The current controversy over the Motion Picture Association of America slapping Derek Cianfrance’s Blue Valentine with an NC-17 rating, and then repealing it, has once again brought into question the usefulness of the MPAA as a whole. In fact, renowned film critic Roger Ebert goes so far to say that “there are only two meaningful ratings: R and not-R” and has called for a total overhaul of the system because, in his words, “our national standards of taste have changed.”
Ebert cites the example of The King’s Speech, which carries an R rating for “some language.” For anyone who hasn’t seen the movie (and we urge you to check it out) there is only one scene with any vulgar language. And while the one scene does have multiple uses of the F-word, the rest of the movie is tame. Compare that to something like 2012 which was rated PG-13 also for “some language” in addition to “intense disaster sequences.” While there wasn’t much language, director Roland Emmerich (possible spoiler coming up) pretty much ended the world, killing billions of people in the process. So mass genocide gets a PG-13 while The King’s Speech gets an R. That simply doesn’t seem right.
What does Ebert propose we do? And do we agree? Read more after the jump. Read More »
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In a rare case of a successful appeal before the MPAA, the NC-17 rating initially slapped on Derek Cianfrance‘s Blue Valentine has been overturned. Harvey Weinstein personally appeared before the appeals board to plead on behalf of the film. The film will go out to theaters with an R rating. Read More »
The Weinstein Company is moving ahead with an attempt to appeal the ratings given to Blue Valentine (a commercial prospect-dampening NC-17) and Oscar fave The King’s Speech. The irony is that appealing the NC-17 for Blue Valentine means accepting it; otherwise there’s no rating to appeal, and the choice would be to release the film unrated.
In a statement today titled “The Weinstein Company Accepts NC-17 Rating on Blue Valentine in Order to Appeal It” the company announces the hire of star lawyers Bert Fields, Alan Friedman and David Bois to lead the appeals. There are quotes from stars Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams, and the suggestion that, if all else fails, the appeal to overturn the R rating for The King’s Speech will go straight to the Constitution of the United States. Given the throttling of distribution options Blue Valentine would face with an NC-17, you’ve got to wonder if the Constitution will be invoked there, too. Read More »
The MPAA has made a lot of boneheaded decisions over the years, and the latest was slapping the film Blue Valentine with an NC-17 rating. That effectively dooms the movie when it comes to advertising and awareness, as a great many print and television outlets won’t run ads for an ‘adults only’ movie, which is how the NC-17 rating brands a film.
And all this for what? Only a scene in which the two main characters, played by Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams, try to keep their marriage together. As the film’s producer, Jamie Patricof said, his film gets slapped with an NC-17, while The Lovely Bones was PG-13? While the film’s distributor The Weinstein Company has promised to appeal the ruling, Mr. Patricof is expressing his own confusion, and vows not to cut the film. Read More »
Blue Valentine was one of the hits of this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and it has been considered a likely awards contender thanks to great performances by Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams. So there was no small amount of shock expressed last week when the MPAA slapped the film with the NC-17 rating, effectively killing any chance of wide advertising and booking.
Now The Weinstein Company, which bought Blue Valentine’s distribution rights out of Sundance, has released a statement about the rating, and plans to appeal. Read More »
To quote Beastie Boy and Oscilloscope Laboratories founder Adam Yauch, “[the MPAA has] really gone too far this time. It’s bullshit.”
That was Yauch’s response earlier this week when the MPAA slapped an R rating on the documentary A Film Unfinished, which examines a Nazi propaganda film made to supposedly depict the life of Jews in the Warsaw ghetto. Yauch and Oscilloscope resubmitted the film, but today it was returned with the same rating. Why? Because images of the Holocaust — surprise — are graphic and disturbing. Read More »
MuggleNet noticed something suspicious about a shot from the latest trailer for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The shot features Hermione has her wand in hand. While the shot of Emma Watson‘s blood covered hands was included on the Half-Blood Prince DVD, Warner Bros has cleaned up the clip for the theatrical trailer. This is likely due to the MPAA’s strict restrictions against blood in green band trailers. If so, this wouldn’t be the first time that a movie studio has digitally altered a movie trailer to get MPAA approval — many others have. Zack Snyder was forced to replace a gun with a walkie talkie in one of the Watchmen movie trailers. Check out the full photo comparison, after the jump.
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After numerous delays, reshoots, editing changes after multiple test screenings, and of course – Danny Elfman‘s infamous departure, I wasn’t sure The Wolfman would actually be completed for the planned February 12th 2010 release. Well, it appears that a final cut is in hand.
Universal just informed me that The Wolfman has finally received a rating from the MPAA, and has been rated ‘R’ for “bloody horror, violence and gore.” I’ve never recieved an e-mail from a studio publicist bragging about a film’s MPAA rating before, nevermind a bloody R-rating. I would assume that Universal wants everyone to know that they have decided to go with the longer, bloodier, more violent (and from what I’ve heard, better) cut of the film.
If Universal is happy with the film, I would expect them to start screening it to the public pretty soon, possibly even this week, to spark word of mouth interest.