REVIEW: Wonder Woman

Image: Warner Bros.

Chris Luckett

Comic book origin movies almost invariably get outdone by their first sequels, because the first movie has to spend most of its time as setup while the second gets to hit the ground running.

What’s more, the extensive exposition and mythology when it comes to superheroes make it difficult for even the best superhero origin stories to be truly great movies.

Of course, none of them have been Wonder Woman.

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REVIEW: Star Trek Beyond

Photo: Paramount Pictures

Photo: Paramount Pictures

Chris Luckett

Die Hard with a Vengeance, Jurassic Park III, and Mission: Impossible III were all excellent third entries, each more than making up for the problems of its weak predecessor. In all of those cases, changing directors allowed a breath of fresh air into the property the third time around — in M:I III’s case, funnily enough, from J.J. Abrams.

Abrams’ next movie would be the 2009 Star Trek reboot, a thrilling adventure that redefined the franchise — which then swiftly became stale and unimaginative in his 2012 follow-up, Star Trek Into Darkness.

Now that Abrams has jumped from warp drives to hyper drives, Justin Lin has been hired to do for Star Trek what he did for Fast & Furious movies 3-6, and he proves to be just what the series needed to once again shoot for the stars.

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CORE STORY: Chris Hemsworth beaming back aboard Star Trek

Photo: Paramount Pictures

Photo: Paramount Pictures

Chris Luckett

The 2009 reboot Star Trek introduced the movie world to Chris Hemsworth, spring-boarding the career of the man who would be Thor.

His character, father to James T. Kirk (Chris Pine), may have given his life in the opening scene of the 2009 picture, but that hasn’t stopped him signing on to co-star with Pine and Zachary Quinto in Star Trek 4.

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REVIEW: Horrible Bosses 2

Photo: Warner Bros.

Photo: Warner Bros.

Chris Luckett

Jason Bateman has had one of the most welcome career resurrections of the last ten or fifteen years. After burning bright and fast as a teen star, he seemed destined to be remembered simply as Justine Bateman’s younger brother until a little show called Arrested Development came knocking.

Following his pointed performance as Michael Bluth, Bateman began stealing the spotlight in guest roles in middling comedies like Dodgeball and The Break-Up, before showing himself to be a mature and complex leading man. The Kingdom, Juno, State of Play, Up in the Air, and The Switch were each among their year’s best and with them, Bateman proved himself to be among the best in his field. 2014 has been an especially productive for him, with Horrible Bosses 2 being his fourth film of the year. Unfortunately, Horrible Bosses 2 may also be his fourth-worst of the year. Continue reading

REVIEW: Star Trek Into Darkness

Photo: Paramount Pictures

Photo: Paramount Pictures

Chris Luckett

J.J. Abrams’s 2009 Star Trek was an exhilarating breath of fresh air for a franchise that had become stale and somewhat antiquated, despite its futuristic setting. By injecting his trademark cinematic flair and knack for gripping action, the reboot soared to heights not reached on the big screen since 1982’s Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Low expectations four years ago made Abrams’s job easier; his follow-up arrives with much larger hype and much closer scrutiny. Continue reading