Bully for The Lorax & The Killing of John Carter

Well The Lorax killed John Carter at the box office over the weekend. The Lorax is now the highest grossing film of 2012. I’m sorry to see John Carter perform so poorly but the advertising has not made it look very good. I guess I’ll find out later today when I go see it with my FREE ticket. Speaking of which, if you are going to see The Lorax, Wal-Mart has a selection of children’s films on DVD for $5 each with a $5 The Lorax movie cash sticker on them. $5 won’t even buy a matinee ticket these days but if you are going anyway then why not grab a free DVD.

The struggle to get a PG-13 rating for the documentary Bully continues. High school student Katy Butler has amassed over 275,000 signatures in favor of getting the MPAA rating overturned. The latest news is that this includes twenty members of congress. I understand the drive here and that the makers shouldn’t have to cut their film but honestly word is that we’re talking six F-bombs which would just mean partially bleeping five of them for the PG-13 rating the Weinsteins are coveting.

The Killing

“The disappearance of a young Seattle girl sets in motion this moody crime series centering on a detective — Sarah Linden — who’s trying to start a new life in California but is unable to walk away from the mysteries posed by the complex case.”

The Killing just became available on instant Netflix (assuming they don’t yank it again like they did with Magnum and Miami Vice). I haven’t seen it but I absolutely adore AMC’s The Walking Dead (one episode left in the season) and have found AMC’s other series, Mad Men and Breaking Bad to be wonderfully written and acted. I will warn you though that while many people enjoyed the series, the ending sparked a bit of outrage so watch at your own risk.

PG-13 – This Time It’s Personal

After the last two posts about filmmakers trouble with the MPAA, my beefs seem quite specious. Being rated NC-17 or being unrated amount to essentially the same thing: Wal-Mart won’t sell your DVDs, Blockbuster won’t rent out your DVDs (unless you allow them to censor your film), major chains won’t carry your film, major TV stations won’t allow you to advertise, ad nauseum. Basically you are dead in the water. The MPAA telling a filmmaker that they can go ahead and release a film without a rating is like telling someone they can run as an independent. Good luck with that! (Yes I know some independent candidates succeed but they are a very lonely exception).

By the way, Bully just recently received a PG rating in Canada.

PG-13, oh how I loathe you! I was already an adult when Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Gremlins caused an uproar by being rated PG in spite of gore, torture, assault by bugs, having your heart graphically ripped out of your chest, the dangers of blenders and the death of Santa Claus. Being an adult and not yet a parent I didn’t really care about ratings. If I had been a teenager, the PG-13 rating would have been an awesome boon allowing me to see more adult material.

Sadly the horror genre, the last solid ‘R’ holdout, has mostly become a factory of anemic PG-13 releases. This is largely due to demographic studies showing that the target audience for horror movies is the 14-24 demographic. I say factory because many appear to be done on an assembly line, slapped with a PG-13 sticker and sent out into the world. As if this weren’t crass enough, the studios then slap about 15 seconds of gore (some even less) onto the eventual DVD release so that they can label it ‘unrated’ as though this were edgy and hip.

It isn’t that I need my horror to be R-rated. I just like the movie to be the director’s vision and not some carefully managed ‘product’ that has x amount of blood, one F-bomb, light sexual content with no nudity and a cast consisting of the brainless hottie, the nasty jock, the annoying comic relief, the nerd, and the final girl.


Oh but one postmark: Apparently because of Chuck Norris’ involvement in The Expendables 2, it will be rated PG-13. Chuck insisted as part of his contract so that kids could go see it.