Here are some micro-reviews:
- The Secret Life of Pets: Animated fluff that's diverting enough but also disposable. The premise gets old fast, and so do some of the jokes. If you want animated critters in a much smarter tale, get Zootopia. I'll give Secret Life of Pets a B. (74% on RT) Don't bother paying movie theatre prices. Catch it on DVD if you like, especially if you have little ones running around.
- Star Trek Beyond: Director Justin Lin takes us on an action-packed adventure with loads of great visuals, an intriguing new character in Sofia Boutella's Jaylah, a few really good lines, and even a good bit of heart. It really is more than just Fast and Furious in Spaaaaaaaace. Grade: A- because (a) parts of the often-predictable plot are messy and not a little silly (come on, now, it's movie #3, and I'm expecting much more) and (b) people keep hiding Idris Elba under a mountain of alien prosthetics and dubious motivations, and that's no way to treat him! (83% on RT) Still, see this flick on the biggest screen you can, because the scenes of space station Yorktown alone will blow your mind.
- Kubo and the Two Strings: Astounding animation that flawlessly combines stop-motion and CGI to tell a poignant original (for Hollywood) story that will have you weeping into your popcorn Pixar-style. Grade: A. (96% on RT) Here's a flick that might actually be worth seeing in 3-D.