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Just Jokering around...

The director of Joker speaks of a weird bathtub scene that had to be cut for an MPAA R rating


Link Here 11th November 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.

While speaking at the Santa Barbara Film Festival, Joker director Todd Phillips explained that there were a few scenes that he had to cut, the most notable of which was a scene had Joaquin Phoenix's Arthur Fleck doing something bizarre while inside a bathtub.

Phillips suggested that the scene that was removed is not sexually explicit in nature, but is simply too bizarre for a standard R-rated movie to handle. He spoke in vague terms at the film festival:

So the other thing that's great about Joaquin is that he's always up to try things -- the fridge was one of those. It wasn't in the script it was something that Joaquin just kind of did and there was a few others, there's only one other that's in the movie and it's when he's laughing after he goes to [Zazie Beetz's] apartment and he comes back down the hall and he's laughing alone in that living room, that was another one...

There were two or three others we shot, one that is amazing in a bathtub, but I don't think we can actually include it in an R-rated movie and it's not because it was pornographic, it was just insane.

 

 

Offsite Article: Maybe a few Gremlins in their thought processes...


Link Here 2nd November 2019
A Collider article claims that the MPAA decision to introduce the PG-13 rating was more about merchandising to children rather than the content of the movies.

See article from collider.com

 

 

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

 

 

The Dark Knight...

The film made the news in the UK in 2008 with the most number of public complaints about a lenient BBFC 12A rating. 10 years later it was revealed the film was cut in the US to avoid an MPAA R rating


Link Here 8th October 2019
The Dark Knight is a 2008 USA/UK action crime thriller by Christopher Nolan.
Starring Christian Bale, Heath Ledger and Aaron Eckhart. BBFC link IMDb

Thanks to Cameron who reported that 10 years after the film was released details emerged how it was cut to avoid an MPAA R rating. See article from comicbook.com :

David Dastmalchian, who played abducted schizophrenic Thomas Schiff, told The Hollywood Reporter his encounter with a frenzied Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) was tamed by the MPAA:

[Nolan] told me a funny anecdote. He said he really liked the scene, but he said when we were shooting it, I  was pushing my head against Aaron's gun and he was pushing the gun back, Dastmalchian said.

I remember for a few weeks after I  had a big welt on my head and a little goose egg and black bruise. He said that was one of the moments the MPAA asked him to go back and he had to cut out the indent from the gun barrel on my head.

The director also had to show restraint when it came to the murderous antics of the Joker (Heath Ledger), namely a scene that originally showed a knife stabbed through a bloody Joker card on the corpse of a Batman imposter. In the final cut, the card is neatly pinned to the body.

The same version that was released in the US with a PG-13 rating was passed 12A by the BBFC. A rating which lead to the film being the most complained about film in recent years. The complainants mostly suggested that it should have been 15 rated.

 

 

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.

 

 

Riddled with holes...

No Safe Spaces film makers challenge MPAA PG-13 rating for cartoon animation of free speech being riddled with bullets


Link Here 5th September 2019
No Safe Spaces is a 2019 USA documentary by Justin Folk.
Starring Adam Carolla, Dennis Prager and Jordan Peterson. IMDb

A documentary that showcases colleges shutting down freedom of speech.

No Safe Spaces, a documentary by Adam Carolla and Dennis Prager, looks at the erosion of First Amendment rights in America.

The movie stars comedian-podcaster Adam Carolla and radio talk-show host Dennis Prager, the latter of whom sent a letter to the MPAA to protest the film's PG-13 rating, which is largely based on a 30-second animated clip of Firsty, a walking, talking embodiment of free speech who gets shot up with bullet holes.

Any kid who sees it will probably laugh, Prager wrote in a letter to the MPAA. HE also noted that Firsty isn't killed, and he says that he seeks with all of my work to make content that is suitable for all ages.

Much of the movie takes place at colleges where protesters railing against invited conservative speakers like Ben Shapiro and Ann Coulter use profanity in their language and on their homemade protest signs, though the cursing has been blurred and bleeped in an effort to obtain a PG rating, says Prager.

But when it comes to Firsty, we would ask that you reconsider and allow the scene to remain and still achieve a PG rating so that we can reach the widest possible audience.

 

 

Offsite Article: Hollywood's history of self-censorship...


Link Here 15th August 2019
The movie industry has tried for a century to keep the US government out of the box office. By Alissa Wilkinson

See article from vox.com

 

 

Updated: Midsommar...

The Daily Mail picks up on the censorship and a Director's Cut


Link Here 20th July 2019
Midsommar is a 2019 USA horror mystery thriller by Ari Aster.
Starring Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor and William Jackson Harper. BBFC link IMDb

A young American couple, played by Florence Pugh and Jack Reynor, fly to a rural town in Sweden for a once-in-a-lifetime midsummer festival after experiencing a death in the family. Not long after the couple's arrival, their trip unfolds into a hallucinatory nightmare when the visitors are invited to drink some sort of concoction that seemingly screws with their perception of time, and are targeted by the sinister leaders of a pagan cult.

The Daily mail has somewhat uncharacteristically published an article about censors cut and a Director's Cut for Ari Aster's Midsommar.

Film producer A24's critically-acclaimed horror film Midsommar is winning rave reviews from fans and critics alike, who will get to see an even longer version soon.

Midsommar writer-director Ari Aster held a Reddit Q&A, where he was asked about a potential director's cut, and reports that he had to cut a whopping 80 minutes from the theatrical cut, which spanned a lengthy 147 minutes.

Aster was asked if the director's cut will be part of the film and not just a special feature, while the director responded by saying the extended cut will have a half hour of new footage.

Another fan also asked if the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) gave them any trouble for a scene involving Jack Reynor having an erection. Aster responded:

Yes, we had an NC-17 for 6 weeks. Lots of back-and-forth with them

Update: Director's Cut confirmed

20th July 2019. See article from hypebeast.com

Ari Aster's director's cut is now confirmed and is set to debut next month in New York City.  The screening will take place at the Lincoln Center in New York City on August 17 and will be titled as a Director's Cut as opposed to just an extended cut.

On the 30 minutes of additional footage, Aster has teased:

A more nuanced picture of Harga, more rituals and more nuance for the relationship between Dani (Florence Pugh) and Christian (Jack Reynor), and more by way of the thesis competition between Josh (William Jackson Harper) and Christian.

 

 

The Current War...

Cut in the US for an MPAA PG-13 rated theatrical release


Link Here 17th July 2019
The Current War is a 2017 USA historical biography by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon.
Starring Tom Holland, Benedict Cumberbatch and Tuppence Middleton. BBFC link IMDb

Starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Thomas Edison and Michael Shannon as George Westinghouse, THE CURRENT WAR is the epic story of the cutthroat competition between the greatest inventors of the industrial age over whose electrical system would power the new century. Backed by J.P. Morgan, Edison dazzles the world by lighting Manhattan. But Westinghouse, aided by Nikola Tesla, has seen fatal flaws in Edison's direct current design. Igniting a war of currents, Westinghouse and Tesla bet everything on risky and dangerous alternating current. Directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl) and written by playwright Michael Mitnick (Sex Lives of our Parents), THE CURRENT WAR also stars Katherine Waterston, Nicholas Hoult, Tom Holland, Matthew Macfadyen, and Tuppence Middleton.

The film is MPAA PG-13 rated in the US but only after cuts so as to tone down the consumer advice.

The film was originally uncut and MPAA PG-13 rated for some disturbing/violent images, and thematic elements.

The distributors made cuts and resubmitted the film. it was then passed PG-13 for some violent content and thematic elements.

Presumably the US version was cut to remove the disturbing images.

For comparison the film is uncut and 12A rated in the UK.

 

 

Offsite Article: Definitely not Dr. Dolittle...


Link Here 13th July 2019
Peter Fonda recalls that the US film censor's moralising over The Trip inspired him to write the classic Easy Rider

See article from finance.yahoo.com

 

 

Hobbs and Shaw...

Supporting the hype about 'MPAA cuts'


Link Here 11th June 2019
Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw is a 2019 USA action adventure by David Leitch.
Starring Dwayne Johnson, Idris Elba and Eiza González. IMDb

Lawman Luke Hobbs and outcast Deckard Shaw form an unlikely alliance when a cyber-genetically enhanced villain threatens the future of humanity.

In this Fast and Furious spinoff, Dwayne The Rock Johnson and Jason Statham's characters find themselves having to stop Idris Elba s Brixton Lore from unleashing a deadly virus on humanity.

One of the big fights will unfold when Luke Hobbs, Deckard Shaw and Vanessa Kirby's Hattie Shaw team up with Hobbs family to clash with Brixton Lore and his goons in Samoa. Johnson shared how it was initially planned for him to bite and spit out his opponent's eye. He claimed:

Unfortunately the scene where I bite the bad guy's eye out and spit it on the dirt didn't make it. MPAA ratings board forbid us to show it because it was too violent.

PG-13 movies are granted a fair amount of leeway when it comes to action and violence, but naturally there are some things that are off limits within that rating. Luke Hobbs removing a man's eye from his socket would have been shocking, brutal and badass, but the MPAA wasn't having it, so we'll have to make due with Johnson's character simply tossing his adversary to the ground and bludgeoning him senseless.

 

 

Offsite Article: Lessons From 30 Years of Movie Ratings...


Link Here 26th May 2019
As the MPAA's Joan Graves steps down, she dishes on director appeals (Clint always wins) and Harvey's PR stunts.

See article from hollywoodreporter.com

 

 

Welcoming a new rating aboard...

Kelly McMahon takes over as the head of MPAA's film ratings board


Link Here 8th May 2019
Kelly McMahon is the new head of the MPAA's film ratings board, the Classification and Rating Administration (CARA).

The 46-year-old longtime corporate lawyer leads the small group of parents who anonymously assign ratings, ranging from G to NC-17, to hundreds of movies a year. She replaces Joan Graves, 77, who recently retired after 18 years as head of the ratings body.

McMahon, in her first interview since taking the helm, defended the ratings system, which she says has remained a reliable and essential tool for families navigating the multiplex. However, she says one of her first major goals is to reach out to parents, filmmakers and political groups -- including LGBTQ and religious organizations -- to hear their concerns.

She also wants to add more people to the rating board to ensure its decisions are representative of American consumers. The board currently employs only eight raters; McMahon wants to grow the board to 12. She also wants to address the once-common G (general audiences) rating, which has virtually disappeared from the industry.

 

 

Offsite Video: Failure of NC-17 was one of her biggest regrets in a 30 year career...


Link Here 4th May 2019
Joan Graves of MPAA's film rating wing CARA gives interview to mark her retirement on May 3rd 2019

See article from scpr.org

 

 

Offsite Article: How The Avengers was nearly R-rated because of one crucial scene...


Link Here 26th April 2019
Recalling the cuts to Avengers Assemble

See article from digitalspy.com

 

 

Rocketman banned from Uranus...

Studio wants director of Elton John biopic to delete 40s of nudity for a PG-13 rating


Link Here 22nd March 2019
Rocketman is a 2019 UK / USA musical music biography by Dexter Fletcher.
Starring Bryce Dallas Howard, Taron Egerton and Richard Madden. IMDb

A musical fantasy about the fantastical human story of Elton John's breakthrough years.

The film-makers behind the Elton John musical fantasy Rocketman have clashed with a Hollywood studio over a naked sex romp featuring Taron Egerton and Richard Madden.

Paramount Pictures have demanded that Rocketman director Dexter Fletcher and producer Matthew Vaughn cut a 40-second scene that shows Egerton, who plays the singer and Madden, cast as his one-time lover and manager John Reid, writhing on a bed. Fully exposed white derrieres are on display, but the nude escapade is tastefully done.

Nonetheless, Paramount are forcing the director to cut the scene so it will have an American PG 13 rating, maybe with an eye on repeating the success of the similarly sanitised gay sex in the Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody .

 

 

Unplanned...

Christian film studio gets its first R rating for including bloody images in an anti-abortion film


Link Here 23rd February 2019
Unplanned is a 2019 USA drama by Chuck Konzelman and Cary Solomon.
Starring Ashley Bratcher, Brooks Ryan and Robia Scott. IMDb

As one of the youngest Planned Parenthood clinic directors in the nation, Abby Johnson was involved in upwards of 22,000 abortions and counseled countless women on their reproductive choices. Her passion surrounding a woman's right to choose led her to become a spokesperson for Planned Parenthood, fighting to enact legislation for the cause she so deeply believed in. Until the day she saw something that changed everything.

One of Hollywood's biggest faith-based film studios has found itself in an unlikely battle with the movie industry's ratings board.

Pure Flix , the Christian-aimed studio, was recently informed that next month's anti-abortion drama Unplanned would receive an R rating for some disturbing/bloody images , the first in the studio's history. That could make it a tough sell for the company's traditional family-friendly audience.

The MPAA R rating means that theatres will not allow anyone under 17, unless they're accompanied by a parent or guardian). The film received the rating due to a series of graphic abortion scenes.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the MPAA contends the R rating for Unplanned wasn't political, and was instead assigned because of some disturbing/bloody images. Pure Flix, which doesn't plan on appealing the decision, was clearly frustrated by the rating, as they were expecting a more on-brand PG-13. Pure Flix executive Ken Rather told the Reporter:

A 15-year old girl can get an abortion without her parent's permission but she can't see this movie without adult supervision?

 

 

Offsite Article: Angelic language...


Link Here 8th February 2019
F-Bomb added to Alita: Battle Angel just to avoid a PG rating in the US

See article from bleedingcool.com

 

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