Friday, March 30, 2007

UPDATE/MPAA PRESS RELEASE

FYI for everyone following this situation -- this is the press release issued by the MPAA yesterday regarding the ratings process for "CAPTIVITY".

Although this is a victory for us -- we're definitely being heard -- it's also only an interim step. It matters that we continue to be heard on this issue, and continue making our arguments to the MPAA as the process moves forward.


From: MotionPictureAssociation
Sent: Thursday, March 29, 2007 1:40 PM
Subject: **MPAA SUSPENDS RATING OF AFTER DARK FILMS’ "CAPTIVITY"

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 29, 2007


MPAA SUSPENDS RATING
OF AFTER DARK FILMS’ “CAPTIVITY”

Los Angeles – The Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA) today issued a month-long suspension of the ratings process for After Dark Films’ upcoming release “Captivity.” The action comes in response to After Dark’s prominent display in both Los Angeles and New York of advertising that the MPAA had explicitly disapproved as inappropriate for general public viewing. The production company and its distributors will also be required to clear not only all promotional materials but also the locations and venues of all advertising buys relating to the film, marking the first time that sanction has been imposed by the MPAA.

“The sanctions in this case are severe because this was an unacceptable and flagrant violation of MPAA rules and procedures,” said Marilyn Gordon, Senior Vice President of Advertising. “After Dark Films presented their ads for approval, as all companies are required to do if they wish to receive an MPAA rating. However, their ads were summarily rejected for their graphic depiction of a woman’s torture and death. Yet After Dark proceeded to post them on billboards anyway, and these ads appeared in some of the most prominent public locations in Los Angeles and New York . It is now up to After Dark Films to restore good faith with the MPAA.”

All films that seek an MPAA rating are required to clear with the MPAA all promotional materials that will be publicly displayed, whether in print, on television, in theaters or online. “MPAA reviews tens of thousands of promotional materials each year,” Gordon added. “Our rules are important to movie-goers generally and parents in particular. The good news is that - as disturbing as this case has been - it marks a rare instance where a company has acted in such a clear and direct violation of our rules. The overwhelming majority of companies and filmmakers understand, support and abide by MPAA rules and procedures.”

As a result of the ruling, “Captivity” will not be eligible for consideration by the ratings board until on or after May 1, 2007 and will be given no priority scheduling at that time.

About the MPAA

The Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA) serves as the voice and advocate of the American motion picture, home video and television industries from its offices in Los Angeles and Washington , D.C. Its members include: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution; Paramount Pictures; Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.; Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation; Universal City Studios LLLP; and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

thank you for spearheading this. i am so glad i am not the only one who was sickened by the ridiculous, degrading ads when i saw them around town. i feel sorry for anyone who has lost a loved one in such a manner, to have to be reminded of it every time they drive down the street. it just should not be a form of entertainment.

Mik said...

I don't find the ads ridiculous or degrading. Did Black Snake Moan catch any flack? Do you suppose this movie also has a good message? I don't know either... I just know this is getting blown out of proportion.

Fred said...

THANK GOD I live in Europe. I live in a free country where's there no censorship and no MPAA... there's a lot of moral bullshit in the US... an land that claims it's "free". Hysterical.

The old "Somebody think of the children"-crap always comes up, and it's so stupid. This comes from a country that killed more people with it's military and goverment than few other countries. But a few harmless (very harmless compared to what the US did to Iraq and and a lot of other countries) ad makes people cry like babies. Incredible.

Remember the tit-scandal with Janet Jackson? This is the same league. Totally stupidity.

Anonymous said...

Fred yes thank God you do live in Europe. I believe we will see you in thailand with a lime green speedo and 2 little boys on the beach. Sorry if the US has morals unlike your sad depressed area of the world.

Dougie14th said...

I'm sorry, but there's a difference between morals and plain stupidity. This whole "Remove the Ad" campaign is the dumbest shit ever. I don't agree with the ad campaign, but this is being taken way out of per portion and is a form of censorship.

Although I'm not European, I'm just glad that at least they're not total idiots and aren't causing an uproar over something like this.

Bobndoug said...

okay, now this is where this issue becomes grey.
Fred has posted in his opinion on the issue. An Anonymous poster then claims that fred clearly lives in an area of no morals, and with his well mind full of morals practically accuses Fred of being a pedo. That to me sounds like it came from a well rounded individual. I'd rather live in moral free europe (which i do) than live in the free thinking, morally untouchable U S of A.
i don't find the posters offensive, why should i? it's a picture. but i am offended by anonymous small mindedness, who's only form of constructive critisism amounts to insults

Anonymous said...

you know whats funny theres a movie called vancany coming out the ads have been plastered all over tv which is a much larger medium than some random billboards in la and new york
where a couple is held captive in their hotel room but noone is giving that company a hard time

you take out luke wilson and oh my god guess what you have captivity

I have yet to see one Tv spot with a captivity commerical,

all be it the billboard needed to be toned down some but taking away a rating is not the answer

its funny if it would have been a mans face like say luke wilson this site would probably not even exist

all carry on hypocrites !

Sean Richardson said...

"THANK GOD I live in Europe. I live in a free country where's there no censorship and no MPAA... there's a lot of moral bullshit in the US... an land that claims it's "free". Hysterical."

Europe is not a country. Which country do you live in? Is it:
- the one where images of nunchucks and other "melee" weapons are completely banned and forced to be edited out of films by the government? (England)
- the one where the government's Ministry of Culture has to approve a movie prior to release and assign it a rating, possibly forcing the local distributor to make cuts? (France)
- the one where the "Voluntary Self-Control of the Film Business" ratings board is now mandatory by government law? (Germany, also Austria)
- the one where the governmnet has set up a special "Media Council for Children and Young People" to rate movies? (Denmark)
- the one where any film must be reviewed by the government or it is automatically deemed inappropriate for children? (Finland)
- the one where the government started the bluntly-named "Irish Film Censor's Office"? (you can guess)
- the one where film ratings can ban people under the age of 21! from seeing a movie? (Poland)

Or is it one of the other countries where the government rates the movies and blocks whatever they don't like out of them with *no* discussion and *no* compromise? As far as I can tell -- and this is something I've looked into pretty well -- the US is the *only* country where the ratings are not government mandated and, yes, I would say we are a more free country for that.

And if the MPAA is de-powered by people like After Dark films, the government will step in. And I, for one, don't like the idea of Bush and his cronies controlling what movies I see.

Though, on the plus side, I wouldn't have to sit through another Michael Moore film.

Sean Richardson said...

"you know whats funny theres a movie called vancany coming out the ads have been plastered all over tv which is a much larger medium than some random billboards in la and new york
where a couple is held captive in their hotel room but noone is giving that company a hard time"

Um ... that's because the MPAA approved that movie's ads (likely because they're not nearly as graphic as the billboards of 'Captivity'). It would be difficult to get the MPAA to punish a film for following the MPAA's rules (not to mention illogical).

"you take out luke wilson and oh my god guess what you have captivity"

you take out the punctuation and oh my god guess what youre illegible

"I have yet to see one Tv spot with a captivity commerical,"

Prior to this, it wasn't due out for two months, so I imagine they haven't started yet.

"all be it the billboard needed to be toned down some but taking away a rating is not the answer"

Not only is the word "albeit", but it still isn't the right word for that sentence.

"its funny if it would have been a mans face like say luke wilson this site would probably not even exist"

I'm impressed you didn't say "would of". If you're saying that the MPAA would support the kidnap/torture/murder of Luke Wilson, I'm all for that.

"all carry on hypocrites !"

You're the sort of stupid person this misguided ad campaign is supposed to be appealing to. I hope you at least download the movie and don't spend the money to see it.

Anonymous said...

Sorry sean richardson I didn't know this was a punctuation test.

Besides slamming my gramar about all you said was a whole lot of nothing.

I may be the type of person to see this movie because I am a horror fan and you know watching people from L.A and or New York get bound a cut up by a hairy sweaty old man is not only appealing but yeah I would even pay good money for it.

The MPAA taking away a rating from a movie such as this would kill it before it hit the water.

you take away a rating so its unrated which means no movie theatre will play the it.

Some back alley theatres may play it but if the movie is anywhere near the price to produce as other movies are now. well, the movie company is going to rely on Dvd sales alone to make up the cost of the movie.

So for the billboards should the MPAA enact a process that will equal out to millions of dollars lost to the company ?

seems like a hell of a fine to me.


all well hey heres a link to an mpaa approved poster for hostel 2
http://media.splatterfilms.com/galleries/3777/posters/poster1_huge.jpg

isn't that mpaa just silly ;)

Anonymous said...

http://media.splatterfilms.com/galleries/3777/
posters/poster1_huge.jpg

oop try that ;)

Sean Richardson said...

"Sorry sean richardson I didn't know this was a punctuation test."

If you can make your points clear without punctuation, go ahead. You can't even make yourself clear with punctuation, so I really don't think you need to make yourself *more* illegible.

"Besides slamming my gramar about all you said was a whole lot of nothing."

You gotta give me something to work with, man. You're spouting nonsense, I'm trying to understand your points. Your point about 'Vacancy' made no sense given the context of the conversation... actually, it just made no sense.

"I may be the type of person to see this movie because I am a horror fan and you know watching people from L.A and or New York get bound a cut up by a hairy sweaty old man is not only appealing but yeah I would even pay good money for it."

Putting aside the language barrier (it reads as if you're speaking into one of those "talk-type" things that takes words you say and attempts to make sentences out of them), I have a problem with people decided they're fans of a genre and then rushing out to see every shitty movie which is released in the genre. Wouldn't a fan of the genre show some taste and respect the genre? I love horror films, which is why I don't see shitty horror films.

"The MPAA taking away a rating from a movie such as this would kill it before it hit the water."

So? If the alternatives are "no meaningful punishment" and "the only punishment the studio will listen to," I'll take the latter. Especially given that the studio signed a contract which gave the MPAA the right to remove/deny its rating if they broke rules which they subsequently fragrantly broke. It's pretty cut-and-dry. I understand that your motivation is entirely selfish, "I like horror movies, therefore I must see every horror movie no matter how bad," but this country has laws.

I mean, I just read a story about two old ladies who were insuring homeless people for millions of dollars and then murdering them. When they are found guilty, will you be standing up saying, "Your honor, to sentence these women to fifty years in jail is UNFAIR because they're old and they might die in jail, and that's NOT FAIR to the old ladies. Just because they broke the law, it doesn't mean they should be punished."

"you take away a rating so its unrated which means no movie theatre will play the it."

Good. They deserve to lose money. This is the only sort of punishment the production company will listen to.

"Some back alley theatres may play it but if the movie is anywhere near the price to produce as other movies are now. well, the movie company is going to rely on Dvd sales alone to make up the cost of the movie."

Which is how 90% of movies make their money these days anyway. I say again, So?

"So for the billboards should the MPAA enact a process that will equal out to millions of dollars lost to the company ?
seems like a hell of a fine to me."

It's pretty simple:
-One of the MPAA's rules is that they must approve all public advertising. Part of the rule is that a movie whose producers/distributors violate this can lose their rating, or be denied a rating if they don't have one yet.
-After Dark agreed to follow the MPAA's rules.
-After Dark submitted an ad to the MPAA which was rejected.
-After Dark put the ad up within 48 hours; a reasonable inference from this is that they were already planning to put it up and went to the MPAA as an afterthought, assuming the MPAA would approve, but not caring if they didn't.
-The MPAA demanded they take the billboard down.
-After more than a week, they took it down, but are now attempting to use the controversy they are wholly responsible for to claim that the MPAA is trying to censor their movie, trying to entrance people who think horror is just another word for "hardcore" to ignore how shitty the movie looks and focus on the fact that it's CONTROVERSIAL. But it's a bullshit controversy they created themselves.

So, what part of this do you think is a valid business practice that should be rewarded with a major theatrical release? And, in the days of DVD, who cares about the theatrical release anyway? (Hollywood sure doesn't.) Anything you can't see in a theater, or you opt not to for various reasons (me, I won't go see a kids' movie in a theater, too many loud kids), you can see it at home within a few months.

Sean Richardson said...

'flagrantly', not 'fragrantly'. Although, really, it's both.

Anonymous said...

I mean, I just read a story about two old ladies who were insuring homeless people for millions of dollars and then murdering them. When they are found guilty, will you be standing up saying, "Your honor, to sentence these women to fifty years in jail is UNFAIR because they're old and they might die in jail, and that's NOT FAIR to the old ladies. Just because they broke the law, it doesn't mean they should be punished."

Don't compare sadistic murders to the movie industry and the point you were trying to make I do not understand. Maybe its rules are in place for a reason?


Good. They deserve to lose money. This is the only sort of punishment the production company will listen to.

so your want this movie to made an example of?

"Some back alley theatres may play it but if the movie is anywhere near the price to produce as other movies are now. well, the movie company is going to rely on Dvd sales alone to make up the cost of the movie."

Which is how 90% of movies make their money these days anyway. I say again, So?

uhh fuckin no, most movies make all their money in the theatres. I don't think titanic did 100s of millions in sales on dvds alone

Putting aside the language barrier (it reads as if you're speaking into one of those "talk-type" things that takes words you say and attempts to make sentences out of them), I have a problem with people decided they're fans of a genre and then rushing out to see every shitty movie which is released in the genre. Wouldn't a fan of the genre show some taste and respect the genre? I love horror films, which is why I don't see shitty horror films.

I am passionate about horror films because they have such a bad rap
I mean what other film genre has most controversy than horror?

Whens the last time you seen a cameron diaz film come under fire?

yeah thats right never.

And the whole point about vacancy from the previous post was that is the same movie i know thats hard for you to understand

same movie just with a male lead character in it.

why not check up on it before posting a wity comment?

And to be honest some of the shittiest horror movies of all time are the best movies of all time.

B rate horror films are great and only uptight assholes don't enjoy them.

Assholes that wanna suck MPAA off and get great A++ with the national spelling champions.

all well thats enough for me not gonna check on this lame blog anymore

someone once said any publicity is good publicity so at the very least I bet people will check it out because of all the stink people have made about it.

So looks like the MPAA loses either way heh

catch you later Sean boy

Sean Richardson said...

"Don't compare sadistic murders to the movie industry and the point you were trying to make I do not understand. Maybe its rules are in place for a reason?"

Close enough. The point is, if a person violates rules, they must be willing to accept punishment, not cry foul after the fact and claim extenuating circumstances.

"so your want this movie to made an example of?"

Hey, listen, *nobody* involved in this website made the decision. I would not say the movie is being "made an example of" because that false implies that this is a common practice, to circumvent and ignore the MPAA. I am saying that allowing a company to circumvent and ignore the MPAA in this way would set a bad precedent which will only lead to deeper, more serious censorship than the MPAA is capable of.

"uhh fuckin no, most movies make all their money in the theatres. I don't think titanic did 100s of millions in sales on dvds alone"

first off, 'Titanic' was more than 10 years ago, released before the advent of DVD, so your example is stupid. Second off, most movies make most of their profit off the DVD release, not the theatrical release, so your point is stupid.

And if you don't know that, you are obviously not in the movie business, which means that you are hiding behind anonymity purely out of cowardice; the "anonymous" setting is in place largely to protect people in the business from having to be held accountable by companies for expressing their private opinions. That's understandable. Your cowardice? Doesn't make sense. Coward.

"I am passionate about horror films because they have such a bad rap
I mean what other film genre has most controversy than horror?"

Comedies can be controversial ('Borat'), dramas can be controversial ('United 93'), romances can be controversial when they are atypical stories for movies ('Brokeback', for instance), documentaries can be controversial ('Fahrenheit 9/11', 'Inconvenient Truth'), animated films can be controversial ('Happy Feet'), religious films can be controversial (both ways -- 'Last Tempation' or 'The Passion'), musicals can be controversial ('Rent'), war movies can be controversial. You might have a point, though, for other genres.

"Whens the last time you seen a cameron diaz film come under fire?

"yeah thats right never."

Cameron Diaz is a genre? Woah. I guess it's true, it's been a while since she made a controversial comedy like 'There's Something About Mary' or 'The Sweetest Thing'. Almost five years now, and four whole films, since then.

"And the whole point about vacancy from the previous post was that is the same movie i know thats hard for you to understand

"same movie just with a male lead character in it.

"why not check up on it before posting a wity comment?"

Because I've seen the trailer, and, as I said, it has nothing to do with 'Captivity'. And also because, beyond that, the controversy here has nothing to do with the film's lame content, but the film's marketing and illegal activity (yes, contract violation is still illegal).

But I suppose I can give you the benefit of the doubt and say that, yes, both 'Captivity' and 'Vacancy' involve a room in some way, vaguely relate to kidnapping, and have titles ending in the letter Y.

Why, you're right! They are exactly the same!

Let's go one step further, though, and point out that you're so stupid that you think that replacing a female torture victim with a male torture victim, the movies will be equally misogynist.

"And to be honest some of the shittiest horror movies of all time are the best movies of all time."

That's the stupidest thing you've said yet. I would love for you to give examples but, oh yeah, you're a coward.

"B rate horror films are great and only uptight assholes don't enjoy them."

I agree with you, but B-rate is not the shittiest a horror movie can be; B-rate is cheesy stupid fun. We're talking Z-rate here.

"Assholes that wanna suck MPAA off and get great A++ with the national spelling champions."

Is it redudant to say this sentence makes no sense? Of course it is, given that I'm talking to you. Stop sniffing glue, it's messing up your brain.

"all well thats enough for me not gonna check on this lame blog anymore"

I will bet any other poster on this blog that this guy responds to me within 48 hours.

"someone once said any publicity is good publicity so at the very least I bet people will check it out because of all the stink people have made about it.

"So looks like the MPAA loses either way heh"

I can't imagine you're smart enough to recognize the disconnect between your accusation that the MPAA engages in economic censorship and your claim that this controversy will help the movie make more money...

but, you know what they say, God loves an idiot. He must send you a dozen red roses every day.

Dougie14th said...

Sean Richardson,

What the hell does this mean?

Let's go one step further, though, and point out that you're so stupid that you think that replacing a female torture victim with a male torture victim, the movies will be equally misogynist.

I'm not sure and would like specification. To me, it seems as if you're saying that having a male torture victim would be acceptable, but a female victim would be misogynist.

That's not right. Personally, I believe in equality for both sexes. Either one of them being tortured within a movie isn't good or bad. They're both equal to each other. This is what I've been arguing about in another section on this site. If it's a female, it's automatically sexist, but if it was replaced with a male, it would be ok. A lot of people just call anything sexist.

Maybe I misunderstood you though. Please explain.

Anonymous said...

I believe that you're all a bunch of dumbasses, hooray!

I only say as such is that this will do just like the ATHF movie.

You'll all look like a bunch of oversensitive assholes, while the movie will get even MORE publicity.

P.S. the city of boston STILL sucks.

Ramon said...

Its really time for us to fight back...against people like these that want to police what we watch, listen to, and see. What is Democratic about a very few, I mean FEW, telling the majority what we can and can't see. You suck. Frunkus!!!