Movie: I Can Only Imagine
PG: thematic elements including some violence
I Can Only Imagine is one of the first Christian songs I can remember. Ever since I was a little kid, I would hear it on the radio whenever we were in the car. When it was announced that a film based around the song was in production, I was nervous; Christian biopics often come across campy or overly preachy. Thankfully, I Can Only Imagine avoids this by telling the story of Bart Miller in a grounded way, which allows the film to present messages naturally. Forgiveness is difficult. Too often people are hurt by the ones that should love them and it’s easy to feel justified in bitterness. But take a look at Colossians 3:13: “Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” If we have been undeservedly forgiven, shouldn’t we extend that same grace to our enemies.
Movie: Tomb Raider
PG-13: sequences of violence and action, and some language
As a reboot to the movies of the early 2000s, 2018’s Tomb Raider recounts the origin of the dangerously adventurous Lara Croft, before she became the legendary tomb raider. I enjoyed this version much more than the previous films, and I think that it’s superior in every way that counts. The film feels more like an Indiana Jones flick than a video game adaptation, and that works in its favor. Alicia Vikander does a very good job playing a younger and unsure Lara, and her performance allows the audience to see her character’s growth from start to finish. Also, the set designs and locations look really good and function well in this film, particularly the tomb of the Death Queen: it’s creepy, dark, dusty, and full of rotting dead people. There isn’t much to be said about the side characters or story, but the action scenes are a treat to watch.
Movie: Pacific Rim: Uprising
PG-13: sequences of violence, and some language
Jake Pentecost, son of the legendary Stacker Pentecost, wants nothing to do with Jaegers. Except for the money he can make by selling their scrap parts, that is. However, when the Kaiju threat returns, Jake and a team of new recruits rise to face it. As a fan of the first Pacific Rim, I found the brighter tone and streamlined design to be off putting, but not enough to kill my love of giant robots punching giant monsters in the face. Uprising feels like the creators wanted to have more fun with the concept and it shows; the fights are flashier, the action is fast, and the geek-culture references are smartly placed throughout. The original film created a world that felt very real despite the ridiculous premise, and to depart from that gritty and realistic feeling is unfortunate. Nonetheless, Pacific Rim: Uprising provides an enjoyable ride with some great moments.
* The paragraphs above are reviews, not recommendations.
Micah Trimmer | Salt Lake City | Intermountain Division