By Chris Kavan - 05/23/18 at 10:31 AM CT
Hopefully you have some big plans for this upcoming Memorial Day Weekend. I would say it's all about Solo, but I'm actually holding off until the middle of next week when things are going to be calm. The Ratings Board didn't slack off - there are three films to talk about. We've got a horror sequel/prequel about everyone's favorite night of the year, an action/crime films that's giving me major John Wick vibes and a Disney film about growing old but not necessarily growing up. All told, not a bad update - plenty enough to talk about and some decent secondary films as well.
I'm always keen about horror films sending a message - whether it's a veiled look at consumerism in Dawn of the Dead, eating disorders in Drag Me to Hell or racism in Get Out - horror films do a great job of conveying a message while still scaring the bejesus out of us. The Purge films may have started off as just a family trying to survive a night when all crime is legal, but has turned into a message about the have vs. have-nots and the lengths people will go to keep it that way. The First Purge looks to continue this storyline but instead of a new installment, we're going back to the beginning. Marisa Tomei is ready to run an experiment to see if this one night of violence and carnage where all crime is legal will help heal a nation. Of course, things don't go exactly as planned as the higher ups have other plans to use this night to send in a group of mercenaries to take out "problem" areas (namely the minorities and the poor). This idea was explored in The Purge: Anarchy - which actually saw things come to a conclusion as an anti-purge politician fought for her life. This time around, it's the pro-purge individuals who fight to make sure this experiment becomes an annual tradition - by any means necessary. The message may not be subtle, but it's certainly clear. Rated R for strong disturbing violence throughout, pervasive language, some sexuality and drug use.
While it's never easy to emulate John Wick (there can only be one Keanu Reeves stone-cold badass), the success of the series has led to some serious badassery all around. Whether it's Charleze Theron in Atomic Blonde or Denzel Washington in an updated Equalizer, the effects are there to see. Which is why I'm looking forward to Hotel Artemis.Taking place in a none-too-distant future, Los Angeles is now a battleground where the desperate and cruel fight for survival and a piece of what's left of the city. In the middle of this we find the mysterious proprietor of the titular Hotel known at The Nurse (Jodi Foster). She runs a very important clinic for very connected clientele. The film is packed with some serious talent including Sofia Boutella, Dave Bautista, Sterling K. Brown, Jenny Slate, Jeff Goldblum, Charlie Day, Zachary Quinto, Kenneth Choi and Evan Jones. Just based on the cast, I'm interested - and if they can craft a good story around all the violence I'm anticipating, well, bonus I guess. Rated R for violence and language throughout, some sexual references, and brief drug use.
As if Disney didn't have enough success with Star Wars and Marvel under their umbrella, they have also found great success with turning their vast animated uncatalogued into new live-action features. From Maleficent to The Jungle Book and, of course, Beauty and the Beast, Disney has not only found a reliable way to make new films but, it's not just a cash-grab as these new films are actually quite good. The next series on the block is the venerable Winnie the Pooh, in the film Christopher Robin we find an adult Christopher Robin (Ewan McGregor) who has a wife (Hayley Atwell), family and job - but what he doesn't have is a lot of time for anything fun. That is when he old friend Pooh (voiced once again by long-time voice actor Jim Cummings) pops back into his life. It seems his many friends are lost in the Hundred Acre Wood and he needs some help getting the old gang back together. In the process Mr. Robin will learn that there is still magic out there and add a little fun back into his life. The film is packed with some big names - Chris O'Dowd as Tigger, Toby Jones as Owl, Brad Garrett as Eyeore, Peter Capaldi as Rabbit, Sophie Okonedo as Kanga and many more. If the film has as much heart and soul as its animated counterpart, I don't see why this won't join the rest of Disney's live-action success stories. Rated PG for some action.
Those are the big three for this week but be sure to check out the full MPAA Ratings Bulletin below:
ALWAYS AND FOREVER
Rated PG-13 for violence, terror, thematic elements, some sexual references and language.
Rated PG for some action.
THE FIRST PURGE
Rated R for strong disturbing violence throughout, pervasive language, some sexuality and drug use.
Rated PG-13 for thematic content, language including racial epithets, smoking, some violence and suggestive material.
HIBISCUS AND RUTHLESS
Rated PG-13 for some suggestive content.
Rated R for violence and language throughout, some sexual references, and brief drug use.
LUIS & THE ALIENS
Rated PG for some rude humor and action.
Rated R for horror violence/gore, grisly images, language, some sexuality and brief nude images.
PURGE OF KINGDOMS: THE UNAUTHORIZED GAME OF THRONES PARODY
Rated R for crude/sexual content, language, some violence and drug use.
Rated R for bloody violence, language, drug and alcohol abuse, and some sexual content.
SORRY TO BOTHER YOU
Rated R for pervasive language, some strong sexual content, graphic nudity, and drug use.
Rated PG-13 for drug material, some sexual content, and language.
TRIAL BY FIRE
Rated R for language throughout, some violence, disturbing images, sexual material and brief nudity.
WON'T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?
Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements and language.