By Chris Kavan - 05/15/19 at 02:41 PM CT
A surprising amount of documentaries and shorts pepper this week's MPAA Ratings Bulletin - not exactly what I was hoping for - but there are at least a couple of wide releases worth mentioning. There is a complete reboot of a horror franchise that rules the creepy doll market. A far-off release that follow's one man's quest for justice in an often unjust world. So, hey, let's count the blessings we have and work with what we got and, as always, hope for more in the future.
In the annals of horror icons you have the big ones: Jason, Freddy, Michael Myers, Pinhead and, yes, a cute, murderous doll named Chucky. While Child's Play may not be quite on the same level as some horror franchises, it certainly got it's fair share of sequels - and now it's high time for a complete reboot and thus 2019 brings us another Child's Play and this time, he's going high-tech. That's right, it's still Chucky - but think of the iconic doll crossed with Google Home or Amazon Echo - the Buddi systems as it's referred to, is a doll but also has access to a lot of functions in your home (climate, music, internet, tv - all that jazz) - so a possessed version is much more terrifying in an online world. While some may disparage the fact that original voice actor Brad Dourif isn't coming back, the new movie scored a coup by casting Mark Hamill - known for his broad range of voice acting, including, of course, The Joker in the animated Batman universe. In any case, the overall story remains somewhat similiar: single mom Karen Barclay (Aubrey Plaza) wants the best for her son, Andy (Gabriel Bateman) but doesn't have enough time and certainly not enough money to give him everything he should have. But the Buddi system proves too good to be true - and she scores a coveted doll - only to realize too late this is no ordinary toy as the body count piles up. The trailer shows a lot of action - and a lot of electronics - from drones, to a table saw to cell phones - all being affected. And it looks like at some point Chucky traps a good amount of people in a store for some old-fashioned terrorizing. I don't know how this will do but, at least as remakes go, at least they're not just rehashing the original and are instead taking things in a fascinating direction. Rated R for bloody horror violence and language throughout.
About as far away from a horror remake as you can get, we turn our attention to Just Mercy, which is based on the true story of lawyer Bryan Stevenson (Michael B. Jordon) who pursues a career in the deep south fighting to overturn wrongful convictions, including that of death row inmate Walter McMillian (Jamie Foxx) despite a system that spurns him at every turn. Helping in his endeavor is local advocate Eva Ansley (Brie Larson). This kind of powerful biopic should work - provided it doesn't try to be too sentimental or too dry - something like Selma and less like J. Edgar. In any case, this looks like it has a solid cast going for it at least - beside the above-mentioned you also have O'Shea Jackson Jr., Tim Blake Nelson, Mary Kraft and Drew Scheid help round out the cast. This is being released very early in 2020, so it's still a ways out, but we'll see if it can attract the adult crowd. Rated PG-13 for thematic content including some racial epithets.
Those are the two big films for the week but be sure to check out the full MPAA Ratings Bulletin below (especially if you like documentaries, shorts or short documentaries):
Rated R for bloody horror violence, and language throughout.
FIDDLER: A MIRACLE OF MIRACLES
Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements/disturbing images.
Rated PG-13 for thematic content including some racial epithets.
Rated PG-13 for some thematic material/images.
MIKE WALLACE IS HERE
Rated PG-13 for thematic material, some violent images, language and smoking.
RIGHT LIVELIHOOD: A JOURNEY TO HERE
Rated PG-13 for brief violence.
SAY MY NAME
Rated R for language throughout and some sexual content.
Rated R for language, some bloody images and a scene of sexuality.
SWORD OF TRUST
Rated R for language throughout.
THIS IS PERSONAL
Rated R for language.
TONI MORRISON: THE PIECES I AM
Rated PG-13 for some disturbing images/thematic material.