Ratings

Boiling Point

Much of the on-line film community has a fairly strong anti-MPAA lean to it. Hell, we here at FSR even pushed to have the “governing” body disbanded seeing as how they serve no real purpose. Unfortunately they still exist, and while they’re not in the news today every so often they make a splash by screwing over a film with an unnecessarily restrictive rating. It may be a film like Bully, initially Rated-R for language when its intended audience were those under the age of 17, and that should be a PG-13 flick (it eventually was after toning down the language). Or it can be something very assuredly more adult getting really boned. Blue Valentine was initially smacked with the kiss of death, an NC-17 rating, because of an act of cunnilingus. Sex is a killer at the ratings. Violence can bring you an NC-17 rating as well with films like Killer Joe and A Serbian Film getting the dreaded rating. In 2010, at least four films were initially rated NC-17 and forced to be re-cut, with two more crippled in 2011. Thus far in 2012 no film has been effectively banned from theaters due to the rating, but I’m still pissed about it anyways. The rating itself is unnecessary and actually redundant, but beyond that, the rating is offensive.

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After weeks and weeks of controversy, manufactured or otherwise, the tumultuous story of The Weinstein Company’s anti-bullying documentary Bully has finally come to a close. For those who haven’t been following all of the hullabaloo, the fun all started when the MPAA ridiculously gave a Lee Hirsch-directed documentary meant to expose the escalating problem of bullying in U.S. schools an R-rating. Even though the movie taught a good lesson, the fact that it used the F word a few too many times deemed it unsuitable for our children’s bruised little ears. Never one to take a chance at free publicity lying down, the film’s producer Harvey Weinstein made a big stink about how unjust the rating was, and vowed to have it appealed. He did as much, and he even brought one of the bullied kids from the film, Alex Libby, to speak during the appeals process. Nonetheless, the MPAA decided that the rating would stand. This, of course, led to further outrage on the part of everyone. Weinstein put the film out unrated, the PTC threatened to picket any theaters that would show it, and the MPAA continued to sit behind closed doors and do whatever evil things they do that we don’t know about. The whole situation was a mess, and in some serious need of mediation. Which must have eventually happened, because at some point they re-edited the film, re-submitted it to the MPAA, and it now has a PG-13 rating. Apparently the issue was that they […]

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There are least two sides to this whole Bully MPAA rating mess. Maybe it’s a valiant outcry against the hypocrisy of an organization that treats sex and language differently than violence. Maybe it’s a huge public relations stunt orchestrated by Harvey Weinstein in order to get more butts into seats. Maybe it’s both. Either way, Lee Hirsch‘s movie is caught in the balance, and it looks like he’s ready to cut off his entire head to spite his face. Shortly before the Los Angeles premiere of the movie, he made the decision to release it unrated into theaters. Because if your goal is to make sure as many children see it as possible, the best move would be to make it impossible for them to see it, right?

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Ratings… We all hate them. They’re the things that keep programs like American Idol on the air but shut out shows like Lone Star. It’s no secret that the system is out-dated. When the Nielsen Ratings were first established, the only way to watch television was through, well, a television. There was no on-demand cable, no internet, no laptops… you get the point. Because of the archaic nature of the current system, many eye-balls are not counted, and thus, fan favorite shows get cancelled (I’m still shedding a tear for CHASE). It’s not that the networks have a vendetta against fan-favorite programming, they just need it to be profitable. And if the data says “this works, but this doesn’t” that’s what they’ll follow. In other words: Don’t hate the playa, hate the game. But thanks to CBS, it looks like that game might be changing sooner, rather than later.

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Twitter is good for a few things, like telling the world what sandwich you’re eating, finding random hook-ups, or coordinating a revolution. But mostly, it’s for sharing your opinion and arguing against everyone and every-bot you can find. Since arguments are most often a result of anger and rage, we’ve merged the Inaugural Twitter Fight Round-Up with Boiling Point as a way of introducing it. In the future, we’ll consider shooting itself off into its own little column if we have enough ammunition – which we most likely will. This week we’ll take a look at arguments surrounding letter grades for movies, the R-Rating, and Game of Thrones’ Sean Bean. It’s also important to note that everyone we talk about (so far) is a friend. We’re not attempting to insult or reinvigorate the argument, but merely to use it as a starting point to more discussion and ultimately a verdict. So quit your crying.

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bp-jamiechung

Robert Fure, agent of the devil, wants to corrupt your children by not letting you know the full range of dangers contained in the films you watch. Burn him at the stake or just warm up the tar and pluck the feathers?

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Battlestar Galactica

Against all odds, Battlestar Galactica, a show on its last leg, is increasing its audience. How, why, and what does it mean? Robert Fure takes a look at the situation.

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