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Wicked City...

1987 Japan anime horror previously cut but now released uncut on DVD and Blu-ray


Link Here21st December 2020
Wicked City is a 1987 Japan anime horror sci-fi by Yoshiaki Kawajiri.
With Gregory Snegoff, Mike Reynolds and Alexandra Kenworthy. YouTube icon BBFC link 2020 IMDb

There has been peace between the worlds of the mortals and the supernatural for centuries, but the balance is now being threatened. The Radical elements from the Supernatural world are crossing over into the mortal universe for the purpose of destroying the peace forever!

The film was cut by the BBFC for 18 rated VHS in 1993 and cinema release in 1994. The 1993 BBFC cuts were:

  • A panning shot of Jin having his hand on Maki's crotch is deleted
  • Close-up of Maki's crotch with Jin's hand on it, along with the subsequent shot of Maki's hair grabbing Jin, which is cut for continuity.
  • The demon creature forcing its tongue to Maki's mouth, and then doing the "old in-out".
  • The beginning of Maki's rape by the demons is short of a demon mauling on her breast, and the following brief rape shot.
  • The rest of Maki's rape is massively reduced and cut (over 20 seconds). This includes the demons mauling and her raping her.
  • Raping of Maki in the demon base has lost four close-ups - the demons squeezing her breasts, Maki getting raped from behind, a close of Maki's face, and of her chained hands.

The films has been re-released in 2020 as a double bill with Demon City Shinjuku and has been released uncut on DVD and Blu-ray. Anthony commented:

I can confirm, judging by the existing descriptions of what the BBFC cut, that this brand-new 2020 DVD and Blu-Ray release of Wicked City is uncut.

The running time stacks up with the uncut version too.

UK: BBFC details not yet published though for:
  • 2020 Manga Limited Edition [Wicked City and Demon City Shinjuku] (RB) Blu-ray at UK Amazon #ad
  • 2020 Manga Standard Edition [Wicked City and Demon City Shinjuku] (RB) Blu-ray at UK Amazon
  • 2020 Manga [Wicked City and Demon City Shinjuku] R2 DVD at UK Amazon

 

 

Taking the knee to the gods of PC...

Chinese cinema goers take offence at 'Chi-knees' joke in Monster Hunters


Link Here8th December 2020
Monster Hunter is a 2020 China / Germany / Japan / USA action fantasy by Paul WS Anderson.
Starring Milla Jovovich, Meagan Good and Ron Perlman. IMDb

When Lt. Artemis and her loyal soldiers are transported to a new world, they engage in a desperate battle for survival against enormous enemies with incredible powers. Feature film based on the video game by Capcom.

Soon after opening the Hollywood film Monster Hunter has been withdrawn from Chinese cinemas over reports of cinema goers taking offence at a throwaway joke.

The film is a video game inspired action film by Paul W.S. Anderson. This low-brow genre seems to play better in Asia than in the west, so this is a serious problem for the producers

Monster Hunter enjoyed midnight screenings in the small hours of Friday local time, and officially debuted in Chinese cinemas on Friday, Dec. 4, ahead of its planned Dec. 25 U.S. release. It grossed $5.19 million on day one, good enough for third place in box office charts, and then the trouble emerged.

In one scene, a white male character and an Asian character played by rapper MC Jin are driving together at high speed. What? says the former. Look at my knees! shouts Jin. What kind of knees are these? asks his companion. Chi-nese! jokes Jin, punning on the word's last syllable.

Chinese viewers were apparently incensed after the exchange was interpreted as a reference to an old, racist schoolyard rhyme insulting Asians. Chi-nese, Jap-a-nese, dir-ty knees, look at these.

To localize the joke, subtitle 'translators' made the dialogue a reference to a Chinese colloquialism about how men must have dignity and not kneel down easily. Men have gold under their knees, and only kneel to the heavens and their mother, the saying goes in rough translation, implying that any time a man kneels, it should be an occasion precious as gold.

It wasn't long before cinemas received an urgent notice to cancel all upcoming screenings and issue refunds for shows already sold. The distributors promised some rapid scissorwork to remove the joke.

But that didn't seem to be enough to solve the issue and the movie screening remains suspended for the moment.

 

 

Updated: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation...

The BBFC wish you a happy Christmas complete with Danny fucking Kaye


Link Here22nd November 2020
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation is a 1989 US comedy by Jeremiah S. Chechik.
With Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo and Juliette Lewis . YouTube icon BBFC link 2020 IMDb

It's Christmas time and the Griswolds are preparing for a family seasonal celebration, but things never run smoothly for Clark, his wife Ellen and their two kids. Clark's continual bad luck is worsened by his obnoxious family guests, but he manages to keep going knowing that his Christmas bonus is due soon.

The 2020 cinema release has just been passed 12A uncut for infrequent strong language, moderate sex references

The film is uncut and MPAA PG-13 rated in the US but the film has a bit of a censorship history in the UK.

BBFC category cuts were required for early PG rated cinema and VHS releases as follows:

  • The dialogue: We're gonna have the hap-hap-happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny fucking Kaye! lost the 'fucking' in favour of an overdubbed 'dancing'

It was later released uncut on UK Blu-ray in 2003 bearing a 12 rating, seemingly without being resubmitted to the BBFC.

In 2013 a commentary track based on the uncut version was passed 12 uncut for video. In 2014, the film itself was then passed 12 uncut for video.

This 12 rated uncut video version was not published in the BBFC's old database but appears in the BBFC's new dumbed down database.

As of 2020, all UK DVD releases still feature the cut UK version.

 

 

Possessor...

Is the UK cinema release cut or uncut?


Link Here18th November 2020

Possessor is a 2020 UK / Canada Sci-Fi horror thriller by Brandon Cronenberg.
Starring Andrea Riseborough, Christopher Abbott and Jennifer Jason Leigh. BBFC link 2020 IMDb

Tasya Vos is a corporate agent who uses brain-implant technology to inhabit other people's bodies, driving them to commit assassinations for the benefit of the company. While she has a special gift for the work, her experiences on these jobs have caused a dramatic change in her, and in her own life she struggles to suppress violent memories and urges. As her mental strain intensifies, she begins to lose control, and soon she finds herself trapped in the mind of a man whose identity threatens to obliterate her own.

Possessor exists as a cut US R rated version and an uncut MPA Unrated Version titled Possessor Uncut. The producers were keen to differentiate between the two versions and the 'Uncut' tag is an official re-titling of the film.

A Running time of 103m suggest that it was the cut version that was passed 18 for UK cinema release. The home video version runs for 104m which matches with the Possessor Uncut version. This too was passed 18 by the BBFC. However all advance publicity trailers and posters seem to feature the Possessor Uncut artwork.

Maybe this means that viewers watch at the cinema on 27th November will get the cut version whilst viewers watch the simultaneous digital streaming release will get the uncut version. The DVD is set for release on 8th February 2021 at UK Amazon #ad

Let's hope all these releases are the uncut version as the director Brandon Cronenberg himself states that he prefers the Possessor Uncut version. See article from latimes.com

Presented stateside by distributor Neon, Possessor Uncut -- titled so to distinguish it from an R-rated version that also will be available in some markets -- is the complete version as far as director Brandon Cronenberg is concerned, replete with the uninhibited moments of sex and violence, such as the transfixing erection glimpsed in a sequence memorably bathed in electric blue, that might otherwise have earned the film an NC-17 rating. Cronenberg commented:

Generally I prefer explicit violence, and I prefer violence that is viscerally disturbing to people. I find it more unsettling if violence is very sanitized. If you have a PG-13 movie where 100 people get killed and no one bleeds, to me that's doing a disservice by trivializing the violence. So I prefer people to have that visceral response, because you should.

 

 

Updated: Borat make wind up...

Sacha Baron Cohen is generating a little hype for Borat 2 with a controversial film poster


Link Here17th November 2020
Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm is a 2020 UK / USA comedy by Jason Woliner.
Starring Sacha Baron Cohen, Maria Bakalova and Mike Pence. IMDb

Follow-up film to the 2006 comedy centering on the real-life adventures of a fictional Kazakh television journalist named Borat.

The film poster for Borat 2 is generating a little hype in France over the sequel's official worldwide poster. The poster features a reclining Borat, naked save for a mankini fashioned from a coronavirus face mask. It seems that a few French Muslims have got themselves worked up over Borat's ring which is engraved with the Arabic word "Allah."

Social media posts seem to target the French authorities for provocation and insulting Islam .

However the authorities are responding in support of free speech. In response to requests by bus drivers to remove the Borat 2 poster from the side of buses, the Paris transport authority (RATP) has stated it would under no circumstances take this campaign off our network. RATP also denied social media claims alleging the Borat 2 poster led to stoning attacks on buses over Halloween weekend.

One area where the Borat 2 posters were removed from buses is the TICE network in the southern suburb of ?vry. The area has a large Muslim immigrant population. TICE management claimed the posters were not removed because of complaints but because the organization deemed the offbeat humour on display to be inappropriate for public transportation.

Update: Kazakh community calls for Borat sequel to be banned from awards consideration

18th November 2020. See article from wfmz.com

The Kazakh American Association wants Borat Subsequent Moviefilm banned from awards consideration.

The campaign group which is dedicated to preserving and promoting Kazakhstan's heritage and culture in the US - has hit out at Sacha Baron Cohen's sequel for an alleged racist portrayal, and called on the Academy Awards, Golden Globes, Directors Guild of America and BAFTAs to bar the comedy.

A letter, which is co-signed by the Hollywood Film Academy and Council on American-Islamic Relations, spouts:

The Kazakh community worldwide is underrepresented and inherently vulnerable. Our nation is still recovering from an oppressive colonial past, which is why we do not have substantial media representation.

Sacha Baron Cohen understands this fact and exploits Kazakhstan by hijacking our ethnic identity, whitewashing us by portraying us as Eastern Europeans, and inciting harassment toward Kazakh people worldwide.

Our people report countless cases of sexual and physical harassment as well as bullying due to the Borat franchise.

 

 

Classified as outdated...

Ontario lawmakers debate a bill to further diminish the role of state film censors


Link Here14th November 2020
Lawmakers from the Canadian province of Ontario are debating a bill to put an end to provincial film censorship.

Presumably the move is intended to save money as the bill is titled: Bill 229, Protect, Support and Recover from COVID-19 Act (Budget Measures), 2020. This includes Schedule 12: Film Content Information Act, 2020.

In fact local film censorship has already being largely wound down, The Ontario Film Review Board ceased operation as of October 1, 2019, with responsibility for film classification being transferred from the Ontario Film Authority. This body largely adopted provincial film classifications from the British Columbia Film Classification Office.

Now is seems that formal state age ratings will be no longer required, assuming that content information is provided by the distributor. The role of film censors will then be restricted to investigating complaints. Adult films will still require ratings in Ontario but it seems these will be provided by a national film censorship scheme.

Parliamentary information about the bill reads:

Schedule 12 Film Content Information Act, 2020

The Schedule enacts the Film Content Information Act, 2020 and repeals the Film Classification Act, 2005.

The new Film Content Information Act, 2020 regulates the exhibition of films, selling or renting physical copies of video games and selling, renting or otherwise making available physical copies of adult sex films.

Part I of the Act sets out the application and interpretation provisions.

Part II of the Act provides for the appointment of a Director and Deputy Directors for the purposes of the Act.

Part III of the Act provides that films cannot be exhibited for a person's direct gain unless information respecting the film and its contents is displayed to the public. This requirement does not apply in certain circumstances, such as exhibition of a film under the sponsorship of a public library or public art gallery.

Adult sex films cannot be exhibited, and physical copies cannot be sold, rented or otherwise made available, unless the film has been reviewed and approved by an entity that is authorized to approve adult sex films under the laws of a province of Canada. In addition, they cannot be exhibited to persons under the age of 18. Physical copies cannot be sold, rented or otherwise made available to persons under the age of 18.

The sale or rental of physical copies of video games is restricted based on the rating assigned to the video game by the Entertainment Software Rating Board. Physical copies of unrated video games may not be rented or sold to persons under the age of 18.

Part IV of the Act provides a procedure for the appointment of investigators and the investigation of offences under the Act. Things that are seized by the investigator may be forfeited to the Crown in certain circumstances. A procedure for applying to the Director for the return of the seized thing is set out.

Part V of the Act sets out offences, penalties and evidentiary provisions for proceedings under the Act.

Part VI of the Act provides regulation-making powers to the Lieutenant Governor in Council. These powers include the ability to modify the age restrictions that apply to the sale or rental of physical copies of video games.

Part VII sets out transitional provisions. The Ontario Film Review Board is dissolved. Licences that were issued under the Film Classification Act, 2005 are no longer needed under this new Act and expire.

Part VIII provides for the repeal of the Film Classification Act, 2005 and the revocation of the regulation made under that Act. It also makes several consequential amendments.

 

 

Offsite Article: Has the BBFC been scammed by cowboy database builders?...


Link Here 14th November 2020
The BBFC dismantles its own database. By High Impact Classification

See article from highimpactclassification.wordpress.com

 

 

In the spotlight...

Horror films cited in murder trial


Link Here9th November 2020
It's been a while but horror films have featured in a murder trial that has led to the conviction of 2 men who murdered Julia Rawson. The BBC writes:

A man obsessed with horror films has been convicted along with his boyfriend of murdering and dismembering a woman in their flat.

Jurors heard the man had a fascination with decapitation and horror films and had been addicted to fantasies about the sexualised killing of women. His victim would have seen swords and spiders mounted on the walls of the Tipton flat, reptiles kept in tanks, and gory face masks of horror film characters, Freddy Krueger and Chucky dolls.

 

 

Possessor censor...

Brandon Croneberg's Possessor is cut for an MPA R rating but there is also an Uncut version


Link Here6th November 2020
Possessor is a 2020 UK / Canada Sci-Fi horror thriller by Brandon Cronenberg.
Starring Andrea Riseborough, Christopher Abbott and Jennifer Jason Leigh. IMDb

Tasya Vos is a corporate agent who uses brain-implant technology to inhabit other people's bodies, driving them to commit assassinations for the benefit of the company. While she has a special gift for the work, her experiences on these jobs have caused a dramatic change in her, and in her own life she struggles to suppress violent memories and urges. As her mental strain intensifies, she begins to lose control, and soon she finds herself trapped in the mind of a man whose identity threatens to obliterate her own.

The US release of Possessor was cut for an MPA R rating. However the uncut version will be released on video with the variant title Possessor Uncut. This version is MPA Unrated. It seems likely that Possessor Uncut will be used for international releases. The UK rating has yet to be published by the BBFC.

The LA Times explains that director Brandon Cronenberg prefers the Uncut version:

Presented stateside by distributor Neon, Possessor Uncut -- titled so to distinguish it from an R-rated version that also will be available in some markets -- is the complete version as far as Cronenberg is concerned, replete with the uninhibited moments of sex and violence, such as the transfixing erection glimpsed in a sequence memorably bathed in electric blue, that might otherwise have earned the film an NC-17 rating. Cronenberg commented:

Generally I prefer explicit violence, and I prefer violence that is viscerally disturbing to people. I find it more unsettling if violence is very sanitized. If you have a PG-13 movie where 100 people get killed and no one bleeds, to me that's doing a disservice by trivializing the violence. So I prefer people to have that visceral response, because you should.

 

 

Epic confusion...

Cinemas were confused over the BBFC rating for a special screening of John Carpenter's Halloween. Perhaps this was down to the BBFC's garbled new database


Link Here1st November 2020
Halloween is a 1978 USA horror by John Carpenter.
Starring Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis and Tony Moran. BBFC link 2020 IMDb

The film was always uncut in the UK and surprisingly 18 rated until a 15 rated cinema release in 2018. In fact video versions are still 18 rated.

Now it appears that cinemas are still a bit confused about the film's rating. Andy explains about a censorial travesty of epic proportions!

This being Halloween I was planning on taking my [15 year old] daughter to see the 1978 classic at the local cinema for it's one night retrospective performance. Two weeks ago I purchased tickets, advertised quite rightly as a certificate 15, and both my daughter and I were looking forward to seeing the film on the big screen.

Two days ago I was double checking timings and the cinema had upped the certificate to an 18! I did a double take, checked the BBFC website case study, rang the cinema and spent a good 30 minutes trying to explain why the film is now rated 15 for the cinema... to no avail. The lady was very helpful, even going to the regional booking centre before coming back to me and telling me the film is definitely an 18, so I had no choice but to cancel our tickets.

I checked the website - Parkway Cinemas - and in Cleethorpes, Beverly and Louth the film is playing with an 18 certificate. In Barnsley it is playing with the standard 15. As it is in all other local cinemas.

How is it possible for to get so confused about a BBFC rating? It did cross my mind that perhaps the cinema was somehow showing on old pre-digital print, but that seems unlikely.

Of course the other possibility is that the cinema looked up the film on the new garbled BBFC database, only to find that it is nowhere to be found. Readers are welcome to try, but I couldn't see it, (until I bizarrely followed up the title Halloween - Additional Scenes From Tv Version ).

 

 

Viral comments...

Supporting the hype for Songbird, a new movie with a pandemic virus theme


Link Here31st October 2020
Songbird is a USA comedy romance by Adam Mason.
Starring KJ Apa, Sofia Carson and Craig Robinson. IMDb

In 2022 a pandemic ravages the world and its cities. Centering on a handful of people as they navigate the obstacles currently hindering society: disease, martial law, quarantine, and vigilantes.

A few people on Twitter have whinged about the new pandemic thriller Songbird.

The movie is set several years in the future, with the mutated virus COVID-23 having wiped out huge chunks of the world's population and quarantine strictly enforced by the military. It follows a couple played by Sofia Carson and KJ Apa, who have fallen in love despite having never met in person as a result of the years of enforced distancing.

A few Twitter users have complained that this is the wrong movie at the wrong time. Eg:

We're literally living in the middle of this pandemic still, nobody wants to watch a movie about it lasting for years, mutating and killing half the population. Read the room #Songbird , for the love of God.

You couldn't wait after the pandemic to start exploiting it, Hollywood? #Songbird

 

 

Commented: Downrated...

The BBFC prettifies its website but takes away significant information, such as recent decisions and whether a film has been cut


Link Here29th October 2020
The BBFC has just reworked its website and significantly reduced the functionality of its classifications database.

Indeed the new layout is prettier than before but now the database offers significantly less information than before.

The BBFC noted this change in a rather understated tweet:

We have just relaunched our website with a more simplified search function.

In fact the BBFC have removed the following significant functionalities:

  1. The database no longer provides a page listing recent BBFC decisions for upcoming releases. It takes way the transparency of being able to monitor the latest decisions.
  2. The database no longer offers an advance search facility whereby users can seek films by director or cast etc.
  3. The database cannot be searched via alternative titles, even when the film has been released with a different title. Only the title that the BBFC uses as its primary title can be searched upon.
  4. Cuts information detailing the amount of cuts, or even if cuts have been made at all is no longer presented. On occasions that the BBFC has commented on cuts then these comments are still available but these do not detail the amount of running time cut.
  5. Banned/Rejected films no longer appear in the database.
  6. Film running times are now only specified to the minute rather than to the second as before.

On the plus side the database search facility provides extra links over and above the database entry. For example searching on a title reveals if the film has a case study or is mentioned in a press release.

Offsite Comment: The BBFC returns to a world of secrecy

29th October 2020. See article from reprobatepress.com

The British censorship board's website has gone from being a valuable resource to an empty vanity project that covers up their history.

 

 

Grown up thinking...

Adelaide Film Festival screens controversial movie The Trouble with Being Born


Link Here18th October 2020
The Trouble with Being Born is a 2020 Austria / Germany Sci-Fi drama by Sandra Wollner.
Starring Ingrid Burkhard, Susanne Gschwendtner and Simon Hatzl. IMDb

Elli is an android programmed with memories that mean everything to her owner but nothing to her. The story of a machine and the ghosts we all carry within us.

Controversial Austrian film The Trouble With Being Born will make its belated Australian cinema debut at the Adelaide Film Festival on Saturday, three months after the Melbourne International Film Festival dropped it over accusations of 'normalising sexual interest in children'.

Sandra Wollner's dystopian sci-fi tale, which centres on the relationship between an android child called Ellie and her human Papa, will also screen later this month at the Fantastic Film Festival at Sydney's Ritz cinema.

Meanwhile, boutique Australian distributor Potential Films has bought the movie with an eye to a broader theatrical and home entertainment release after these limited festival appearances.

Adelaide Film Festival director Mat Kesting commented:

I believe one of the fundamental roles of a Film Festival is to provide a platform for critical debate about issues confronting our society.

 

 

Triggered...

Disney admits its racism and preaches from the bible of critical race theory


Link Here16th October 2020
Full story: Disney+ Censorship...Cuts for political correctness and sexiness
Trigger warnings in classic Disney films have been updated from last year and now preach from the bible of critical race theory.

When played on the Disney+ streaming service, films such as Dumbo , Peter Pan and Jungle Book now appear with a Disney statement acknowledging its racist content and the company's racism. The statement reads:

This programme includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures, the warning says.

These stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now.

Rather than remove the content, we want to acknowledge its harmful impact, learn from it and spark conversation to create a more inclusive future together.

Other films to carry the warning are The Aristocats , which shows a cat in yellow-face playing the piano with chopsticks, and Peter Pan , where Native Americans are referred to by the racist slur 'redskins'.

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