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Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Serenity, Nutcracker and More in This Week's MPAA Ratings Bulletin

View Chris Kavan's Profile

By Chris Kavan - 09/12/18 at 09:27 AM CT

Last week presented a landslide of new ratings releases, so much so I'm sure I advanced my impending Carpal Tunnel by at least a few months. This week things are back to normal, but the updates are nice and steady. Up front has to be the Godzilla sequel - that brings us ever closer to mega-monster franchise that will tie into King Kong and maybe Pacific Rim?? In any case, Godzilla, yay! We also have the latest incarnation of the venerable Nutcracker story and Matthew McConaughey in some fever-dream where reality may not be all that it seems. All in all, a pretty good update, just right in my book.

MPAA Official Logo

Up first is the king - that is, Godzilla: King of the Monsters. I was a fan of the 2014 version of Godzilla - while not perfect, it certainly helped wash out the stank of the pretty awful 1998 version. Japan is doing their own thing with their home-grown monster, but I think this sequel looks like it will be a lot of fun. The Earth is under attack from the emergence of god-like mythical monsters. Godzilla was but the first, and he finds himself facing off against some of his greatest foes: Mothra, Rodan, and the three headed King Ghidorah (his nemesis so to speak). Humanity can do nothing but pray for survival even as Dr. Emma Russell (Vera Farmiga) believes these beasts hold the key to humanity's future - you know, if humanity can survive this onslaught. I'm not sure if I like her theory, but, hey, we seem to be doing a great job of destroying ourselves right now - a few Titans thrown into the mix just sounds like it would speed things up a few centuries. The cast also includes Stranger Things superstar Millie Bobby Brown, as well as Sally Hawkins, Kyle Chandler, Bradley Whitford, Charles Dance, Ziyi Zhang, Thomas Middleditch, O'Shea Jackson Jr. and Ken Watanabe. Watanabe and Hawkins are the only big characters that look to reprise their roles from the first film, so we'll see how they address things. Rated PG-13 for sequences of monster action violence and destruction, and for some language.

I'm not about to research how many variations of The Nutcracker we've had over the years, but, suffice to say, there has been a metric butt-ton of versions of this Christmas Classic. That doesn't stop new versions from coming out from time to time and next up we find The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. And who else but Disney would be behind another classic update to a beloved classic? Mackenzie Foy (who you may recognized from either The Conjuring or Interstellar) plays the title role of every-girl Clara who wants nothing more than to find a special key that unlocks a priceless gift left to her by her late mother. The key, however, unlocks more than just a box - it transports her to a magical world, one of mice and soldiers, and a ruthless army run by the tyrant Mother Ginger (the always-welcome Helen Mirren), and Clara will have to find the bravery within in order to restore harmony to the four realms she has discovered. Disney doesn't mess around, the knock-out cast also includes Keira Knightley, Morgan Freeman, Eugenio Derbez, Ellie Bamber, Matthew Macfadyen, Jack Whitehall and Richard E. Grant among others. Disney also knows a bit about adapting classic tales for a modern audience and this, once again, seems to be a certified family hit and its early November release should lock the family crowd for the month. Rated PG for some mild peril.

Matthew McConaughey is no stranger to taking on some challenging roles in unconventional films. Sure, he has the odd romantic comedy here and there, but also films like Mud, Dallas Buyers Club, Magic Mike, Interstellar, Killer Joe and the upcoming White Boy Rick - all of which show a distinct facet of his range. That is why I'm interested in how Serenity. Thus far the official synopsis is quite... vague. It just describes a fishing boat captain (McConaughey, of course) who has a dark past who is tracked down by his ex-wife (Anne Hathaway) only to find out the new reality he finds himself in may not be all it seems. The trailer makes it clear that this takes place on a rather isolated island called Plymouth and that Hathaway wants her current husband (Jason Clarke) taking out for being an abusive a-hold. The island is populated by a bunch of characters as well - including those played by Diane Lane, Djimon Hounsou and a mysterious Jeremy Strong. All told, this looks like one of those psychological thrillers with some sultry undertones. Is this purgatory? A nightmare? An experiment? All in his mind? I don't know, but based on the cast alone, I'm interested to find out. Rated R for language throughout, sexual content, and some bloody images.

Those are the big three this week, but there is plenty more to check out in the full MPAA Ratings Bulletin below:

AFTER DARKNESS

Rated R for brief disturbing images and some language.


CINDERELLA AND THE SECRET PRINCE

Rated PG for mild action.


A CROOKED SOMEBODY

Rated R for language and brief violence.


GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS

Rated PG-13 for sequences of monster action violence and destruction, and for some language.


HOLLY STAR

Rated PG for language, some thematic elements and smoking.


MALEVOLENCE 3: KILLER

Rated R for bloody horror violence, terror, some sexuality and nudity.


MFKZ

Rated R for bloody violence, language and some sexual content.


THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS

Rated PG for some mild peril.


THE OATH

Rated R for language throughout, violence and some drug use.


PRIVATE LIFE

Rated R for strong sexual content, some graphic nudity, and language.


SERENITY

Rated R for language throughout, sexual content, and some bloody images.


SLAUGHTERHOUSE RULEZ

Rated R for bloody violence, language throughout, sexual content, and some drug use.


SMALL GROUP

Rated PG-13 for thematic material including brief violence and drug references.


VIKING DESTINY

Rated R for bloody violence, and some sexuality/nudity.

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