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C'mon Hollywood #234

12.15.2009

...where did the AA rating go?
by J.A. Hamilton

Perhaps the same cannot be said everywhere, but where I live (in the barren wilderness known as Canada) a curious transition occurred sometime after 2004 which was subtle at first but has become quite obvious to me over the past year. When the debate over violence got too loud to ignore, we lost our film rating middle ground. With the exception of G rated films (and the rare PG), weíve been left with PG-13 and R. The AA rating (Adult Accompaniment) used to bridge the gap between the two, giving directors and producers a little more leeway to work with, without having the MPAA constantly breathing down their necks. And now, itís gone.

"And THIS is what happens to smart asses who piss me off!"

The AA rating was arguably a bit of a loophole, as many films that should have hit theaters rated R (like STARSHIP TROOPERS and RESIDENT EVIL APOCALYPSE) for containing explicit violence, nudity and language, squeezed in rated AA. The debate over content, and/or whether or not children should be able to see it is totally irrelevant in my mind as far as the rating of the film is concerned. Iíve been getting into R rated flicks since I was twelve, my mother (who shrieks in terror at the mere mention of blood) would never have dreamed of taking me to one, instead she dropped me and some friends off at the theater (countless times) and asked another adult to get us in. Worked like a charm.

Will CLASH OF THE TITANS be the next 300?

So with this in mind, Iíve always laughed when studios blame the need for PG-13 ratings on money, saying that if itís rated R it wonít turn as big a profit because kids wonít be able to go see it. Wrong. If itís a good flick, kids will not only want to see it but WILL find a way in, I guarantee it. 300 wouldnít have made more money if it was rated PG-13, the fact that it was a hard R action extravaganza is what made it popular, which to me contradicts the idea that a film will make more money if itís rated PG-13 simply because a younger audience is able to view it in theaters. Make a great movie and itíll make money, period. Donít blame a dud on the rating, blame the writers.

Justin Long stole the show for me

With money and violence out of the way, the only other logical reason I could come up with goes back to the idea of AA being a loophole, and that directors and producers were starting to push the envelope a little too far and the MPAA got fed up. Take Kevin Smith for example and his debacle over ZACK AND MIRI MAKE A PORNO. I love the guy, I truly do, but he had to expect a couple red flags to go up when he decided to put the word ďpornoĒ in the title. I loved that film, and thought it was nowhere near as sadistic, raunchy or downright evil as the MPAA were making it out to be. Smith was made an example of, and Iím sure he wasnít the only one.

I'm still not completely sold on this flick

The fact remains that no matter what the reason for the disappearance of our middle ground rating, the damage and frustration itís causing in Hollywood has become painstakingly evident. Case in point, we ran a story revolving around the fact that THE WOLFMAN will be rated R. Should this be big news? Not really, but it is simply because it was going to be either R or PG-13 and nobody wanted to see the latter. The ratings issue is a broad one, with many sharp corners (this being only one of them) and in my opinion, there should ALWAYS be a middle ground in everything, especially movies. The AA rating is sorely missed, and I for one, would love to see it return.
Extra Tidbit: You'd think with how socially acceptable video game and TV ratings have become (don't get me wrong, it's been an uphill battle), the MPAA could ease up a bit on movies.
Source: JoBlo.com
Tags: Hollywood

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7:05PM on 12/17/2009
Canada's film rating system is one of the better ones in my opinion. G, PG, 14A, 18A and R.

G = movies like Up (everyone)
PG = movies like Avatar (light violence)
14A = movies like Gladiator (harsh violence depicted in a setting of reality instead of fun or "cool")
18A = Saw (extreme violence depicted as spiteful entertainment)
R = (Anything that would be NC-17 in the US)

Sex doesn't alter ratings in Canada nearly as much as in the US.
Canada's film rating system is one of the better ones in my opinion. G, PG, 14A, 18A and R.

G = movies like Up (everyone)
PG = movies like Avatar (light violence)
14A = movies like Gladiator (harsh violence depicted in a setting of reality instead of fun or "cool")
18A = Saw (extreme violence depicted as spiteful entertainment)
R = (Anything that would be NC-17 in the US)

Sex doesn't alter ratings in Canada nearly as much as in the US.
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4:36AM on 12/16/2009
The best rating system is the ESRB for video games.

The worst is the practically useless TV ratings system.

Movie ratings fall in between, but yes, the loss of the in between rating is not a good one.
The best rating system is the ESRB for video games.

The worst is the practically useless TV ratings system.

Movie ratings fall in between, but yes, the loss of the in between rating is not a good one.
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12:40AM on 12/16/2009
The one thing Australia has right is the MA rating, which bridges the gap between PG, M and R and films like The Descent for example get rated MA.
The one thing Australia has right is the MA rating, which bridges the gap between PG, M and R and films like The Descent for example get rated MA.
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9:53PM on 12/15/2009
yeh i think tv ratings have 6 different levels: C for age 2-7, C8+ for 8 and up, G, PG, 14+ and 18+. we really do need the middle ground, im sick of story plots that have been watered down to PG and others that have been slated as R because they wouldnt water down the violence by one blood spatter. and the MPAA needs to realize that the G PG AA and R are ultimitly reccomendations, people will choose weather to see something or not on their own, weather its an R or G movie, and if a parent
yeh i think tv ratings have 6 different levels: C for age 2-7, C8+ for 8 and up, G, PG, 14+ and 18+. we really do need the middle ground, im sick of story plots that have been watered down to PG and others that have been slated as R because they wouldnt water down the violence by one blood spatter. and the MPAA needs to realize that the G PG AA and R are ultimitly reccomendations, people will choose weather to see something or not on their own, weather its an R or G movie, and if a parent wants to complain that their kid snuck into 300 and was scarred for life and violence shouldnt exist they need to pack up and move to disney land or perhaps keep a closer eye on their kids insted of messing things up for other people.
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+2
8:21PM on 12/15/2009
I've also been wondering why the only three ratings I've seen used in the past couple years are G, PG-13 and R. You're right, even video games have more ratings than that.
I've also been wondering why the only three ratings I've seen used in the past couple years are G, PG-13 and R. You're right, even video games have more ratings than that.
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6:44PM on 12/15/2009
What everyone has said is bad enough, but it gets worse if you live in a place that goes by different Regions numbers. And of course a lot of times the DVD movie has a different rating than it did in theaters. Which is also a little strange and confusing.
What everyone has said is bad enough, but it gets worse if you live in a place that goes by different Regions numbers. And of course a lot of times the DVD movie has a different rating than it did in theaters. Which is also a little strange and confusing.
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5:36PM on 12/15/2009
You're right it is mostly either PG-13 or R lately and I remember when movies were rated A or AA too, but it's been a long time since I've seen one.
You're right it is mostly either PG-13 or R lately and I remember when movies were rated A or AA too, but it's been a long time since I've seen one.
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5:08PM on 12/15/2009
Yeah, I always thought there should be some sort of inbetween for PG13 and R... it's either 1 "fuck" or infinite? Lame.
Yeah, I always thought there should be some sort of inbetween for PG13 and R... it's either 1 "fuck" or infinite? Lame.
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4:24PM on 12/15/2009
I would say in America, R is AA and then we have NC17. I used to go to R movies as a child with my parents all the time.
I would say in America, R is AA and then we have NC17. I used to go to R movies as a child with my parents all the time.
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5:34PM on 12/15/2009
You're allowed into an R rated movie if you're with an adult.
You're allowed into an R rated movie if you're with an adult.
12:31PM on 12/15/2009
I've never liked the rating system, which by the looks of things is a little different everywhere and clearly confuses the hell out of people. They really need to fix it so that it's a universal system.
I've never liked the rating system, which by the looks of things is a little different everywhere and clearly confuses the hell out of people. They really need to fix it so that it's a universal system.
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12:29PM on 12/15/2009
I don't know where you are in Canada, but in Ontario we have G, PG, 14A, 18A, and R (regulated by the OFRB). And from my experience a solid R rating in Ontario is pretty rare, with 14A and 18A being much more popular. Your Specific example of 300, while gaining an R rating in the US had an 18A rating in Ontario. So still AOK for kids, so long as parents or any other adult are willing to walk them into the theatre.
I don't know where you are in Canada, but in Ontario we have G, PG, 14A, 18A, and R (regulated by the OFRB). And from my experience a solid R rating in Ontario is pretty rare, with 14A and 18A being much more popular. Your Specific example of 300, while gaining an R rating in the US had an 18A rating in Ontario. So still AOK for kids, so long as parents or any other adult are willing to walk them into the theatre.
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12:33PM on 12/15/2009
R and 18A are the same thing, as R means people under 18 can't get in without having an adult present.
R and 18A are the same thing, as R means people under 18 can't get in without having an adult present.
6:58PM on 12/17/2009
[To SnakeEyes]

Not true. In Canada "R" means absolutely no admission under 18 no matter what the circumstance.
[To SnakeEyes]

Not true. In Canada "R" means absolutely no admission under 18 no matter what the circumstance.
11:10AM on 12/15/2009
Don't know why I am bothering to pot this when just about everyone agrees. Something needs to be done about the rating system. Either get rid of the MPAA or force the MPAA to list rules and regulations of what exactly will earn what kind of rating. Tell the film maker what they did to earn the rating so it can be altered.
Don't know why I am bothering to pot this when just about everyone agrees. Something needs to be done about the rating system. Either get rid of the MPAA or force the MPAA to list rules and regulations of what exactly will earn what kind of rating. Tell the film maker what they did to earn the rating so it can be altered.
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9:59PM on 12/15/2009
they actually do tell the film makers whats earned them what rating and why and they tell them how many tiems they can swear ect. its the fact that they refuse to be flexible,consistant, understandable, and to be able to change with the times.
they actually do tell the film makers whats earned them what rating and why and they tell them how many tiems they can swear ect. its the fact that they refuse to be flexible,consistant, understandable, and to be able to change with the times.
10:51AM on 12/15/2009
Wow, I didn't know there was a big Canuck audience here. Makes sense, as Mr. Blo is Canadian, just never thought about it before. Here in the U.S., we have G, PG, PG-13 and R. The ratings are issued by a company that rates movies, the MPAA. The government does not regulate film in the U.S. In Canada, my understanding is that film ratings are a provincial and territorial responsibility, meaning the governments of each province decide film ratings. I've heard recently that the provinces have been
Wow, I didn't know there was a big Canuck audience here. Makes sense, as Mr. Blo is Canadian, just never thought about it before. Here in the U.S., we have G, PG, PG-13 and R. The ratings are issued by a company that rates movies, the MPAA. The government does not regulate film in the U.S. In Canada, my understanding is that film ratings are a provincial and territorial responsibility, meaning the governments of each province decide film ratings. I've heard recently that the provinces have been talking about creating a film rating standard for all Canadian provinces, excluding Quebec.
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12:10PM on 12/15/2009
You forgot about NC17 and X, though no one ever uses NC17 and X is just porn now.
You forgot about NC17 and X, though no one ever uses NC17 and X is just porn now.
10:33AM on 12/15/2009
I never understood ratings.
Here in Quebec (French-Canadian province)
Our ratings go like this
G 13+ 16+ 18+
Ive seen R-rated movies rated G here. How does it work ?
I never understood ratings.
Here in Quebec (French-Canadian province)
Our ratings go like this
G 13+ 16+ 18+
Ive seen R-rated movies rated G here. How does it work ?
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10:31AM on 12/15/2009
The AA rating didn't go anywhere? Here in Ontario, it became 14A [link]. The USA never had an AA rating (as far as I know), it's always been PG-13 then R (but their 'Restricted' rating is different than ours. We have 18A and R - 18A means those under 18 have to be accompanied by an adult, and R means you have to be 18 period to see it). I believe Ontario has a fair system overall compared to others. Rather baffling though when you compare it to the B.C., Winnipeg, Nova Scotia and Regie (ie.
The AA rating didn't go anywhere? Here in Ontario, it became 14A [link]. The USA never had an AA rating (as far as I know), it's always been PG-13 then R (but their 'Restricted' rating is different than ours. We have 18A and R - 18A means those under 18 have to be accompanied by an adult, and R means you have to be 18 period to see it). I believe Ontario has a fair system overall compared to others. Rather baffling though when you compare it to the B.C., Winnipeg, Nova Scotia and Regie (ie. Quebec). We're one country with different provinces with their own different ratings boards, and it can get confusing.

Starship Troopers was rated 'R' in Ontario. Resident Evil: Extinction was also rated 'R' (same as the first one, however RE: Apocalypse was 14A).
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6:42PM on 12/15/2009
14A is the same as A, but I don't see that one anymore with the exception of sometimes on TV. Sometimes Entourage has that rating.
14A is the same as A, but I don't see that one anymore with the exception of sometimes on TV. Sometimes Entourage has that rating.
9:57AM on 12/15/2009

Damn Straight

This also leads in to the "more nude scenes" article done previously. PG-13 is one of the worst things that can happen to a potentially awesome R rated flick. I would list movies like Die Hard 4.0, The Dark Knight and The Bourne Series among these, an R rating would enable the action to be seen properly without shaky cam and quick quick quick cutting.

Add that to more nude scenes for lead actresses, that's a recipe for awesome. Like Watchmen was. The rare big budget R rated gem.
This also leads in to the "more nude scenes" article done previously. PG-13 is one of the worst things that can happen to a potentially awesome R rated flick. I would list movies like Die Hard 4.0, The Dark Knight and The Bourne Series among these, an R rating would enable the action to be seen properly without shaky cam and quick quick quick cutting.

Add that to more nude scenes for lead actresses, that's a recipe for awesome. Like Watchmen was. The rare big budget R rated gem.
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5:38PM on 12/15/2009
Amen to the Watchmen comment, I totally agree with you.
Amen to the Watchmen comment, I totally agree with you.
8:19PM on 12/15/2009
You said it.
You said it.
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