canon: In honor of the month of October, film critic Joseph Ornelas looks at the most significant and influential horror films of the past 10 years.

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October has brought the Halloween season again, and many are looking to celebrate the spooky spirit through films. While some typically imagine dark nights, haunted settings and malicious monsters, Ridley Scott’s 1979 science fiction film “Alien” wouldn’t necessarily come to mind. However, i…

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Stephen King, the “king of horror,” gets the popular nickname from his many horrific narratives. “IT” and “Pet Sematary” are only a couple of newer films based on King’s widely popular stories. As the cinematic experience progressed, so did the adaptation of King’s scary stories. Based on a …

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New Horror Canon: In honor of the month of October, film critic Joseph Ornelas looks at the most significant and influential horror films of the past 10 years.

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On Oct. 9, Bahamas released a new album titled “Sad Hunk.” The album has generally a more melancholic feel than his previous albums and this is certainly due to the country’s current political and social climate. Though the album is less positive than those in the past, it is still not lacki…