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Old April 27th, 2005, 06:44 PM   #1
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Bleep! Censoring Hollywood on AMC

I was watching this show on AMC, about 3rd parties editing Hollywood movies. These groups, CleanFlix, Clear Movie, etc, are taking movies off the shelf, and editing out what they deem offensive. They then turn around, and sell the edited movies. They say that they have a right to edit these movies, because they buy one DVD for every one they sell. This of course, is still illegal.

The directors are upset, because someone else is deciding what should stay in the film, thus negating all of their hard work. The 3rd parties are upset, because they can't watch movies without obscenities, nudity, and violence. Lawsuits are flying everywhere.

Now... I can see the citizen's side. I have kids, and would like to watch a good movie with them, without the adult material they sneek into PG and PG-13 movies. As an artist, I'd be pissed at someone editing my work without my permission.

Why doesn't Hollywood make everyone happy? They are already releasing movies, then releasing a director's cut or unrated cut. Why not just let the director do two versions for most movies? They already do this for network broadcasts. Think about it... You could watch Kill Bill in an hour and a half ;)
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Old April 28th, 2005, 02:12 AM   #2
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Hi, Havn't posted here before, mainly just browsed :)

Thought I'd add my 2cents here,

I'm no artist/director, just someone who enjoys watching movies and have an interest in how they are created etc, and the way I see it, releasing a copy of any movie that isn't what the original was is just not right, doesn't do justice to anyone. First off if any movie has violence (or anything else offensive) its probably there for a reason and will build the entire story/basis of the film, so to take it away would kind of defeat the purpose of filming it anyway.

And if you think about it, I'm sure the film companies don't want to have these editted copies created, because if they started to "get big" I'm sure the companies would think about just dropping (not filming) offensive scenes to save money thus creating more profit from their films. Sure its a pretty out there idea, but I know if I was the head of a major film company I would want to make the most of my product :P

Good thread though, and this is just my view of it, I can see the flipside, just don't agree with it :D

Cheers,
Ben
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Old April 28th, 2005, 04:29 AM   #3
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That is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. if a movie's content offends you don't watch it. If a person says something you don't like or you don't like their behaviour you don't edit them, you avoid them. No one is forcing a movie down your throat to watch, if you don't want to see nudity don't watch a movie with it. There are enough advisories out there telling you what you should expect when you go see a movie. If I personally want to see a movie with violence, nudity and what have you, that's my choice, if you don't, that's your choice. If they're going to make movies more toned down to accomidate the people that don't want to see those things your only taking it away from the people that do. Exchanging someone's right and ideals for someone else's is not more fair. I cannot bring myself to watch TV shows that have surgery I'm squeemish, but my girlfriend happens to love them. I'm not going to go get them banned because I find it unbearable. I don't have a right to take that away from her because I don't like it, I just don't watch it while she does. If people want to make something they enjoy and other people enjoy it as well the ones who don't do not have a right to take that away from them. If I didn't like swimming should no one else be able to swim? That just doesn't make any sense.

All people want to do these days is complain, just exercise your right to say "no" while other people might exercise their's to say "yes." Next thing you know we won't give people choice over what religon they want to practice because only ours is right, it looks like we're headed backwards, not forwards if things continue on like this.
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Old April 28th, 2005, 06:02 AM   #4
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I can agree with Evan... to an extent. I do use the ratings and advisory system, but those aren't always accurate or easy to understand. Strong violence, and nudity, I understand. Adult language and crude humor, I understand. But what is sensuality??? That could be almost anything.

And welcome Ben!
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Old April 28th, 2005, 06:40 AM   #5
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Changing an artists work without their permission and then selling it is illegal and really not arguable to anyone in the "business" of "art". The people doing this sort of thing probably started on a good note (doing it because they felt it was right), but I'd be willing to bet that it's a money making venture now and no one cares about the inital intent. I bet they're making a boat load of money by simply editing a multimillion dollar film and then hiking the price up for themselves.

If these jerks really want to provide G and PG movies for their kids...there two solutions for them. #1) Rent the 10,000 titles already available for families OR #2) Go make their own damn movies and sell them.

I know that if anyone ever messed with my work and used some lame excuse like they do...I'd go after them tooth and nail. They have no right to do it and the law is clear. The studios and filmmakers should go after them even more than pirates! At least the pirates don't openly sell movies for profit...they have the decency to do it secretly! lol
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Old April 28th, 2005, 08:21 AM   #6
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I think a lot of people forget that every TV ever made has come fitted with the "censor switch". The censor switch is often, more commonly called the "power" switch or, as I like to call it, the "off" switch. That's all you have to do if you don't like what you see on TV - just switch it off.

As for DVDs - if you don't like the content, don't buy the DVD, don't rent the DVD and don't go see it in the cinema.

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Old April 28th, 2005, 08:30 AM   #7
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Someone came up with a DVD player that can skip any offensive material you choose.
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Old April 28th, 2005, 08:54 AM   #8
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Actually it's offensive material that they choose. The way it apparently works is that the company offering the service buys the DVD and reviews it marking, to the frame level, sequences which may be offensive. The user buys the same release of the DVD and downloads the "filter" from the company into the special player which then skips the marked stuff. Several levels of filtering are available. So the "artist's" creation is not tampered with. It's like me giving you a list of the numbers of pages of a book with the naughty bits and leaving to you decide whether you want to read them or not.

The court apparently decided yesterday that this is OK but that selling edited copies is not. Seems like a reasonable compromise to me. You can't really expect anyone with a modicum of intelligence to believe that the gratuitous sex and violence in these films is there for any reason other than to enhance the revenue stream from those segments of the population whose knuckles drag upon the floor.
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Old April 28th, 2005, 11:35 AM   #9
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I have a friend who's parents are pretty conservative. I went with him one day to their house for lunch and his parents were watching "Schindler's List". They hadn't seen it yet (God only knows how they missed it but this was quite a few years ago) and so we sat and ate and watched where they had picked up. When the scene with the women sent into the showers/gas chamber came on, his father immediately stopped the tape and fast forwarded past this part because of the nudity (I presume). I was absolutely shocked! This was a very powerful moment in the film and the only thing that was offensive was the fact that you had the feeling these women were about to be killed!
I couldn't imagine what else they skipped over (we left early) but consider how much value and meaning was lost in this movie (and others) by skipping over something as ridiculous as this? How about skipping over the violent scenes in "The Passion"? Now that'd be a short and meaningless film!
I agree, if you don't want to see something, turn it off, don't re-edit something and ruin it. I haven't turned my TV on in 3 weeks now and I love it! I can feel my IQ going back up by the minute.

oh, here's another... would you buy Monet's "Water Lilies" and then have someone paint all the blue parts yellow because you don't like blue?
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Old April 28th, 2005, 11:36 AM   #10
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I am ABSOLUTLEY AGAINST this practice. It is ruining the film that the filmmakers intended. But...this isn't new...it is just no longer with the consent of the filmmakers.

Films edited for broadcast TV...or forplay on airplanes...these have the swear words bleeped, or altered (funny to see how they alter the words) and the sex and violence trimmed. Hollywood isn't against this pratice, they jsut don't like how it is done WITHOUT their permission and input.

Now...I for one don't like to watch movies edited for TV, for that isn't they way the filmmakers wished it to be seen. Also...if a movie is rated R, or pg-13 and isn't age appropriate for my kid, I won't take them to it or let them watch it. No matter how good it is, it isn't for kids. There are PLENTY of good movies out there for kids. Not enough...since Hollywood seems to think that movies need to be dummed down, but there are still lots of good ones: THE INCREDIBLES, NATIONAL TREASURE, SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW...all good and all something I would show to my 7 and 5 year olds.
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Old April 28th, 2005, 12:33 PM   #11
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As an engineer, I love technology. New technology. Technology that easily allows me to do what I couldn't do yesterday. I am not at all a fan of GOVERNMENT censorship.

Why should I be limited to only two choices? On or off. Why should I not be able to choose scenes I do or do not want my family to watch? Should I be required to give up my Digital Video Recorder and watch all the commercials? Should I be required to watch all movies in surround sound or not at all because that is what the creator intended?

Back to technology. If someone is going to sit and watch all movies and flag each "offensive" part such that a DVD player can read these flags and skip over them I say it would be a good idea for the film's creator be be a part of this. Technology could allow for DVD movies to be displayed at any movie rating from unchanged to no rating. The standards are in place to allow given sections of movies to be flagged at their respective rating. If the movie creator is involved in this process he can add another flag or flags that indicate the level of importance to that scene and the user can select whether or not to view it. Why not?

It is no secret that movies have one token f-word or sex scene added specifically to change it's rating. Do I really have to avoid that movie all together because there is one 5 second scene giving the movie a rating that places it into a category I don't want my family to watch?

Go technology!!
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Old April 28th, 2005, 12:45 PM   #12
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Looks like I'll be in the minority in this thread, along with AJ, Congress, and the President.

I do absolutely agree that unless properly licensed, modified copies are still illegal. Bad news, don't do it, don't support it.

But I do NOT agree that it is a copyright violation for a consumer to choose how much of a legally purchased, unaltered DVD they want to watch in their own home. The method the consumer uses, whether manually fast forwarding, turning down the volume, shutting it off altogether, or using an optional automated filter to skip the parts that the consumer wishes to skip (a la ClearPlay, home VCRs, DVRs, etc), to control home viewing is absolutely, unalterably the right of the consumer/private citizen.

All the mega-talents out there might not LIKE that some people who enjoy their movie don't want to watch certain bits of their masterpiece. Too bad, so sad; they've got their copyright that is quite expansive and provides for protection from illegal copying. They have NO right to dictate the precise manner in which private home viewing of a legally acquired, unaltered copy occurs. That's the right we all have within our own four walls. The opinions that it must be "all or nothing" is only that...a personal opinion. Nobody's rights are bound to someone else's personal opinion.
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Old April 28th, 2005, 01:11 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Cunliffe
I'm no artist/director, just someone who enjoys watching movies and have an interest in how they are created etc, and the way I see it, releasing a copy of any movie that isn't what the original was is just not right, doesn't do justice to anyone. First off if any movie has violence (or anything else offensive) its probably there for a reason and will build the entire story/basis of the film, so to take it away would kind of defeat the purpose of filming it anyway.
I agree with you completely! Speaking from a filmstudent's view I must say, there is no excuse for touching someone else's art unless he allows it..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhett Allen
I have a friend who's parents are pretty conservative. I went with him one day to their house for lunch and his parents were watching "Schindler's List". They hadn't seen it yet (God only knows how they missed it but this was quite a few years ago) and so we sat and ate and watched where they had picked up. When the scene with the women sent into the showers/gas chamber came on, his father immediately stopped the tape and fast forwarded past this part because of the nudity (I presume). I was absolutely shocked! This was a very powerful moment in the film and the only thing that was offensive was the fact that you had the feeling these women were about to be killed!
Oh my god, they abused my darling Schindler's List?
No, kidding, but c'mmon, such a masterpiece of a movie! How can people be so ignorant?
(I don't want to attack those parents, but I can't help thinking that's very, very, very bad way to raise your kid. What must he think if he once sees a girl naked in front of his eyes? Panic? And indeed, that was one of the most powerful scenes in the movie!)
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Old April 28th, 2005, 03:46 PM   #14
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"How about skipping over the violent scenes in "The Passion"? Now that'd be a short and meaningless film!"

I saw this movie, and wouldn't mind cutting out most of the violence. After an hour or so, it became kinda pointless, and really made the movie too long. As much fun as it is to watch a whipping, 2 1/2 hours is a bit much to swallow.
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Old April 28th, 2005, 03:57 PM   #15
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The Passion IS being re-released with much of the violence removed.

HOLLYWOOD, February 11, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) Mel Gibson has decided to re-release The Passion of the Christ in theatres in time for Good Friday.

The new cut tones down the more violent scenes, such as the scourging and some scenes from the crucifixion, in order to avoid a restricted rating. Daily Variety reported Thursday that Gibson plans to trim five to six minutes from the film, for re-release in US theatres March 11.
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