By Chris Kavan - 02/06/19 at 09:41 AM CT
This entire year has essentially been a struggle as the MPAA Ratings Board has been rather stingy with handing out ratings, at least to major films. This week brings a welcome update with two huge films - Captain Marvel and Jordan Peele's Us receiving their official ratings, along with the true-life drama Hotel Mumbai. Three is a nice, dependable number and more so when there are strong films to talk about. Good job, ratings board, now make sure you keep this up for the next several weeks and make my life better.
Disney is still king of the hill when it comes to compelling superhero films and I have no doubt that Captain Marvel is going to continue their winning steak. Brie Larson takes on the role of Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel - a strong Air Force pilot who is involved in an accident but rescued by the alien race known as the Kree, who imbue her with DNA and turn her into an even more powerful force - and she joins the Starforce. Some familiar faces pop up here - Lee Pace reprising his role as Ronan the Accuser and Djimon Hounsou as Korath - though neither are as fanatical as they appear in Guardians of the Galaxy. Jude Law plays the leader of the Starforce with Gemma Chan playing sniper Minn-Erva on the team. Samuel L. Jackson and Clark Gregg also reprise their roles as (pre-eye patch) Nick Fury and rookie agent Phil Coulson - both playing much younger versions of their later MCU appearances. Rounding out the cast is Ben Mendelsohn, the shape-shifting leader of the Skrull race (who are enemies of the Kree) who doubles as Fury's boss. The strong cast just helps this along, but it is Larson that has stood out in the trailers and even though we may have missed out on a Black Widow solo film, hopefully Captain Marvel delivers the strong, female lead the MCU so needs after Wonder Woman proved that female superheros are far from box office poison. I have no doubt this is going to be huge - and it will be interested to see how Captain Marvel/Avengers: Endgame compares to last year's massive Black Panther/Avengers: Infinity War one-two punch. Rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and brief suggestive language.
Jordan Peele may have cut his teeth on comedy, but let me tell you, he looks to be the next big name in horror. After the racially-themed Get Out blew pretty much everyone away (including me - what a concept!), he looks to follow up with the super-creepy Us. The film follows a family of four (Lupita Nyong'o, Winston Duke, Shahadi Wright Joseph and Evan Alex) who are on vacation at a beach house, hoping to hand out with their friends (Elisabeth Moss and Tim Heidecker) only for things to take a sinister turn when their home is invaded by four strangers. These strangers, however, looks to be twisted versions of themselves - referred to as The Tethered - and as the family fights for their own lives, more of The Tethered appear. Peele has said Us explores the idea that "we are our own worst enemies" and I have to admit, those trailers are super effective at creeping me out. And you can best be assured after Get Out, this is one I am definitely looking forward to watching in the theater. The cast looks fantastic and the concept, once again, looks original and pretty damn scary. Rated R for violence/terror, and language.
Finally, while maybe not on the same level as Captain Marvel or Us in terms of popularity, in terms of effective drama, Hotel Mumbai has got them both beat. That is because the film is based on the real-life terrorist attack at the Taj Hotel in 2008. The film looks to follow several threads about how staff and guests react to a normal day turning into a fight for survival. The cast is led by Academy-award winner Dev Patel, who plays a waiter who risks everything to help guest and is joined by a renowned chef Hemant Oberoi (Anupam Kher). Another thread follows couple David and Zahra (Armie Hammer and Nazanin Boniadi) who will go to desperate lengths to protest their newborn child. While this may be the first major feature film for Anthony Maras, he is in good company as about 30 cast and crew return from the excellent film Lion - and if Hotel Mumbai can capture that same emotion and spirit, I don't see why it won't be in consideration for awards season. Rated R for disturbing violence throughout, bloody images and language.
Those are the three major films receiving their ratings, but be sure to check out the full MPAA Ratings Bulletin below:
Rated R for strong sexual content, graphic nudity, disturbing images and drug use.
Rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and brief suggestive language.
Rated PG for thematic elements and some language.
Rated R for language throughout and some drug use.
Rated R for some strong violence and bloody images.
Rated R for disturbing violence throughout, bloody images, and language.
PEPPA CELEBRATES CHINESE NEW YEAR
Rated R for violence/terror, and language.