Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Interesting news on the MPAA ratings front...

Box Office Mojo sends out a weekly update of what films have received what ratings from the MPAA. There are several interesting tidbits this week.

W, Oliver Stone's allegedly comic biopic of George W. Bush (mainly dealing with his life pre-presidential run), has been awarded a surprising PG-13 (for language including sexual references, some alcohol abuse, smoking and brief disturbing war images). I presume this means that we won't see Bush allegedly using cocaine in his youth. On the other hand, this is Oliver Stone's second PG-13 movie in a row, and his second PG-13 movie ever, following the terrible World Trade Center.

Stone used to specialize in hard-R adult entertainment, so this is an interesting development. If you can't count on Die Hard, The Terminator, and Oliver Stone dramas for R-rated entertainment value, who can you count on? If Lionsgate makes good on its alleged intent to make Punisher: War Zone into a PG-13 picture, they will have the two most inappropriate PG-13 movies of the year. Are they really hoping that teenagers are going to see this one? Perhaps we'll all be treated to the scene of Richard Dreyfuss's Dick Cheney telling Sen. Patrick J. Leahy to 'go frick himself'.

Quantum Of Solace has received the expected PG-13 for the expected helpful helpings of 'intense sequences of violence and action, and some sexual content.' There is some 007 news, but that will be dealt with in my next 'short' post.

Valkyrie, the Tom Cruise-starring and Brian Singer-directed adventure has been rated PG-13 for (violence and brief strong language). The 'Nazis who plot to kill Hitler' thriller is obviously going for broke as a mainstream action adventure title. Fair or not, this somewhat troubled production will make or break United Artists and Tom Cruise's future as an aging star. Still, troubles aside, Tom Cruise hasn't made a completely bad movie since Days Of Thunder in 1990. And, Superman Returns aside, Bryan Singer has a pretty solid track record (Usual Suspects, Apt Pupil, and the first two X-Men pictures). There's no real reason to presume that this won't be a dramatically compelling action thriller.

Scott Mendelson

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