By Chris Kavan - 05/02/18 at 02:21 PM CT
The offering is just a bit better this week, but the quality. Yes, the new Star Wars movie has me excited (because I'm a Star Wars fan and even with the behind-the-scenes drama... it's Star Wars!) but the rest - a second-rate animated television show turned film and a comedy about a group of women who get all hot and bothered when they choose Fifty Shades of Grey for their book club. Yikes - well, one out of three... is bad, but at least I have something to talk about no matter how hard it may be.
There is a lot of drama surrounding the upcoming Solo: A Star Wars Story, the biggest of which is the fact that original directors Phil Lord, Christopher Miller (best know for The LEGO Movie and followup LEGO Batman) were replaced quite late into production by the perfectly vanilla Ron Howard. By all reports the breakup was amicable, due to differences in "vision" but it has led to all sorts of speculation. It did change the makeup of the film with actor Michael K. Williams part being replaced by Paul Bettany - based on the fact Williams was unavailable for re-shoots, but still... Solo follows the adventures of the young, brash man (played by Alden Ehrenreich - another point of contention among some people) and his run-ins with scoundrels of all sorts, including a young Lando Calrission (the excellent Donald Glover), his relationship with the Wookie Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) and some new faces like Emilia Clarke as Qi'Ra, Thandie Newton as Val, Woody Harrelson as Tobias Beckett and the aformentioned Bettany as Dryden Vos. I have tried to avoid any and all spoilers for this - but I do know we finally learn how Solo came to own that famous Millennium Falcon. Otherwise, the trailers make it look like Solo is recruited for some shady mission and trust, of course, becomes an issue. There is a lot of talk about Star Wars burnout, but, so far, I've been happy with both the new trilogy and the spin-off films. Howard is a bit worrying (he's a safe bet - but maybe too safe), but even a minor bump doesn't mean the end for Star Wars. Here's hoping Solo lives up to the Star Wars name. Rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action/violence.
With the #MeToo movement giving women a new voice, it means films should be offering bigger and better roles to actresses. Something tells me the upcoming Book Club is not exactly going to be a high water moment for the year. The cast includes a lot of big names: Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, Mary Steenburgen, Alicia Silverstone, Andy Garcia, Richard Dreyfuss, Craig T. Nelson, Don Johnson and Ed Begley Jr. - but it's the plot that just has me asking "why?" You see, the entire movie revolves around the fact that our group of women has a profound and eye-opening life change after reading... Fifty Shades of Grey. I don't care how many copies it sold or the movies it spawned, it's a soft-core trashy BDSM-lite psuedo-pornography - how it can change lives is beyond me but apparently the film will enlighten, well, not me, I don't plan on watching it - but it will enlighten several older women who will likely watch the movie. Rated PG-13 for sex-related material throughout, and for language.
Animation based off somewhat dubiously popular television shows tends to do poorly. See Powerpuff Girls Movie, Recess: School's Out, Mr. Peabody & Sherman and even My Little Pony: The Movie. The movies will always draw hard-core fans, but tend to fall short outside a very specific target audience. Which is why I don't hold out that much hope for Teen Titans Go! to the Movies. The original Teen Titans (of which I somewhat remember back in the day) was decent and while Teen Titans Go! has proven popular enough, by all accounts it plays fast and loose and pokes fun at superhero tropes while offering plenty of in-jokes but shares little coherent story. It's like Animaniacs with superheroes. TV is one thing, a full-length feature is another. I don't see this holding enough appeal to break out and will be lucky to be among the top animated features for the year, let alone movies as a whole. Rated PG for action and rude humor.
Three is better than one or two, even if the subject matter is a bit hit-or-miss for me this time around. Still, as always, the full MPAA Ratings Bulletin is below - so knock yourself out!
Rated PG-13 for sex-related material throughout, and for language.
THE DEATH OF SUPERMAN
Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence and action including some bloody images.
A HORSE FROM HEAVEN
Rated R for some language.
Rated R for language and nudity.
POPE FRANCIS: A MAN OF HIS WORD
Rated PG for thematic material including images of suffering.
Rated R for some bloody violence. (Short Film)
SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY
Rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action/violence.
TEEN TITANS GO! TO THE MOVIES
Rated PG for action and rude humor.
WHERE IS KYRA?
Rated R for language and some sexuality.