This month, the Rogues take issue with Hollywood cranking out watered down, PG-13 versions of films in theaters and getting people to pay to see that hacked up waste of money while at the same time preparing an unrated, unedited edition for release on DVD.
This is a subject that I feel very strongly about. The price of going to the movies has skyrocketed while the quality of the films has dropped dramatically! The last two movies I have paid full price for have been absolute stinkers! I won’t bother to name them here, but let’s just say, I would’ve been much happier waiting for the DVD release, where I would have gotten the same movie for less money and then I would’ve also had all the DVD extras! In the old days (I say that as if I’m some sort of geezer), I was at the theatre every weekend! It didn’t matter how bad the movie might be, because often it would be part of a double feature or, at least it didn’t cost more than $5! But, the old days are gone, and movies can cost anywhere from $6 to $10 dollars, plus add the cost of paying for two (if you’re a guy), then buy yourself a drink or, God forbid, candy, and you’re going to end up spending $30 or $40 dollars for a movie! Or you can wait two or three months, sometimes less, sometimes more, and pay only $3 for a movie rental and the snacks are at home, so the cost of those are minimal and the savings is significant! Plus add the fact that not only do I get the movie for a lesser price, but I get all the deleted scenes, the extra features that I don’t get in the theatre, and why would I even think about going to the theatre to see ANY movie?? Well, the only reason I can think of, is when it’s a huge extravaganza, like Star Wars, where the bigger screen is going to add something to the movie viewing experience, other than that, I can’t think of one other reason for me to pay four or five times as much to see a third less! Now, I’ll get off my soapbox and get back to being a normal crotchety old man!
Does an unedited version of a movie automatically trump a PG-13 version? If you’ve seen a movie and possibly got the DVD of it, are you going to actually spend more money on the same movie knowing an unedited version is a few months down the line? Movie companies are just trying to get us to equate unedited with better and more graphic so more cash will be forked over for the DVD. Really, the thought of an unedited movie has more of a chance of creating a smaller box office take for a movie. Why do so many movie trailers have the "this film is not rated" icon? So we assume it’ll be R. However, it always turns out to be PG-13 just like Ultraviolet and the Chronicles of Riddick.
Sometimes, people want to get out of the house and see a movie. I’m sure that is blasphemy to anyone with a home theater and is determined to become such an introvert they never leave their house. The unrated versions of PG-13 movies have just started to pick up steam in the past few years that DVDs have gained mass popularity. Still, the question is seeing the movie in PG-13 form on the big screen or unedited on the small screen is the main topic.
Duane L. Martin:
Frankly, I believe that this practice constitutes fraud on the part of the movie industry. They entice people to come see the movies in the theaters while never telling anyone that if they just wait a few months they can have the full, unedited, unrated edition on DVD. So they’re knowingly taking money from you for delivering an inferior product. I think a huge part of this is the fault of the MPAA and their corrupt, unnecessary and outdated ratings commission. If the PG-13 rating didn’t exist, this practice wouldn’t be occuring at all. Films would either have to be sissified or hardcore and go one way or the other in the theaters, and then whatever they did, that’s what you’d get on DVD. The PG-13 rating changed all that, because by cutting out bits here and there, the movie companies believe that can make more money at the theaters by getting the early teen crowds in to see the movie. Maybe it does, but how many adults are they losing because people are fed up with horror movies being watered down to PG-13? There have been some horror movies lately that have come out with an R rating, but they’re pretty few and far between. At least when you go see an R rated movie, you know you’re going to get your money’s worth. I think they should have to announce from the get go whether there’s going to be an uncut release of the movies on DVD so people can decide for themselves whether they want to go see it at the theater or wait for the DVD to come out. When that information is kept from people, as I said before and as far as I’m concerned, that constitutes fraud on the part of the movie industry. We already ranted about companies that double-dip, releasing a normal version of a movie on DVD and then months later release an unrated version. This is exactly the same thing they’re doing to people with these PG-13 movies in theaters. It’s a dirty practice that needs to stop.
The decision to release both a standard and unrated edition of a film reeks of two similarly pathetic ideals: Cowardice and greed. To release a film with newly added scenes deemed too hot or horrifying for theaters is an admittance of censorship on the part of the studio. At some point someone thought a director’s footage might get them in hot water, and so they feebly watered down the film to earn a PG-13 rating from the all-mighty ratings board. However, come time for the DVD, greed takes over and not one but two editions are presented to the market, as the studio is now free of responsibility. They can’t get in trouble for releasing scandalous material, as they are offering a tamer choice for a more sensitive audience. In other words: No lawsuits.
I find the idea of an unrated DVD not only annoying but bizarrely intimidating. The covers of these supposedly better releases are horribly ugly, pushing the original poster designs out of the way to make room for the word “Unrated,” which is usually printed in a font two to three times bigger than the actual movie title. Doesn’t anyone else think this kind of in-your-face attitude is extremely immature? I can’t imagine adults actually being sucked in by this marketing ploy. Teenagers and younger kids, yes, as they want to be seen as “cool” or some such thing, but adults shouldn’t care. Sadly, they do, and they buy more DVDs then kids.
And if you do happen to buy the regular edition of a film, you will ultimately be seen as boring by the people you thought you knew. “What? You bought this? Oh, were they out of the Unrated Edition? They weren’t? Then why…man, what’s wrong with you? That’s such a waste of money! The Unrated Edition of Dukes of Hazard has five more minutes of nipple action man!”
Sorry, but being a gay man who happens to be a lover of film, you’re not going to sell me on extended nudity scenes. Similarly, if your film is a part of the horror genre, I won’t want to see more gore either. If I like the original movie just fine, then trust my instincts and don’t try to distract me with filler. “Unrated” footage is nothing more than some higher-up’s fancy term for “deleted scenes,” and like most DVD extras, they don’t make me blink twice.
This is one thing that always ticks me off! I’ve lost count on how many times a movie has been released in a tame PG-13 cut (the latest example of this is Doom) in theaters, and then released uncut on DVD. This marketing strategy is highly annoying and I for one think they should do away with it. Either release the film in theaters in its purest form (just go for an R-rating folks!) or, better yet, when the film hits DVD, release a two disc set that includes the theatrical version and the Director’s/Unrated/Uncensored/Version You’ve Never Seen cut. They used this tactic with the second DVD release of Sin City which in my opinion is a genius idea! Sure it’s great when they add deleted footage back into a film to fill in a few minor plot gaps or (in the case of horror films), ramp up the repulsion, but sometimes these Unrated/Director’s cuts just aren’t as good as the original theatrical cut. (e.g. The Guyver and Alien.) Having both versions of the film on DVD, in the same package, allows people to enjoy the version of the film that they prefer and also allows them to see what the director’s original vision may have been before the film was edited for theatrical release. If they start churning out DVDs with both versions of the film contained on one or two discs, I for one will be more than appeased. Think it over Hollywood.
So, I wonder if I’m even an accurate person to be asking about PG-13 films and the craptastic plot by the Hollywood elite to sucker us out of money in their ploy to censor all the tastey bits – since really, lord knows I rarely even watch PG-13 flicks. Heck, I barely get out enough these days to check out the decent R rated flicks. The horror scene, as in those sent to the cinemas, is utter crap right now anyway. I mean, essentially horror movies these days are simply just action movies where the lead dude fights a ghost. Literally, you give Scooby Doo a machine gun and he’s our latest Scream Queen (that dog AIN’T a dude! With his eating habits, I’ve always assumed a pregnant bit… ahh, nevermind). So, what business do I have even talking about the recent crappy wonders of the Hollywood majority? I’ll tell you what business, this is the internet and thus my opinion is superior to everyone elses. Well it isn’t, but if I can get a chance to gripe – I reckon I’m going to take it. In this day and age, we’ve lost our guts it seems. We’ve lost our guts to release films that are challenging or difficult – even with these extended cuts hitting the videostores; rarely do you find a flick that is truly a major change from it’s theatrical counterpart. I’d say Jason Goes to Hell is a definite minority when it comes to these little director’s cuts that come out nowadays – but that flick was released ten years ago before American Pie: Super Pie-Screwing Edition and Aliens Vs. Predator: Wilin’ Out In Space – Extra Boobs Edition. Hollywood simply put needs an enema. An acid enema. I’m talking to you the people, tear down the walls of stupidity that hold us back. We must rise forth with a clenched fist and destroy the system! Or just quit buying retarded Special Editions that just aren’t worth it in the first place since they should have been in the theaters off the bat. Something like that.