"The Creator" - 3 Stars out of 4



It seems rare nowadays for a science fiction film to come along that isn’t part of an existingfranchise. Even “Blade Runner” and “2001: A Space Odyssey” had sequels, and many sci-fi filmsare adaptations of well-known books or comics.



Near as I can tell, Gareth Edwards’ “The Creator” is an original, standalone project. Thedirector’s follow-up


Transformers: Rise of the Beasts – 2 stars out of 4



Thanks to 2018’s “Bumblebee,” the bar for “Transformers” movies was raised after a decade of overstuffed schlock. Unfortunately, “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” takes the franchise back toward Bayhem.



I went into “Rise of the Beasts” with mixed expectations. “Bumblebee” was so good—really, the “Transformers” movie I think fans of the


Fast X: 2 1/2 stars out of 4



“Fast X” might be the dumbest movie I’ve ever seen, but when it comes to the Fast and Furious franchise, that may be beside the point. The tenth installment of this joyously bizarre saga suffers from all of the maladies that have plagued its recent releases, and is getting dangerously close to “Sharknado”


Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3: 3 Stars out of 4



It’s too long, the plot’s a mess, and it’s pretty moody for one of Marvel’s “funny” franchises, but given the quality of the post-“Endgame” era, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” is surprisingly good, and an appropriate capstone for one of the more unique trilogies to come out of the


Super Mario Brothers was the first and last video game I ever passed. I was never much of agamer, but for a brief window in the malaise of junior high school, I got good enough atNintendo’s signature game that I was able to pass it with a single life.



That’s probably the biggest reason I was interested in seeing Illumination’s new


In the version of Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap” that my wife and I saw at Hale Centre Theatre inSandy, Utah last year, an inspector arrives at a country manor in a snowstorm, someone is offed, andoddball houseguests are interrogated. Nearly every character is given believable motives for killing thevictim, and the audience all become surrogate inspectors, champing at the bit


Premise



On the night of the 100th showing of Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap,” a director (Adrien Brody) who hopes to make it into a film is murdered. Jaded Inspector Stoppard (Sam Rockwell) is joined by the unexperienced but enthusiastic Constable Stalker (Saoirse Ronan) to investigate the cast and crew who seem untroubled by the loss of the unlikeable victim.



Characters Versus Plot



Although


Premise



Sam (Javon ‘Wanna’ Walton), a young boy in Granite City, idolizes the superhero Samaritan who disappeared 25 years ago after his ultimate battle with Nemesis. While some believe he gave his life to save the city, Sam suspects that the trashman who lives in his apartment complex, Joe Smith (Sylvester Stallone), is the masked hero in hiding. With crime and