Star Trek Beyond

Just when I’d completely given up on the rebooted Star Trek franchise, they go and deliver not just their first good movie of the series, but an excellent Star Trek film by any measure. Star Trek Beyond Director: Justin Lin Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Idris Elba, Sofia Boutella Review: 4.5 stars (of five) This Star Trek series has always had an excellent cast that does a great job of both impersonating and reimagining the original crew. But they’ve been underserved by writers and directors, from JJ Abrams on down, who cared more about creating action...

Into the Woods

Stephen Sondheim’s fairy-tale mashup gives us the magic in act one,  then uses act two to try to teach us something deeper about being a failed, jaded adult. That second hour is irredeemable drudgery, as the story betrays itself and the audience and  drags  to a lame...

Star Trek – Into Darkness

Director: J.J. Abrams Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Benedict Cumberbatch, Peter Weller, April Eve, Bruce Greenwood Review: 3 stars (of five) Although J.J. Abrams arguably squanders (again) a potentially great villain, he pulls off a Star Trek sequel with all the high-stakes, high-speed insanity of the first installment, but a better grip on the difficult art of breakneck story logic. That’s not to say that Abrams isn’t still putting runaway-train pacing ahead of all other concerns, but at least he rarely jettisons all pretense at logic. (The weirdest...

Unstoppable

Director: Tony Scott Starring: Denzel Washington, Chris Pine, Rosario Dawson Review: 4 stars (of five) A runaway train slowly builds speed until it’s a juggernaut threatening an entire Pennsylvania town, and naturally the only average joes with a chance of stopping it are the two A-List...

Star Trek

Director: J.J. Abrams Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, Zoe Saldana, Eric Bana Rating: 4 stars (out of five) An Apology When I first saw this movie, I was, as the review will show, utterly seduced by its energy and an excellent cast and the way it connected to my decades of affection for the original Star Trek.  It was only well after I’d posted the film that I reconsidered my opinion.  The movie is terrible, it’s really, as a film, as a story, a load of crap.  Whether you consider the old Trek universe or take this as a whole new experience.  I get to some of the flaws below, but not the...