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Spider-Man: Homecoming, It, American Made and More in This Week's MPAA Ratings Bulletin

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By Chris Kavan - 06/21/17 at 09:43 AM CT

So the hits just keep on coming. The board isn't leaving me bored, as they have provided plenty to be excited about these last few weeks. This week is no exception as the latest web-slinging iteration of everyone's friendly, neighborhood Spider-Man gets its due along with a long-awaited (well, at least by me) film adaptation of one of Stephen King's most well-known novels and, finally, Tom Cruise (hopefully getting over The Mummy hangover) in a based-on-true-life crime drama. Summer is about to officially begin, so I may as well get excited too.

MPAA Official Logo

Some may disagree, but I have always found Stephen King to be an excellent writer. From short stories to massive tomes, his brand of horror has always appealed to me. The Stand is excellent, The Dark Tower series is expansive and deep but I have my personal favorite among his entire body of work and that would be IT. Back in 1990 there was a decent mini-series made from the novel which is most notable for Tim Curry's spot-on casting as the evil Pennywise the Clown. But while the effort was there, it was made-for-TV and thus some things were watered down. I have high hopes for Andrés Muschietti's take on Stephen Kings opus. While I wasn't a huge fan of Mama, at least the director is no stranger to horror. My hopes were raised by the first two trailers, both of which evoke a feeling of dread - this isn't a slasher, this is the kind of horror that sneaks up on you and sticks with you. Bill Skarsgård takes on the roles of Pennywise, and while it will be hard to top Curry, what I have seen so far has me impressed. This first part follows a group of young outsiders, dubbed The Loser's Club in Derry, Maine, a town where people (often children) go missing and though efforts are made, the town seems more or less to forget about it - as it has its own dark secrets. The Loser's Club features some big names - Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things) and Jaeden Lieberher (Midnight Special) but also some relative newcomers Jack Dylan Grazer, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Wyatt Oleff, Chosen Jacobs and the lone girl Sophia Lillis. Still, almost all of these actors were unknown before being cast - and I think it's a good choice. The kids have to deal with regular life stuff like bullies - including the unhinged Henry Bowers (Nicholas Hamilton) and his cronies, but also face a much more supernatural terror when they learn the real reason kids go missing all the time. It turns out there is a creature who can take the form of whatever a person fears most and it eats them - simple as that. Oh, and It often takes the form of that scary clown, Pennywise. King doesn't always translate well to the big screen, but when it works, it is usually worth the wait - I'm hoping It turns out to be his best adaptation yet. Rated R for violence/horror, bloody images, and for language.

Okay, my excitement over Stephen King is over, but there is still plenty to anticipate. Marvel is kicking the MCU in to high gear this year. First we had Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and this November we're getting Thor: Ragnorok. Sandwiched between those two behemoths is another heavy hitter: Spider-Man: Homecoming. This is the third iteration of the web-slinging hero following the impressive 2002-2007 Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogy (yes, even emo Peter wasn't that bad). It was followed up by the far inferior Amazing Spider-Man (and its sequel) which just couldn't find its footing. I was worried that casting such a young actor (in this case, Tom Holland) would be a risk, but after I saw his performance in Captain America: Civil War, I breathed much easier. Holland seems a natural, though maybe a bit too "cool" for Peter Parker, but, still, he had some great scenes with Iron Man's Robert Downey Jr. and it looks like that relationship will continue in Homecoming. Not sure how I feel with Michael Keaton playing the villain (The Vulture), who seems a bit too generic but otherwise I have a good feeling about this second reboot (which is apparently going to be another trilogy). Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence, some language and brief suggestive comments.

When dealing with real-life individuals, biopics can be tricky. Play it too serious and you risk boring your audience too death but play it too loose and you kind of lose the whole "true" in "true-life" story. I have watched several documentaries and films that take place during Pablo Escobar's reign over the Columbian cartels. There are plenty of people who were involved and one of them was Barry Seal, who essentially played both sides of the drug war to benefit himself as much as possible. The upcoming American Made, in which Tom Cruise stars as the pilot-turned-drug runner-turned CIA operative looks pretty good, though nothing about it screams blockbuster. Cruise seems like a good fit - and the supporting cast including Domhnall Gleeson, Jesse Plemons, Sarah Wright, Caleb Landry Jones and Jayma Mays certainly can hold up their end of things, but, much like the so-so film, The Infiltrator, I don't see this making huge waves at the box office. Rated R for language throughout and some sexuality/nudity.

Those are your big films getting their ratings this week, but be sure to check out the full MPAA Ratings Bulletin below:


Rated R for violence and language.


Rated R for language throughout and some sexuality/nudity.


Rated PG for action, some mild language and suggestive content.


Rated PG-13 for mature thematic content including some drug material, brief strong language and some suggestive images.


Rated R for pervasive language, and a violent image.


Rated PG for some rude humor/behavior.


Rated R for some sexual material and language.


Rated R for violence/horror, bloody images, and for language.


Rated R for sexual content, language and drug use.


Rated R for some sexual material.


Rated PG-13 for bloody accident images, some violence, thematic material and brief strong language.


Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence, some language and brief suggestive comments.


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