MOVIE REVIEWS – 5th ICE AGE, 13th STAR TREK, & 63rd Woody Allen Film

This weekend a group of films will continue their movie legacies.  Justin Lin brings forth the 3rd of the Bad Robot "new" Star Treks.  Ray Romano, Denis Leary, and John Leguizamo convinced a few more of their comedian friends to help bring about the 5th Ice Age film and of course Woody Allen has a new film!  Click through for my reviews of STAR TREK: BEYONDICE AGE: COLLISION COURSE, & CAFE SOCIETY.

Sid, Manny and Diego's constant survival journey continues to cause laughter and inspiration.  But it's lovable Scrat and his never ending struggle over the elusive nut that keeps Ice Age relevant and worth your notice.  Scart's interstellar journey retells the creation of our solar system and sets in motion a magnetic future destruction of our beloved Earth in the Ice Age.  Other than Scrat it's the presence of Simon Pegg that make Ice Age: Collision Course enjoyable.  Meet BUCK aka Pythagorus Buck aka Robo Buck.

Overall a fun ride that allows for some quality one liners from the likes of Wanda Sykes, Nick Offerman and the great Neil de Grasse Tyson!  ICE AGE: COLLISION COURSE

Simon Pegg is not only the best part of ICE AGE, but easily his Scotty is one of the best reasons to see the new Star Trek films.  Pegg's scenes w/ Sofia Boutella's JAYLAH are real highlights to the latest Star Trek.  

STAR TREK: BEYOND does a great job of pushing the comedy and "buddy" antics of our heroes so that the normal ridiculous science in the reboots doesn't anger you.  Bones and Spock's growth through constant ribbing really makes Beyond one of the better Star Trek's.  But everything always comes back to the villain.  Cumberbatch's screen time in INTO DARKNESS still causes anger and it seems like Justin Lin realized.  In Beyond Idris Elba's menacing KRALL does what Cumberbatch's weak Khan couldn't do he utterly destroys the ENTERPRISE and thoroughly overpowers Kirk.  Elba's screen time and background are sadly still to short.  It'd be nice to see a Star Trek film keep it's POV on the villain and allow the interludes of our heroes to be the short sweet moments.  So Elba's villain is quality but also sadly still lacks an intriguing fleshed out character.  He's basically a really angry…possibly really old fella connected to Star Fleet in a unique way.  The idea is actually worth your money to see, but if it had been the main focus really could have expanded the historical elements of the Star Trek world.  The film does a nice tribute to Leonard Nimoy and Anton Yelchin.  Worthy fun summer time film with some laughs along the way.

Woody Allen's latest flick, CAFE SOCIETY, dives back in time to the golden age of film.  The film follows the fortunes and misfortunes of the STERN/DORFMAN clan.  From wealthy Phil (Steve Carell in a solid dynamic performance) to gangster Ben (Corey Stoll scene stealing every time!) easily are the main reasons to catch this particular Woody film.  Like most of the "ok" woody releases the fun is in the secondary folks that aren't the "Woody" character (Eisenberg in this case) and the damsel (Stewart).  Overall those characters still remain predictable and slightly annoying.  It's hard to believe Eisenberg's Bobby would get either Kristen Stewart's Vonnie or Blake Lively's Veronica.  Jeannie Berlin and Ken Stott's Rose & Marty Dorfman easily would have made a more intriguing couple to follow.  Overall Woody's films always seem to concentrate on the most unlikable characters.  Unless it's a something out of his norm like Match Point, or one of Woody's now rare quality scripts (Midnight In Paris) expect to be a bit disappointed by a "latest Woody" film.  Cafe Society's great costuming and beautiful cinematography by Vittorio Storaro truly capture the mystic of 1930's Hollywood/New York City.  Cafe Society is better than most of the other mediocre Woody films, but just barely.  If there is a duo that helps push this film into enjoyable it's Parker Posey and Paul Schneider's wealthy and wacky Taylors. 


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