Power Rangers, The Case for Christ, How to Be a Latin Lover and More in This Week's MPAA Bulletin
By Chris Kavan - 02/15/17 at 06:12 PM CT
Be still my heart, the MPAA Rating Board has bestowed another decent update this week. At the top of the list is the somewhat grittier reboot of the campy Power Rangers I remember watching back in the day, we have yet another Christian-themed drama trying to win hearts and minds, a comedy following a big Latin star making his American debut and a teen romance based on a YA novel. While some of the films don't impress me, I will cover them none-the-less and keep my fingers crossed the hits keep coming in the weeks ahead.
Studios trying to revamp old franchises and make them more hip to a new generation has led to mixed, but often still pretty good, results. While Disney is busy making big bucks turning their classic animated films into huge live-action money-makers, on the other end I watch as some of the shows I watched growing up (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Transformers, Chipmunks, Smurfs - and others) get turned into low-brow but ultimately profitable franchises. The next entry in slowly eroding my childhood memories away will be Power Rangers. Now, to be honest, the film doesn't look half bad. I'm getting a very Chronicle-like vibe over how our ordinary teenagers find their powers while the movie also boasts an impressive cast with Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Banks, Bill Hader making up the big names, while the rangers themselves are played by relative newcomers - which may not be a bad thing. In any case, the tone seems a bit more serious than the rather campy TV show I remember, That is to say that maybe, for once, the reboot may actually be better than the original? Even so, I doubt I'll see this in theaters, but I may be intrigued enough to stream it once it's available. Rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi violence, action and destruction, language, and for some crude humor.
In what looks to be a cross-cultural film, Mexican star Eugenio Derbez is coming to America and bringing the spice with How to Be a Latin Lover. Derbez plays Maximo, a man who has been married for 25 years before being dumped, and has made a living off seducing rich, older women. He is forced to move in with his estranged sister (Salma Hayek) where he will find out the true value of family. The rest of the cast includes Rob Lowe, Kristen Bell, Michael Cera, Raphael Alejandro, Rob Corddry, Rob Huebel, Rob Riggle, Raquel Welch and Mckenna Grace. Spanish-language films have actually made a pretty good impact in theaters with films like Instructions Not Included (also produced and starring Derbez) and No Manches Frida scoring decent numbers. I think the film has great potential to bridge the gap and bring in a more general audience while still scoring with the Latino community. If it can do that, this may be a pretty big hit. Rated PG-13 for crude humor, sexual references and gestures, and for brief nudity.
I get tired of talking about how much most faith-based films seem to bring about their Christianity with all the subtlety of Lady Godiva attending Sunday Mass. In any case, I don't have high hopes that The Case for Christ is going to be a rare instance when it works. For one, it is being made by the same people who brought us God's Not Dead - which may have earned decent box office returns, but it still way too preachy for its own good. The Case for Christ follows a journalist - and avowed atheist - whose wife finds Christianity and that immediately sparks his investigative journalistic powers to disprove her faith... only to lead to a surprising conclusion. I'm guessing he also finds Christ and proves all atheists are fools or cowards or morally bereft. It will also probably be totally self-righteous and bludgeon you with its theme every chance it gets. The movie may scare up a few names you've heard of: Erika Christensen, Faye Dunaway, Mike Vogel, Robert Forster, Frankie Faison and L. Scott Caldwell - but not exactly what I would term A-list celebrities. In any case, I will be totally avoiding this like the plague, but also wouldn't be surprised if it somehow comes out smelling like a rose thanks to a surge of Christian audiences. Rated PG for thematic elements including medical descriptions of crucifixion, and incidental smoking.
That leaves us with the YA adaption of Everything, Everything. Based on the novel written by Nicola Yoon , the film follows a shut-in teen (Amandla Stenberg) who has little contact with the outside world thanks to her allergies to, well, pretty much everything (hence the clever title). She finds her life opening up, however, when a new boy (Nick Robinson) moves in next door and she develops feeling for him. This seems like another typical YA romance with yet another seemingly insurmountable problem to overcome before our young leads can fall in love. I'll leave this one for the tween target audience while I watch Logan or something else more up my alley instead. Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and brief sensuality.
Those are the big four coming out, but be sure the check the full MPAA Ratings Bulletin below:
1898: LOS ULTIMOS DE FILIPINAS
Rated R for war violence, bloody images, drug use, sexuality/nudity and language.
47 METERS DOWN
Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense peril, bloody images, and brief strong language.
Rated R for some violence.
Rated R for terror, language and some sexual material.
CALL ME BY YOUR NAME
Rated R for sexual content, nudity and some language.
THE CASE FOR CHRIST
Rated PG for thematic elements including medical descriptions of crucifixion, and incidental smoking.
Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and brief sensuality.
HOW TO BE A LATIN LOVER
Rated PG-13 for crude humor, sexual references and gestures, and for brief nudity.
THE OTTOMAN LIEUTENANT
Rated R for some war violence.
Rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi violence, action and destruction, language, and for some crude humor.
REBEL IN THE RYE
Rated PG-13 for some language including sexual references, brief violence, and smoking.
SONG TO SONG
Rated R for some sexuality, nudity, drug use and language.