MPAA rating system challenged by bullying documentary

Discussion in 'The Entertainment Board' started by defunctzombie, Mar 27, 2012.

  1. defunctzombie

    defunctzombie Cutie Pie

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    http://news.yahoo.com/weinstein-co-release-bully-without-rating-230905441.html

    Long story short, this film, Bully, is about bullying in schools, and the MPAA rated it R for a few F words. The film is aimed at high school children (who we KNOW hear these words all the time), and giving it an R rating effectively blocks the core audience from seeing it. When the rating appeal failed, the Weinstein co decided to send it out unrated.

    What does that mean? Well a lot of theater chains have contracts that mandate all their movies be MPAA rated, and many of them treat an unrated movie as the dreaded NC-17, the same rating given to pornography. Though there have been exceptions to the MPAA's strict rules (a war film for instance got off with a PG-13, despite being graphically violent and much worse than Bully), Bully's rating appeal was denied.

    So what do you guys think? Should documentaries like this be given more lenient ratings, or is the MPAA doing things correctly?

    I've always disliked the MPAA's system, even before I saw This Film Is Not Yet Rated. Things are so broken. Big name directors get leniency, while start-ups get slammed.
     
  2. Dr. Daedalus

    Dr. Daedalus I presume.

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    The MPAA was definitely wrong to initially give Bully an R rating. The ratings system needs to be re-worked; it's not the first time a film that's perfect for a teenage audience was given an R rating for arbitrary reasons like a few stronger curse words. Teens have all heard these words, and use them on a consistent basis. It's asinine.
     
  3. Michael24

    Michael24 Moderator

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    As if an R rating will stop the target audience from seeing it anyway. :rolleyes2:

    While it's a shame theaters are so reluctant to show unrated movies, everybody knows that more than one F-word is usually going to get your film an R rating, so Weinstein and Co. should have planned accordingly. Sure, kids hear such words in high school, but the MPAA's job is to view a movie and give it a rating, and that's what they did. I've never had a problem with the MPAA. No doubt they have a very difficult job, but I think they get an unfair amount of flack.
     
  4. defunctzombie

    defunctzombie Cutie Pie

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    But can we really expect in such a world as we have now that children from 13 to 17 aren't going to hear such talk? As horrible as it sounds, I knew all my naughty words by 2nd grade. I'm not out killing people because I saw Interview With The Vampire when I was seven. Far worse things in movies get a pass (Memoirs of a Geisha was the example This Film Is Not Yet Rated used), so I think a few dirty words shouldn't make this film R.
     
  5. Shawn Hopkins

    Shawn Hopkins TZ Member of the Year 2013

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    You should watch "This Film is Not Yet Rated." It gives a good insight into how arbitrary and strange the process is.
     
  6. Butterstar

    Butterstar Bring Sakura back to the US!

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    The MPAA usually goes like this, "Oh, drugs, sex, and violence. PG-13. That's an easy one. LANGUAGE?! NC-17!"
     
  7. Tobias

    Tobias Who you gonna call?

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    The MPAA's ratings make very little sense. Back in the 80's, the ratings were a lot looser and made much more sense because kids were allowed to handle a LOT more than given credit for. If released today, movies like Spaceballs and Beetlejuice would PG-13 ratings long before either one reached the 'f' word.
     
  8. Swordfish_II

    Swordfish_II New Member

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    I think even if the MPAA revamped their ratings to something like the UK that have multiple restricted ratings, it still wouldn't get rid of the stigma of anything that's rated Adult Only. Though it is strange that stores like Wal Mart will have a de facto ban on anything rated NC-17, yet sell "unrated" versions of every movie that comes out.
     
  9. Monterey Jack

    Monterey Jack New Member

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    It's positively absurd that a handful of F-Bombs earned the otherwise-tame The King's Speech an R rating, yet this past weekend's The Hunger Games, filled with fairly graphic violence portraying children murdering each other, gets by with a PG-13. :sad: Honestly, I'd rather let a kid hear some sporadic harsh language than let them see characters getting cut in half by machine gun fire.

    It all boils down to who can afford to "buy" the MPAA. Lionsgate knew than an R-rating for The Hunger Games would make a big dent in the opening weekend take, so they no doubt nickle & dimed the ratings board and resorted to shakey-cam cinematography in order to get the rating they needed to lure in a teenage audience.
     
  10. The ShopSoldier

    The ShopSoldier Wandering about in both ANGER & DISGRACE

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    In a much more intelligent nation than the US, this alone would lead to the fall of such an asinine system.

    Where is the public and moral outrage toward all of this, especially toward that of the MPAA?! Unless this movie miraculously makes big money, it won't come out on DVD and may have to be found by ill-legitimate means that only as well as completely DE-value a product worth actually paying for, if only to support a positive/cautionary, but effective message spreading where it needs to in an age where everyone - not just schoolchildren, are being bullied in one way or another!

    This movie could've been the key to deal with bullying in schools - it's going to bomb because the target audience has been barred from it - this is ignorance toward an IRL issue that is destroying and crippling America and its people beyond repair!

    Than again, this is the same asinine group that allowed an extremely racist-infested movie like The Last Aribender to get made, because they were clearly bribed.

    This is just one more reason to call out and put in their place (the ground) failing systems like the MPAA, people! The Rich/Corporates are BULLYING US and those of us who have kids who are victims of this unacceptable disease on our society that is bullying into supporting their garbage they call entertainment, instead of something that needs to be seen like Bully! This is the cold hard truth!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 28, 2012
  11. Light Lucario

    Light Lucario Moderator

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    This does seem like a pretty odd choice for a rating. All of these kids in the target audience that they're going for in this documentary have heard this kind of language plenty of times. It's unfortunately true and trying to protect them from hearing that in a documentary sounds ridiculous to me. A few swear words alone should not make a movie like this an R-rated movie. It would just make it more difficult for some people to see this documentary.
     
  12. CyclonatorZ

    CyclonatorZ New Member

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    I don't buy this. Transformers 3 had two F bombs, lots of S words, and tons of other language, but still got a PG-13. I think Monterery Jack's post is probably a lot closer to the truth - this is ultimately about how powerful the company behind the movie is, and how much they are willing to spend to get their preferred rating.

    That's not to say I don't think we need a rating system at all. The problem is that the MPAA is so inconsistent that its ratings often confuse more than they inform. There definitely needs to be a serious overhaul of the entire system, done by people not directly connected to Hollywood.
     
  13. Shawn Hopkins

    Shawn Hopkins TZ Member of the Year 2013

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    One F-Word is usually all you get to stay PG-13. That's right, a thoughful bullying documentary will be judged dirtier than Transformers 3 because it has one more F-Word. By the way, they can decide to go PG-13 for a film with more bad language by a special vote, so that apparently means they had a special vote for Transformers 3 that passed and either refused a vote or a vote failed for this documentary.
     
  14. Acidonia

    Acidonia Master of Monsters

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    Film ratings are confusing lots in uk from 80s and early 90s once out on dvd got re rated with lower ratings eg Gremlins 2 was Originaly rated 15 but is now rated 12.Though UK dvd ratings can be higher than the movie iself due to the extras eg Hitchikers guide to the Galaxy tv series is rated PG but the dvd is 15 the movie version was also PG but the Dvd is 12.

    It always confused me how the movie watershop down is rated U though when the much tamer less violent tv series from the 90's was rated PG.

    Game ratings are just as confusing though PEGI rated Street of Rage 2 on wii Virtual Console 7+ the 360 port of the exact same game is 12+. Sonic Rush adventure on DS first print runs PEGI rated 12+ for every mild language but the reprint of the game was re rated 3+ the opossite happened with Rabbids go home on Wii it started out 7+ then later more common printed cover re rated it 12+ for mild language.:confused:
     
  15. CyclonatorZ

    CyclonatorZ New Member

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    I'm not suprised in the least. Michael Bay's latest disaster would have been sunk if it had an R rating, and we couldn't have that happen, could we? But a movie whose entire purpose is to shed light on a major cultural disaster... well, that's not a big deal, nobody goes to the movies to be preached at anyway.

    :shrug:
     
  16. spartanx54

    spartanx54 New Member

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    Bully should be PG-13. Kids really need to see the tragic effects of Bullying. I've been through the [craphole] that is middle school, while I got a little bit bullied, We've seen a lot of kids bullied to death, literally.

    Mod Note: Watch the language. Post Edited
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 30, 2012
  17. TheVileOne

    TheVileOne Peace Loving Shinobi

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    LIke the Nielsen ratings system, I believe the MPAA system is a broken system. But it's up to Hollywood to come up with something better which they continually refuse to do.

    Marvel Comics got sick of the comics code authority so they dumped it and just started rating their own comics for various age groups.
     
  18. Sketch

    Sketch not like those other old guys

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    This movie will miss it's audience with an R rated or unrated showing. Could they censor the language and pass for PG-13? They shouldn't have to for a documentary but maybe that would be enough.
     
  19. The ShopSoldier

    The ShopSoldier Wandering about in both ANGER & DISGRACE

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    Let me just say - that's the kind of initiative we need to see here - a proper challenging of a broken system, like your example - if only so in the future, movies like Bully actually reach a proper audience, like they need and deserve to!

    I'm being heavy-handed on this statement, I know. This be so, as bullying is a detriment to our society (ANY society) and is only encouraging that education of any kind in the US, well... not exist... Unless massive reforms and proper combat against this crippling issue are made.

    THIS would have been a step in the right direction, even if it meant being preached to a little - sad that that be there, but it is truth. Unfortunately, that's my stance on it and I'm sorry if others may not completely agree with me.
     
  20. defunctzombie

    defunctzombie Cutie Pie

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    That would undermine the entire premise of the movie. These kids swear at others and bully them. In real life. Unless we get an FCC takeover like in Family Guy, they're going to keep hearing it.
     

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