By Chris Kavan - 06/26/19 at 11:41 AM CT
While it's not the longest update of the year, the MPAA Ratings Board sure packed in some good stuff this time around. A very nice four big movies getting their ratings due including a fun Fast & Furious spinoff romp, a kid-friendly adventure, an eerie countryside horror film and a new romance featuring two red-hot actors. All in all - a little something for everyone and the kind of update I truly appreciate. Let's hope the rest of the summer treats us just as nicely.
While I have no doubt saying that the Fast & Furious films have become parody at this point - I also know they're a hell of a lot of fun to watch. That is why I don't really have a problem with the upcoming Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw. This teams up Dwayne Johnson's chiseled Luke Hobbs and Jason Statham as the duplicitous Deckard Shaw who reluctantly find themselves on the same team when Shaw's sister, Hattie (a kick-ass Vanessa Kirby) finds herself up against a cyber-genetically enhanced villain (Idris Elba, boss as always) - and some of his friends who are after a virus that could threaten all of humanity. Based on the trailers, Hobbs goes old-school Maori at one point while Elba is essentially Black Superman - and the stunts look ridiculous as per usual. But it also just looks so damn fun - you can't take these films seriously, just sit back and enjoy the ride. I don't know if it's going to explode like a typical Fast & Furious film, but I think it's going to do just fine. Rated PG-13 for prolonged sequences of action and violence, suggestive material and some strong language.
Out of all the kid-friendly material out there, I was skeptical when they announced a live-action version of Dora the Explorer. But here we are, with Dora and the Lost City of Gold right around the corner. I do think those responsible for casting did great with Isabela Moner in the lead role - I saw her performance in Sicario: Day of the Soldado and though that role is much darker than Dora by miles, she is a great, young actress. Dora, obviously, is much more upbeat - even when she is transferred from the jungle to a place far more dangerous: high school, where she meets up with her friend Diego (Jeffrey Wahlberg) and tries her best to make her can-do attitude work. But the jungle isn't too far behind as Dora's parents (Michael Peña and Eva Longoria) get caught up in the mechanization of the evil Swiper (Benicio Del Toro - another Sicario alum) and Dora, along with her not-so-jungle enthusiast friends, find themselves navigating the dangers in order to save them and maybe solve a mystery. The film has a pretty good cast including Danny Trejo as the voice of Boots, Dora's monkey pal, along with the likes of Temuera Morrison, Eugenio Derbez, Madeleine Madden, Joey Vieira, Nicholas Coombe and Christopher Kirby among others. If it hit the right amount of nostalgia for adults and the right amount of fun for their children, it should do pretty good. Rated PG for action and some impolite humor.
While his brand of horror may not be for everyone, one cannot fault the talents of Ari Aster, who brought us the superb horror (in my opinion anyway) Hereditary last year. He's back with another shot at unconventional horror with Midsommar which, unlike most horror that takes place in the dark and shadows, is practically bursting with life and color thanks to its setting: a rural Swedish mid-summer festival. New couple Dani (Florence Pugh) and Christian (Jack Reynor) return to his home town for a once-in-a-generation festival. Joining them are friends Josh (William Jackson Harper) and Mark (Will Poulter). The film has been described as a break-up film disguised as folk horror - as we watch a relationship deteriorate even as mind-altering substances and cultural nativity make for some trippy, and dangerous, interactions. Aster isn't afraid to go unconventional, as stated before, thus I am keen to see what he does here. Like Hereditary, I don't see this appealing to a big, mainstream horror audience, though I think true horror devotees will certainly appreciate this. I, for one, am keen on seeing how this all plays out. Rated R for disturbing ritualistic violence and grisly images, strong sexual content, graphic nudity, drug use and language.
Finally we have a romance that stars two huge names: Emilia Clark, fresh off the final (and controversial) final season of Game of Thrones and Henry Golding, fresh of the red-hot Crazy Rich Asians. Last Christmas is a meet-cute takes place in a department store where Kate (Clark) is working as an elf and, though her life has been through a series of bad decisions lately, things change when she meets Tom (Golding). I'm sure not everything will go as smooth as planned and there will be hurdles to overcome but something tells me it's going to have a happy end. The film also stars Emma Thompson, Michelle Yeoh, Patti LuPone and Patti LuPone among others. Director Paul Feig has finally decided to direct someone other than his wife (Melissa McCarthy) and I think the film will be better for it. Feig has proven talented, and if the two leads have any chemistry I think this will be a solid choice for couples, young and old. Rated PG-13 for language and sexual content.
A great mix of genres this week - and a nice, even number as well. Be sure to check out the full MPAA Ratings Bulletin below:
Rated R for strong bloody violence and disturbing images, graphic nudity, and language.
DORA AND THE LOST CITY OF GOLD
Rated PG for action and some impolite humor.
FAST & FURIOUS PRESENTS: HOBBS & SHAW
Rated PG-13 for prolonged sequences of action and violence, suggestive material and some strong language.
Rated PG-13 for language and sexual content.
LIGHT OF MY OWN LIFE
Rated R for some violence.
Rated R for language, some sexual content and nudity.
Rated R for disturbing ritualistic violence and grisly images, strong sexual content, graphic nudity, drug use and language.
Rated R for bloody violence, and language throughout.