Dunkirk, a World War II period piece directed by Christopher Nolan, was a movie that I had been excited to see. The movie uses three different narratives—the soldier, the sailor, and the squadron—to tell a unified story of one of the most miraculous wartime rescues in human history. The emotion is tangible, relying on its actor’s performances to sell the scenes without using words in most cases. It’s easy to feel the anxiety as bombs drop and bullets fly, and it’s hard to watch the fear and despair on their faces. It’s easy to become downcast when situations seem hopeless, but Deuteronomy 31:8 reminds us, “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
(The movie had a four star rating but lost a star due to five instances of intense profanity.)
Movie: The Emoji Movie
I’ve never really been a huge fan of emojis. They’ve always been sort of ‘meh’ to me (see what I did there?). The movie bears many similarities to the massively successful Warner Brothers picture The Lego Movie in terms of plot and characters. The movie tells the story of Gene, a ‘meh’ emoji with the ability to display more than one emotion, something that face emojis aren’t supposed to do. Along with his friend, High Five, Gene goes on a journey through the phone’s various apps in order to secure his place in society. The animation, story, and the actors’ voice performances are all pretty standard—nothing exemplary—making it seem like the producers were relying solely on the popularity of emojis to sell the movie. The film, while generic, isn’t as bad as some movie critics have claimed; it’s a safe film that is enjoyable for kids.
Movie: War for the Planet of the Apes
War for the Planet of the Apes, the third entry in the recently rebooted Planet of the Apes franchise, continues the saga started in 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes. War continues the story of ape-leader Caesar, a chimp gifted with enhanced intelligence due to advances in human technology, as he tries to find a safe home for all apes, while a vicious human colonel meticulously plots their downfall. War came as a pleasant surprise. The story was executed wonderfully; I never felt lost despite having not seen the previous two movies, and even though it is told through the eyes of an ape, many of the themes (family, revenge, forgiveness) were easy to relate to. There is very little profanity and the action, while intense, is never gruesome—easily making War for the Planet of the Apes one of my favorite movies of 2017.
Micah Trimmer | Salt Lake City | Intermountain Division