Is a movie about an alien parasite that forcibly takes over someone's body and then starts threatening to bite heads and limbs off, but parents may be wondering if the movie is too scary for younger children.
Eighth Grade is a 2018 USA comedy by Bo Burnham.
Starring Elsie Fisher, Josh Hamilton and Emily Robinson.
An introverted teenage girl tries to survive the last week of her disastrous eighth grade year before leaving to start high school.
Eight Grade is a US film aimed at 8th graders but its 8th grade strong language has resulted in it being rated R by the MPAA. The R rating means that with graders cannot see the film at theatres unless accompanied by their parents.
The film makers from A24 Studio are not impressed by their target audience being disallowed so organised nationwide screenings where the R rating was not enforced (age restrictions are legally voluntary n the US). 50 no-rating-enforced screenings
were organised on August 8. The studio partnered with one theater in every state across America for the screenings.
But US moralist campaigners were not happy. The Parents Television Council called on the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) to hold the A24 Studio accountable for those under 17s admitted without a parent. PTC President Tim Winter
Subjective declarations such as the one by A24 -- that some content is 'too important' to be labeled in accordance with the standards set forth by the MPAA and understood, trusted and relied upon by parents -- undermine and negate the entire
purpose of having the content rating system in the first place. In this instance, and based upon empirical data of this film's content, the Hollywood studio at issue here is grotesquely and irresponsibly usurping parental authority. Either the
standard means something or it means nothing. Those who are openly violating both the spirit and the letter of the age-based content ratings system for this publicity stunt should be held to account by the MPAA.
Show Dogs is a 2018 USA comedy by Raja Gosnell.
Starring Stanley Tucci, Natasha Lyonne and Will Arnett.
Max, a macho, solitary Rottweiler police dog is ordered to go undercover as a primped show dog in a prestigious Dog Show, along with his human partner, to avert a disaster from happening.
The studio behind new family comedy Show Dogs has agreed to a last-minute edit in response to morality groups and bloggers claiming that the film might suggest to children that sexual molestation is something that should be silently endured.
Global Road Entertainment have now confirmed they would be cutting two scenes that some have deemed not appropriate for children. The scenes in question are thought to involve Max, a police rottweiler who has his genitals groped by cop Will
Arnett as part of his training to go undercover at dog shows. Initially, Max is upset by the intrusion, but is instructed to go to a zen place. Global Road said:
The company takes these matters very seriously and remains committed to providing quality entertainment for the intended audiences based on the film's rating. We apologise to anybody who feels the original version of Show Dogs sent an
inappropriate message. The revised version of the film will be available for viewing nationwide starting this weekend.
In the US, Morality in the Media, now going by the name National Center on Sexual Exploitation, flagged the film for the similarity of tactics used with Max and abusers grooming children, telling them to pretend they are somewhere else and that
they will get a reward for withstanding the discomfort.
In the UK, the film was seen by the BBFC some weeks ago and was passed PG uncut. The UK and Irish distributors intend to stick with the BBFC/IFCO approved uncut version. A spokesman for Entertainment One said:
We are taking the BBFC/IFCO guidance on this matter in the UK and Ireland and will be releasing the original version that has been censored and reviewed.
The BBFC said in a statement that:
The scenes in question are entirely innocent and non-sexual and occur within the clear context of preparation for and judging in a dog show. We regard the comments made about the film as suggesting 'grooming' as a misinterpretation of the scenes
Meanwhile in New Zealand, Chief Censor David Shanks made the unusual decision to call the film in for review following a number of complaints. Normally, films rated G or PG arrive in New Zealand without requiring a localised classification.
Shanks said in a statement:
We understand the film's distributors are currently re-editing this film in response to public concern. We can confirm that the version distributed in New Zealand will be classified, regardless of any edits made prior to release, the office said
in a statement.
Open Letter to Australian Cinemas: Don't screen Show Dogs movie
We are writing to you in regards to the children's film Show Dogs, due for release 5 July. Upon its release in the US, it attracted substantial criticism from parents and child advocates over concerns of grooming children for sexual abuse.
The film tells the story of a police dog going undercover at a dog show. There are reportedly several scenes in which the dog, Max, has to have his genitals inspected. When he is uncomfortable and wants to stop he is told to go to a zen place.
When he submits and allows his genitals to be touched, he is rewarded by advancing to the next level of the show.
In response to the global backlash, the production company withdrew the film, promising to re-cut it to remove the scenes in question. The film has been re-released, however the scenes remain, with only the encouragement to go to a zen place
(essentially, to dissociate) being removed. The meaning remains intact, that unwanted sexual touching is to be endured and may be rewarded.
The film sends a disturbing and dangerous message to children about sexual touching. In Australia, one in five children are thought to be victims of sexual abuse. This film undermines efforts in prevention and education to address the scourge of
child sexual abuse.
Collective Shout: for a world free from sexploitation is calling on Australian cinemas to take a stand against child sexual abuse and refuse to screen the film. We hope that cinemas will be prepared to take a role of leadership in the community,
to stand up for the rights of children and refuse to profit from this film.
The Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC) at the University of Pennsylvania have claimed in a report that parents would prefer to PG-15 to a PG-13 for Hollywood movies featuring gunplay. The researchers write:
Parents are more willing to let their children see intense gun violence in PG-13 movies when the violence appears to be "justified," used in defense of a loved one or for self-protection, than when it has no socially redeeming purpose,
a new study finds.
But even when the gun violence in PG-13 movies appears justified, parents think that the movies are more suitable for teens age 15 and up, two years older than suggested by the movie industry ratings board's PG-13 rating. Parents thought movies
with unjustified but bloodless gun violence were more appropriate for 16-year-olds, the study finds.
The study, Parental Desensitization to Gun Violence in PG-13 Movies , by researchers at the Annenberg Public Policy Center was
published online in the journal Pediatrics on May 14 and will be in the June issue. Lead author Daniel Romer, research director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC), said:
"The findings suggest that parents may want a new rating, PG-15, for movies with intense violence," "Violent movies often get a PG-13 rating by omitting the consequences of violence such as blood and suffering, and by making
the use of violence seem justified. But parents of teenagers say that even scenes of justified violence are upsetting and more appropriate for teens who are at least 15."
The rise of gun violence in PG-13 movies
Past studies by APPC researchers found that gun violence in the most popular PG-13 movies has more than doubled since the rating was introduced in 1984, and now exceeds the gun violence in comparable R-rated films. In the earliest years of the
PG-13 rating, less than a third of the 30 top-grossing movies were rated PG-13 but recently more than half were PG-13. In past research on the growing acceptance of gun violence in PG-13 films, APPC researchers found that parents appeared to
become desensitized to violence as they watched successive movie clips.
The current experiment was designed to understand whether parents became more accepting of the movie violence because they were being emotionally numbed to it or whether the justification for the violence influenced them. Could justified violence
be less upsetting than unjustified violence? And could parents who repeatedly saw the kind of bloodless, justified violence featured in PG-13 movies become so accustomed to it that they experience a kind of "normative desensitization"
that leads to greater acceptance of its viewing by children?
In an online experiment, the APPC researchers showed movie clips to a national sample of 610 parents who have at least one child between the ages 6 and 17. Parents viewed a series of four 90-second clips of either justified or unjustified
violence from popular movies. The scenes of justified violence came from the PG-13 movies "Live Free or Die Hard" (2007), "White House Down" (2013), "Terminator Salvation" (2009), and "Taken" (2008). The
clips of unjustified violence came from the PG-13 movies "Skyfall" (2012) and "Jack Reacher" (2012) and the R-rated films "Sicario" (2015) and "Training Day" (2001).
Scenes from the R-rated movies were edited to remove graphic and potentially upsetting consequences such as blood and suffering to mimic the effect of PG-13 movies. (PG-13 means parents are strongly cautioned that some material "may be
inappropriate for children under 13." The more restricted R rating means viewers under 17 must be accompanied by a parent or adult.)
Parents less upset by justified violence
Instead of being emotionally desensitized, parents grew increasingly upset as they watched the succession of movie clips, whether the violence was justified or not (see figure above). But parents were less upset by the justified violence and more
lenient in deciding the appropriate age for a child to watch it. Most of the parents said the movies with justified violence were suitable starting at age 15, while the movies with unjustified violence were appropriate starting at age 16 (see
One exception: The parents who were frequent moviegoers were the most permissive, saying that movies with unjustified violence were suitable for 13-year-olds.
As parents watched the series of movie scenes of unjustified gun violence, they became more restrictive on the appropriate age for viewing, the study found. But that wasn't true with the justified scenes of violence, where parents' opinion of the
appropriate viewing age held steady. The researchers also found that when watching the successive justified movie clips, parents increasingly regarded the gun violence itself as justified.
Media violence and children
The American Academy of Pediatrics has been long concerned about the effects of media violence. In a statement in 2016, the academy pointed to a body of research showing that viewing violent media content can influence some youth to become more
A recent study by Ohio State University researchers found that children 8 to 12 years old who saw scenes of a PG-rated movie with guns played longer with a real gun and pulled the trigger more often than children who saw a movie without guns.
"Despite such evidence, we still don't know whether repeatedly seeing movies with justified violence teaches children that using guns is OK if they think it's justified,"
"Hollywood is exploiting the movie rating system by leaving out harmful consequences like blood and suffering from PG-13 films. By sanitizing the effects of violence, moviemakers are able to get a PG-13 rating and a wider audience for their
films. But this gun violence may be just as brutal and potentially harmful to young viewers."
A Depraved Classic of Adult Anime Returns to the Big Screen
Originally released in the US in 1993 to much puzzlement and shock, a rare 35mm print of Urotsukidoji: Legend of the Overfiend will screen at Nitehawk (136 Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn) on April 6 and 7.
The occasion generates a recap of censorship history in the US and UK:
The film's notoriety lies in its extreme violence and visceral visuals. The film's women get the worst treatment; female students are lecherously lensed, starting with scenes of half-clothed locker room horseplay and continuing in excessive
up-skirt shots. Maimed and mutilated female bodies randomly litter the background of other scenes. Perhaps the most prominent atrocities are the repeated scenes of rape, with the film's most infamous attack featuring phallic tentacles accosting
and probing an unwilling victim. This tentacled violation, which occurs in an early scene, is often cited as the representative moment of this feature-length depravity.
Urotsukidoji was initially released in three parts, between 1987 and 1989, as an original video animation (or OVA), ie it was not made as a broadcast TV series.
The first part was released in the US edited into a feature length film after 30 minutes of censor cuts for material deemed too extreme for the US. It ended up being rated NC-17. The film gained a reputation as the cinematic obscenity that
forged the stereotype that All Anime Is Naughty Tentacles .
Blood Feast is a 2016 Germany / USA horror by Marcel Walz.
Starring Robert Rusler, Caroline Williams and Sophie Monk.
Fuad Ramses and his family have moved from the United States to France, where they run an American diner. Since business is not going too well, Fuad also works night shifts in a museum of ancient Egyptian culture. During these long, lonely
nights he is repeatedly drawn to a statue representing the seductive ancient goddess ISHTAR. He becomes more and more allured by the goddess as she speaks to him in visions.
A couple years ago after playing uncut on the film festival circuit it was announced that Blood feast had been cut by about 4 minutes for an MPAA R rating. This cut version was released on US Blu-ray in February 2018.
But now director Marcel Walz is taking matters into his own hands, and the UNRATED version of the film will be embarking on a nationwide theatrical roll-out, starting with a red carpet premiere on April 6th in Los Angeles. Walz told
We found a way to bring the unrated version to the theaters! I know horror fans want to see the unrated version, and I was looking for a way to show them every single blood drop! That's the reason why it took so long.
The unrated premiere is set for 6th April 2018 and the theatrical release starts on 13th April.
Ready Player One is a 2018 USA action Sci-Fi adventure by Steven Spielberg.
Starring Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke and Hannah John-Kamen.
Film centers on a young outcast named Wade Watts. In the near future, Watts escapes from his daily drudgery by logging onto an MMO game called 'The Oasis'. When the game's billionaire founder dies, he offers players his fortune as the prize in
an easter egg hunt within The Oasis. Watts gets in on the action then after five years finds himself facing off against corporate foes who will go to any lengths to get the money -- in both the real world and in The Oasis.
The new Stephen Spielberg Sci-Fi film has been cut in the US to reduce nudity.
The film was first submitted to the MPAA and was rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action violence, bloody images, some suggestive material, nudity and language.
Presumably the producers did not like the thought of nudity being tagged in a Spielberg film so cut teh film for nudity. The film was resubmitted and was re-rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action violence, bloody images, some suggestive
material, partial nudity and language.
Last August, the American Heart Association and 16 other health and medical groups bought trade ads and sent a letter to the six major movie studios represented by the Motion Picture Association of America, urging them to apply an R rating to any
motion picture with tobacco imagery submitted for classification after Friday. The only exceptions would be biographical films about people who smoked or when the film depicted the dangers of smoking.
But with the June deadline here, Chris Ortman, vice president of corporate communications for the MPAA, declined to comment.
Health campaigners always seem to think that their pet issue is the most important thing in the world and to hell with any other opinion. If R ratings are doled out indiscriminately, parents will simply lose faith with the ratings and ignore
them. Film ratings need credibility so if parents see examples like 101 Dalmatians being R rated, they will soon concur that R ratings can safely be ignored.
Seven U.S. senators sent a letter on Monday to the MPAA to take action to restrict depictions of smoking, including e-cigarette use, in youth-rated movies.
The letter, citing a University of California, San Francisco study claiming that nearly six in 10 PG-13 movies depict tobacco use. The senators wrote:
Although the evidence connecting smoking imagery to youth smoking initiation is strong, MPAA has yet to take meaningful action to discourage tobacco imagery in films or effectively warn viewers and parents of tobacco's presence in a movie. Our
nation's dramatic decline in youth tobacco use is a tremendous achievement, but on-screen depictions remain a threat to this progress and threaten to re-normalize tobacco use in our society. We cannot afford to lose any ground in this area.