Archive for the ‘New Releases’ Category

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joker poster Joker is a 2019 USA crime thriller by Todd Phillips.
Starring Robert De Niro, Joaquin Phoenix and Marc Maron. BBFC link IMDb

Joker centers around an origin of the iconic arch nemesis and is an original, standalone story not seen before on the big screen. Todd Phillips’ exploration of Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix), a man disregarded by society, is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale.

After a fair amount of speculation about the BBFC rating, brought on in part because of the belated publication, the BBFC have announced that the cinema release will be 15 uncut for strong bloody violence, language.Prior speculation was that maybe the MPAA R rated film would be BBFC 18 rated or maybe the delay was caused by Warner Brothers was commissioning cuts for a 15 rating.

It seems strange that the BBFC seems OK with cinema films in particular getting rated only a few days before release. Surely many people will therefore be making decisions, or even booking seats, before they are made aware of the rating. It probably leads to a few cinema goers watching films that they, or maybe their parents, may have felt unsuitable if they had but known.

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Poster Rocketman 2019 Dexter Fletcher Rocketman is a 2019 UK / USA musical music biography by Dexter Fletcher.
Starring Bryce Dallas Howard, Taron Egerton and Richard Madden. BBFC link IMDb

A musical fantasy about the fantastical human story of Elton John’s breakthrough years.

Rocketman follows in the footsteps of the similarly gay themed Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsod y. Perhaps with an eye on repeating the successful formula of the earlier sanitised and PG-13 rated biopic, Hollywood producers Paramount seemed to have been pushing for Rocketman to get a PG-13 rating.

Paramount demanded that Rocketman director Dexter Fletcher and producer Matthew Vaughn cut a 40-second scene that depicts Elton John and one-time lover and manager John Reid, writhing on a bed. Fully exposed white derrieres are on display, but the nude escapade is tastefully done.

However it seems that the film makers won the argument as the film ended up with an R rating that confirms the sexual content.

In the UK, the film was passed 15 uncut for drug misuse, sex, very strong language.

The debate has now been reprised in Australia where the distributors preferred a cut M (PG-15) rated release over the uncut version awarded an MA15+. The  distributors duly cut the film and resubmitted it but the censors decided that the distributors had not cut enough for an M rating and stuck with the MA15+ rating.

The distributors have now appealed the decision and hope that Review Board can be convinced to award an M rating.

The appeal will be heard on 21st May 2019.

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Poster Brightburn 2019 David Yarovesky Brightburn is a 2019 USA Sci-Fi horror thriller by David Yarovesky.
Starring Elizabeth Banks, David Denman and Matt Jones. BBFC link IMDb

Cut Small 15 Small UK: Passed 15 for strong gory injury detail, violence, language after BBFC advised pre-cuts ( 90:12s ) :
  • 2019 cinema release

The BBFC commented:

  • This film was originally seen for advice at which stage the company was informed it was likely to be classified 18 uncut but that their preferred 15 classification could be achieved by making reductions to two scenes featuring both strong gory images and a dwelling on the infliction of pain and injury. When the film was submitted for formal classification these scenes had been acceptably reduced.

Summary Notes

What if a child from another world crash-landed on Earth, but instead of becoming a hero to mankind, he proved to be something far more sinister?

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Poster Lords of Chaos 2018 Jonas Kerlund Lords of Chaos is a UK / Sweden thriller by Jonas Åkerlund.
Starring Rory Culkin, Emory Cohen and Sky Ferreira. YouTube icon BBFC link IMDb

A teenager’s quest to launch Norwegian Black Metal in Oslo in the 1980s Members of the Norwegian death metal band perform a series of increasingly shocking publicity stunts leading to a very violent outcome.

It is based on real-life band Mayhem, and includes scenes of murder including the brutal killing of a homosexual man – and the burning of churches by satanists.

The latest most controversial film ever has been passed 18 uncut by the BBFC for s trong bloody violence, gore, suicide. According to the Telegraph the BBFC are understood to have been so concerned about the film that it was reviewed at the highest levels and suicide prevention experts were consulted before it was approved for an 18 certificate.

The Telegraph suggests the US film censors at the MPAA were similarly concerned before rating it R for strong brutal violence, disturbing behavior, grisly images, strong sexuality, nudity, and pervasive language.

The BBFC said the film did not glamorise self-harm and that there was no reason to think the film would have a damaging effect on adults who chose to view it – although some might find it distressing.

Church groups have, however, have called for it to be banned. Speaking to The Telegraph, Simon Calvert, deputy director of The Christian Institute, said he was surprised the film had not been banned given the recent discussion about self-harm. He said:

In the current climate of concern over self-harm and suicide, you would have thought there might have been more consideration of the risk that vulnerable people might imitate what they see. The distributors ought to be asking themselves if it is worth this risk.’

The film is being distributed in the United Kingdom by Arrow Films and will be released in cinemas on 29th March.

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Waterworld Limited Edition Blu-ray Waterworld is a 1995 USA action Sci-Fi adventure by Kevin Reynolds.
Starring Kevin Costner, Jeanne Tripplehorn and Dennis Hopper. BBFC link IMDb

Never cut by film censors. The producers shortened the film against the wishes of the Director for theatrical release. The deleted material was restored for an extended TV version, but suffered cuts for the likes of strong language. An uncut extended version was released in Europe and has been tagged as the Ulysses Cut.

A fan-edit cut of the 1995 movie Waterworld is now available as an official Blu-ray release. The original Ulysses cut was crowdsourced using extra scenes from various TV broadcasts and publicly shared on The Pirate Bay more than a decade ago. The Blu-ray has been released by Arrow Film, but whether the original editor is aware of it is unknown.

The Arrow release includes three Waterworld cuts which were newly restored from the original material. That by itself would be enough to get proper fans excited, but it’s the inclusion of the infamous Ulysses Cut that was most anticipated.

Waterworld is known for its many different versions, but this one never officially aired anywhere. It was created by a fan who, together with others, set out to make the longest uncensored edit of Waterworld possible.

The origin of this fan-edit, well documented by the Unheard Nerd, started in 2005. A user of the Original Trilogy forum asked if anyone had access to the 40 minutes of Waterworld material that appeared in an ABC broadcast. This generated a long thread where users shared and compared different versions of the film.

In 2006, a user named Mcfly89, showed his interest in the project. Mcfly89 later took the lead and after crowdsourcing copies of different broadcasts, he set out to combine these into a long uncensored edit of Waterworld.

The project progressed slowly and by November 2007 the name Ulysses was first mentioned. This title refers to the unnamed mariner played by Kevin Costner. He’s given this name toward the end of the film in a scene that was taken out of the theatrical version.

With a name for the project, Mcfly89 continued his work. Helped by other members, who also assisted with an appropriate DVD-cover, the fan-made DVD was ready by the summer of 2008. Despite a temporary outage on The Pirate Bay, Mcfly89 managed to upload a torrent for the Ulysses cut to the site on July 28th, exactly thirteen years after the original premiere.

Many Waterworld fans welcomed the Ulysses release and it was even extended by Zaaacharias a few years later. It’s not clear whether the original makers were happy with it. Film fans generally see fan-edits as important preservation projects, but copyright holders have gone after such releases as well.

Fast forward another decade and now the Ulysses cut has been released legitimately on a Blu-Ray disc put together by Arrow Films. The movie company used the name of the cut, but it was obviously reconstructed from original footage, not the broadcasts that were used in the fan-edit.

It would probably be an interesting read or feature to know how between Universal, Arrow and Mcfly89 The Ulysses Cut has eventually arrived as a 1080p edition. The story is quite remarkable already but we believe that Arrow Films missed a major opportunity here. But perhaps the full story will come out one day, in another decade or so.

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Poster Aquaman 2018 James Wan Aquaman is a 2018 Australia / USA action Sci-Fi fantasy by James Wan.
Starring Jason Momoa, Amber Heard and Nicole Kidman. BBFC link IMDb

Arthur Curry learns that he is the heir to the underwater kingdom of Atlantis, and must step forward to lead his people and be a hero to the world.

The UK cinema release has been cut for a 12A rating. 2D and 3D versions were passed 12A for moderate violence, scenes of sustained threat after BBFC advised pre-cuts: advised pre-cuts:

The BBFC commented:

  • This work was originally seen for advice. The company was advised the film was likely to be classified 15 but that their preferred 12A classification could be achieved by removing bloody detail. When the film was submitted for formal classification the bloody detail had been removed and the film was classified 12A.

Meanwhile in the US the film was rated MPAA PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and for some language.

Update: Pools of blood

24th December 2018. Thanks to ThatFilmGuy

I went to go see Aquaman last week (in the UK) and aware of the cuts made in post production I watched an online copy of the US PG-13 version of the film to work out what was cut.

The scene in question occurs at 1 hour and 28 minutes into the film; in the US version Aquaman is stabbed in the shoulder by Black Manta following which a small red patch appears, in the UK version the small red patch was removed. After this Aquaman is slashed in the back following which a small blood spurt is seen again this blood spurt was removed digitally.

Also some foreign releases I saw this year were noticeably pre-cut by the distributor before being submitted to the BBFC (similarly to Bumblebee the BBFC marks these as uncut) these films in question being:

  • Baaghi 2 (which was pre-cut by around 1 or 2 minutes for violence and drug use) and
  • Maari 2 (which was pre-cut by around 3 minutes for violence)

I have compared these to the International releases online which include the aforementioned footage cut from the film in the UK. =

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poster bumblebee Bumblebee is a 2018 USA action Sci-Fi adventure by Travis Knight.
Starring Hailee Steinfeld, Justin Theroux and Angela Bassett. BBFC link IMDb

On the run in the year 1987, Bumblebee finds refuge in a junkyard in a small Californian beach town. Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld), on the cusp of turning 18 and trying to find her place in the world, discovers Bumblebee, battle-scarred and broken. When Charlie revives him, she quickly learns this is no ordinary, yellow VW bug.

The film was originally passed 12A uncut for moderate fantasy violence for UK cinema release.However the distributors preferred a cut PG version and the film was resubmitted shorn by about 6 secnds. The BBFC duly passed the film PG for moderate fantasy violence, mild sex references, injury detail, language.

In the US the film was Rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action violence.

Update: Australia too

16th December 2018. See article from refused-classification.com

With echoes of the UK situation the Australian distributors of BumbleBee submitted the film uncut to the film censor and received an uncut M rating for moderate impact violence, mild impact themes, language Very mild drug use, sex. The M rating is an advisory 15 that would be labelled PG-15 in the US. It is the usual rating for films rated PG-13 in the US and 12A in the UK.

Like Britain the distributors preferred a local PG and resubmitted a cut version, presumably the same as the cut UK PG rated version . However it didn’t cut any ice with the censor and was again M rated.

The distributors are now appealing the decision with the Review Board hoping to achieve the desired PG.