[Review] Star Trek Beyond

[Review] Star Trek Beyond

Star Trek Beyond finds itself in an unenviable position in the hotly-contested Summer blockbuster season. It’s not that the movie celebrates the 50th anniversary of the franchise – in of itself a significant milestone that matters very little to anyone outside of ardent fans and pop culture enthusiasts. It’s not just the skepticism surrounding the film since Fast and Furious director Justin Lin assumed the helm after some behind the scenes shuffling. It’s not even that there was a lot of mixed reactions regarding the last film, Into Darkness (I personally loved it).

Okay, maybe it has a little to do with the latter. The movie series reboot has been a financial success but remains divisive with long time fans. The plot twist in Into Darkness (spoiler alert: Cumberbatch is Khan) lead to criticisms of the franchise relying too much on well-worn Trek history when the purpose of the movies was to take Trek into new territory unburdened by the show’s past. Whatever the successes of the previous films, any new film would best be served by diving into Trek‘s core tenant: boldly going.

Thankfully, Star Trek Beyond follows through.

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[Review] Avengers: Age of Ultron

[Review] Avengers: Age of Ultron

Avengers: Age of Ultron is a surprising film. Not because of the solid script or impressive action sequences. It’s not because rarely have we seen a comic book spectacle on this scale (are you taking notes, DC?). No, Age of Ultron is surprising because, for a decent chunk in the middle of the film, the action comes to a sudden stop as our heroes reflect. It’s a slice of character psychodrama that we don’t see very often. Age of Ultron is the better for it. But it doesn’t quite save the film from being something of a downgrade from the previous film.

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Review: Hercules (2014)

Review: Hercules (2014)

Hercules, the summer action vehicle for pro wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson, is an easy movie to dismiss. Aside from being released during a quiet period in the summer movie season, the marketing for the film is misleading. The trailers lead you to believe the film is akin to Clash of the Titans (an egregious example is a scene where a man lashes a flaming whip around Hercules’ neck. Spoiler alert: the whip is absolutely not on fire in the film), when in fact it’s closer to Gladiator.

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