This posted is rated PG-13 for brooding, dark violence, the strong depiction of a perverse sexual relationship, jungle adventure terror, and brief historical smoking.
So it is trending in the entertainment news that popular independent book turned movie 50 Shades of Grey has been given an R rating by the MPAA ( Motion Picture Association of America). As I have said in a post before (you probably didn’t read it so I’ll jut give a summary), according the MPAA they consider a rated R movie a “Contains some adult material. Parents are urged to learn more about the film before taking their young children with them.” and would give an NC-17 rating to a film that is “Clearly adult. Children not admitted.” They base these rating off of what “they believe the majority of American parents would give a movie.” [http://www.mpaa.org/film-ratings/] I have had several problems with how MPAA rates certain movies, particularly independently made movies.
It seems that a lot of films with strong violence, nudity, or sexual situations that would deem itself “clearly adult” have been slipping through the cracks for years, but you’ll notice that most of them were associated with a prominent distribution company’s. Independently made movies that have some racy scenes and scenarios get a MUCH harsher ruling when it comes to their ratings, but that’s a whole conspiracy theory I’m not going to get in right now. Is it a coincidence that this, soft-core porn (I’m just guesstimating, I have not seen the movie yet, obviously) is being distributed by Universal Pictures and the productions company is Focus Features and that both are under Universal City Studios LLC, which just happens to be a member of the MPAA?
Let’s take a few movies that were rated NC-17 and/or rated R and do some comparing between ratings and companies shall we? [I’ll try to use movies that you have probably seen to make a comparison]
The Cell – Starring Jennifer Lopez, Vince Vaughn, and Vincent D’Onofrio. This was originally rated NC-17, but had to be edited to get an R. (New Line Cinema – not a member of MPAA)
Scream – Starring Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, and David Arquette. Originally rated NC-17, but had to be edited go get an R. (Woods Entertainment/Dimension Films – not a member of MPAA)
House of 1000 Corpses – Pretty sick f*ing movie wasn’t it? Rated R. (Lions Gates Films/Universal Studios – member of MPAA)
Soul Food – Starring Vanessa Willams, Vivica A. Fox, and Nia Long. I was barred from seeing this film as a child because my mother saw it as “Clearly adult” (as the NC-17 is described on the MPAA website) but it was given an R rating. (20th Century Fox – member of MPAA)
There was even a movie made exposing the corruption of the MPAA made and you know what happened…it was given a rating that prevented it from being widely release in theaters. This Film is Not Yet Rated – An exposé about the American movie ratings board. Rated NC-17. (IFC Films/BBC Films – not a member of MPAA).
With the “Unusual Behavior” it was labeled, we can only assume they mean the “strong, explicit, sado-masochistic sexuality” which is what they described in Tokyo Decadence (Cinema Epoch) which received NC-17 as a rating.
As stated before, movies slip through the cracks all the time, and on both side. Like The Human Centipede (First Sequence). It was origianlly release in the US unrated but was in theaters with an R rating (how they pulled THAT shit off I will never know) and that was distributed by IFC Films in the US, who is not a member of the MPAA.