By Chris Kavan - 05/09/18 at 11:39 AM CT
And the flood gates hath opened! I have been complaining week after week after week about the frankly anemic updates the board has given me - one, two, maybe three films of note - all the while hoping for a decent update. Well, that week has arrived as there is a veritable cornucopia of new ratings. The abundance is here - superheroic sequels (animated and R-rated), a love story and a story of survival, a hilarious vampire vacation, a supernatural war film, an old-fashioned straight-up action-disaster, a bunch of old basketball players and a cross-country comedy about playing tag - if you don't find something interesting here, you should probably just kill yourself (kidding - suicide is NEVER funny... unless it involves puppies or something). Thank the lord for this one - I'm ready and willing!
Superhero sequels are all the rage and this update brings us not one, but two. We'll start with a film that is just over a week away. Ryan Reynolds once again gives us the Merc with a Mouth in what is sure to be another hoot with Deadpool 2. This time around he has to deal with a time-traveling mercenary known as Cable (a very buff-looking Josh Brolin) who wants nothing more than to prevent a disastrous future even if it means offing a somewhat portly child (Julian Dennison). But our fast-talking, sarcastic anti-hero is not alone as he decides to call in the (derivatively-named) X-Force - with some familiar faces like Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Stefan Kapicic and Brianna Hildebrand) along with some newcomers like the luck-based Domino (Zazie Beetz), Shatterstar (Lewis Tan), Zeitgeist (Bill Skarsgård) and Bedlam (Terry Crews). Also returning are Morena Baccarin, T.J. Miller, Leslie Uggams and poor taxi driver Dopinder (Karan Soni, bless his soul). By all accounts this sequel looks to match the original in humor, action and all-out badassitude. Plus those posters and teasers have been hilaroius. It's going to be hard to top Infinity War for the rest of the year, but I have to say I am quite looking forward to this. Plus, we have an R Rating (duh) for strong violence and language throughout, sexual references and brief drug material.
Taking a different approach to superheros, and a sequel to one of my personal favorite Pixar films, is The Incredibles 2. This time around Helen Parr aka Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) has become the hero of the day - and while she is out saving the world, her husband Jack Parr aka Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) is left home alone, taking care of Jack-Jack, who is still a bit of a loose cannon when it comes to controlling his powers. Of course nothing is quite as it seems - while Winston Deavor (the impeccable Bob Odenkirk) says he wants to bring supers back into the spotlight - of course there has to be something sinister in the mix. Good thing our family also includes a boy with super-human speed and a teen who can turn invisible (Huck Milner and Sarah Vowell). And Brad Bird is back as the superheroic designer Edna Mode. Additions to the cast also includes Sophia Bush, Jonathan Banks (hey - it's a Better Call Saul/Breaking Bad mini-reunion - huzzah!), Isabella Rossellini and Catherine Keener. Sequels are hit-or-miss, but I trust Pixar to do this series proud. I really have a soft spot for The Incredibles and hope this sequel can do it proud. Rated PG for action sequences and some brief mild language.
Not to be confused with the 1975 film of the same name, this Overlord, while also focusing on D-Day, is much more supernatural in origin. It is also, due to much speculation, not a new entry into the somewhat confusing Cloverfield series of films. Instead, the film follows a pair of American soldiers, paratroopers, who are dropped behind enemy lines on the eve of D-Day to perform a crucial mission, only to realize the Nazis are not the greatest threat to said mission, but something much more sinister and supernatural is afoot. There is little more to go on at this point only that newcomer Julius Avery is directing with Wyatt Russell, Bokeem Woodbine, Pilou Asbæk and Iain De Caestecker starring. I'm interested if only to see how crazy this turns out to be. Often war and supernatural can get too corny for its own good, but if J.J. Abrams is attached - well, maybe it will surprise. Rated R for strong bloody violence, disturbing images, language, and brief sexual content.
Sometimes you just gotta get that action fix - and who better to scratch that itch than action icon Dwayne Johnson. From San Andrea, the Fast and Furious films, Rampage - heck, even Jumanji, the man has the build and the look of a classic action star. Thus, Skycraper should come as no surprise. The film follows former FBI agent and war veteran Will Sawyer (Johnson) who now runs security for skyscrapers. It just so happens that he is in Hong Kong when the worlds tallest and supposedly safest building catches fire.. and guess who the blame falls on? Not only must he clear his name, he also must save his family, as the flames rise. Oh man, this is classic action at its best (or worst, if you're not into this kind of thing). Johnson has Pablo Schreiber, Neve Campbell, Noah Taylor, Tzi Ma and Kevin Rankin to help him along, among others, but, let's be honest, the film is going to live or die by how awesome those action sequences are going to be. Rated PG-13 for sequences of gun violence and action, and for brief strong language.
For those who want something to bring their relationship closer together, nothing says "I love you" like surviving a devastating hurricane on the open sea, and then surviving the arduous journey back to civilization. Thus is the plot of Adrift that follows two lonely souls (Shailene Woodley and Sam Claflin) who bond with each other over their shared love of sailing. Too bad their romantic getaway leads smack-dab into one of the worst hurricanes to grace mankind. Injured and with their boat nearly capsized, they will have to rely on their skill and their will to survive (and be together) in order to reach civilization once again. Look, Woodley is kind of a space cadet in real life, but she is great in romance films (Fault in Our Stars, The Spectacular Now), so this is right in her wheelhouse. Claflin is also no slouch when it comes to dramatic romance (My Cousin Rachel, Me Before You). If they have any spark of chemistry at all, I can see this being a top-draw date film. Not that I'm at all interested - not my cup of tea, but I won't stop you. Rated PG-13 for injury images, peril, language, brief drug use, partial nudity and thematic elements.
Somehow a Pepsi Max commercial about an aging basketball legend is becoming a major motion picture. That's right, Uncle Drew is coming soon to a theater near you. The film stars a whole bunch of basketball legends, it's true - Kyrie Irving is our beloved Uncle and Dax (LilRel Howery) is all about recruiting him to play in the anniversary of the Rucker Classic streetball tournament after Mookie (Nick Kroll) snatches away his team even after he spends every dollar he has to enter the tournament. But Uncle Drew will only help him on one condition - he wants to put together his own team. This is where the fun comes in as his team includes a mountain of a karate trainer (Shaquille O'Neal), a near-blind wheelchair-bound dude (Reggie Miller), a baby-dunking preacher (Chris Webber) and a master of the fast break (Nate Robinson) and, of course, one bad-ass woman (Lisa Leslie). Now that is a lineup worthy of any court. That isn't all as Tiffany Haddish, Erica Ash and J.B. Smoove are also on board. Sport comedies aren't always easy - but when they work, they work good. I'm not sure a commercial is the best basis for a full-length feature, but, hey it looks fun enough. Rated PG-13 for suggestive material, language and brief nudity.
If one comedy wasn't enough, oh, we've got more. Imagine, if you can, your gradeschool days - playing tag with your friends. Ah, those were the days, right? Now imagine that game never ended, only evolved into something much more competitive, much more elaborate and much more crazy. A cross-country game of Tag that never truly ends - even if you have to go halfway around the country to win. Jeremy Renner, Annabelle Wallis, Leslie Bibb, Isla Fisher, Rashida Jones, Jon Hamm, Jake Johnson, Ed Helms, Brian Dennehy, Hannibal Buress and Nora Dunn all star in the comedy that follows a very dedicated group of adults who never left the playground - only expanded it to extreme lengths. Fun fact - based on a true story of truly dedicated and insane group of people. Hey, I'm an adult and I still play games, so who am I to judge? Rated R for language throughout, crude sexual content, drug use and brief nudity.
I'm not saving the worst for last, just a series that I have no big interest in. I never go into Adam Sandler's animated vision, but I'm sure that Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation will be just as popular (or close enough) to the first two that we'll eventually get a fourth entry. I haven't seen the original or the sequel, thus I'm not too keen on checking out this third entry. All the films have been about the fish-out-of-water of monsters vs. the real world. This time around Dracula (Sandler) is convinced by his daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) to go on an all-monster cruise - a vacation from running a vacation resort for other monsters for a chance. Of course, Drac's friends have to come along so Frank (Kevin James), Wayne (Steve Buscemi), Griffin (David Spade) and the rest are all along for the ride. Things become complicated when Drac falls for the captain Ericka (Kathryn Hahn) who just happens to be a descendant of the Van Helsing family of monster hunters. Mavis has her hands full with this new romance, a reversal of the first film, while Drac will have to deal with his newfound love's monster-hunting legacy. Look, I'm all for fun, animated films, this is just one series I never go into myself. Rated PG for some action and rude humor.
Wow, what an update! Hopefully you stuck around this time, because it was worth the wait. Let's see if the board can keep up this pace (doubtful) but I'm grateful while it lasts and, as always, the full MPAA Ratings Bulletin can be found below:
Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements/disturbing images.
Rated PG-13 for injury images, peril, language, brief drug use, partial nudity and thematic elements.
Rated R for strong violence and language throughout, sexual references and brief drug material.
Rated R for language, some sexual content and drug use.
HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3: SUMMER VACATION
Rated PG for some action and rude humor.
THE INCREDIBLES 2
Rated PG for action sequences and some brief mild language.
MARIA BY CALLAS: IN HER OWN WORDS
Rated PG for mild thematic elements, some smoking and brief language.
Rated PG for perilous sports action, some injury images and brief smoking.
THE NINTH PASSENGER
Rated R for language, drug use and some violence.
Rated R for strong bloody violence, disturbing images, language, and brief sexual content.
Rated PG-13 for a sequence of violence and chaos.
Rated R for violence and language.
Rated PG-13 for sequences of gun violence and action, and for brief strong language.
SNAKE OUTTA COMPTON
Rated R for crude and sexual content, nudity, language, some bloody images and brief drug material.
Rated R for language throughout, crude sexual content, drug use and brief nudity.
Rated PG-13 for suggestive material, language and brief nudity.