The More It Comes Down: A “Manchester by the Sea” Review

There’s no real way to set a film based around grief in a tropical location. Sure, people in warm climates deal with death and sadness too, but cognitively, visually, there’s nothing quite like the cold to drive misery home. So it is in Manchester by the Sea, the delicate and powerful new film from Kenneth Lonergan. The film’s opening images are a montage of winter scenery, and of Casey Affleck’s Lee Chandler as he handles various building management duties in Quincy, Massachusetts — tossing out garbage, changing light bulbs, and shovelling snow. The snow is ever-present in Manchester by the Sea, obscuring, coating, and, in its way, marking the time. The snow sets the tone.

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The Grant Rant: Encarnaci-gone

Edwin wants a five year deal, which would take him through his age 38 season with Toronto. While he was something of a late bloomer, he’ll already be 34 years old when next season begins. That’s not ‘aging’, it’s old already! It’s a real factor, and is something that could quickly become a slippery slope. Many fans shrug this off, explaining how these deals are less risky now because more and more players are productive as they get older these days. That’s just not true.

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As The Whole World Watches: An “Arrival” Review

The first third of Arthur C. Clarke’s seminal science fiction novel “Childhood’s End” deals with the arrival of extraterrestrial beings in massive ships to our planet. The actual form of these aliens is not revealed until later, after the book has jumped ahead to a period when the presence of aliens on Earth has been normalized. Humanity needed time before being able to accept them. It’s an understandable response, given people’s typical emotional reaction to the new and unknown. And it’s a concept, one of a few, thrumming through the new film on a similar subject from director Denis Villeneuve, Arrival.

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Why You Trippin’ Out?: A “Doctor Strange” Review

A person can go crazy trying to figure out which accent Benedict Cumberbatch puts on in Doctor Strange. He plays world-renowned surgeon Dr. Stephen Strange, based in Manhattan, but he definitely doesn’t sound like a New Yorker. No discussion is made of the man’s heritage, but it’s doubtful the accent’s background would be British — Cumberbatch’s natural voice. No, like much of Marvel’s latest movie, Dr. Strange’s accent is a vaguely funny, weird thing to be tried on and tossed off. The accent — which mostly just screams “pretentious asshole” — is part of the light fun of the film. It’s perhaps best not to go too crazy about it.

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An NBA Postview: The Post-Preview Preview

The NBA season is about two weeks old, and already, some primary suspicions have been confirmed. In the West, it appears unlikely that the Golden State Warriors will win 74 games, as they go through the growing process that even super-teams need. The Dallas Mavericks appear to be dead. Everything else is up in the air. In the East, it appears that the Cleveland Cavaliers, unless LeBron James should suffer significant injury, will cruise to another Conference title. Their primary challengers, the Toronto Raptors, yet again have a hole at power forward, despite some interesting youngsters and an en fuego start from DeMar DeRozan. The Boston Celtics — shocker — are maybe not quite as good as their rabid fans thought.

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SP Mix: Vine Is Dead, But The Beat Goes On

In its eccentricity, Vine was a community of sorts. It was rewarding to be a member; if you scrolled enough, different corners revealed themselves to you. It got easier to find the weird underbelly after 2014 too, when the app’s user base contracted slowly, giving in to Instagram video and Snapchat. Vine didn’t mind. Its users birthed woozy 8mm nature videos, remix threads where different users would create music collaboratively, even feature-length movies told six seconds at a time.

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