By Chris Kavan - 08/24/16 at 10:25 AM CT
While it's not quite all quiet on the ratings front, things are pretty much normal and steady. We once again have a trio of big-name films getting their ratings - a family-friendly animated hit about a popular toy that hit its stride in the 60s, the return of everyone's favorite sassy cross-dresser, Madea, and enough teen angst to fill the Grand Canyon. Maybe it's your cup of tea, maybe not, but at least there is enough here to keep things interesting.
Now, let's see how long has it been since Trolls have been popular? According to my research, the original Troll dolls were huge in the 60s, faded out, had a brief resurgence in the 70s and early 90s before fading out again only to try a relaunch in 2005 that failed spectacularly before Dreamworks bought the brand and decided to base an upcoming animated film on the wild-haired dolls. And it could work. Lord knows people loved both Alvin and the Chipmunks and The Smurfs - Trolls seems like a strange yet somewhat natural bet to work as well. Heck, director Mike Mitchell already hasAlvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked and Shrek Forever After under his belt and he has gathered a pretty good cast including Anna Kendrick, Zooey Deschanel, Justin Timberlake, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Christine Baranski, John Cleese, James Corden, Jeffrey Tambor, Gwen Stefani, Quvenzhané Wallis and Russell Brand among others. One can only hope the music involved will fit the story (and won't be a repeat of George Lucas' misbegotten Strange Magic). While I'm not 100% sold on this being a good idea, if it can hit the right notes, it has a good chance of making the grade. Rated PG for some mild rude humor.
I have never been a big fan of Tyler Perry, not his alter-ego Madea. That doesn't stop him from continuing to make those films and, for some reason I can't fathom, they continue to be remarkably popular. Thus we come to Boo! A Madea Halloween. Apparently Madea faces everything from ghosts and killers to zombies - but nothing as scary as keeping track of a group of wild teenagers. Just typing that premise makes my head hurt but I'm sure it will do well enough among its target audience to justify yet another holiday or feature with Perry's creation - for better or worse. Rated PG-13 for drug use and references, suggestive content, language, some horror images and thematic material.
Our final offering explores more familiar grounds. The teenage coming-of-age story has been told in so many ways, it's pretty much guaranteed you're going to find some cliche in any story about navigating the trials and tribulations of puberty and hormones. Thus, I am sending that Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life is going to travel some familiar ground. Based on the book by James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts, the film follows the interestingly-named Rafe Khatchadorian (played by the similarly interesting-named actor Griffin Gluck) as he navigates a world of rules and regulations that stifles creativity - until he decides to throw all rules out the window and help the students run wild. And I bet he even get to kiss a real life girl by the end of the movie! Anyways, supporting the endeavor include Lauren Graham, Adam Pally, Isabela Moner, Rob Riggle, Retta, Thomas Barbusca and Efren Ramirez. It sounds like some of the themes in the book get pretty deep but judging by the PG rating (rude humor throughout, language and thematic elements), I'm guessing they're going to gloss over the really interesting stuff.
That's the skinny on the big three, but be sure the check out he full MPAA Ratings Bulletin below:
Rated PG-13 for some thematic content.
BASTARD SON OF A THOUSAND FATHERS
Rated R for bloody brutal violence including sexual assault, language throughout, drug content and sexual material.
BATMAN: RETURN OF THE CAPED CRUSADER
Rated PG for action, suggestive material and rude humor.
BOO! A MADEA HALLOWEEN
Rated PG-13 for drug use and references, suggestive content, language, some horror images and thematic material.
BRAIN ON FIRE
Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, brief language and partial nudity.
THE CINEMA: A BRIEF HISTORY
Rated PG for some brief violent, suggestive and smoking images.
THE EYES OF MY MOTHER
Rated R for disturbing violent content and behavior, and brief nudity.
THE HEART OF MAN
Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material involving sexual issues and for some violent images.
IN SEARCH OF FELLINI
Rated R for sexuality/nudity and language.
LIVE ANOTHER DAY
Rated PG for brief images of smoking and violence.
MIDDLE SCHOOL: THE WORST YEARS OF MY LIFE
Rated PG for rude humor throughout, language and thematic elements.
Rated PG for thematic content, language and brief suggestive material.
Rated PG for some mild rude humor.