Controversial Elton John biopic ‘Rocketman’ rated R-13 without cuts

Filipino audiences have the rare privilege of getting inside the real-life story of music legend Elton John in its full, controversial splendor as Paramount Pictures’ Rocketman has been rated R-13 without cuts by the Movie and Television Review & Classification Board (MTRCB).

The Board has deemed Rocketman suitable only to viewers thirteen (13) years old and above as the film contains depiction of drugs, sexual activity, violence, suffering and foul language.

This is a very encouraging development for the Filipino audience and film industry as it signals our institution’s commitment to artistic freedom, inclusion and liberalism.  

One of the most acclaimed films of the year — with a Certified Fresh rating of 90% at Rotten Tomatoes — Rocketman is an epic musical fantasy about the incredible human story of Elton John’s breakthrough years. Directed by Dexter Fletcher, the film follows the fantastical journey of  transformation from shy piano prodigy Reginald Dwight into international superstar Elton John.

This inspirational story – set to Elton John’s most beloved songs and performed by star Taron Egerton – tells the universally relatable story of how a small-town boy became one of the most iconic figures in pop culture. Rocketman also stars Jamie Bell as Elton’s longtime lyricist and writing partner Bernie Taupin, Richard Madden as Elton’s first manager, John Reid, and Bryce Dallas Howard as Elton’s mother Sheila Farebrother.

In his film review in Variety, critic Peter Debruge writes, “Egerton effectively plays the pop star as that rarest of movie archetypes: a gay sex symbol. As such, can its much-touted love scene truly be considered gratuitous when an entire community has been so underrepresented in the arena of studio-sanctioned snogging?”

Meanwhile, Time Magazine’s Stephanie Zacharek applauds, “‘Rocketman’ is magnificent and ridiculous, a feathered melanage of clichés and originality, of respectful homage and unrepentant nostalgia. Sometimes it’s comfortingly conventional; other times it’s gloriously off the charts. Even when it doesn’t quite work, it’s just so damn alive, meeting right at the intersection of the human heartbeat and the also-human love for shiny things.”

In Philippine cinemas June 19, Rocketman is distributed in the Philippines by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures. #RocketmanMovie  

‘Fifty Shades Darker’ gets R-18 rating from MTRCB with no cuts, blurs, covers

Universal Pictures’ eagerly anticipated romantic thriller Fifty Shades Darker has been approved for exhibition by the Movie & Television Rating and Classification Board (MTRCB) with a rating of R-18 which means the movie is strictly for 18 years of age and above.

The sequel to the 2015 blockbuster love story Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker was approved in its original US version – WITHOUT cuts, blurs and blacked-out parts.

The MTRCB justified its R-18 classification due to the following contents in the film:

  • Prolonged and realistic depiction of sexual activity and aberrational sexual behavior;
  • Scenes involving bondage and dominance, sadism and masochism;
  • Nudity (breast, butt and pubic hair exposures; and
  • Strong and / or sexual language.

Meanwhile, advance ticket-selling has started for the film – fans can now buy their tickets and be among the first to see Fifty Shades Darker in cinemas.

Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson return as Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades Darker, the second chapter based on the worldwide bestselling Fifty Shades phenomenon. Expanding upon events set in motion in 2015’s blockbuster film that grossed more than $560 million globally, the new installment invites you to slip into something a shade darker.

When a wounded Christian Grey tries to entice a cautious Ana Steele back into his life, she demands a new arrangement before she will give him another chance. As the two begin to build trust and find stability, shadowy figures from Christian’s past start to circle the couple, determined to destroy their hopes for a future together.

Also returning from Fifty Shades of Grey are Academy Award® winner Marcia Gay Harden, Jennifer Ehle, Luke Grimes, Rita Ora, Victor Rasuk, Eloise Mumford and Max Martini, who are joined for the first time by Oscar® winner Kim Basinger, Hugh Dancy, Bella Heathcote and Eric Johnson.

Fifty Shades Darker is directed by James Foley (Fear, House of Cards) and once again produced by Michael De Luca, Dana Brunetti and Marcus Viscidi, alongside E L James, the creator of the culture-spanning blockbuster series. The screenplay is by Niall Leonard, based on the book by James.

The film features the song “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever (Fifty Shades Darker)” performed by international superstars Zayn | Taylor Swift. The official soundtrack album arrives in stores and via online partners soon.

Opening across the Philippines on February 8, 2017, Fifty Shades Darker is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.