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Abominable gaslighting...

US/Chinese kid's cartoon banned and cut in Asian countries over propaganda reinforcing China's grab of the South China Sea


Link Here 18th October 2019
Abominable is a 2019 China / USA  children's cartoon comedy by Jill Culton and Todd Wilderman (co-director).
Starring Chloe Bennet, Albert Tsai and Tenzing Norgay Trainor. IMDb

Three teenagers must help a Yeti return to his family while avoiding a wealthy man and a zoologist who want it for their own needs.

The new animated children's movie Abominable, a co-production between the American studio DreamWorks and the Chinese company Pearl Studio,  seems innocent enough. A Chinese girl finds a yeti, a mythical creature also known as the Abominable Snowman.

But in Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia, the abomination in the movie is not the yeti but an image of a map of the South China Sea. And on that map, there's a U-shaped dotted line that encompasses almost the entire South China Sea. It's known as the Nine-Dash Line.

Under international agreements, China does not have exclusive rights to the entire South China Sea. But Beijing has just simply ignored that and called it an illegitimate ruling. Now at every opportunity China presents its claims as fact.

This claim is not OK with other countries in the region:

  • The image of the map caused Vietnam to remove the movie from theaters, according to a Vietnamese official.
  • The Philippines Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. proposed to cut out the said contentious scene and even suggested a universal boycott of all @Dreamworks productions from here on. Other politicians have called for a ban but so far this has not happened
  • Malaysia's film censor has ordered the China map to be cut

 

 

Offsite Article: Joker at the BBFC...


Link Here 17th October 2019
We've had a lot of comments and questions about our classification for Joker - which we rated 15. We've published a case study which explains our decision in more depth. Spoiler warning though.

See article from bbfc.co.uk

 

 

Updated: Terminator: Dark Fate...

15 rated for UK cinema release and MPAA R rated in the US


Link Here 16th October 2019
Terminator: Dark Fate is a 2019 China / USA action Sci-Fi adventure by Tim Miller.
Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mackenzie Davis and Edward Furlong. BBFC link IMDb

More than two decades have passed since Sarah Connor prevented Judgment Day, changed the future, and re-wrote the fate of the human race. Dani Ramos (Natalia Reyes) is living a simple life in Mexico City with her brother (Diego Boneta) and father when a highly advanced and deadly new Terminator - a Rev-9 (Gabriel Luna) - travels back through time to hunt and kill her. Dani's survival depends on her joining forces with two warriors: Grace (Mackenzie Davis), an enhanced super-soldier from the future, and a battle-hardened Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton). As the Rev-9 ruthlessly destroys everything and everyone in its path on the hunt for Dani, the three are led to a T-800 (Arnold Schwarzenegger) from Sarah's past that may be their last best hope.

The BBFC has just announced its rating for the cinema release of Terminator: Dark Fate. It was passed 15 uncut for strong violence, bloody images, language.

There has been a little debate as to whether the franchise has returned to more adult oriented fare but 4 other European countries have passed the film with 12 ratings or under. So maybe the 15 rating from the BBFC is an outlier and 12 is the norm.

Update: Censored whilst claiming to be uncensored

16th October 2019. See latest MPAA ratings [pdf] from filmratings.com

The film has just been rated R by the MPA (previously MPAA) for violence throughout, language and brief nudity.

 

 

Offsite Review: 3 From Hell...


Link Here 14th October 2019
Zombie gives us three brutal murderers and has the audacity to make them the film's heroes. He knows well that horror is a subversive genre and should have no truck with good taste and political correctness

See article from reprobatepress.com

 

 

Updated: King Tut vs Jokers...

OK which jokers posted warnings about Joker not being a kid's superhero film or not being suitable for incels?


Link Here 10th October 2019
Full story: Parents TV Council...US moralists whinge at TV sex and violence
An AMC movie theater in Deseret, Utah seems to caused a bit of stir when it posted a warning bout the adult content of the new Joker film. The warning read:

Parental warning (this is not a joke), begins the message. Joker is Rated R and for good reason. There's lots of very, very rough language, brutal violence, and overall bad vibes.

It's a gritty, dark, and realistic Taxi Driver-esque depiction of one man's descent into madness. It's not for kids, and they won't like it, anyway.

[There's no Batman]

Images of the sign hit social media and then for some reason the theatre responded by going into denial and taking the poster down and tweeting:

So sorry for any confusion! This sign was not posted by us, and this is not our policy. The sign was removed as soon as it was found by the theatre team

US moralist campaigners of the Parents Television Council weighed in with a statement bemoaning the film as being unfit for children:

Along with the Alamo Drafthouse, and several movie critics, we want to warn parents about the extremely violent content in the Joker film that is being released nationwide this weekend. Despite its R-rating, parents may believe that this film is appropriate for kids given that it is an extension of the popular Batman franchise. Film critics have described the film's horrific violence committed by the Joker and even criticized the timing of a film that asks viewers to sympathize with one man's all-too-realistic decent into darkness.

We applaud Alamo for its unprecedented warning to parents about not taking their children to see this film because of its 'very, very rough language, brutal violence, and overall bad vibes.'

With the Joker , Hollywood continues its war on kids by turning a comic book-themed franchise into violence-porn. Scientific research has concluded that media violence is among the top three contributing factors to societal violence. Our own research has found that violence in comic book-themed TV shows is increasing.

Hollywood cannot have it both ways -- they cannot herald the entertainment they produce and distribute for its ability to change the world for good, while refuting the harmful impact it can have when the content is violent, sexually explicit, or profane.

Update: No incels

10th October 2019. See article from cinemablend.com

A prankster has been banned from the AMC theatre chain for life for posting fake posters suggesting that incels had been banned as a safety precaution.

Several US cinemas fell victim to pranksters who posted fake notices informing patrons that singles, specifically single males, would not be allowed inside Joker screenings.

One of the pranksters behind this ruse has now been banned from all AMC theaters for life as punishment.

As it turns out, this individual, who only identified himself as Payne when speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, put up a flyer, intending for it to be a joke referencing an old 4chan meme.

Payne's Twitter post started making the rounds, leading to someone named Elizabeth from AMC Guest Services to set the record straight and inform people that this policy did not exist, and that the flyers had been removed by theater employees.

Then on Monday, Payne posted a letter he received from AMC's vice president of security, informing him that he'd been spotted posting the flyer and that if he returned to any AMC locations, he'd be considered a trespasser and the involvement of law enforcement and arrest may result.

 

 

Offsite Article: 'I urge parents to ignore the R - it's a PG-13 movie in all the ways that matter'...


Link Here 10th October 2019
Annabelle Comes Home. Now even some R rated horrors seem to be going for the bloodless PG-13 territory.

See article from birthmoviesdeath.com

 

 

Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls...

Just passed 12 uncut by the BBFC after years of being cut for a PG rating


Link Here 3rd October 2019
Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls is a 1995 USA comedy adventure by Steve Oedekerk.
Starring Jim Carrey, Ian McNeice and Simon Callow. Youtube link BBFC link IMDb

Ace Ventura, emerging from self-imposed exile in a remote Himalayan hideaway, travels to Africa with explorer Fulton Greenwall to find a sacred bat which is told will avert a war between with Wachootoo and Wachati tribes. Of course, when Ace gets involved, all hell breaks loose...

The BBFC has just passed the film 12 uncut for moderate sex references, rude humour, comic violence, gore for an upcoming 2019 video release from Arrow Films.

For many years previously, the film has been released with cuts for a PG rating. Saying that the film was released uncut on a 12 rated Blu-ray double bill 2015 but it has taken until now for a 12  rated video version to appear on the BBFC website.

The film has always been uncut in the US albeit with a PG-13 rating.

Cutting Edge

Ace Ventura when Nature Calls
See the details of the previous cuts for PG in the Cutting Edge article
Ace Ventura 2: When Nature Calls
Comedy cuts at the BBFC

 

 

Durj...

Movie banned in Pakistan for its sensitive cannibalism theme


Link Here 3rd October 2019
Full story: Banned Films in Pakistan...Sensitive issues of image and religion
Durj (The Casket) is a 2019 Pakistan crime mystery thriller by Shamoon Abbasi.
Starring Shamoon Abbasi, Sherry Shah and Maira Khan. IMDb

The reality behind a hideous crime is yet to be unveiled as a reporter's wife dives deep within the depths of despair and darkness to seek the truth of her missing husband.

The film was banned in Pakistan by the film censors of the CBFC.

An anonymous source from censor board said the film has been banned because of it's subject. Given that a sensitive topic, such as cannibalism, should not be propagated so openly.

Durj was premiered on the international film festival circuit and seems to have been well received.

 

 

Joker...

He is a psychopath: has the 2019 Joker gone too far? The Guardian asks in anticipation of whipping up a little moral panic


Link Here 1st October 2019
Full story: Batman Movies...A history of controversy
The Guardian writes:

Is it just me or is it getting crazier out there? Joaquin Phoenix's proto-Joker Arthur Fleck asks his psychologist in the new Joker movie. The real answer is both. Fleck is a man losing his grip on sanity, but the world out there is a powder keg of lawlessness, inequality, corruption, cuts and all-round despair. Joker's story is set around the early 1980s, but it consciously chimes with our own increasingly crazy present. These are tough times, the psychologist acknowledges. She might as well turn and wink to the camera.

It's no surprise that 2019's Joker -- while set to be a triumph, critically and commercially -- has raised concerns over its narrative. An early, leaked version of the script, plus the portrayal of Phoenix's character as a sad young man losing his grip on sanity (mental health problems, past trauma, failing comedy career, loneliness) has led to the film being aligned with so-called incel culture (involuntarily celibate men who are angry and misogynistic).

...Read the full article from theguardian.com

Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right

The moral panic over Joker is a depressing throwback to video nasty hysteria.

See article from reprobatepress.com. By David Flint

 

 

A queer decision...

An IFCO 12A rating for Downton Abbey was downrated to PG on appeal


Link Here 29th September 2019
Full story: Irish Film Censors at IFCO...IFCO: the Irish film censor board
Downton Abbey is a 2019 UK period drama by Michael Engler.
Starring Michelle Dockery, Maggie Smith and Tuppence Middleton. BBFC link IMDb

Adapted from the hit TV series Downton Abbey that tells the story of the Crawley family, a wealthy owner of a large estate in the English countryside in the early 20th century.

The Downton Abbey movie may seem family-friendly, but gay references have caused a stir for the Irish film censor. The Irish Film Classification Office (IFCO) revealed that the film was initially given a 12A rating due to several offensive references to the sexuality of a gay butler, Thomas Barrow. A subplot in which Barrow visits a gay club in York sees the bar raided by police who are verbally abusive towards the gay men, describing them as 'perverts' and 'queers'.

In fact filmmakers had consulted a historical adviser who said that Barrow's experiences are an accurate depiction of gay life in interwar Britain. The plot was also praised by LGBT+ activists.

So the movie's distributor Universal were no doubt confident in appealing IFCO's decision, seeking a PG rating. The appeal was duly won and the film has now been re-rated to PG  for brief homophobic reference.

The appeals board felt an audience familiar with its characters and setting would have been aware of the storyline about a gay character, so they changed the rating to a PG.

Ger Connolly, the director of IFCO, told The Times that the 12A classification had been a margin call. He said:

My decision came down to the use of words like 'pervert' in the context of a character's sexuality. For me, that moved it into the 12A rating.

Connolly was clearly a lone voice in deciding on a 12A rating and received no support in the UK where the film was always rated PG uncut by the BBFC for mild threat, language.

 

 

Offsite Article: Texas Chainsaw Massacre: Inside the gruelling production of a horror classic...


Link Here 28th September 2019
Full story: Texas Chainsaw Movies...Cuts and bans to series of movies
A few interesting snippets and a little hype. By Tom Beasley

See article from uk.finance.yahoo.com

 

 

Tax avoidance...

The EU's link tax will lead to minimal links for EU news providers rather than the hoped for extra revenue


Link Here 27th September 2019
Full story: Copyrighting hyperlinks...EU propose copyright extension to hyperlinks
The EU recently enacted an internet censorship law giving websites the right to demand fees for linking to them. It was hoped that Google in particular would end up paying for links to European news providers struggling for revenue in the modern internet environment.

But it seems that Google may have other ideas. Google is changing the way it displays news stories produced by European publishers in France as new copyright rules go into effect. Rather than paying publishers to display snippets of their news stories, as was intended, Google will show only headlines from articles instead.

Google says that it doesn't pay for news content as a matter of policy. The company shut down its Google News in Spain after a law passed in 2014 would have mandated such payments. Google are sticking to their guns. The company said:

We believe that Search should operate on the basis of relevance and quality, not commercial relationships. That's why we don't accept payment from anyone to be included in organic search results and we don't pay for the links or preview content included in search results.

This move will disappoint publishers who had hoped for additional revenue as a result of new copyright law that goes into effect in France next month. The country is the first to implement European Union copyright rules passed earlier this year .

But perhaps there is a worse to come for European companies. It could be that in a page of Google news search results, US news services may have embellished entries with snippets and thumbnail images whilst the European equivalent will just have a boring text link. And guess which entries people will probably click on.

Maybe it won't be long before European companies set their fees at zero for using their snippets and images.

 

 

Joker...

The BBFC has the last laugh and squashes rumours about an 18 rating, or maybe cuts for 15


Link Here 24th September 2019
Full story: Batman Movies...A history of controversy
Joker is a 2019 USA crime thriller by Todd Phillips.
Starring Robert De Niro, Joaquin Phoenix and Marc Maron. BBFC link IMDb

Joker centers around an origin of the iconic arch nemesis and is an original, standalone story not seen before on the big screen. Todd Phillips' exploration of Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix), a man disregarded by society, is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale.

After a fair amount of speculation about the BBFC rating, brought on in part because of the belated publication, the BBFC have announced that the cinema release will be 15 uncut for strong bloody violence, language.

For comparison the US film censors at the MPAA rated the film R for strong bloody violence, disturbing behavior, language and brief sexual images.

Prior speculation was that maybe the MPAA R rated film would be BBFC 18 rated or maybe the delay was caused by Warner Brothers was commissioning cuts for a 15 rating.

It seems strange that the BBFC seems OK with cinema films in particular getting rated only a few days before release. Surely many people will therefore be making decisions, or even booking seats, before they are made aware of the rating. It probably leads to a few cinema goers watching films that they, or maybe their parents, may have felt unsuitable if they had but known.

 

 

John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum...

Suffers category cuts for cinema in Australia and compulsory cuts in India


Link Here 24th September 2019
Full story: Movies Cut in Australia...Cut by the film censor, often for a lower rating
John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum is a 2019 USA action crime thriller by Chad Stahelski.
Starring Keanu Reeves, Halle Berry and Ian McShane. BBFC link IMDb

In this third installment of the adrenaline-fueled action franchise, skilled assassin John Wick (Keanu Reeves) returns with a $14 million price tag on his head and an army of bounty-hunting killers on his trail. After killing a member of the shadowy international assassin's guild, the High Table, John Wick is excommunicado, but the world's most ruthless hit men and women await his every turn.

The film was uncut in the US and UK, with MPAA R and BBFC 15 ratings respectively.

However the film did not fare so well in Australia where it suffered category cuts for am MA15+ cinema release. The reported cuts are:

  • After a protracted knife fight John Wick stabs one of his opponents in the eye. But the details of this have been obscure by reframing.
  • Edits to a fight with the French guy in the library.
  • Edits to a head shot using a shotgun towards the end.

The Australian Censorship Board reveals that the film will be uncut and R18+ for 4K Blu-ray but details for DVD and standard Blu-ray have not yet been published.

Meanwhile IMDb notes that the film has been cut in India for an adults only 'A' rating. The cuts were:

  • Cuts to strong violence

  • to remove middle finger gestures

  • to remove an expletive

  • A Smoking kills caption was also included in scenes featuring characters smoking.

 

 

Updated: Midsommar...

Apple grabs the rights to the Director's Cut but the Director's Cut will be released on Blu-ray in Europe, and the UK


Link Here 21st September 2019
Midsommar is a 2019 USA horror mystery thriller by Ari Aster.
Starring Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor and William Jackson Harper. BBFC link IMDb
Dani and Christian are a young American couple with a relationship on the brink of falling apart. But after a family tragedy keeps them together, a grieving Dani invites herself to join Christian and his friends on a trip to a once-in-a-lifetime midsummer festival in a remote Swedish village. What begins as a carefree summer holiday in a land of eternal sunlight takes a sinister turn when the insular villagers invite their guests to partake in festivities that render the pastoral paradise increasingly unnerving and viscerally disturbing. From the visionary mind of Ari Aster comes a dread-soaked cinematic fairytale where a world of darkness unfolds in broad daylight.
There was a little hype about cuts in the US for an MPAA R rating. A Director's Cut has now been produced but it seems more about adding an extra scene favoured by Ari Aster rather than anything related to censorship.

Apple has grabbed the US rights to the Director's Cut. It will therefore be an exclusive to Apple's store and Apple TV. The Director's Cut will be released  on Blu-ray in Europe though.

 

Update: But Apple hasn't got the worldwide exclusive rights though

Thanks to Clameur Du Cinéma
21st September 2019. See article from amazon.fr

The UK Blu-ray artwork has now been released and it shows that the Director's Cut will be included in the Blu-ray release.

UK: The Theatrical Version was passed 18 uncut for strong gory images:
UK: The Directors Cut details have not yet been published by the BBFC:
  • 2019 Entertainment in Video [Theatrical Version + Director's Cut] (RB) Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 28th October 2019
  • 2019 Entertainment in Video [Theatrical Version only] R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 28th October 2019

The Long Version of Midsommar will also be released on Blu-ray in France. The Collector's Edition from Metropolitan will be released on 2nd December 2019 with both the Theatrical Version and the Long Version.

It is Region B and has English language audio.

 

 

What a bunch of wallabies!...

The BBFC decide that The Howling III: The Marsupials should be 18 rated, whilst the MPAA think that PG-13 is closer to the mark


Link Here 21st September 2019
Howling III: The Marsupials is a 1987 Australia comedy horror by Philippe Mora.
Starring William Yang, Deby Wightman and Christopher Pate. BBFC link IMDb

There are no censorship issues with this release. There is a little bit of discrepancy in age ratings though. The BBFC claim that it should be 18 rated, whilst the MPAA have decided on a PG-13 rating.

The 2019 Blu-ray release was passed 18 uncut by the BBFC for strong gory images for:
  • 2019 Screenbound Pictures (RB) Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 7th October 2019

The 1987 rating from the MPAA pre-dates rating reasons, but PG-13 has the generic warning: Parents Strongly Cautioned - Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

And by way of a tie break, IMDb's parental guidance seems to side with the MPAA's opinion:

Violence & Gore Edit

Mild. Lots of werewolves attacks are obscured and off camera, but some blood and bite marks are shown.

Frightening & Intense Scenes Edit

Mild. Some werewolf transformations may appear frightening to young children.

I've never heard of any alternative versions of the film that would explain this apparent discrepancy.

Promotional Material

Barry Otto (Strictly Ballroom) is maverick Professor Harry Beckmeyer who learns to understand the torment of a freak species when he experiments on a captured "Werewolf" in his lab. When the goverments wants the experiments stopped and all traces of the species wiped out Harry (who's now fallen in love with the marsupial girl, Jerboa - Imogen Annesley) is determined to protect her no matter what.

 

 

Poles apart...

Malaysia's film censors ban for Hustlers for excessive obscene content


Link Here 21st September 2019
Full story: Censored Films in Malaysia...Film censors and censorship
Hustlers is a 2019 USA crime comedy thriller by Lorene Scafaria.
Starring Constance Wu, Jennifer Lopez and Julia Stiles. BBFC link IMDb

Inspired by the viral New York Magazine article, Hustlers follows a crew of savvy former strip club employees who band together to turn the tables on their Wall Street clients.

Hustlers was banned by Malaysia's film censors of the LPF because of its excessive obscene content. The board said naked breasts, erotic dances and scenes featuring drugs made it not suitable for public screening.

And for comparison the film was uncut and BBFC 15 rated in the UK for sexualised nudity, strong sex references, language, drug misuse.

 

 

Globalisation...

The US film censor, the MPAA, becomes MPA America


Link Here 20th September 2019
The organisation that was previously well known as the MPAA has changed its name a little. The Motion Picture Association of America has become The Motion Picture Association.

The trade group, representing Hollywood's major studios + Netflix, then adds a regional identify to this generic name. So in the US the organisation will be known as MPA America whilst in the far east it will be known as MPA Asia Pacific.

The MPA name has been used outside of the US for sometime, so that will be familiar already.

The updated version of the iconic globe and reel logo that is so familiar to American moviegoers will now be used by all regional offices. Previously used versions of the logo will be phased out in the coming weeks and months.

The MPA writes:

Unifying the Motion Picture Association brand is the latest initiative under Chairman Rivkin's leadership, which has also included the addition of Netflix as a member studio earlier this year and the elevation of Gail MacKinnon to Senior Executive Vice President of Global Policy and Government Affairs, overseeing all government affairs functions around the world. This month, the Motion Picture Association returned to its newly renovated headquarters in Washington and will begin hosting screenings and other events this fall.

 

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