Skyfall (2)

In theory, the PG-13 rating is supposed to protect younger teens from adult elements like sex or violence. In practice, however, anyone who’s ever seen, say, Skyfall or The Dark Knight knows that these movies can actually get away with quite a lot of brutality.

In fact, a new study indicates these films have only become more and more violent since the PG-13 rating was first introduced in the ’80s — to the extent that PG-13 films actually have more gun violence these days than R-rated movies do. Hit the jump for more findings from the researchers.

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Blue Is the Warmest Color

The news that the MPAA had stamped Abdellatif Kechiche‘s Blue Is the Warmest Color with an NC-17 rating wasn’t much of a shock. The board is famously prudish when it comes to sex, and the film raised eyebrows at Cannes for its lengthy, intense, and graphic scenes of lesbian lovemaking.

Distributor Sundance Selects announced in August that it would not “compromise Kechiche’s vision” by whittling it down for an R, so it’s rolling into theaters this weekend with that NC-17 rating still intact. Normally, this would prevent anyone under 17 from seeing the movie, even with parental supervision. But one theater in New York has decided to defy the MPAA recommendation and let teens see it anyway. Hit the jump to find out why.

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Pirates of the Caribbean

It’s generally accepted as fact that online piracy is bad for the movie business. Each illegal download means, theoretically, one fewer ticket or DVD sold, which means the cast, crew, and everyone else involved is being cheated out of fair pay for their hard work.

Except, according to one recent study, that conventional logic may actually only apply to blockbusters. The authors conclude that for smaller films, piracy is actually beneficial, likely because more pirates watching means more pirates spreading buzz.

Not surprisingly, this finding doesn’t sit well with everyone in the business. The Motion Picture Association of America has now responded with a dismissal, insisting that the study’s results “aren’t entirely clear” and are based on “total speculation.” Hit the jump to read both sides of the argument.

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Blue Is the Warmest Color

Abdellatif Kechiche‘s Blue Is the Warmest Color drew raves upon raves at Cannes this year, for its tender, intimate portrayal of two young women (Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux) falling in love. But it also raised some eyebrows thanks to its graphic sex scenes.

It’s no surprise, then, that the MPAA has stamped the drama with an NC-17 for its U.S. release. But rather than trim the movie for an R or release it without a rating at all, American distributor Sundance Selects will put Blue Is the Warmest Color in theaters with the restrictive rating intact. Hit the jump to find out why, and to get a peek at the first international trailer.

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Blade Runner

If the idea of a Taxi Driver 2 sounds stupid to you, know that Paul Schrader agrees. As a matter of fact, he thinks the concept pitched to him by Robert De Niro in the ’90s was “the dumbest idea that I’ve ever heard.” Also after the jump:

  • Keanu Reeves offers a small Bill & Ted 3 update
  • Sean Young calls for a Blade Runner 2 boycott
  • James Cameron is finalizing multiple Avatar scripts
  • Bravo kills development on their Heathers TV show
  • Bruce Willis was too expensive for Expendables 3
  • 300: Rise of an Empire gets rated R by the MPAA
  • See an early version of the Fast & Furious 7 poster

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Before Midnight 12

Today’s Sequel Bits veers from deeply romantic to adorably funny to bone-chillingly creepy. After the jump:

  • Star Trek and Kick-Ass 2 get rated by the MPAA
  • Todd Phillips is pretty sure Hangover II is brilliant
  • The producers of Paranormal 4 are getting sued
  • Chris Pine chats about Kirk’s self doubt in Star Trek
  • See more Celine and Jesse pics from Before Midnight
  • See posters for Monsters University and V/H/S/2

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Seeing Don Jon’s Addiction at Sundance was quite an experience, in part because of all the porn. The film, written and directed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, follows a character (played by the director) who is addicted to online pornography. Despite being able to lure very attractive women home for sex, he prefers porn. In fact, the objectification aspect of watching porn is what he likes — he gets to see the exact images he wants, with no outlay of energy or emotion on his own part.

So there’s a fair amount of porn in the movie, and clips of stuff that might be a little intense for those who don’t spend much time checking out sex on the internet.

There’s no image that, in and of itself, would result in a rating harder than an R. But the intensity of the clips is often pretty high, and there are a lot of clips. (Think of them like the repeated drug-prep scenes in Requiem For a Dream.) They’re important, and deliberately confrontational. The audience needs to see how reliant the character is on them, and how cut off from reality the images are.

But what’s in the movie now is likely too much for the MPAA, and so the cut that festival audiences are seeing now won’t be the one that people see in theaters when Relativity releases it this summer. Read More »

Vomiting blood, severed limbs, slicing tongues, everything we’ve seen from Fede Alvarez‘s remake of Evil Dead has been gory enough to make some people queasy. After watching the red band trailer, many questioned how a film with that apparent level of intense violence could get an R-rating. Turns out, they were right to ask. Alvarez took to Twitter to reveal he has submitted his first cut of the film to the MPAA, and that it got an NC-17 rating.

That rating forced him to go in and recut down to an R before the film’s April 12th release. Read More »

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