Movie: Maze Runner: Death Cure
PG-13: intense sequences of violence and action, language, and some thematic elements
The Maze Runner trilogy races to the finish line in The Death Cure. Picking up a number of months after the events of The Scorch Trials, Thomas hatches a plan to free their friend Minho from WCKD’s experiments. That said, the movie is more spectacle than substance. The action scenes are great, but the overall narrative gets lost amidst the explosions and chaos. There are a few exceptions of course, with a sequence of scenes that captures emotional weight decently. As mediocre as this movie was for me, the title gave me a thought: it was the death of Jesus on the cross and His resurrection that would pay for our sins. His death is our cure. This Easter, let us remember 2 Corinthians 5:21: “For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.”
Television Series: The Amazing World of Gum Ball
Network: Cartoon Network
The Amazing World of Gumball is a comedic children’s cartoon airing on Cartoon Network. The show revolves around a young kid named Gumball and his adoptive brother Darwin, as they cause (and suffer from) mischief in their hometown of Elwood. Each episode is charmingly ridiculous, with crazy antics that are synonymous with cartoons. This is successfully achieved by a non-conforming artistic style that simultaneously uses elements of 2D and 3D animation, claymation, live action, and even puppetry. This wild diversity of styles branches into the humor of the show as well, but it’s slapstick and social commentary are probably its strongest tools. However, the series does suffer from instances of off-color humor, such as anatomical jokes or potentially offensive gags; as with every film or TV show, it’s important to use discretion when deciding what to watch. Personally, I’ve enjoyed The Amazing World of Gumball more than most other modern cartoons.
Movie: Paddington 2
PG: some action and mild rude humor
As Aunt Lucy’s 100th birthday nears, Paddington is set to find his dear aunt the perfect birthday present: an old pop-up book of London. Unfortunately for the young bear, it’s going to be much harder than he realizes. Paddington 2 is one of those movies that I thought would only be OK at best, but turned out to be amazing. The writing is excellent despite its uncomplicated nature, the story moves smoothly, and the light tone is refreshing after a seemingly endless string of action movies. There’s something about the way Paddington makes life so simple (even if the situation is ridiculous), that makes the film a joy to watch; and I think the industry needs more films like it. We may be early into 2018, but I’m willing to say that Paddington 2 is one of my favorite films of the year, and I highly recommend it.
Micah Trimmer | Salt Lake City | Intermountain Division