Melon Farmers Original Version

Batman Movies

A history of controversy


Offsite Article: Bat Sense...

Link Here20th March 2022
A 15A rating should be introduced for The Batman so young fans aren't deprived of watching it. By Scott Bates

See article from



Borderline rating...

Film censors have different opinions about the age rating for The Batman and it causes border friction in Northern Ireland

Link Here17th February 2022
The Batman is a 2021 USA action crime drama by Matt Reeves.
Starring Robert Pattinson. BBFC link 2020  IMDb

International film censors have different opinions about the age rating for The Batman. In particular

  • US: Rated PG-13 for strong violent and disturbing content, drug content, strong language, and some suggestive material
  • Ireland: Rated 15A for strong violence and intense action sequences
  • UK: Rated 15 for strong threat, violence
Of course where there's an easy to cross border these differences may make a commercial impact. Cinemas in Northern Ireland are worried that groups with 12 to 14 year olds would travel to Eire so that the youngsters could see the film.

The cinema chain Movie House asked Belfast Council to overrule the UK BBFC rating of 15 and instead enforce an Irish IFCO 15A rating which allows under 15s to see the film if accompanied by an adult.

However Belfast councillors rejected the request with several councillors noting that they haven't seen the film so are not best placed to overrule the BBFC rating.

Movie House managing director Michael McAdam wanted the rating to be lowered to 15A. He pointed out it would be on a streaming service in weeks, when parents can decide if their children can watch it, putting cinemas at a disadvantage. He added:

The world has changed. We used to have a five-month window, now streaming services are becoming stronger, he said. At home, parents can permit their children to watch it on TV, but at the cinema the same parent would be breaking the law.

Edward Lamberti of the BBFC said that most superhero films get a lower age classification. But The Batman movie was different, and the BBFC hadn't given it a 15 lightly:

It is a stronger, tougher, bleaker movie than is typically the case with a superhero film.

He made reference to films such as The Joker, which was given a 15 classification, and went on to receive the most complaints of 2019, with parents believing it should have been rated higher.



Just Jokering around...

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

Link Here11th November 2019
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.




He is a psychopath: has the 2019 Joker gone too far? The Guardian asks in anticipation of whipping up a little moral panic

Link Here1st October 2019
The Guardian writes:

Is it just me or is it getting crazier out there? Joaquin Phoenix's proto-Joker Arthur Fleck asks his psychologist in the new Joker movie. The real answer is both. Fleck is a man losing his grip on sanity, but the world out there is a powder keg of lawlessness, inequality, corruption, cuts and all-round despair. Joker's story is set around the early 1980s, but it consciously chimes with our own increasingly crazy present. These are tough times, the psychologist acknowledges. She might as well turn and wink to the camera.

It's no surprise that 2019's Joker -- while set to be a triumph, critically and commercially -- has raised concerns over its narrative. An early, leaked version of the script, plus the portrayal of Phoenix's character as a sad young man losing his grip on sanity (mental health problems, past trauma, failing comedy career, loneliness) has led to the film being aligned with so-called incel culture (involuntarily celibate men who are angry and misogynistic).

...Read the full article from

Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right

The moral panic over Joker is a depressing throwback to video nasty hysteria.

See article from By David Flint



Grin and bare it...

Batman shooting victim's family horrified by Joker film's violence

Link Here27th September 2019
Three families of those killed while watching a Batman film in 2012 have written to Warner Bros complaining about the new Joker film and urging the studio to join action against gun violence.

Twelve people died in a cinema showing The Dark Knight Rises in Colorado. They included Jessica Ghawi, 24, whose mother Sandy Phillips told BBC News she was horrified by the Joker trailers. Speaking to BBC News, Phillips said:

When I first saw the trailers of the movie, I was absolutely horrified. And then when I dug a little deeper and found out that it had such unnecessary violence in the movie, it just chilled me to my bones. It just makes me angry that a major motion picture company isn't taking responsibility and doesn't have the concern of the public at all.

A letter from the 3 families asked the studio to lobby for gun reform, help fund survivor funds and gun violence intervention schemes, and end political contributions to candidates who take money from the National Rifle Association.

Warner Bros responded that the latest film Joker was not an endorsement of real-world violence and said that the studio has a long history of donating to victims of violence, including the 2012 cinema shooting in Aurora, Colorado.  It added:

Make no mistake: neither the fictional character Joker, nor the film, is an endorsement of real-world violence of any kind. It is not the intention of the film, the filmmakers or the studio to hold this character up as a hero.


22nd July

Comment: Press Crusaders vs Caped Crusaders...

Supporting the hype for The Dark Knight

A clearly deranged suspect sits apparently alone in a dimly lit interrogation room. Suddenly, a menacing figure looms out of the shadows and proceeds to rain powerful, thudding blows on the suspect, reducing him to a cowering, whimpering wreck.

Doesn't sound like family entertainment, does it? But, from Friday, anyone will be able to watch these scenes - and many others like them - in the latest Batman movie. Its 12A certificate means that even the tiniest tot will not be refused entry to the cinema, as long as he or she has an adult in tow.

The Dark Knight may well be judged the best of this summer's blockbusters. It's a thrilling action movie laced with psychological subtleties, its haunting crepuscular images underpinned by an edgy, nerve-jangling score. And at its heart is a spine-tinglingly incandescent performance from Heath Ledger as Batman's crazed arch-nemesis the Joker.Without doubt, this is a major cinematic achievement. And, without doubt, it's not for kids.


The Dark Knight tells the story of Batman's continuing war on crime and in particular his personal battle with the psychotic Joker. It was passed ‘12A' for moderate violence and sustained threat.

The BBFC Guidelines at ‘12A' state that ‘violence must not dwell on detail' and that ‘there should be no emphasis on injuries or blood' and whilst The Dark Knight does contain a good deal of violence, all of it fits within that definition. For example, in one of the stronger scenes, Batman repeatedly beats the Joker during an interrogation. The blows however are all masked from the camera and despite both their weight and force; the Joker shows no sign of injury. There are also scenes in which the Joker threatens first a man and then a woman with a knife and whilst these do have a significant degree of menace, without any actual violence shown they were also acceptably placed at ‘12A'. In the final analysis, The Dark Knight is a superhero movie and the violence it contains exists within that context, with both Batman and the Joker apparently indestructible no matter what is thrown at them.

The Dark Knight also contains some special make up effects that whilst clearly not real, have the potential to be moderately frightening.


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