Movie: All Saints
Sometimes we set out to accomplish something we think we should do, only to learn that God has a different plan entirely. All Saints is a film based on the true story of Michael Spurlock, a recently ordained minister assigned to the arduous task of closing the dying All Saints Church, despite the objection of its small elderly congregation. When confronted with an influx of Burmese refugees in dire need of help, he feels called by God to start a farm, in hopes of saving both the church and the refugees. The film was a good watch, however with the recent rise of quality amidst Christian movies, I found All Saints to be a little subpar. To be fair, the story was compelling and coherent, even managing to surprise me by the end credits, but some of the scenes felt overacted and at times the soundtrack didn’t quite fit the film.
Movie: The Dark Tower
The Man in Black: a handsome and mysterious magician devoted to releasing all evil. Roland: an experienced gunslinger bent on avenging his fallen father. Between the two men stands Jake, a young boy with the power to tip the balance in either side’s favor. Stephen King’s critically acclaimed Dark Tower series is adapted and continued on the big screen with 2017’s The Dark Tower. Having never read the series, I enjoyed the film despite its fast escalation and use of the frankly overused “Special Child” motif. Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey were the highlights for me; Elba made the stoic, disillusioned gunslinger feel compelling, and McConaughey’s sly charm made for an entertaining and threatening villain. Much of King’s signature horror element was missing, which may disappoint longtime fans of the author and his work, but the film should satisfy anyone in need of a two-hour vacation away from reality.
Movie: Birth of the Dragon
Birth of the Dragon is the (very) fictional take on the real-life confrontation between Bruce Lee and Wong Jack Man. This film has been met with quite a bit of criticism since its release. Mainly for the under usage and portrayal of the main character. For a Bruce Lee biopic, he’s barely in the movie (being almost completely absent from the second act); and he is presented as a vain and arrogant man, only wanting to use Kung Fu to become a star. If nothing else, this movie would have been better served if it was advertised as a movie about Wong Jack Man, as most of the film shows his point of view. I thought that the movie was fun, with entertaining Kung Fu choreography and great performances by Philip Ng and Yu Xia. The fictional narrative was silly at times, but that didn’t ruin the film for me.
Micah Trimmer | Salt Lake City | Intermountain Division