We at Barking Mad About Films had a decision to make! What film to see this week and our 2 choices could not be further apart!
Choice One was Disney’s Zootropolis (changed from its US title of Zootopia, at the request of a Denmark Zoo, which shared the same name apparently!)
Choice Two was Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice from Zack Snyder, who is no stranger to big box office smashes directing such hits as Watchmen; 300 and Man of Steel.
Now BvS was taking a beating from critics, but we’re very much of the mind that you can read reviews, but it is you who decides if you like a film or not! If I listened to critics about what I should see, my movie collection would probably reduce by more than half =)
But the decision that swayed us to seeing Zootropolis was news that BvS would get a unrated cut, for its home release. Not only would this include more footage, but possibly taking into account the recent success of Deadpool, it would be a harder cut with stronger violence!
A petition has quickly been raised for the harder cut to be released in cinemas and you can sign it here if of interest: https://www.change.org/p/warner-brothers-r-rated-theatrical-release-of-batman-v-superman-dawn-of-justice-b9772307-d51c-46d0-a87a-bda39e9cf702
We watched all the Saw films in the cinemas, but found it incredibly frustrating that upon their home release, they would be released with extra footage deemed too intense for cinemas!
I always found this odd as I would believe the age restriction of a film, would be easier to police in a cinema, than for home viewing.
The truth is, this can be a marketing technique, in reality, the extended cut can relate to anything from seconds to minutes (you can see comparisons at http://www.movie-censorship.com/) but you are already intrigued.
Saw would normally mean that you saw more blood, after one of the traps had gone off for example.
Not that it’s just horror films that have this trick of making you think you are getting something more from the Uncut/Extended/Version you didn’t see in Cinemas.
For example, Fight Club contains extra seconds on the Jared Leto Angelface character on the floor after he has taken a beating.
Comedies include more risqué or alternate scenes, done with films from Dodgeball to Scary Movie and most recently a whole new Anchorman 2 was made from alternate cuts and jokes!
Action films also, Taken had extra punches and hits for its home release and its following sequels followed from their 12a friendly cinema releases to 15 rated home releases as did the most recent A Good Day to Die Hard (neither the cut or uncut version make this film any better sadly)
A Good Day to Die Hard also caused a major uproar in the UK when it was released as a 12a against the harder R-rated film released in the US
Cinema rating will always be judged! So much anger was aimed at Gremlins for its 15 certificate, that when the same nearly happened for Tim Burton’s Batman, the 12a Certificate was created.
It is perhaps obvious why it is done, a lower rated film can reach a much bigger audience, which is why so many of the horror reboots now go for the PG13 or 12/15 audience than the R/18 certificate.
But it is a subject that means much to fans, Mad Max: Fury Road being suggested as anything less than a 15/R had fans saying it would ruin the franchise. It is a good point, without the violence that had been caused from the aftermaths of the war, the message may not be so clear!
Spawn, the hyper-violent comic book hero was turned into a12a friendly, run of the mill superhero film, when he deserved to be more like Deadpool! Studios have at least taken notice of this and a reboot is imminent, to give fans the Spawn they want!
We don’t endorse violence but the changes do make a difference, Brian Mills seemed less of a threat in the lower rated Taken sequels!
The violence of John Wick helps with the story as you feel his anger for the death of his dog and the pain he is going through from the loss of his wife, something that a 12a would surely not have shown.
The Film studios will point to the fact that the reduced rating, made Taken 2 and 3 a much bigger box office than the original!
It is one of the benefits of having the DVD/BluRay choice that we get these alternate viewing choices, something we would surely miss if we went to streaming options only, it would like be going back to VHS =)
Do you feel cheated when a version too intense for cinemas turns up when it’s time for home rental! Have any of these cuts made the film different for you? We’d love to hear your thought here at Barking Mad About Films