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...

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation is a surprisingly strong entry in a surprisingly strong series. This is the fifth Mission Impossible flick, and it’s surprising to look back and realize that the first one debuted in 1996. Possibly a key to its success is having run only five movies in nearly 20 years, while keeping the same lead actor and context (as opposed to Bond relaunches) in place. (The earlier films came out in 1996, 2000, 2006, 2011. The Bond series ran eight films from 1995 to this year’s Spectre. And in the Roger Moore era, averaged a film every other year for two decades.) Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation Director:...

The World's End

Director: Edgar Wright Starring: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Martin Freeman, Rosamund Pike Review: 4.5 stars (of five) The best thing you can do is stop reading this review and go see The World’s End as soon as you can, with as little knowledge of the movie as you can manage in today’s Internet-soaked age. Really, stop reading. There’s nothing I can do here except excessively praise the work while doing my damnedest to not spoil it at all.  This is the third outing from the team of Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Edgar Wright, and it’s as anarchic and over-the-top as Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz.  A very smart comedy that...

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...

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...