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WonderCon 09: ‘Terminator Salvation’ And The Return Of The PG-13 Debate
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The Movie God   |  @   |  
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T4It’s been a good while since my little tirade after we first heard that Terminator Salvation was aiming for a PG-13 rating (See: ‘Terminator Salvation: The Dilution Of A Franchise’). Well, the controversy has arisen once more!

Last year, director McG addressed the issue regarding the film’s rating, explaining that if the movie could be achieved with the PG-13, it would be, but that he was under no circumstances being forced by Warner Bros. to make it PG-13. He also said if the film turned out to be R-rated, then Warner Bros. would be fine and dandy with it.

Now the newest “What a twist!” moment in the story. At this weekend’s WonderCon convention in San Francisco, McG held another Terminator Salvation panel. At said panel, McG shared that there was a scene in the movie involving Moon Bloodgood topless in the rain. The reason for the scene was to bring back that Sarah Connor presence in the movie. While we may still get actual Sarah Connor voice-over, McG wanted his female lead to have that strong-yet-sexy “I’ll kiss you or I’ll kill you” kind of a feel to her. It turns out though, that WB wasn’t so open to whatever was needed as we were once promised, asking that McG remove the scene from the final cut so that the feared PG-13 rating could be achieved.

This is all a bit shocking, really. I’ve personally come a long way since that angry rant almost a year ago. All of the footage that we’ve seen so far has been really impressive and by all accounts, it seems as if the final product will be very bad-ass. This doesn’t mean that I’m OK with a PG-13 — I still think that in order to make this a Terminator movie, it needs that rated-R tone to it. The thing about this though, is that I wasn’t looking for nudity to achieve that rating; I wanted a handful of really dark, violent scenes to pull it off. For example: in Terminator 2, there was the scene where John’s stepmother is replicated by the T-1000 and turns her hand into a blade and drives it through a milk carton and right into John’s stepfather’s face. We don’t even SEE the act, but the visual after the fact is so hardcore and even haunting, that it’s not something you could likely pull off in a PG-13 movie. Not to mention the very obvious fact that if you’re in the middle of a war with extremely dangerous machines, you just don’t say “fuck” one strategically placed time. I’d be dropping them left and right in between humming renditions of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” gently to myself whilst curled up in the corner crying.

McG is urging fans to e-mail Warner Bros. execs and beg them to allow the movie to stay R. At this point, there’s not much that can really be done. We just need to brace for impact and hope for the best. Worst case scenario, maybe there will finally be an Unrated DVD that makes the movie better and isn’t just full of cheaply added “adult” stuffs like Live Free or Die Hard‘s joke of a movie.

4 Comments »

  1. Honestly, are you really shocked by the possible PG-13 rating? If you haven’t done so, go watch “This Film Has Not Yet Been Rated” on the ins and outs of the MPAA.

    We may get our “savagery of war” scenes with machines dismembering bodies, but no boobies or repeated use of foul language if McG wants his PG-13 rating.

    Comment by burning_chrome — March 1, 2009 @ 9:04 pm

  2. It’s the same problem that a lot of older slasher movies ran into. you watch them today, and they really aren’t anything more hardcore then what you’re see in a PG-13 film… except they had to show some breasts to launch it into R rated territory. It gave the impression that the movie was going to be harder than it actually was…

    boobs don’t automatically equal sexy… there are more imaginative ways to do that… you just have to think harder is all.. and boys like to see boobs

    If you have to resort to boobs to make your movie R, then it probably isn’t that worth it, IMO.
    You can do a good film and show the ravages of war, and it doesn’t have to be R…

    Comment by Schutzenegger — March 2, 2009 @ 1:43 am

  3. There are plenty of good movies that aren’t rated R…just think of our beloved Dark Knight for one example. There were plenty of scenes in that film that seemed much more violent than they actually were. This was not achieved through the use of a ton of blood and guts all over the screen, but instead through combined efforts and talents of the director, actors, and composer. Wasn’t the “magic trick” scene shocking enough to get a reaction and make a point about the character? Also, did we not come to view the Joker as a legitimately vile individual without him having to mutter a single f-word?

    Honestly, I’d prefer to see a movie without all of the language. I find it offensive and fairly distracting. It doesn’t make a movie any more “real” or “gritty” to me (Something that, as I tried to say earlier, could easily be conveyed through the use of more subtle and intelligent methods). Actually, I enjoy movies with bad language very little and am less likely to buy them on DVD if they have an excessive amount.

    I remember not too long ago that the big “unrated” DVD craze started. Suddenly it was like, “Ooh! Let’s make it unrated for the sake of making it unrated!” Most of the time it seems like it’s done just to make the movie raunchier and more gory, not to make a serious “Director’s Cut” that actually has some artistic merit.

    Don’t get me wrong, I do watch and enjoy some R rated movies. I think that every once in a while to “show everything” and “say anything” in a film is appropriately fitting way to shock the audience and make a point. But I think that it should be the exception of the rule…NOT the standard like it seems to have become.

    I don’t know…am I the only one who doesn’t enjoy the increasing amount of excessive language, sex, and gore in films?

    Comment by Jonathan — March 2, 2009 @ 6:54 am

  4. No, you’re right on.

    You know, maybe it was just my mom (who has written a few plays and a musical) telling me and no one else heard it, but I was always told that it takes less thought and imagination to resort to those sort of things than to do things in a different way

    Comment by Schutzenegger — March 2, 2009 @ 12:23 pm

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