By Chris Kavan - 02/27/19 at 10:11 AM CT
Three is just a right, good number of films to talk about and, wouldn't you know, the MPAA Ratings Board has graced me with the perfect number of wide releases in this bulletin. Granted we have one remake, one sorta-sequel and finally an original crime/drama to talk about. But I'll take what I can get and it's the sweet spot this time around, even if the quality leaves me a bit wanting.
The Hellboy remake was always going to face an uphill battle. When you are up against Guillermo del Toro and the absolute perfect casting of Ron Perlman in the title role, well, it's some big shoes to fill. From the reaction of the first trailer, director Neil Marshall (who directed Doomsday but is actually more well-known as the man behind the excellent Game of Thrones episode from season 1, Blackwater) and star David Harbor (of Stranger Things fame), this Hellboy version 2.0 looks like a bit of a letdown. Most of the ire has been thrown at what looks like sub-standard CGI and effects, while Harbor just doesn't carry the same weight as Perlman. That being said, the film has earned an R rating, and it looks like it isn't going to be shy on the violence. Whether that means the film can be salvaged after that savage first reaction remains to be seen, but fans are a bit bitter about not getting a third film from del Toro and company and we'll see if that spills over to the reaction for this film. Rated R for strong bloody violence and gore throughout, and language.
If remakes aren't your thing, how about a sequel that really delivers a family affair - if you're family are all kick-ass private detectives. That is the scenario for the new Shaft, which follows cyber security expert John Shaft Jr. (Jessie T. Usher) who has become estranged from his father (Samuel L. Jackson) but reaches out to him when a friend dies under mysterious circumstances. This leads to the infiltration of Harlem's heroin-infused underbelly, as well as score to settle for the elder Shaft that is both professional and personal. And because this is truly a family affair, the original Shaft, Richard Roundtree, also makes an appearance. The rest of the cast includes the likes of Regina Hall, Alexandra Shipp, Method Man, Matt Lauria and Avan Jogia. I didn't have a problem with the 2000 update of Shaft - though there was nothing exactly amazing about it, either. I think this will be much the same - a perfectly adequate crime/action film, but nothing too spectacular. Rated R for pervasive language, violence, sexual content, some drug material and brief nudity.
Finally our one. truly original film follows in the footsteps of last years Widows, which followed a group of women who must figure out how to carry on after the death of their husbands, each of whom is connected through mutual crime. Now, The Kitchen follows a similar thread in that it follows a group of women who must take over their husbands - but instead of death, they are in prison and the wives are all in Hell's Kitchen (hence the snappy title). The strong cast features Melissa McCarthy (once again branching out from comedy), Elisabeth Moss, Tiffany Haddish, character actress Margo Martindale along with some guys too: Domhnall Gleeson, James Badge Dale, Common, Brian d'Arcy James and Jeremy Bobb among them. Widows managed a decent $42 million and I see no reason this film won't match or exceed that total. Rated R for violence, language throughout and some sexual content.
Those are the big three for the week - and, surprise, all rated R because adult things - but be sure to check out the full MPAA Ratings Bulletin below:
Rated PG for thematic elements, suggestive material and brief smoking.
ADVENTURES OF DALLY & SPANKY
Rated PG for brief language.
Rated PG-13 for violence and action, suggestive material, and language.
FORTUNE DEFIES DEATH
Rated R for language, drug use and brief violence.
Rated R for strong bloody violence and gore throughout, and language.
Rated R for violence, language throughout and some sexual content.
Rated R for some bloody and disturbing images.
Rated R for language, sexual content and some drug use.
Rated R for brief sexuality/nudity.
Rated R for strong violence and language throughout.
Rated R for pervasive language, violence, sexual content, some drug material and brief nudity.
Rated R for some violence.
Rated PG for some mild action and rude humor.