Thursday, April 11, 2013

4.11.13 Bee-otch of the Day: Motion Picture Association of America

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Name: Motion Picture Association of America
Age: 91
Occupation: film rating organization
Last Seen: Washington, DC
Bee-otched For: still not getting their priorities straight

This was a very bad week for 70-year-olds.

First, it was iconic film critic Roger Ebert, whose thumbs-up film reviews helped stir up popularity for the movies. Then, just Monday, it was Annette Funicello, who was the Mickey Mouse Club's most-popular Mousketeer, who later evolved into being a bikini hottie in several 1960's beach movies.

While Annette went from being a G-rated Disney playmate to a PG-rated beauty of the beach, Ebert was a criticizer of the movie industry itself, often rattling on the Motion Picture Association of America for not getting their priorities straight. Both of these recent passings can be well intertwined in the most-recent film I saw at the theatre, Spring Breakers.

The movie stars two Disney alumni - Vanessa Hudgens and Selena Gomez - alongside Ashley Benson and Rachel Korine - as four college girls who rob a restaurant to get the money they needed to go to Florida for Spring Break. However, the four party just a little too hard and get busted for underage drinking. However, they're bailed out by a white rapper - played by James Franco - who leads them into a life of crime. The movie itself was hailed by critics and did well at the box office - $15 million on a $5 million budget - but I personally only gave it 2 1/2 out of four stars.

In Ebert terms, "thumbs down".

Yeah, the film's loaded with boobies and butts (and not to mention, it was panned by the son of Ebert rival Michael Medved, who thought this film should have received an NC-17 rating) and the film had a decent plot, most of the movie's characters were unlikable and didn't relate well to me. Not to mention, it's proof on how the film rating business is.

Of the four main female characters, only Selena Gomez's character doesn't get naked (bear in mind, she leaves for home 1/3 way into the movie because she felt uncomfortable about hanging out a rapper who's loaded with drugs and guns, plus she's a Christian in the film). Rachel Korine shows off her boobs and butt in a shower scene after she gets shot by Franco's rival in the film (rapper Gucci Mane) while the other two get freaky with Franco in a nighttime pool scene where nary a buttcrack is shown. True, we've seen Ms. Hudgens nude before (ahem), but I've not seen a real nude of Benson.

Yes, I love it when a chick gets naked in front of a camera, and shows nothing. True, she might be wearing pasties and modesty patches, but we the audience who pay $10 to see them nude end up feeling that the door gets slammed on us. Hell, even those ugly ass bitches that got freaky with Mane's character towards the end of the movie showed more skin (sadly).

True, Spring Breakers is a very racy movie, but I don't recall a scene with bush. Why? It's not a kid's movie. Plus, people who grew up with Hudgens and Gomez aren't kids anymore, either.

My answer is sad, but true: one bush whisker = NC-17. A few years ago, I saw a documentary on the MPAA called This Film is Not Yet Rated, which was about how the MPAA works. Many in the film business aren't happy with their ratings methods because they feel that in too many cases, they're promoting censorship. Even Maria Bello - who showed off her landing strip in The Cooler - felt urked when they slammed her movie with an NC-17 only because there was a scene where a man kisses the area around her genitals for not even five seconds. The movie did get an R-rating only after the producers edited that scene out.

But yet, when it comes to violence and manslaughter everywhere, the MPAA could care less. There's LOTS of PG-13 films with gruesome violence and killings. Hell, look at the last Batman movie. Even worse, look at what happened in Aurora, CO.

Sadly, the people who caused the shootings in Aurora, Sandy Hook and too many others were fans of bloody movies and video games. Yet, you never hear about people having 66 kids from watching too much porn or sexy movies. Why?

Personally, it's how the business is run. When the original Hays Code was created, no sex or profanity was allowed, but yet guns and killing were still OK as long as it wasn't bloody. When the Hays Code was finally abolished in 1968 and replaced with the ratings code, it did free up what filmmakers could do, even allowing hardcore sex on screen. But, things weren't totally perfect. Many were angry that too many films fell between a PG and an R, so PG-13 was created in 1984. In 1990, NC-17 was created because filmmakers felt that an X-rating meant it was pornographic, even if it wasn't.

Even today, NC-17 films are a death knell. Many theatre chains have banned them because they're money killers and unprofitable without a younger audience. Because of this, filmmakers have to be extremely careful if they want a steamy scene in their movies.

Oh, and guess who heads the MPAA? Chris Dodd, the "Democrat" who voted for the big bank bailout of 2008. Asshole.

Look, most young males know what a girl's vajayjay looks like. Yet, the MPAA is doing their damnedest to bar it from being projected on a giant screen unless it's in an art house. But in mainstream America, some guy's head can get blown off at a one-screen moviehouse in a small town. Some kid who's been bullied and teased will see it, find his parents' guns and open fire.

Thankfully, there's a chance we might get to see Spring Breakers unrated on Blu-Ray and DVD. Hell, maybe we might get to see if Vanessa Hudgens ever heard of a razor and/or if we'll see more of Ashley Benson.

But in the meantime, parents, hide your guns.


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