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La La Land, The Wild Life, Bastards and More in This Week's MPAA Ratings Bulletin

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By Chris Kavan - 08/02/16 at 07:54 PM CT

Harley Lond is going to be delayed with his usual DVD blog so I'm stepping up early with the MPAA Ratings Bulletin instead. Too bad this week is a bit on the boring side. An animated film with no big voices, a musical (an original too) and a comedy about finding your family. Hey, at least two out of the three star J.K. Simmons. Sure, all three are wide releases but I can't say any of them have me jumping for joy at the prospect of seeing them in the theater. That being said, at least it gives me something decent to talk about, so sit back, relax and let's get started, shall we?

MPAA Official Logo

The most promising out of this trio has to be the ambitious musical comedy La La Land. So musical comedy is not exactly a genre I would be thrilled about but man, does the cast look fantastic. Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, J.K. Simmons (oh please say he sings a song or two on his own or with someone else) and American Horror Story standout Finn Wittrock headline the cast which also features Sonoya Mizuno (who had a brief but memorable turn in Ex Machina), Rosemarie DeWitt, John Legend and Jason Fuchs. Essentially the film follows two regular people with big dreams - an aspiring actress and jazz musician - and the two come together but their love affair is threatened by the very thing they have both wanted for so long: fame. This could be big for the right audience and the cast looks terrific but it's just not my cup of tea. We'll see if a modern musical can make its mark on the map come December. Rated PG-13 for some language.

While big animated studios (Pixar, Dreamworks, Illumination Entertainment) get a lot of attention, that doesn't mean there can't be room for some other studios. A Belgian animated film is getting help from StudioCanal and Lionsgate to release The Wild Life otherwise known as Robinson Crusoe. It has been a long time since there was a decent adaptation of the classic story - but this one will have talking animals. I mean the animation looks pretty good and it's supposedly getting a wide release in September, but it has no major voice talent to anchor it. Usually you can count on a couple of big celebrities to join along, but the biggest name here is Yuri Lowenthal, who has done a ton of voice-over work on cartoons and video games but is nowhere near a household name. Plus, this is coming out in early September - otherwise known as when all the kids are back in school thus a family animated title loses a good chunk of its audience. This feels like a stretch to me and I don't have much hope for its future. Rated PG for mild action/peril and some rude humor.

That leaves us with the film that won't come out until 2017, but it could be a sleeper comedy. Bastards (not the inglourious kind, unfortunately) stars Owen Wilson and Ed Helms as fraternal twin brothers who find out that their allegedly-deceased father is still alive and plan a road trip to track him down. Here is out second film starring J.K. Simmons (probably no singing involved in this one) along with Glenn Close, Ving Rhames, Katie Aselton, Harry Shearer, Katt Williams and Ryan Cartwright among others. This one still has a ways to go before release, so it's a bit early to know whether this will be worth the effort but, not making me any more impressed, is the fact it was moved from 2016 to January 2017 - also known as a dumping ground for films of a questionable nature (unless you're horror - horror does good in January for some reason). Any way, decent cast aside, I have a feeling it will have a light impact at best at the box office. Rated R for language and sexual references throughout.

Those are your major releases, but be sure to check out the full MPAA Ratings Bulletin below:


Rated R for language and sexual references throughout.


Rated PG-13 for martial arts action violence, some bloody images and brief suggestive humor.


Rated R for some bloody war images, and language including sexual references.


Rated PG-13 for some language.


Rated R for language throughout, some sexuality and drug use.


Rated R for language.


Rated PG-13 for brief language.


Rated PG for thematic elements and related images.


Rated PG for mild thematic elements.


Rated PG for mild action/peril and some rude humor.


Rated PG for some mild thematic elements.


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