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Badmovies.org Forum  |  Movies  |  Press Releases and Film News  |  MPAA Revising their ratings. « previous next »
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Author Topic: MPAA Revising their ratings.  (Read 3957 times)
Jordan
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« on: January 18, 2007, 01:31:37 AM »

Just read that the MPAA is going to continue their evil ways of promoting censorship in our "free nation." I don't think a committee should tell people what is appropriate and inappropriate for children to watch... that's a parents job. Anyway.... yeah, here's the news I found over at www.imdb.com:

The Motion Picture Association of America, always resistant to changes to its movie ratings system under its previous chief, Jack Valenti, is now planning to make some key alterations to the system, Daily Variety reported today (Wednesday). The trade paper said that the MPAA will now warn parents that some R-rated movies are not suitable for younger people -- whether or not they are accompanied by an adult. Another change will allow a filmmaker to cite scenes in another movie when appealing a severe rating. In an interview with Variety Dan Glickman, who succeed Valenti in 2004, said that the organization had been influenced by criticism of its ratings system presented in the documentary This Film Is Not Yet Rated, which debuted at the Sundance film festival last year. Glickman plans to discuss the new revisions of the ratings rules with independent filmmakers attending this year's Sundance festival, which gets underway on Monday, Variety said.

I think the MPAA should be disbanded.... or well... no, that's not necessary. I think a second group should be set up in order to provide a system of checks and balances to keep the MPAA from going a little overboard with their movie ratings. And I think that new "judicial film branch" should be headed by Andrew Borntreger!  Wink  Thumbup
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« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2007, 09:15:59 AM »

This actually sounds like a step forward in my opinion.  I'm a staunch hater of the MPAA, but this could work out well for filmmakers.

"Another change will allow a filmmaker to cite scenes in another movie when appealing a severe rating."

This is an EXCELLENT idea.  Filmmakers have never been able to do this in the past, which is an absolute shame!  Imagine some director putting his horror film up for the MPAA's approval and it gets an NC-17 rating due to violence.  The director can then point to any gory R rated film and cite scenes that are just as graphic, if not more so. 
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« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2007, 09:30:14 AM »

The rating system is not "censorship."  Censorship is the eilmination of information by the government.  The rating of a movie is ultimately voluntary (I recall seeing Re-Animator at the theatre in 1985 and it was Unrated).  The rating system is a simply a shorthand way to communicate to those parents you claim should have control what the content of a movie is.  Without such a system, parents would probably have to actually WATCH every movie their child wants to see to make the determination.

All that said, though, I think the rating system has to be taken with a grain of salt.  I've seem some PG-13 movies that absolutely made me cringe for their content when watching with a group of adolescents - and this compared to fairly "hard" R movies I saw back in the 70's and 80's..  Ever since it became a sliding scale, rather than based on specific criteria, it lost its value.

My $.02.
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« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2007, 10:03:55 AM »

The rating system is not "censorship."  Censorship is the eilmination of information by the government.  The rating of a movie is ultimately voluntary (I recall seeing Re-Animator at the theatre in 1985 and it was Unrated).  The rating system is a simply a shorthand way to communicate to those parents you claim should have control what the content of a movie is.  Without such a system, parents would probably have to actually WATCH every movie their child wants to see to make the determination.

My $.02.

I agree.  Films should be able to to be released without a rating.  The problem with that is that theaters now will not show an unrated film unless it's an art-house type theater.  You'd never get away with releasing a film like Re-Animator today, because nobody would get a chance to see it.
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« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2007, 12:35:42 PM »

Skaboi, on that point you are absolutely correct. Being able to cite someone else's work to have a rating possibly knocked down is a step in the right direction. I still hate the MPAA though.

ulthar, I still see the ratings system as a form of censorship. How many times have film makers been forced to trim scenes because of the MPAA's decisions? To me that is definitely censorship. (Government involvement notwithstanding.) It's also bogus that a film must go through them to see wider release, but studios are also to blame for that. ("Oooh... better get this film cut down to a PG-13 so that more teenagers can see it!") Some of these film studios should just grow a pair and release movies in their original cut from the get go. I'm sick of buying "Unrated" versions of films on DVD.... but that's another rant for another time.

But I think we should agree to disagree on this matter.
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« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2007, 12:46:58 PM »

This actually touches upon what I see as a big problem with movies these days:  they are often decided upon by committee.  Part of that has to be due to the cost of making a film, everything from the cost of talent to equipment.  (All of this is speaking about established studios.)  Because of this, and possibly other factors, they look hard at maximizing profits.  As a result, if they believe they need a PG-13 rating to get the most money, they are willing to make the cuts required by the MPAA.  Along with that, many theaters will not show unrated films - more trouble.

A good direct-to-video company could be very successful if they just ignored the MPAA rating system (or didn't really care) and put out fun movies.  So what if people will need to be 17 to see your film.  If it is entertaining enough, you are sure to have an audience.
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Andrew Borntreger
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« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2007, 03:13:27 PM »

Part of the problem, IMO, is that PG-13 and R etc. don't really give context.  Is there violence?  Is it graphic? Are there naked boobies?  Are those naked boobies gratuitous or is it an integral to the plot or artistic vision sex love scene?

I've seen reviews now with a "Rated R due to some violence and drug use" line which is better.  I certainly don't want to plunk down nine hard earned dollars and spend a couple of hours if the hot young starlet isn't going to go topless, at least.

Too bad there isn't a rating system for truly eye-clawing awful movies up to must see repeatedly.
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CheezeFlixz
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« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2007, 11:55:15 PM »

While we are all chiming in with our change ... here's my $0.02

If a movie is released with say a "R" rating for theater release and then released again in the UNRATED VERSION, THE DIRECTORS CUT, THE EXTENDED CUT, or what ever the studios stand to make far more money off these additional releases after the fact of the original MPAA rated released film. I ask you how many have had or have both versions of all 3 LOTR's? or Star Wars? Or any one of a number of films that have been re-cut and re-released unrated?

As far as rating go, I do not see them as censorship any censorship that is there is self imposed if this or that part needs to be cut to get this or that rating then it's a choice made by the film maker to decide if they want this or that rating. It's all about choices.

As a parent I think some, not all but some PG-13 are a bet rude, they are not "R" films but at the upper end of PG-13. Some things I just don't want to be explaining to my kids just yet or to have them hearing. Case in point, Employee of the Month (the new one) it was PG-13 but it was loaded with bathroom and sophomoric humor. I really enjoyed the film but I thought this is not what I want my kids to see just yet. All I need is them to go to school and I get called about some "hairy nut sack" story. I don't think for a minute my kids are in a bubble and have never heard crude and rude humor, but I'm not going to give them ammo to firing off at lunch break. It all goes back to the OP of the parents responsibility to monitor what their kids see, however the MPAA can at least give you an idea when looking at movies if it's safe for kids to see for parents can't watch every movie released. I know if its an "R" rated film then likely it's not a good choice for family night.
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Jordan
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« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2007, 12:24:17 AM »

Quote
I know if its an "R" rated film then likely it's not a good choice for family night.

Speak for yourself.  Wink Hahaha. Just kidding. Yeah I see your point. The MPAA is sort of a necessary evil in the film world... but how did they become so powerful? I heard something strange not very long ago about the MPAA trying to get security cameras put around Los Angeles in order to capture street vendors that are selling bootlegged films. Did that ever happen? And how in the hell would they get the support, permition, and money for such a feat anyway?!  Question
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« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2007, 09:38:54 AM »

Sound a little fishy to me, just because you see some one selling a DVD on a security camera doesn't mean it's a bootleg or not. If they want to stop bootlegs, stop shipping stuff in from China which is where (AFAIK) the most bootlegs come from.

But just like the music industry, when you have actors/actresses with the collective IQ of a house plant demands $20 + million per movie and only to have yellow M&M in there private trailer and studios bragging that a movie made $50 million opening weekend or some other huge amount of money in early release before the DVD's even went on sale. They are NOT going to muster a lot of public sympathy over bootlegs and there arguement of bootlegs being the main reason of ticket prices being high doesn't hold water. Does it cost the studio money? Sure it does, but I don't see any of them putting a forsale sign up out front.
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Torgo
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« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2007, 10:29:36 PM »

I think that some filmmakers just think that the MPAA tries to limit how many people can see their film by slapping it with a NC-17 when they know that almost all theaters with the exception of art house types will not play it.

They are especially hard on films that have any sort of strong gay content in them.  I've always said that the MPAA was a bunch of outdated homophobes.
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