Michael Moore's
June 14, 2004 6:18 PM   Subscribe

AP reports that Michael Moore's upcoming film "Fahrenheit 9/11" was given an 'R' rating today by the MPAA. The same MPAA that says violence is much more acceptable than sex. The same MPAA that has close ties to the FCC, running roughshod over First Ammendment freedoms. The same MPAA headed by Jack Valenti who played himself in Freakazoid! a cooky cartoon about superheroes that save Washington D.C. Email him if you disagree at jvalenti@mpaa.org or call the MPAA 818-995-6600 x396.
posted by heyadam (84 comments total)
 
...did i tell you folks the time I saw Mike assault a cheeseburger?
posted by clavdivs at 6:21 PM on June 14, 2004


Ha ha, he's fat.

Does anybody know what sort of graphic violence would be in the film that was not broadcast on television? Has he revealed that sort of thing?
posted by Hildago at 6:23 PM on June 14, 2004


I have no opinion on this film or on the rating of this film because like most people, I haven't seen it yet.
posted by mikeyb at 6:24 PM on June 14, 2004


For almost 3 long years he's lurked in silence (assumed)... then suddenly, tonight, he just cuts loose. How odd.
posted by Witty at 6:27 PM on June 14, 2004


I dunno:
"Scenes include a public beheading in Saudi Arabia, Iraqis being burned by napalm, and the grisly sight of an Iraqi man dumping a dead baby into a truckbed filled with corpses."—heyadam
I, personally, don't think that either sex or violence are particularly harmful for minors to view. But, you know, it is the traditional leftist position to oppose violence (but not sex) in film. The things mentioned above are pretty extreme. It seems to me to be a tad convenient to suddenly oppose an "R" rating for violence. Assuming that there are such stereotypical liberals that opposed violence in less than "R" rated films in the past but now oppose the "R" rating for Moore's film. To be fair, maybe there's no such beast. And to be fair, like you said, normally the ratings board is lenient about violence. But, um, read that quote above again. All things told, seems to me that the rating is in line with MPAA past practice, and probably in line with popular sentiment. If you were to ask me, I'd let anyone over the age of ten see pretty much anything. But that's just me.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 6:28 PM on June 14, 2004


Hey, you leave Freakazoid out of this! It has nothing to do with the FCC, or Michael Moore, or Jack Val...well, it has something to do with him, I guess. But not much!
posted by graventy at 6:29 PM on June 14, 2004


Coming from the UK, where serious adult films are given 18 certificates all the time, I wonder what the big deal is about. The film probably includes very graphic war footage, no? And under-17s can't vote Bush anyway.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 6:29 PM on June 14, 2004


(Oops: That was a weird and incorrect quote attribution. The quote is from the AP story heyadam links to.)
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 6:30 PM on June 14, 2004


Agreed, it seems a little odd to disagree with a rating based on a political opinion.

And it may be just me, but "running roughshod over First Ammendment freedoms"? How is the MPAA doing this? By rating Mike Moore's movie "R"? Where does it say in the constitution that blowhards that make anti-republican "documentaries" must receive less than an "R" rating?

Scenes include a public beheading in Saudi Arabia, Iraqis being burned by napalm, and the grisly sight of an Iraqi man dumping a dead baby into a truckbed filled with corpses.

R sounds about right to me anyways (you beat me to it EB). And don't worry, anyone under 18 can't vote anyways.

On preview, you're right witty, it is odd...
posted by loquax at 6:30 PM on June 14, 2004


I think movies featuring beheadings and dead babies and shit like that deserve to be rated R (at a minimum), but then I'm one of those weird people who thinks graphic violence is more inappropriate for children to see than bare tits are.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:33 PM on June 14, 2004


bam
posted by bob sarabia at 6:34 PM on June 14, 2004


Are horror movies that have all the same stuff in it usually rated R or PG-13?
posted by amberglow at 6:36 PM on June 14, 2004


bob: original
posted by bshort at 6:37 PM on June 14, 2004


clav,
your constant gallows humor re Moore's weight is getting a bit old (not to mention, when it comes to online nervous humor re other people's weight, I cannot avoid to think the joker himself must have something of a chip on his shoulder on the topic of body fat ratio, but whatever).
I'm sure it's a talk-radio audience pleaser, but I'm sure a well-read man as yourself can try to aim a little higher.

btw I understand how hard it is to try and smear with jingo shit a film very very few people have seen as of today. hence, lacking facts, unfunny fat jokes must be -- like patriotism -- something of a last refuge


and yes, Samuel Johnson had a bit of a weight problem, too. ha ha ha

posted by matteo at 6:38 PM on June 14, 2004


There would be a vast right wing conspiracy at work if the film got an NC-17. An R just means kids have to bring their parents. Or sneak in. An R isn't the end of the world since it helps filter out the young ones that would see the film just for the beheading stuff. An NC-17 means that most theaters in the US wouldn't touch the film with a 10ft pole.

Also, sending an email to Jack might not be a useful endeavor since I read somewhere he really didn't get that whole interweb thing. [although he knows file sharing is evil]
posted by birdherder at 6:43 PM on June 14, 2004


bob: original
thanks, i try. really though, an R rating for a movie featuring real world war violence. a government conspiracy!
posted by bob sarabia at 6:44 PM on June 14, 2004


Boy, I sure could go for a snowcone.
posted by ulotrichous at 6:47 PM on June 14, 2004


Wouldn't the difference between documentary violence (as in actual violence caught on film) and play violence (as in make believe violence) be a legitimate factor?

Having said that, I understand that some ideological combing is a factor when determining the rating of a film, such as gratuitous and degrading make believe violence for example, and though such things effect me emotionally I am aware that it isn't actually occuring (though it probably has and could in real life.) Whereas with a documentary...
posted by juiceCake at 6:51 PM on June 14, 2004


The gap between what would be acceptable to a 13yo (and their parents) and a 16-going-on17 yo, has got to be pretty big. Who at 15, or 16 wants to have to be taken to the movies by their mom anyway? You guys need a 15 rating.

BTW, it's not R for Retarded, is it? I'm kidding!
posted by Blue Stone at 6:53 PM on June 14, 2004


For almost 3 long years he's lurked in silence (assumed)... then suddenly, tonight, he just cuts loose. How odd.

Since when are people not allowed to lurk (or be occasional readers) for a few years and then for whatever reason decide one day to finally participate? It's not like he's some 17K+ member who with a brand new account who is going crazy batshit all over the threads. Not everyone feels the need to post compulsively... I read Mefi nearly every day, yet haven't made a comment since January.
posted by SenshiNeko at 6:55 PM on June 14, 2004


Witty's on a roll tonight.
posted by amberglow at 6:58 PM on June 14, 2004


I can't remember who said it, but someone once said "If a man cuts off a woman's breast, it's an R rating. If he kisses it, it's an X."
posted by Vidiot at 7:29 PM on June 14, 2004


Here's a trick kids: get two friends in your group to buy a ticket. They both go in, and one guy comes out with both stubs. That same friend of yours goes back out to the lobby, picks up another friend and brings him in with the spare stub and so on.

Not only will you get into a movie you aren't supposed to, you can show the assholes who run the theatre how you feel about being bombarded with all those still ads, PA ads, tv commercials, and then movie trailers before you can watch the film you (would have) paid to see. I figure the theatre's already paid for your admission with those ads anyway so the only problem is you don't have the right after this to bitch about all the ads they play before the movie.

Problem solved.
posted by Evstar at 7:36 PM on June 14, 2004


Scenes include a public beheading in Saudi Arabia, Iraqis being burned by napalm, and the grisly sight of an Iraqi man dumping a dead baby into a truckbed filled with corpses

Amazing how people are willing to do this to other people, but not look at pictures of it. How upsetting for the children! Well, do any of them consider the option of changing our foreign policy such that this shit isn't happening at all in the world they're leaving to these children? Or is censoring the pictures the only important thing, the lynchpin of "freedom?"

And before anyone says that what the Saudi regime does is not on the US's hands: yes it is.
posted by scarabic at 7:43 PM on June 14, 2004


It got an "R"???

Big deal. Something tells me this wasn't going to be a huge hit with the teenybopper set anyway.
posted by jonmc at 7:43 PM on June 14, 2004


'Saving Private Ryan' was a reenactment of one of the most crucial days in American history. I think every 13-year-old in the country ought to see it, even though it was rated R, to understand that the freedom you take for granted was paid for in blood."

Ha! Little has changed, Jack, except whose blood it is.
posted by scarabic at 7:45 PM on June 14, 2004


Actually, I think the 'R' rating might hurt it.

I first learned about Michael Moore when my high school American History teacher assigned each of us to go see "Roger & Me." It would be nice if teachers had that option with this film, too. Shit, if kids can handle Lord of the Flies and 1984, I think they can handle this.
posted by scarabic at 7:47 PM on June 14, 2004


Why is everybody talking about Moore, who is boring, and not Freakazoid, who is awesome?

"I'm not going down there, it's full of Poogas!"
posted by hughbot at 7:51 PM on June 14, 2004


More about the Freakazoid thing. This should've been in the FPP.

On preview: what hughbot said.
posted by britain at 7:54 PM on June 14, 2004


Hmm... The Passion of the Christ got an R too so I can't personally call foul on this. On the other hand little kids went to see PotC and I'm sure they won't see this. (It was a bit disturbing seeing a mom showing her kids the PotC picture book with sentences "Remember when they whipped poor Jesus?").
posted by substrate at 7:55 PM on June 14, 2004


Since when are people not allowed to lurk (or be occasional readers) for a few years and then for whatever reason decide one day to finally participate?

No one ever said anything of the sort. Settle down. I just found it to be a little strange is all. Lurk all you want. You haven't posted since January and decided to pipe up with that?

amberglow - Campaigning for support for your shit thread?

posted by Witty at 8:01 PM on June 14, 2004


Bam!
posted by boredomjockey at 8:09 PM on June 14, 2004


When I was fifteen or so, the Lord of the Flies movie came out. Since we were reading it in school at the time, I decided to go. My mother dropped me off at the theater...which wouldn't let me in because the movie was R-rated. I tried waving the book at the ticket guy, and trying to convince him that I could handle the ideas (after all, I was required to read the book), but no dice.
posted by Vidiot at 8:12 PM on June 14, 2004


Wouldn't the difference between documentary violence (as in actual violence caught on film) and play violence (as in make believe violence) be a legitimate factor?
I certainly agree this should be taken into account. In the public interest, documentaries of this nature should not have the same barriers to access as other films. Any 15 year old who wants to see a beheading already has and any 15 year old willing to pay to see documentaries should be encouraged to do so. I think its incredibly foolish to restrict access on the grounds that young people shouldn't be allowed to know what actually goes on in the world.

witty: campaigning for a bigger audience for your shit comments in both threads?
posted by Zetetics at 8:16 PM on June 14, 2004


In the public interest, documentaries of this nature should not have the same barriers to access as other films.

I disagree. Rated R is rated R. Just because you agree with the politics of the director doesn't mean that the rating system should be thrown out just so your voice can be heard by more people. Once the movie hits video, plenty of underage kids will be able to see it. If they're that interested, no one can stop them.

witty: campaigning for a bigger audience for your shit comments in both threads?
No sir.

posted by Witty at 8:24 PM on June 14, 2004


Does an R rating really keep kids out? It sure didn't when I was a kid and it doesn't seem to now. If they can't just waltz in without ID, perhaps they need one of these cards.
posted by caddis at 8:33 PM on June 14, 2004


Witty, you must be miserable.

You got your war and mass death and tax cuts. Let the people that disagree with you have their day in the sun for once. You know you owe it to 'em. It is only a movie after all. Not even close to the loot you toted home last year: war, mass death, tax cuts to name a few.

Consider yourself lucky and have some patience, we'll all be dead soon enough.
posted by crasspastor at 8:43 PM on June 14, 2004


If anything, the R rating will make kids want to see it more. And I'm certain they'll figure out a way to get in if they're interested. You gotta have faith in the kids, folks, no matter how bad their music sucks.
posted by spilon at 8:54 PM on June 14, 2004


This isn't at all surprising. Stand By Me was given an R in the USA.
posted by dobbs at 8:58 PM on June 14, 2004


Just because you agree with the politics of the director

Oh, shut up Witty. You can't quote one point in italics and then argue against an entirely different one.

The point you quoted is: documentary versus dramatic violence. Entertainment film versus film journalism. This is a question of how the content is framed, whether its veracity and purpose should bear on its life in the film distribution channel, and whether the film rating system should be applied to journalism.

And you blather on about people agreeing with the filmmaker's politics. You call that a rebuttal? Get a clue before you hit the keyboard again. And stop typing with your armpits.
posted by scarabic at 9:28 PM on June 14, 2004



posted by quonsar at 9:28 PM on June 14, 2004


pwn3d
posted by Pretty_Generic at 9:35 PM on June 14, 2004


No YOU shut up... knucklehead.

I'm sorry. Y'all are right. Mr. Moore's movies should be given special privilege and be rated with whatever you want. Don't kid yourself scarabic... his movies are very much indeed entertainment. If it's film journalism then I suspect that I won't be able to see it at my local multiplex? I very much doubt it.

And if "agreeing with the politics of the director" have nothing to do with your opinion on this topic, then what is it that has you so fired up over it? Why else would you care so much about what rating is assigned to a particular movie?
posted by Witty at 9:37 PM on June 14, 2004


If it's film journalism then I suspect that I won't be able to see it at my local multiplex?

Maybe it's high time eh? Consider Michael Moore perhaps, cracking open the genre.
posted by crasspastor at 9:45 PM on June 14, 2004


>Since when are people not allowed to lurk

Since the right-wing trolls decided it. Always the same people making the same predictable attacks on the posters, usually they have few FPPs and contribute only derailments. Welcome to metafilter!
posted by skallas at 10:01 PM on June 14, 2004


People under 18 don't vote anyways. And this only makes them more likely to see it.
posted by euphorb at 10:08 PM on June 14, 2004


Maybe Witty just didn't understand your point. Because, of course, in your view, one type of film would be rated "R" and the other wouldn't be, even if they depicted what superficically appeared to be the same thing. Witty seems to be assuming the "R" rating at the outset. Which indicates he isn't following your argument. But it's not necessarily in bad faith that he's not.

It really isn't clear to me which extreme violence children should be allowed to see (argued in the context this is being argued in—that is, I think, a utilitarian context): documentarial or cartoonish. Seems to me you could argue either way. Some people might think seeing the real violence would do irreparably psychic harm; others that cartoon violence encouarges it. Conversely, some people might see documentary violence to be of benefit because it's educational, or cartoonish violence to be benign because it's self-evidently not real. Both arguments are ubiquitous.

So I don't really think we can agree to decide this issue on that basis.

And I still agree with the main point being made by several people here: TPotC got an "R" rating, and surely the cultural conservatives think of it as "educational" etc.; maybe, by the arguments above, the documentary violence in "9/11" shouldn't be restricted from children; but, I think, lots of folks, regardless of their politics, can be relied to agree that it shouldn't. Therefore, the MPAA's decision to rate the film "R" is not on its face politically motivated. Maybe it is. But not obviously.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:13 PM on June 14, 2004


what is it that has you so fired up over it?

I'm not fired up over it. Don't delude yourself for a second that I'm debating with you. I'm pointing out how stupid you're being. You're so obviously biased against Moore that nothing you say comes out making any sense. It should just be rated whatever I want, blah blah blah. My personal politics, yadda yadda. Get your hate on if you wish, but be prepared to be swatted if you can't hold up one end of a topical discussion.

You'll notice that all of my comments in this thread address the subject of censorship, violence and the hypocrisy of the film ratings scale we have. I'm not sucking Moore's dick, and you're just making your own position weaker by assuming I am.

That is, if you *had* a position. But you have nothing to say, really. You're just pissing at the people in this thread, which is supposed to be a discussion of things going on in the world outside this thread. You've been stretching everyone's patience thin for some time, Witty. Mine is almost gone.
posted by scarabic at 10:47 PM on June 14, 2004


My point was simply, and if I misunderstood an earlier point I apologize, that Michael Moore's film shouldn't get special consideration just because some people might see it as educational. It's a film/documentary to be shown in every mall in America. Therefore it has to play by the same rules as everyone else. If were only going to be viewed in "educational" auditoriums and the like, then perhaps a MPAA isn't necessary.

Lots of films could be considered educational, even if they were initially intended to be purely entertaining. Therefore, anyone who suggests that it should be treated differently would be, in my opinion saying so because they agree with the political statement in the film. If you didn't agree, why would you care?

Don't delude yourself for a second that I'm debating with you.

Oh really? Do you start all debates with "shut up"? As for the rest of your comment, I have no idea what you're talking about. I made an observation about the poster, big deal. Then I took a quote from your post (a mistake) and offered my comment.

You're so obviously biased against Moore...

I am?
posted by Witty at 10:54 PM on June 14, 2004


I can't wait for the CapAlert review.
posted by NortonDC at 11:03 PM on June 14, 2004


Amazing how people are willing to do this to other people, but not look at pictures of it. How upsetting for the children! Well, do any of them consider the option of changing our foreign policy such that this shit isn't happening at all in the world they're leaving to these children? Or is censoring the pictures the only important thing, the lynchpin of "freedom?"

Should you ever breed, scarabic, you can expose your children to whatever the hell you want, but what is it you are arguing for here? Shall we abolish the ratings system and stop barring children from violent films altogether? Or should films critical of the government be given special treatment? Or perhaps we should throw blood on the kids a la PETA until they learn of our foreign policy abuses? Or, more likely, are you trollishly attempting to politicize the assigned rating and pin some more conspiracy theories on anyone you can find?

If the film includes the imagery described above, it deserves an R rating. But why wait to see the film before you start flinging shit around? Go team!
posted by Krrrlson at 11:09 PM on June 14, 2004


Oh really? Do you start all debates with "shut up"?

No, never. But many of my admonitions to misbehaven children begin with those very words.
posted by scarabic at 11:10 PM on June 14, 2004


It sounds to me like the objectionable footage is along the lines of what one sees all the time in television documentaries about WWII and Viet Nam. While that kind of graphic footage can be disturbing to certain folks, it can be seen regularly on The Discovery Channel, History Channel and PBS, to name a few. Our nation is in the grip of election year moralizing from republicans trying to create the illusion that they are the party of "decency" and "morality," hence the hoopla over Janet Jackson, Howard Stern and now Michael Moore. In a non-election year the movie might have had an easier time of getting a PG rating.
posted by wsg at 11:34 PM on June 14, 2004


The MPAA has nothing to do with what is shown on TV. So comparing them doesn't do any good. The fact of the matter is, footage as described above, deserves and is ALWAYS granted an R rating. Acting surprised is ridiculous. Parents can still take their under-17-year old children into the theater with them. They just can't (aren't supposed to anyway) go by themselves. It's not an NC-17 rating.
posted by Witty at 11:39 PM on June 14, 2004


No, the MPAA doesn't have any say on what gets on TV, but republicans have been swinging their weight around lately to control what does and doesn't get on TV. They hold a lot of sway with the MPAA and FCC. Why should something permissible on TV get an R rating at the theater?
posted by wsg at 11:56 PM on June 14, 2004


Why should something permissible on TV get an R rating at the theater?


I'll answer my own question: because it's unflattering to the Bush administration.
posted by wsg at 12:00 AM on June 15, 2004


"I'll answer my own question: because it's unflattering to the Bush administration."—wsg
Maybe. Maybe not. Probably not. I doubt it. Really, as the oft-quoted-out-of-context (an error I'll happily repeat) Ms. Stein said, "there's no there, there". There, there. There's more than enough perfidy in the Bush admin to go around. There's so much there, there. But not an "R".
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:13 AM on June 15, 2004


EB, i agree it's unlikely that any of this is coming from the top-down, from Gee-Dub himself, but it may very well be coming from the bottom up. As with the Reagan miniseries which was pulled in response to right-wing activists, it's these rabid Bush supporters who are increasingly setting the tone of the media, not to mention our national agenda. Whether his administration is pulling strings for them, from above, I doubt. But he encourages and supports this kind of hegemony just by being there, and with everything he says and does. Media decision makers know he's there, above them, and once they feel significant pressure from below, they're trapped. Basically, all journalists are in this position now. They're greatly vulnerable to right-wing criticism from below, because they know there's a giant right-wing magnet hanging over their heads, waiting to suck it up.
posted by scarabic at 12:28 AM on June 15, 2004


Yeah, well, I don't disagree with your state of mind, so to speak. And I'm anything but a fan of the MPAA and its ratings board. But, given what I know so far, I don't see any reason to assume anything politically motivated. I could be wrong. At this point, I doubt it, though.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:30 AM on June 15, 2004


I don't put anything past Kärl Rove.
posted by wsg at 12:40 AM on June 15, 2004


dunno if this has been covered... but im pretty sure ive read that an R rating tends to up the attendance.

am i wrong?

wouldn't the worst thing they could do be giving it a pg?
posted by Tryptophan-5ht at 1:06 AM on June 15, 2004


OOOooooOOOOOoooHHHH....

Shut your fucking face Uncle Fucker!
You're a cock-sucking ass-licking Uncle Fucker!
You're an uncle fucker, yes it's true,
Nobody fucks uncles quite like you!

Shut your fucking face Uncle Fucker!
You're the one that fucked your uncle, uncle fucker!
You don't eat or sleep or mow the lawn,
You just fuck your uncle all day long!

*ahem*

Just sayin', ya know.
posted by kaibutsu at 1:11 AM on June 15, 2004


Tryptophan-5ht: I believe you are right, I've heard that as well and my own movie going history both in the US and without proves that I amost never see a non R-rated movie except when I'm seeing movies with small children.

All of this controversy, big and small, is going to make Michael Moore a Gazillionaire before his career is over.

And he knows how to spend his money!


$$
posted by sic at 1:24 AM on June 15, 2004


So who's seen the movie?
posted by shoos at 2:38 AM on June 15, 2004


MetaFilter: Remember when they whipped poor Jesus?
posted by NationalKato at 4:50 AM on June 15, 2004


Oh my god yes we must put an R to this movie for all the good American kids to be protected against real violence - violence that many underaged kids are exposed to everyday in their Iraq reality! -

Because the american kid should see movies with graphic violence and play with his Super Nintendo and kill every characters using his joystick but the American Kid shouldn't see what's happening in the real world, thousands of miles away from HIS reality! After all the American Kid shouldn't even see the news because it's too violent! Oh wait, there isn't any violence in the news because the media are reluctant to show it! I had forgotten!

Bah.
posted by Sijeka at 5:03 AM on June 15, 2004


I loved that episode. "And a man wrestling a bear for no reason!"
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:08 AM on June 15, 2004


Maybe. Maybe not. Probably not. I doubt it.

the ethereal bligh condensed version.
posted by quonsar at 5:29 AM on June 15, 2004


Yah, but you cut out all the clever bits and word play. That's no fun.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 5:38 AM on June 15, 2004


Dear Witty,

Therefore it has to play by the same rules as everyone else.

Some films do get special consideration because of content! If there wasn't already a tradition of this, we wouldn't mention it. If, as has been mentioned, the violence is at a level that is too high for younger children, then by all means, give it an R. But if this is no more violent than other films that have been knocked down to a PG-13 because of potential social redeeming value, then it should join them. Maybe there needs to be a better set of criteria to show when a movie falls into this category.

This is a film that may polarize people. I can't imagine that many strong supporters of the current government are going to see anything they were previously unaware of, so the film should either strengthen their resolve, or at least provide a chance to properly argue the film's points, as they will actually have seen it. This is crucial!
posted by mikeh at 6:34 AM on June 15, 2004


Since we have not seen the film it seems to me pointless to argue about whether the decision to rate the film R is appropriate or not. The description in the article sounds pretty graphic, potentially justifying the rating. However, we don't know whether these things are seen in close-up, in detail and dwelt upon, or at a distance, in glimpses? I would think that if the beheading scene clearly shows the head coming off there is no way PG-13 is an appropriate rating. Final judgment must await the film's release.

I have to agree with Witty on this, all films should play be the same rules in getting their ratings. Nevertheless, as EB pointed out the context of the violence is important. Scenes which glorify and make violence more acceptable are more deserving of an R rating than similar scenes which condemn the violence, IMHO.

I am no fan of the MPAA, or of any other industry rating system which prevents access (music, video games, books). These amount to nothing less than censorship. Why should one group, MPAA, get to determine whether a sixteen year old can see a particular movie. I would rather put more of the burden on the parents to decide. By all means give them guidance in making their decision, but give them guidance from multiple sources, for instance reviewers giving their ratings, rather than one single source. You will notice that I included books in my list, rhetorically. Despite some censorship efforts in school libraries, we do not rate books for content and then limit access. I think this would be too controversial. So why do we do it with films (I know the historical reasons, but am more interested in the philosophical difference between books and films here)?
posted by caddis at 7:22 AM on June 15, 2004


I'm willling to give Jack Valenti a pass on the whole affair if he'd be willing to fight a full grown grizzly bear while armed with a bowie knife and a can of mace.

Especially if the fight scene can happen in a Chuck E Cheese restaurant.

Jack likes bear fight scenes.

Just to show that I'm a sporting sort - If Valenti would be willing to bump the rating of Moore's film down to a "G", I'd be willing to let his Bowie knife shoot fire. For a few seconds, but not too long. The bear deserves a chance too.
posted by troutfishing at 7:29 AM on June 15, 2004


Oh - I forgot to mention - if Valenti kills the bear (PETA notwithstanding) the fight scene footage gets a "PG" rating but if the bear disembowels Valenti, the footage gets an "R".
posted by troutfishing at 7:32 AM on June 15, 2004


troutfishing: I missed that thread. You just made my day.
posted by hughbot at 7:46 AM on June 15, 2004


How much "Moore" can you advertise a movie w/o it being a trailer? If it's well done movie most will see it. Doesn't Moore know the kids today download their movies?
posted by thomcatspike at 8:54 AM on June 15, 2004


What I want to know is this: when is Freakazoid going to come out on DVD?
posted by eilatan at 9:14 AM on June 15, 2004


Glad to know I'm not the only one who remembers Freakazoid. I still have most of the episodes taped, somewhere. Think I'll go dig 'em out.

GUITIERREZ: If I don't get a phone line lickety-split, I shall squeeze you. And I shall go on squeezing you until all your man-juices run dry.

Take that, First Ammendment!
posted by GhostintheMachine at 10:12 AM on June 15, 2004


Dear mikeh (condescension right back atcha),

Can you provide some examples of movies that have received special consideration, something comparable to the efforts of Michael Moore perhaps... and preferrably something from recent memory (not to limit your answers of course)? Thanks!
posted by Witty at 10:13 AM on June 15, 2004


Well, there was the big deal over Orgasmo getting the NC-17, which in terms of sexual gross-out humor was not that much nuttier than American Pie and featured a scant 3 seconds of relatively safe nudity. If I remember right, Parker commented that what bothered him most was not the initial NC-17 rating, but that usually the ratings board is willing to provide suggestions for cutting the movie down to get a more acceptable rating. In the case of Orgasmo, the leading theory is that the shots at mormons contributed to the rating and the rating's board unwillingess to compromise.

Having said that, I'm not willing to put on my tinfoil hat regarding this documentary for the basic reason that I'm uwilling to attribute to conspiracy what fits perfectly well within the typical behavior or the ratings board.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:55 AM on June 15, 2004


I think it would be great if Moore were to release a PG-13 version, in which three or four moments in the film are partly masked by a black rectangle with the legend "The MPAA thought this might bother you." If the DVD contained the unedited version, he'd probably more than double the DVD sales, just in time for the elections.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:28 PM on June 15, 2004


1) This is an outrage or a conspiracy.

2) Those who think the "R" rating is an outrage or a conspiracy should put on (or take off, as it were ) their "tinfoil hats".

Plus one George_Spiggot :

Outrage or conspiracy aside, how can dumb censors be outsmarted ?
posted by troutfishing at 8:38 PM on June 15, 2004


So who's seen the movie?

Tom Tomorrow has.
posted by crasspastor at 8:54 PM on June 15, 2004


troutfishing, I hadn't seen that askme. Priceless.
posted by dejah420 at 11:31 PM on June 15, 2004


Unclear about a Freakazoid DVD release date -- personally, I hope soon, but not before Parker Lewis. However, fire up an eDonkey client and you might could possibly get the Jack Valenti episode, as well as the others, here.
posted by britain at 1:00 PM on June 21, 2004


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