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Harvey Weinstein Considers PG-13 Cut of “The King’s Speech”

Harvey Weinstein Considers PG-13 Cut of “The King’s Speech” (photo)

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As King George VI might say in one of his profanity-laden stuttering rants, his movie’s about to get buggered. The Los Angeles Times reports that Harvey Weinstein is considering recutting “The King’s Speech”after the Academy Awards in order to get it a PG-13 rating:

“[He wants to re-edit] the movie to excise coarse language and secure a lower rating that will open “The King’s Speech” to a broader audience. Weinstein, whose New York-based studio The Weinstein Co. released the film, said he is talking with director Tom Hooper about trimming the profanity that earned the film an R rating in order to attain a PG-13 or even PG. He is eyeing the success of the movie in Great Britain, where a 12-and-over rating has helped it to top the box office chart for the last three weekends, beating such bigger-budget pictures as “Gulliver’s Travels” and “The Green Hornet.”

“The British numbers are huge because the rating lets families see the movie together,” said Weinstein. “Tom and I are trying to find a unique way to do this that keeps his vision of the movie.”

Hooper could not be reached for comment.”

Let’s get this out of the way first: “The King’s Speech”‘s R rating for, as the MPAA puts it, “some language” was ludicrous to begin with. A couple of jags of naughty words aimed at no one in particular with zero sexual implication or malice don’t constitute, in my mind, grounds to preclude younger viewers. They can hear any of these words on the Internet in the amount of time it takes them to type them into Google. If you ask me, “The King’s Speech” should have been rated PG-13 all along.

A lot of movies trim their content for lower ratings and wider audiences. But most of them do it before they’ve been released. They submit a cut to the MPAA, they receive a conditional rating and then they either accept it, cut their movie, or appeal. The only recent example I can recall of a movie being recut after it’s already been released is Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ,” which made $370 million in the U.S. with an R rating but just $500,000 one year later as “The Passion Recut.” Part of the problem? Gibson’s softer “Passion,” which removed about five minutes of violence, was still too tough for a PG-13 rating, so he released it unrated, a decision that comes with its own set of financial problems.

I’ve got no beef with The Weinsteins cutting their own movie (Tom Hooper might, but I don’t). It’s their movie, they can do what they want with it. But it is funny to note that just one month ago, the Weinsteins were waging a fierce battle with the MPAA over another film in an attempt not to cut something. They successfully appealed “Blue Valentine”‘s NC-17 rating down to an R without having to make any changes to the film’s sexual content. If they’re not pleased with “The King’s Speech”‘s $60 million, they must be really pissed about “Blue Valentine”‘s $4.5 million. Can a oral sex free “Blue Valentine” be far behind?

There’s one big hole in TWC’s logic, too. Weinstein says the British grosses for the movie are so high because the film has a lower rating that “lets families see the movie together.” And I’m sure that England’s 12 rating has helped in that regard. But “The King’s Speech”‘s R-rating doesn’t prevent parents from taking their kids to see it; it certainly didn’t prevent parents from taking their kids to see “The Passion of the Christ.” He’s not considering another alternative: that British audiences are more interested in “The King’s Speech” because it’s about their king and their own history. In the same way that British audiences are probably less inclined to care about a film about a specifically American subject — a great politician, baseball, Snooki — American audiences are probably less inclined to care about a specifically British subject, namely a stuttering king.

I say this as a fan of “The King’s Speech.” I enjoyed the movie. But the biggest difference between an R and a PG-13 is that kids can go see it on their own. And I have a hard time imagining any kid that isn’t a mega-nerdlinger wanting to see “The King’s Speech.” “Dude, forget ‘The Mechanic’ this weekend! The guy from ‘Bridget Jones’ drops the F-bomb! We’ll tell my mom we’re going to see ‘The Green Hornet’ and sneak in!”

Crazy, right? That idea’s completely buggered.

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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. 

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number! 

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time. 

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by. 

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo. 

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim. 

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t? 

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?” 

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud. 

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.

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Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.

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Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.

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Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!

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Inter-not

Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.

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Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.

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If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.