Movie: Black Panther
PG-13: prolonged sequences of action, violence, and a brief rude gesture
Black Panther takes the Marvel Cinematic Universe and its audience into the futuristic, fictional, African-nation Wakanda, as young T’Challa claims his rightful place as king. The film is very solid, with one of the most cohesive and believable plots from Marvel in the past few years. The tone is balanced, serious, and action-packed, with enough subtle humor to keep things fresh. Language is still an issue, but it’s amount and consistency have been toned down from other MCU entries. The one thing that dampened my affection for this movie is the not-so-subtle social messaging in its latter half. Opinions about social issues both past and present come across as forced and distracting, which kept me from being immersed in the story and setting I had grown to love. Other than that, Black Panther is an excellent film that stands on its own, thanks to its impressive performances and story.
PG-13: violence and battle sequences
One of the most well-known and tragic judges of all time returns to the big screen in Pure Flix’s Samson. Destined from birth to deliver God’s people, the brash Nazarite struggles between accepting his fate and his personal desire for peace. This version of Samson takes a lot of creative liberties with its hero and his story, deviating from the biblical account. Many of Samson’s flaws have been overlooked, providing a more polished and clean image, and the women in Samson’s life are given sympathetic motivations. There is an important lesson: the struggle and consequence of following our will instead of God’s. God’s will may be different than ours, but we would be wise to remember Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.”
Movie: Peter Rabbit
PG: some rude humor and action
When mean old McGregor dies, Peter thinks his days of sneaking and stealing are over. Unfortunately for him, his troubles aren’t over as a young new McGreggor arrives to keep their rivalry alive. I was first introduced to Peter Rabbit in Kindergarten, and I loved it. 2018’s Peter Rabbit is nothing like the stories I remember. Much of the charm and good nature of the books feels absent in the movie adaptation; instead, it is replaced with a rambunctious energy that seems to be aimed at today’s youth. That’s not to say it’s a bad movie by any means; most of its jokes are funny, with its slapstick variety standing out above the rest. Domhnall Gleeson was my favorite by far, playing a very pretentious and psychotic McGregor to hilarious effect. While not the best family movie of the year, if you’re looking for a casual, Friday-night flick, this is a good option.
Micah Trimmer | Salt Lake City | Intermountain Division