By Chris Kavan - 09/11/19 at 10:37 AM CT
Welcome to an all-streaming MPAA Ratings update! While I usual overlook both limited and streaming releases, this week, since the MPAA Ratings Board decided not to give me any new wide releases to speak of, I'm going to showcase two big film from the biggest (or soon-to-be biggest) streaming platforms out there. That would be The Irishman, from Netflix and the new live-action version of Lady and the Tramp that will help launch the upcoming Disney+ service in October. I don't mind, I guess, but I do hope the wide releases come back in the future.
Netflix has provided me with a lot of content, but I admit, most of that comes in the form of their binge-worthy series, rather than their films. Bird Box, The Silence, Bright, The Cloverfield Paradox, I Am Mother - while boasting big names, none exactly scream quality entertainment. But Netflix does boast some impressive films as well, perhaps none moreso than last year's Roma, directed by Alfonso Cuarón. Because Netflix gave him free reign, Cuarón was able to direct a deeply personal film - a film that might never have seen the light of day otherwise - and it went on to win many major awards. I also think it was among the best films of that year. Netflix is hoping to continue that legacy with The Irishman directed by another Hollywood heavyweight, the esteemed Martin Scorsese. Paramount Pictures had the rights, until the budget crawled northwards of $100 million, and Netflix was more than happy to pick up the slack - deep pockets and all that. The film follows the story of Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro) and his life-long friendship with Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino) and, of course, deals with the teamster leader's mysterious disappearance - something that remains a mystery to this day. The film boasts an exciting extended cast including, for the first time in several years, the return of Joe Pesci to the screen. It also stars the likes of Anna Paquin, Jesse Plemons, Harvey Keitel, Stephen Graham, Bobby Cannavale, Jack Huston, Ray Romano and Jake Hoffman. It's kind of a Goodfellas reunion of sorts and is certainly right in the sweet spot for Scorsese. It's going to have a very limited theatrical run and we'll see if it excites critics and Hollywood the way Roma did. Rated R for pervasive language and strong violence.
Swinging to the other end of the streaming spectrum, Disney has come out and said they will not show any R-rated content at all - what with keeping with their family-friendly image and all. So it should come as little surprise that one of their flagship films to launch their new streaming service will be Lady and the Tramp, a new live action version of the animated classic. And while the film will be a mix of live-action and CGI - unlike The Lion King (which is totally animated and I will fight you over that), this one will stick mostly to reality. The voice cast looks solid - Tessa Thompson as Lady, Justin Theroux as Tramp, Sam Elliott as Trusty, Benedict Wong as Bull, Janelle Monáe as Peg and Ashley Jensen as Darling with the human cast consisting of F. Murray Abraham, Ken Jeong, Kiersey Clemons, Thomas Mann and Yvette Nicole Brown among others. So why did Disney decide to go the streaming route rather than the theatrical route with this one? I'm guessing they needed a decently heavy hitter to get people on board - not that Star Wars and the Marvel series are enough or anything - and this looks to fit the bill. Rated PG for some mild thematic
elements and action/peril.
That's your all-streaming lineup for this week, but be sure to check out the full MPAA Ratings Bulletin below:
Rated R for language and some sexual material.
Rated R for brief strong language.
Rated R for violence, sexuality/nudity and brief language.
DILILI IN PARIS
Rated PG for thematic material throughout, some language, peril and brief smoking.
ICE PRINCESS LILY
Rated PG for some action and thematic elements.
Rated R for pervasive language and strong violence.
LADY AND THE TRAMP
Rated PG for some mild thematic elements and action/peril.
Rated R for bloody zombie violence, crude sexual content, language throughout and brief drug use.
Rated R for brief sexuality/nudity.
Rated R for language, some violence and sexual content.
THE QUEEN'S CORGI
Rated PG for thematic content involving sexually suggestive material, rude humor, violence
and some language.
A SECOND CHANCE: RIVALS!
Rated PG for some thematic elements.
SELAH AND THE SPADES
Rated R for teen drug content, and language.