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Kevin Smith's Zack and Miri Singled Out by the MPAA

by
June 20, 2008
Source: MTV

Zack and Miri Make a Porno

Unfortunately I've got to say that I saw this coming from a mile away. Kevin Smith's Zack and Miri Make a Porno is having troubles with the MPAA, as was expected. Not only did the MPAA quickly pull the teaser trailer that was posted online a few weeks ago, but now they're being troublesome about approving it with an R rating. Seth Rogen complains to MTV: "A guy f---ing a donkey, they ain't got no problem with, but a man and a woman having sex they seem to have real issues with, for some weird reason. It's insane. It's completely insane." He couldn't have said it better, because we all know the MPAA is insane and there's not much we can do. Most parents appreciate what they do, but in situations like this, it's painful to hear.

Rogen explained, while talking with MTV on the set of Observe and Report, that "the MPAA is gunning for us, I think." We all know why, but as a reminder, Rogen clarifies: "It's a really filthy movie. I hear they are having some problems getting an R rating from an NC-17 rating, which is never good." It definitely isn't, especially because the MPAA is notorious for having problems with sex more than violence. "They [fight against] sex stuff. Isn't that weird? It's really crazy to me that 'Hostel' is fine, with people gouging their eyes out and shit like that — but you can't show two people having sex — that's too much."

From the moment I heard about Zack and Miri Make a Porno, I knew they'd run into problems with the MPAA. I know it'll all be worked out in time, even if it means we have to see a tamed down cut in theaters and eventually watch the raunchy version on DVD. I don't even really care that much about these problems, because I know in the end we'll still see a great Kevin Smith movie with as much edgy content as the MPAA will eventually allow. Even though the first teaser trailer didn't even have any real footage, it was a hilarious introduction to the kind of over-the-top sexual content we can expect this fall.

How can we fight the MPAA's ridiculous policies?

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  • Discateia
    Not yet Rated. Watch that movie. The MPAA is the most disgusting organization in hollywood. And the Violence > Sex mentality that exists in America is hilariously retarded. Grow up.
  • You really can't.
  • They should get rid of the MPAA and install a new institute. Those guys are mentaly instable, and didn't get any love when they where young. Or something like that 😉
  • Hey man, Ok, how can YOU said the MPAA is being insane when you haven't seen the movie yet? Maybe the scenes they're focusing on really do deserve an NC-17? Maybe not, but I haven't seen it either so I can't say one way or the other. 😛 And I've got to say this, I'm so tired of these guys (like Rogen here... who I really love by the way) whining about how they shouldn't get an NC-17 because another movie has violence. Sorry, but that's not an argument. That's a 10 year old's argument. "BUT MOM... BILLY'S MOM LET'S HIM STAY UP TILL MIDNIGHT!" Weak. If you're going to argue for your film, argue based on your own films merits. I can't wait for this movie and I don't care if it gets an NC-17 or an R. I'm over 18. The problem is not the MPAA (yikes... I hate saying those words) giving an NC-17. The people we should be complaining about is the theaters or DVD stores who refuse to show something if it's NC-17.
  • Andrew
    The rating system itself is mostly fine (they could use an NC-17 sort of rating for violence, though, since torture porn is simply getting out of hand), but the problem is the people who are running the organization. These people are such retarted bigots that it makes me wish that I could sack them all and hire people who have more than half a brain and don't watch Fox News (which is an opinionated bigot orgy).
  • Ash
    Here is how the process works. Kevin Smith has had many run ins with the MPAA and should know how to play the game. You submit your first edit to the MPAA to see how much you can get away with. You put scenes in there knowing they are not going to make the final cut, but will make other scenes look tamer. You cut these scenes and hopefully will be enough to get your R. It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone involved that this movie got a NC17 with its first submission. It has the word porno in the title, do you not expect the MPAA to scrutinize it a little harder?
  • Shail
    John, there's a difference though. Parenting has no set standards. The MPAA is supposed to be an organization that judges films fairly, and seeing a rating should tell you what kind of content is in the movie.
  • Garrett.king
    this is no surprise. Smith will trim it back a bit, as he usually does, then release it as an R, as usual. Then there will be what they call an "Unrated" version on DVD. there ya go.
  • Darrin
    that sucks. alot of movies have sex scenes and they dont say shit. in the film 'out of time', there was a sex scene and that film was rated pg-13.
  • Jules
    I don't think it's a ten year old's arguement at all. There's no reason violence should be more acceptable than sex in this country especially given the fact that the people the MPAA are tryping to "protect" are ten times more likely to go and see Hostel or Saw than a Kevin Smith film.
  • The biggest problem I see with the MPAA is that there aren't any standards. It is apparently how they "feel" about a movie that determines it's rating. "This Film Is Not Yet Rated" is a real eye opener into the process of movie ratings. I would personally like something like a more sliding scale to rate the "age negatives" of a movie, sex, violence and language. Like that NFPA diamond symbol that rates chemical dangers of flammability, toxicity and reactivity (take a look at your nearest propane tank if you don't know what I'm talking about). Each of the 3 dangerous movie things could get a rating from 0-4. Lets call it the SeVeL or Sex, Violence, Language Level. It could have a cute mascot. SVL 044 "Hostel" 304 "Zack and Miri" 104 Just about every other movie Kevin Smith has ever made before the "Clerks II" donkey 010 Every Disney movie except for "The Incredibles" which would get a 020 maybe. I don't even really care as long as I and the makers of our movies know, without a doubt, where those numbers lie and what the boundary conditions are. As for age restrictions let's say 16+ for any movie with a 3 or higher in any field or maybe a combined score has to be less than 6. Again, whatever works, as long as it's standard. Given that there's no way something this rational will ever be implemented the only other thing to do is to fight this with our wallets. Stop going to watered down PG-13 fare, start going to the R rated movies more often. Don't shy away from NC-17 and raise holy hell when your theater isn't carrying something because of it's rating. I'm not sure that's going to happen either but it would be nice. Let's let capitalism work for the good of the movie public :-)
  • Knowing Kevin Smith's filmography, there's no way any of the scenes actually involve sex to an NC-17 rating. I know that Kevin & Co. will fight it with the Weinstein's on their side.
  • The MPAA is full of bigots and puritan assholes. Filmmakers need to start boycotting them. I love the "unrated" cuts on DVD. Parents are the ones to blame. They don't want to take the time or effort to pay attention to their kids, but they do have the time to have a shit-fit when they find out that their worthless child is watching a "bad" movie. Ratings are pretty pointless anyway. I saw the South Park movie in the cinema and I remember some dipshit woman walking out with her very young kids. It's rated "R" for a damn reason lady! Bah! I hate kids so much...
  • Matt
    Here's why the MPAA is a failure. In "This Film Is Not Yet Rated" the director talks to other directors on the MPAA rating process and how the felt about it, among other stuff, the documentary is great by the way. Anyway, the one I remember the most was with American Psycho. The director said when they submitted the film for review by the MPAA, they wanted a NC-17 rating. The problem wasn't the axe murder, or the stabbing of the homeless man, or the dropping a chainsaw on a bitch. It was the sex scene. The one with two women and one man. Apparently thats why more people shouldn't see the movie. Because disturbing acts of violence aren't as bad. It's f*cked up.
  • Uncle Chris
    Why have I only just discovered this site? This place is damn cool. And yeh, I totally agree with Discateia, that basically sums up my opinion on the Film Industry's "Big Wigs".
  • Scott
    This is no different than anything else in the PC-mad world of the USA. Topless beaches are pretty much banned from existence in the USA, so why would a film about people doing something out of wedlock be allowed? Remember the MPAA is really just a fancy name for a bunch of right-wing religious fanatics who have their own heads up their asses, and yet have the ear of the government.

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