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Collide, Me Before You, Barbershop 3, Norm of the North and More in This Week's MPAA Rating Bulletin

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By Chris Kavan - 12/16/15 at 11:25 AM CT

Perhaps I was too hasty lamenting the lack of big names in last week's update. I guess they were just holding back, as this week sees a whole lot of new releases, from animated titles to comedies to drama - a little something for everyone. Granted, my mind is mostly on how awesome the new Star Wars movies is going to be on Thursday, but I'll do my best to stay focused on the task at hand. One thing's for certain - I'm not going to be complaining about any lack of action this week.

MPAA Official Logo

Family films always seem to do well, which is why I'm leading with Norm of the North. The film follows a polar bear and a few lemming friends who find themselves far away from their arctic home in the urban jungle of New York City. Soon Norm is the new face of a corporation - one that has direct ties to the fate of his real home. This is not Pixar, not even Dreamworks - and Rob Schneider is the main voice - but, it's coming out at a time when there will be nothing else for families, and thus, much like The Nut Job, I think it will do better than one would expect. Heather Graham, Bill Nighy, Ken Jeong, Colm Meaney, Loretta Devine, Gabriel Iglesias and Zachary Gordon round out the cast. We'll see how much the climate change aspect of the story pisses off conservatives and whether it will hurt its chances. The film earns an expected PG for mild rude humor and action.

Earlier in the year, Relativity was looking down the barrel of bankruptcy and had to sell off the rights to many of their films in order to keep their head above water. One of those films was Collide (formally known as Autobahn). The action film starring Nicholas Hoult, Felicity Jones, Anthony Hopkins and Ben Kingsley was purchased by Open Roads and for awhile didn't have date. Now it is coming out in April of next year. The classic "regular guy thrown into outrageous situation" follows a backpacker who becomes involved in a drug smuggling operation leading to a wild chase across the no-holds-barred Autobahn highway. Hey, last time Hoult was involved in a film revolving around one, large chase, we got Mad Max: Fury Road. I doubt Collide will in any way live up to that awesomeness - but at least it has a release date and won't just fade away. A light PG-13 for violence, frenetic action, some sexuality, language, and drug material.

You knew it was only going to be a matter of time before someone decided to parody 50 Shades of Grey (not that it needed it - the film is pretty much a parody already as far as I'm concerned). Leave it to Marlon Wayans and Mike Epps (known recently as parodying the Paranormal Activity films with the Haunted House series) to jump in head first. So thus we get Fifty Shades of Black, which, based on the previously-mentioned films, will be full of rude, crass and sexual humor. Granted, I consider the Haunted House films a kind of guilty pleasure myself - so maybe this won't be so bad. Still, it's coming out in the tale end of January - not exactly a hotbed for notable films, so this will probably make a quiet entry and exit. It earns an R for strong crude sexual content including some graphic nudity, and for language throughout.

For a more robust comedy, we can look forward to Barbershop: The Next Cut. By the time the film comes out in April of next year, nearly 12 years will have passed between the second Barbershop film and this followup. But it looks like the cast is game with Ice Cube, Eve, Cedric the Entertainer, Sean Patrick Thomas, Troy Garity and Anthony Anderson all returning for their respective roles in either the first or second film. They are joined by newcomers including Common, Regina Hall and Nicki Minaj (yes, the one and only). Obviously with so much time passing things have changed - the barbershop is now co-ed and the neighborhood has seen better days. In order to keep their business afloat, they may also have to save their little part of the city. The first two films were medium-sized hits, and, though a lot of time has passed, I don't see why this won't follow the same pattern. Rated PG-13 for sexual material and language.

Finally, we have the drama Me Before You, based on the novel by Jojo Moyes about a young woman who forms a bond with a recently-paralyzed man she begins to take care of. The cast is a mix of Game of Thrones veterans (Emilia Clarke and Charles Dance) and YA franchise veterans (Sam Claflin - Hunger Games, Matthew Lewis - Harry Potter) as well as Jenna Coleman, a familiar face to Doctor Who fans. I get a very Nicholas Sparks/Fault in Our Stars vibe from this. It was also moved from June to March (a quite busy March 4th, actually) but it has good chance with that cast and the weepy story to bring in a large female audience. This earns a PG-13 for thematic elements and some suggestive material.

That's a pretty good update, you can find the entire MPAA bulletin below:


Rated PG-13 for violence, sensuality and partial nudity. Unconfirmed but the film was originally given an MPAA R rating for brief violence. The distributors considered an appeal but seem to have decided to cut the film for a PG-13 instead.


Rated PG-13 for sexual material and language.


Rated R for strong sexual content, graphic nudity, language throughout and some drug use.


Rated PG-13 for violence, frenetic action, some sexuality, language, and drug material.


Rated PG-13 for martial arts violence and brief partial nudity.


Rated R for strong crude sexual content including some graphic nudity, and for language throughout.


Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and some suggestive material.


Rated R for language and a scene of sexuality/graphic nudity.


Rated R for language, sexual references and brief nudity.


Rated PG for mild rude humor and action.


Rated PG for thematic elements and an accident scene.


Rated R for language including some sexual references.


Rated R for language and some violence.


Rated PG-13 for thematic material and violent images.


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