Sony have been regularly 'sanitizing' their movies but cutting down the violence and strong language so as to make
them suitable for children. These versions are targeted at airlines and daytime TV but earlier this month Sony decided to make these sanitised versions available to download at home, choosing 24 titles:
50 First Dates, Battle Of The Year, Big Daddy, Captain Phillips, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Easy A, Elysium, Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters II, Goosebumps, Grown Ups, Grown Ups 2Hancock, Inferno, Moneyball, Pixels, Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2,
Spider-Man 3, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Amazing Spider-Man 2Step Brothers, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, White House Down
The censorship cuts are typically very extreme. For example, the clean version of Will Ferrell comedy Step Brothers - originally given an R rating for crude and sexual content according to Sony - has had 23 instances of violence taken out,
152 of bad language and 91 of sexual content.
The Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler romcom 50 First Dates had a PG13 for crude sexual humour and drug references. Its clean version has 10 violent moments taken out, 34 uses of bad language and 34 instances of sexual content.
Matt Damon sci-fi film Elysium , which also had an R rating for bloody violence, had 18 of those violent moments taken out, 63 uses of bad language and one instance of sexual content.
Horror comedy Goosebumps was a PG when it came out - so could be described as family-friendly already. But its clean version had four fewer incidences of violence, with five uses of bad language and five examples of nudity taken out too.
But now they've had to backtrack after filmmakers complained about the vandalisation of their works. After an outcry, the president of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Man Jit Singh, said their directors were of paramount importance to us and
they wanted to respect those relationships to the utmost:
We believed we had obtained approvals from the film-makers involved, for use of their previously supervised television versions as a value-added extra on sales of the full version. But if any of them are unhappy or have reconsidered, we will
discontinue it for their films.
Seth Rogen was one of the first to react when news of Clean Version emerged. He pleaded, adding a swear word for emphasis, please don't do this to our movies.
The Directors Guild of America (DGA) has said the hard-fought-for rights that protect a director's work and vision are at the very heart of our craft and a thriving film industry.
Wonder Woman is a 2017 USA action Sci-Fi fantasy by Patty Jenkins.
Starring Gal Gadot, Chris Pine and Robin Wright.
Before she was Wonder Woman, she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on a sheltered island paradise, when an American pilot crashes on their shores and tells of a massive conflict raging in the
outside world, Diana leaves her home, convinced she can stop the threat. Fighting alongside man in a war to end all wars, Diana will discover her full powers and her true destiny.
Lebanon, which is officially still at war with Israel, has banned Wonder Woman from showing in the country's cinemas because the film's lead actress, Gal Gadot, is Israeli.
Lebanon's Ministry of Economy issued the ban just before the film was scheduled to premiere in Lebanon. The film had been promoted around Lebanon and had been awarded a film certificate from the country's film censor. But a protest movement
called Campaign to Boycott Supporters of Israel-Lebanon pressured the government into banning the film, describing it as the Israeli Soldier film.
Gadot, who is from Tel Aviv, was a combat trainer in the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) for two years and crowned Miss Israel at age 18. The Campaign had previously tried to block Lebanon's screenings of Batman v Superman, which also features Gadot
as Wonder Woman, but was unsuccessful.
Gadot's rising star power has also brought attention to her politics. Shortly after being named as Wonder Woman, Gadot highlighted her experience with the IDF in a 2014 Instagram post. Below a picture of herself praying with her daughter, Gadot
I am sending my love and prayers to my fellow Israeli citizens. Especially to all the boys and girls who are risking their lives protecting my country against the horrific acts conducted by Hamas, who are hiding like cowards behind women and
children ... We shall overcome!!! Shabbat Shalom!
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul is a 2017 USA family comedy by David Bowers.
Starring Alicia Silverstone, Charlie Wright and Tom Everett Scott.
UK: Passed U for very mild bad language, rude humour after BBFC advised pre-cuts for:
2017 cinema release
The BBFC commented:
This film was originally seen for advice. The company was advised that it was likely to be classified 12A but that their preferred U classification could be achieved by removing a single use of discriminatory language ('spaz'). When the film was
submitted for formal classification that word had been replaced with a less offensive term ('dork') and the film was classified U.
A Heffley family road trip to attend Meemaw's 90th birthday party goes hilariously off course thanks to Greg's newest scheme to get to a video gaming convention. This family cross-country adventure turns into an experience the Heffleys will never
Sir Roger George Moore KBE (14 October 1927 203 23 May 2017) was an English actor. He played the British secret agent James Bond in seven feature films between 1973 and 1985. He also played Simon Templar in the television series The Saint between
1962 and 1969.
Moore took over the role of Bond from Sean Connery in 1972, and made his first appearance as 007 in Live and Let Die (1973). The longest serving Bond to date, Moore portrayed the spy in six more films. Appointed a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador
in 1991, Moore was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2003 for services to charity. In 2008, the French government appointed Moore a Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
His family announced his death in Switzerland from cancer on 23 May 2017
Roger Moore's classic take on James Bond did not trouble the censors too much but two of his films were cut:
Octopussy is a 1983 UK/US James Bond action film by John Glen.
With Roger Moore, Maud Adams and Louis Jourdan.
A nipple slip was cut from the opening credits but otherwise uncut.
A View to a Kill is a 1985 UK/US James Bond action film by John Glen.
With Roger Moore, Christopher Walken and Tanya Roberts.
Cut by the BBFC at the advice screening stage and the cuts have persisted for all releases since
The BBFC commented:
The film was originally viewed by the BBFC in an incomplete form, with the music score unfinished and the opening and closing credits missing.
During this advice screening, the BBFC requested that a heavy crotch kick and a double neck chop, both given by Bond, be removed from the film to get a PG rating. These cuts occur during the fight in the hidden room under Zoran's stable. If you
watch the scene closely, or even frame by frame, the scene is somewhat sloppy in a couple of places. When the film was edited, the pre-cut version was submitted for a formal rating.
During this stage of classification, the Board asked for an alteration to the opening titles on a shot of an almost nude woman. Its hard to speculate which woman this refers to, but viewing the titles it seems likely that it could be the
woman seen through a scope near the beginning, who becomes defocused and blurry whenever she turns the front of body towards the camera, or the mirrored image of the dancing women at the end as Michael Wilson's name appears. She too, goes out
of focus on a profile shot where her nipples almost become clearly visible.
The Dinner Club ( De eetclub) is a 2010 Netherlands thriller by Robert Jan Westdijk.
Starring Bracha van Doesburgh, Thom Hoffman and Halina Reijn.
Karen and Michel move with their daughter to an exclusive residential area. She soon finds a new close circle of friends: the women of the Dinner Club, and their husbands. But when two of the Club members commit suicide under suspicious
circumstances, Karen starts to have second thoughts about her new friends. She has to choose: will she reveal the truth and dish the dirt, or will she protect the interests of the Dinner Club?
The Embassy of The Netherlands in Kampala, Uganda announced that the Uganda's censorship board has banned a Dutch film, The Dinner Club, after accusing it of glorifying homosexuality .
The embassy made the announcement in a Facebook post that it deplored the decision to ban the film. It then published the full list of objections from the media council which also include using lurid language and smoking, especially by
women. The Uganda Media Council described the film as women forming a:
Dinner Club which is, in reality, a sort of brothel, and said the film included scenes of gay men sauntering away drunk. While glorifying homosexuality two women say marriage (presumably to men) is hard work! This is against Ugandan values.
The council also objected to one man calling another a hot chick .
The film was released in 2010 and was due to be shown at a European film festival in Uganda. But the Embassy of the Netherlands said it will no longer taking part in the festival.
John Wick: Chapter 2 is a 2017 USA action crime thriller by Chad Stahelski.
Starring Ruby Rose, Keanu Reeves and Bridget Moynahan.
In this next chapter following the 2015 hit, legendary hitman John Wick [Keanu Reeves] is forced back out of retirement by a former associate plotting to seize control of a shadowy international assassins' guild. Bound by a blood oath to help
him, John travels to Rome where he squares off against some of the world's deadliest killers.
Previously the UK cinema release suffered BBFC category cuts for a 15 rating. The BBFC commented at the time:
Company chose to reduce bloody injury detail in a suicide scene in order to obtain a 15 classification. Cuts made in accordance with BBFC Guidelines and policy. An uncut 18 classification was available.
Presumably the cut UK Theatrical Version was then passed 16 for frequent strong bloody violence for cinema release in Ireland.
Now the Irish film censors at IFCO have revealed that the Uncut Version will be released on Home Video with an 18 rating. The IFCO websites notes that it has passed both the cut and uncut versions for 18 rated home video with the cut version noted
with a PAL running time (suggesting DVD) and an NTSC running time for the uncut version (suggesting Blu-ray).
AS DVD and Blu-ray releases are generally shared with the UK, then we can assume that the uncut version will soon appear on the BBFC website.
3 Generations is a 2015 USA drama by Gaby Dellal.
Starring Naomi Watts, Elle Fanning and Susan Sarandon.
Family living under one roof in New York must deal with a life-changing transformation by one that ultimately affects them all. Ray is a teenager who has come to the realization that he isn't meant to be a girl and has decided to transition from female
to male. His single mother, Maggie, must track down Ray's biological father to get his legal consent to allow Ray's transition. Dolly, Ray's lesbian grandmother, is having a hard time accepting that she now has a grandson. They must each confront their
own identities and learn to embrace change and their strength as a family in order to ultimately find acceptance and understanding.
The Weinstein Company and the MPAA have come to an agreement on the rating for upcoming trans film 3 Generations , settling on a PG-13 rating.
The film was originally slapped with an R-rating, which was challenged by TWC with support from GLAAD. According to a release from the studio, it made some cuts to the film as a compromise to ensure the PG-13 rating.
The film's new PG-13 rating is for mature thematic content, some sexual references and language. Its previous, stricter R-rating was for profanity and sexual references.
A change.org petition protesting the MPAA's original R rating garnered nearly 35,000 signatures since its launch last week.
3 Generations opens in New York and Los Angeles on May 5 and goes on general release a week later.
New Zealand film censor surveys feminists, anti-sex work campaigners, police and academics to find that child protection issues re sexual violence in the media can be mitigated by extending film censorship to the internet
New Zealand's film censors of the OFLC are calling for the extension of their remit to internet streaming services such as Lightbox and Netflix.
Currently, apart from some one-off cases, the New Zealand censor has no influence over the labelling and warnings that come with streamed content.
Deputy chief censor Jared Mullen claimed that the public wanted such services too be censored by the OFLC:
Forty-seven percent of New Zealanders are now accessing streaming services regularly - that's at least weekly. So I think it is becoming more a part of New Zealanders lives and parents and young people are telling us the same thing. Their expectations
for content labelling are high, they want more specific information and they want that before they watch the show.
Ninety-two percent of Kiwis who are responsible for choosing entertainment for children actually use the classification and labels, which is an extraordinary number.
Mullen said the participants involved in new research generally agreed that content regulation laws should be extended to cover increasingly popular streaming services. However this is hardly surprising when noting that the surveyed group were feminist
campaigners, anti-sex work campaigners, police and feminist dominated academia.
Mullen noted that the groups were canvassed:
On their views of firstly what they're seeing in terms of sexual violence portrayal in entertainment media, and how they are seeing it effect young people. The concern across all of those groups is the portrayal of sexual violence... is often
unrealistic, it can be sensationalised and is often portraying some really harmful myths about sexual violence which don't accord with reality.
Asked about the legal practicalities of extending film censorship to the internet, Mullen said there were half a dozen pieces of legislation that would need changing:
Relatively easy amendments - there's a range of regulations that would need to change, but other than that, no - it's not difficult.