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Rated R for strong publicity...

US film censor reject appeal for a lower rating for Michael Moore's documentary, Where to Invade Next

Link Here5th December 2015
Michael Moore has lost his appeal to overturn the R rating for his documentary Where to Invade Next.

The appeals board of the Classification & Ratings Administration made its ruling following a hearing that was attended by Moore.

Where to Invade Next was assigned the R rating for language (more than one use of the F-word), some violent images, drug use and brief graphic nudity (topless women). The film, a travelogue, explores how other countries deal with social and economic issues in comparison with the U.S.



Parents find US film ratings to be fucking useful...

Although the majority find that the one use of the word 'fuck' allowed in a PG-13 film is one too many

Link Here 5th December 2015
Joan Graves, Chairman of the Classification and Rating Administration (a department  of the MPAA) writes in a blog post:

As Chairman of the Classification and Rating Administration (CARA), which administers the rating system, I was heartened to learn from a new Nielsen survey, commissioned by CARA, that the overwhelming majority of American parents are familiar with the rating system and find it helpful.

In fact, 80% of parents agree that the rating system is accurate in its classification of movies. While they might not be as familiar with the rating descriptors that accompany the ratings, parents find them just as helpful, and even slightly more accurate in reflecting the content of a movie.

CARA commissioned this Nielsen survey of 1,488 parents of children between 7 and 16 as part of our ongoing efforts to ensure we are being consistent and credible in reflecting the concerns of parents across the country when we determine film ratings. The survey found that 99% of the parents were extremely, very or somewhat familiar with the rating system and 96% were in a similar overall range with regard to rating descriptors. Additionally, 93% said both the ratings and accompanying descriptors were helpful tools with 79% saying the ratings were accurate.

Specifically in relation to movies parents would allow their children to see, the survey found that sexual content was the top concern among parents (80%), followed by full male nudity (71%), use of hard drugs (70%), full female nudity (70%), graphic violence (64%) and use of the F-word (62%). The survey also showed that 53% of the parents believe the F-word appeared in PG-13 ratings too frequently, and only 26% felt that PG-13 would be an appropriate rating for a movie containing an F-word. While other words, which are commonly considered profane, were included in the survey, none reached the same level of concern among parents.

The results of the survey reinforce much of what we at CARA have known for a long time. Every year since the inception of the rating system, we have commissioned ORC International, a leading market research company, to conduct surveys to determine the awareness and perceived usefulness of the rating system to parents. These surveys consistently show that the majority of parents are not only aware of our rating system and our descriptors, but that most find them useful in deciding what movies are appropriate for their children. The most recent study found that 75% of those surveyed said the ratings are very or fairly useful. An even larger number, 85% found the descriptors that accompany the ratings to be very or fairly useful.



Offsite Article: Box Office Suicide Squad...

Link Here17th November 2015
Writer for the movie news website Collider proposes a 14 rating for the US

See article from



Where to Invade Next?...

US film censorship doesn't have much to offer Michael Moore for his latest documentary

Link Here4th November 2015
Where to Invade Next is a 2015 USA documentary by Michael Moore.
Starring Krista Kiuru, Michael Moore and Tim Walker. Youtube link IMDb

To learn what the USA can gain from other nations, Michael Moore playfully "invades" them to see what they have to offer.

Michael Moore is non to impressed by the MPAA R rating given to his latest documentary. Moore spoke of the R rating to Variety:

Moore listed the parts of the film that prompted the MPAA's ruling. The violence in the picture includes footage of law enforcement officers beating Eric Garner, a Staten Island man whose death last year helped spark a wider debate about police brutality.

The drug use is related to a section in the film on Portugal's decision to decriminalize narcotics -- a move that some suggest has led to a reduction in substance abuse.

The language stems from the use of 'fuck' by Icelandic citizens protesting the 2009 collapse of their banks.

And the nudity is a fleeting image of a naked man. That's from a vignette that shows how some Europeans are able to enjoy three weeks at a spa to treat stress thanks to government-backed healthcare.

Moore said he will not edit the film, and has appealed to have the rating lowered to a PG-13.



Extract: More Destructive Weaponry...

The Hobbit: Battle Of The Five Armies. The Extended Cut Again Displays The Uselessness Of The MPAA. By Eric Eisenberg

Link Here15th October 2015

I had the opportunity to see The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Extended Edition during the special Fathom Events screening that was held nationwide last night, and while I can honestly say that I enjoyed the experience, it also left me scratching my head.

With a running time of 164 minutes, the movie is 20 minutes longer than its theatrical predecessor, and as you might have guessed considering the original cut is 75% war scene, much of the additional footage is battle-related. This includes dwarves charging into battles against orcs, wargs, and various other kinds of monsters with all kinds of weapons, including a ram-driven sled featuring scythe-covered wheels and a crank-operated arrow launcher.

As enemies are taken down, small splashes of black blood occasionally appear, and I'll admit that some of the deaths do rank on the gnarly scale, but the idea that it actually crosses any kind of line from PG-13 to R is entirely ridiculous. The change truly suggests that the line between ratings is so thin that it might as well not even bother existing, and paints a perfect picture of the entire methodology's arbitrary nature.

...Read the full article from



Offsite Article: In the lap of the MPAA...

Link Here27th September 2015
Paul Verhoeven speaks of the censorship pressures on Showgirls and Basic Instinct

See article from



Shopping: The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies - Extended Edition...

Peter Jackson fantasy set for UK DVD and Blu-ray release on 16th November 2015. The Extended Version has just been given an R rating in the US compared with the Theatrical PG-13.

Link Here 6th August 2015
The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies - Extended Edition is a 2014 New Zealand / USA fantasy adventure by Peter Jackson.
Starring Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman and Richard Armitage. Youtube link BBFC link IMDb

UK: BBFC details not yet published for:

  • 2015 Whv [3D + 2D] RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 16th November 2015
  • 2015 Whv [2D] RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 16th November 2015
  • 2015 Whv R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 16th November 2015

Exists as a Theatrical Version and an extended version.

BBFC details are not yet published but in the US the Extended Version has a high MPAA R rating for some violence, compared with the Theatrical PG-13 rating for extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence, and frightening images.

Promotional Material

Extended version of the last of three epic instalments in director Peter Jackson's prequel to 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy. Set in Middle-Earth 60 years before events in 'The Lord of the Rings', the story follows the adventures of Hobbit Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), who, at the instigation of the wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen), suddenly finds himself co-opted into joining a company of 13 Dwarves led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) to help reclaim the lost kingdom of the Lonely Mountain from the clutches of Smaug the dragon (voice of Benedict Cumberbatch). In this film, Bilbo, Thorin and the other Dwarves have unintentionally released Smaug from the Lonely Mountain and endangered the residents of Lake-town. Bilbo has to make a difficult decision when Thorin puts his desire to find the royal jewel Arkenstone before his loyalty to his friends. Meanwhile, Gandalf discovers that the evil Sauron has returned, commanding a horde of Orcs to attack the Lonely Mountain. Bilbo and his friends must fight for their survival as five armies meet in battle. The rest of the cast includes Luke Evans, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly and Christopher Lee.



The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet...

Passed PG in the US so presumably has been cut for strong language

Link Here3rd June 2015
The Young & Prodigious T.S. Spivet is a 2013 France / Canada family adventure drama by Jean-Pierre Jeunet.
Starring Helena Bonham Carter, Robert Maillet and Judy Davis. Youtube link BBFC link IMDb

A presumably cut version was rated PG for thematic elements, language and some reckless behavior.

Thanks to Pooch who comments about the cuts to the UK 12/12A rated release

Towards the end of the film, the titular character does a TV interview, whilst being manipulated by the lady who runs the Smithsonian Institute. In the original film, after the interview spectacularly fails, she calls Spivet You motherfucker , albeit at a distance, and from behind her, so you can't see her face/mouth!

In the UK version, motherfucker has been dubbed quite well by the same actress, or at least someone who sounds very similar, with the immortal You melon-farmer!

If it weren't for this, and two uses of the word fuck , which were all completely unnecessary and totally jarring, this would have been a PG-rated film, ideal for youngsters and families.

So it certainly sure that the film has been cut for a US PG rating, maybe even adopting the UK version.

Summary Notes

A 10-year-old cartographer secretly leaves his family's ranch in Montana where he lives with his cowboy father and scientist mother and travels across the country on board a freight train to receive an award at the Smithsonian Institute.




MPAA rating reduced from R to PG-13 on appeal

Link Here6th May 2015
Manglehorn is a 2014 USA drama by David Gordon Green.
Starring Al Pacino, Holly Hunter and Chris Messina. Youtube link IMDb

A strange and lonely man tries to come to terms with a past crime that cost him the love of his life.

Originally rated R for some sexual material. The studio appealed to the CARA appeals board, and without cuts being required, the rating was reduced to PG-13 for some sexual content and language, and for accident and surgery images.




Cut in the US for an MPAA PG-13 rating

Link Here18th March 2015
Mortdecai is a 2015 USA action comedy by David Koepp.
Starring Johnny Depp, Olivia Munn and Ewan McGregor. Youtube link BBFC link IMDb

Juggling some angry Russians, the British Mi5, his impossibly leggy wife and an international terrorist, debonair art dealer and part time rogue Charlie Mortdecai must traverse the globe armed only with his good looks and special charm in a race to recover a stolen painting rumored to contain the code to a lost bank account filled with Nazi gold.

An uncut version was originally MPAA rated R for some language and sexual material. A couple of months later the film was re-rated PG-13 for sexuality including references and innuendo, action/violence and brief strong language.

The MPAA commented that the PG-13 rated version was an edited version with content different from the R rated version.



Offsite Article: The 4 Quadrants...

Link Here9th March 2015
A few facts and figures about US film ratings from the MPAA

See article from



Not a lot...

Hollywood Reporter researches the rules for the depiction of sex in the 17+ R rating

Link Here18th February 2015

The MPAA R rating is by definition suitable for at least older children, so unsurprisingly, there are severe restrictions on the depiction of sex. The Hollywood Reporter has been trying to define some of those restrictions.

The R rating can have about 3 or 4 seconds of a scene where it is implied that sex is taking place, and even then the participants must be mostly clothed. The Hollywood Reports writes:

The difference between an R rating and an NC-17 often hinges on the amount of in-and-out action, according to those familiar with the ratings process. Three or four seconds you can get away with, says one source. Linger on it for 30 or 40 seconds, and you're in NC-17 territory. And if a couple is completely naked, forget about it (think of all those half-clad lovers you've seen on the big screen).

And as for oral sex, it's all about how long the scene lasts and how completely the implied action is obscured, Harvey Weinstein successfully appealed the NC-17 given to Blue Valentine because of a scene in which Ryan Gosling's character performs oral sex on Michelle Williams'. A very vocal Gosling accused the MPAA of misogyny, saying there are countless R-rated movies in which a male character receives oral sex.

Nudity is also largely verboten. Showing genitalia full-on (his or hers) almost guarantees an NC-17, unless it's a fleeting glimpse, as with Sharon Stone's crotch shot in Basic Instinct or Ben Affleck's shower-entry scene in Gone Girl . Female breasts are R-friendly, of course, one recent example being Oscar-nominated Reese Witherspoon in Wild .

Sex within a monogamous relationship is much preferred by the moralist censors. casual sex acts are judged more harshly by the MPAA, according to insiders who have been through the process. In other words, the ratings board looks more kindly on a sex scene when the characters are in a marriage or serious relationship. (Same-sex interactions also get more scrutiny than heterosexual encounters.)



Offsite Article: US film censor rocked by Sony...

Link Here6th February 2015
Sony are unhappy about the support it received from the MPAA during the 'North Korean' hacking incident

See article from



Rated R for repressive...

MPAA bullies a small brewery selling beer named Rated R

Link Here1st February 2015
612Brew has changed the name of its most popular beer, Rated R , after receiving a legal challenge from bullies of the Motion Picture Association of America .

The Northeast Minneapolis craft brewer got a cease-and-desist letter from the MPAA shortly after it filed to trademark the names of its signature beers a few months ago,

MPAA spokesbully Kate Bedingfield confirmed the film studio organization sent 612Brew such a letter.

612Brew co-founder Robert Kasak said the dispute centered on the word rated , which the MPAA trademarked as a part of its film-rating brand:

[Our beer] could have been PG, PG-13 or R, Kasak said. It didn't matter. As long as it contained the word 'rated' it would still get flagged.

The brewery argued that the two businesses were in completely different industries, to no avail. Ultimately, 612Brew decided to rename the beer Unrated , which is surprisingly not trademarked. The change was effective Jan. 1.

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