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...

Guardians of the Galaxy

Directed by James Gun Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, David Bautista, Bradley Cooper (voice), Vin Diesel (voice), John C. Reilly, Glenn Close, a lot of CG guys in globally dispersed cube farms Review: 2.5 stars (of five) Guardians of the Galaxy was a letdown, a frenetic mix of CGI action and tired “badass antihero” cliches. If a computer algorithm were applied to every action movie of the last half-decade, then used to generate a script off the keywords “science fiction,” “body count” and “antiheroes,” this script would’ve come out, with all its gunfire and teen-level...

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...

The Losers

Director: Sylvain White Starring: Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Zoe Saldana, Chris Evans, Jason Patric Review: 2.5 stars (of five) The Losers is fun, despite every element except except the casting being disastrously inept. There is no reason this movie should be even watchable, but if you have a...

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Writer/Director: James Cameron Starring: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Rodriguez, Giovanni Ribisi Review: 5 stars (of five) (Note: This breathless review was written shortly after midnight, right after I got home from the screening. While I was still drunk on the experience. I could get all sober and stuffy on later reflection, but I think this reaction is the reaction that matters.) When I was eight years old, my parents came home from seeing Star Wars (one of only two films I can ever remember them going to see in the theater) and raving like lunatics. The opening shot, with this giant ship that...