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View Full Version : Bully (Hirsch, 2012) - The (Discussions and) Reviews Thread


Matthew Chmiel
03-26-12, 10:13 PM
There's no discussion thread currently, so I thought I'd combine the two and make one big thread.

Movie:
"Bully" (Starring: Bullies, geeks, dweebs and spazes.)

Release Date:
3/30/2012

Rating:
Unrated (for the Weinsteins not giving into the MPAA)

Running Time:
90min. (1h. 30m.)

Budget:
Under $1 million (estimated)

IMDb Synopsis:
A documentary on peer-to-peer bullying in schools across America.
IMDb Info and Rating:
6.5 (220 votes as of 3/27/12) (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1682181//)

Rotten Tomatoes:
Fresh:09 Rotten:00 (100% as of 3/27/12) (http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/bully_2012/)

Metacritic:
00 metascore ('Nothing' as of 3/27/12) (http://www.metacritic.com/movie/the-bully-project)

Trailer:
<object width="640" height="360"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/W1g9RV9OKhg?version=3&amp;hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/W1g9RV9OKhg?version=3&amp;hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="640" height="360" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>

Poster Art:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/07/Bully_poster.jpg

Matthew Chmiel
03-26-12, 10:16 PM
... but here's why I want to discuss the film:

SOURCE (http://www.slashfilm.com/bully-released-unedited-unrated/#more-123871)

Here’s the latest update in the battle between Harvey Weinstein and Bully director Lee Hirsch on one side and the MPAA on the other. Weinstein and Hirsch have petitioned the MPAA to lower Bully‘s rating from R to PG-13; the film was rated R solely for the use of foul language by kids filmed for the documentary.

Weinstein petitioned the MPAA to change the rating, hoping that doing so would (he said) help get kids to see the movie. He cited the ratings change for the Iraq War documentary Gunner Palace, released in 2004, which was also originally rated R for language. In the case of Gunner Palace, the MPAA did change the rating, and it went out as a PG-13 movie.

In the case of Bully the MPAA refused to budge, and now The Weinstein Company will release it, unedited, as an unrated film. So will the National Association of Theater Owners (NATO) make good on a promise to treat it as NC-17 and not let any minors in at all?

In February, Weinstein released part of a letter from NATO which said,

But if you decide to withdraw your support and participation in the rating system, and begin to release movies without ratings, I will have no choice but to encourage my theater owner members to treat unrated movies from The Weinstein Company in the same manner as they treat unrated movies from anyone else. In most cases, that means enforcement as though the movies were rated NC-17 – where no one under the age of 18 can be admitted even with accompanying parents or guardians.

So now we’ll see how that goes. Here’s the full press release announcing the plan to release the film unrated:

March 26, 2012 – New York, NY – After a recent plea to the MPAA by BULLY teen Alex Libby and The Weinstein Company (TWC) Co-Chairman Harvey Weinstein failed – by one vote – to get the film its deserved PG-13 rating, TWC is choosing to move forward with releasing the film unrated by the MPAA on March 30.

Furthering proof that the R rating for some language is inappropriate for a film that’s meant to educate and help parents, teachers, school officials and children with what’s become an epidemic in schools around the country, the fight against the rating continues on. The outpour of support by politicians, schools, parents, celebrities and activists for the film’s mission to be seen by those it was made for – children – has been overwhelming. Nearly half a million people have signed Michigan high school student and former bullying victim Katy Butler’s petition on Change.org to urge the MPAA to lower the rating.

Said BULLY Director Lee Hirsch, “The small amount of language in the film that’s responsible for the R rating is there because it’s real. It’s what the children who are victims of bullying face on most days. All of our supporters see that, and we’re grateful for the support we’ve received across the board. I know the kids will come, so it’s up to the theaters to let them in.”

“The kids and families in this film are true heroes, and we believe theater owners everywhere will step up and do what’s right for the benefit of all of the children out there who have been bullied or may have otherwise become bullies themselves. We’re working to do everything we can to make this film available to as many parents, teachers and students across the country,” said TWC President of Marketing Stephen Bruno.

For parents or teachers who are looking for more information or who may have concerns about showing children a movie unrated by the MPAA, please read Common Sense Media’s rating details of the film here: http://www.commonsensemedia.org/movie-reviews/bully.

“While it’s often heartbreaking and deals with tough issues like suicide, the movie addresses bullying in a frank and relatable way that is age appropriate for teens and relevant for middle schoolers if an adult is present to guide the discussion,” said James P. Steyer, Founder and CEO, Common Sense Media. “The MPAA’s ratings system is inadequate when it comes looking at a movie’s content through the lens of its larger thematic issues. Common Sense Media provides alternative ratings for parents who are looking for more guidance and context than the MPAA provides.”

BULLY will be released in theaters on Friday, March 30th in New York at the Angelika Film Center and AMC Lincoln Square and in Los Angeles at The Landmark, ArcLight Hollywood and AMC Century City.

BULLY is a beautifully cinematic, character-driven documentary. At its heart are those with huge stakes in this issue whose stories each represent a different facet of America’s bullying crisis. Filmed over the course of the 2009/2010 school year, BULLY opens a window onto the pained and often endangered lives of bullied kids, revealing a problem that transcends geographic, racial, ethnic and economic borders. It documents the responses of teachers and administrators to aggressive behaviors that defy “kids will be kids” clichés, and it captures a growing movement among parents and youths to change how bullying is handled in schools, in communities and in society as a whole.

Giles
03-26-12, 10:41 PM
"So will the National Association of Theater Owners (NATO) make good on a promise to treat it as NC-17 and not let any minors in at all?"

why would they? not all unrated films just because they aren't submitted to the MPAA is R or NC-17 in content - sometimes it's a cost effective move from a studio that doesn't have the money to have the film viewed by the ratings board.

Supermallet
03-26-12, 10:51 PM
I don't quite understand why so many exhibitors won't show unrated films. It's not like they're legally bound to show only rated films.

TomOpus
03-26-12, 11:20 PM
I don't quite understand why so many exhibitors won't show unrated films. It's not like they're legally bound to show only rated films.If they have to treat it as an NC-17 that would severely limit how many people they can allow in the movie. I would imagine they would rather have a money-making movie on that screen.

Now what I'm wondering is the way that letter was worded... it says:

In most cases, that means enforcement as though the movies were rated NC-17 – where no one under the age of 18 can be admitted even with accompanying parents or guardians.

Does the "in most cases" mean some theaters can go against the policy?

Supermallet
03-26-12, 11:32 PM
IIRC, a few states enforce MPAA ratings with a law. Most states don't, and it's really just up to the theater to honor it.

Josh-da-man
03-26-12, 11:33 PM
I don't quite understand why so many exhibitors won't show unrated films. It's not like they're legally bound to show only rated films.

Because of the notion that you have to draw the line somewhere.

Supermallet
03-26-12, 11:34 PM
I'm glad distributors and exhibitors are making these decisions for us.

Josh-da-man
03-26-12, 11:41 PM
Yeah, but that's how it's always been.

We all know stories about how the MPAA will demand a few seconds being trimmed from horror movies, and bullshit like that. It's all about the notion that they are going to draw a line in the sand, and NC-17 is that line. They're going to fuck with movies in little nit-picky ways, force little cuts here and there, or else brand with the dreaded NC-17. And the theater owners collude with this when they refuse to screen NC-17 and unrated films.

If theaters started showing NC-17 movies, it would destroy the intent of the rating. The whole point of NC-17 is to make movies that cross the line untouchable.

Giles
03-26-12, 11:42 PM
Because of the notion that you have to draw the line somewhere.

but not all unrated films are NC-17 in tone - some recent examples are:

Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye
Boy
Chico & Rita
Jiro Dreams of Sushi
The Salt of Life
We Have A Pope

and many many others

Supermallet
03-27-12, 12:10 AM
Yeah, but that's how it's always been.

We all know stories about how the MPAA will demand a few seconds being trimmed from horror movies, and bullshit like that. It's all about the notion that they are going to draw a line in the sand, and NC-17 is that line. They're going to fuck with movies in little nit-picky ways, force little cuts here and there, or else brand with the dreaded NC-17. And the theater owners collude with this when they refuse to screen NC-17 and unrated films.

If theaters started showing NC-17 movies, it would destroy the intent of the rating. The whole point of NC-17 is to make movies that cross the line untouchable.

That's how it's always been =/= that's how it should be.

arminius
03-27-12, 06:59 AM
And everyone knows the kids they aren't letting in talk like that anyway. Getting an r rating for language, especially in a docu of this sort, is stupid. I'd like to see the kind of people they have on these ratings boards that make these decisions.

Giles
03-27-12, 09:25 AM
And everyone knows the kids they aren't letting in talk like that anyway. Getting an r rating for language, especially in a docu of this sort, is stupid. I'd like to see the kind of people they have on these ratings boards that make these decisions.

supposedly it changes, but rent the doc This Film Is Not Yet Rated to get a sense.

Giles
03-27-12, 10:01 AM
here's the NATO letter in full

Dear Harvey,

The National Association of Theatre Owners partners with the MPAA in the rules and operations of the Classification and Ratings Administration. Exhibition representatives participated yesterday in the appeal of “Bully.” As you know, the appeals board voted to uphold the ratings board’s decision that the prevalence of harsh language in “Bully” warranted an “R” rating. In response, you released a statement criticizing the decision, and threatening to remove your company’s movies from the ratings process.

As the father of a nine-year-old child, I am personally grateful that TWC has addressed the important issue of bullying in such a powerful documentary. The filmmaker and especially the brave young people who participated in this project deserve our attention and respect. Nonetheless, I believe that your public response to the decision of the appeals board is unwise.

Surveys of America’s parents reflect their very strong concern with the use of harsh language in movies. The vast majority of parents surveyed have indicated that the type of language used in “Bully” should receive an automatic “R” rating. You ask us to ignore the preferences of America’s parents and our own ratings rules because of the merit of this movie. Yet were the MPAA and NATO to waive the ratings rules whenever we believed that a particular movie had merit, or was somehow more important than other movies, we would no longer be neutral parties applying consistent standards, but rather censors of content based on personal mores.

You recently released the award-winning movie “King’s Speech” and must know the language rules very well. You should not have been surprised at the rating for “Bully.”

I have nothing but tremendous respect for you and the work of TWC. Our industry is so much the better for your involvement. But if you decide to withdraw your support and participation in the rating system, and begin to release movies without ratings, I will have no choice but to encourage my theater owner members to treat unrated movies from The Weinstein Company in the same manner as they treat unrated movies from anyone else.

In most cases, that means enforcement as though the movies were rated NC-17 – where no one under the age of 18 can be admitted even with accompanying parents or guardians.

Thank you for your consideration of these thoughts. And the best of luck to you on Sunday.

Sincerely yours,

John Fithian
President & CEO
NATO

here's NATO's email to send them what you think about President John Fithian's ignorant stance on the subject: nato@natodc.com.

Honestly I'm shocked on NATO's overall blanket stance on unrated films. They give the MPAA way to much leniency

Matthew Chmiel
03-27-12, 10:31 AM
but not all unrated films are NC-17 in tone - some recent examples are:

Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye
Boy
Chico & Rita
Jiro Dreams of Sushi
The Salt of Life
We Have A Pope

and many many others

Super Size Me originally went out unrated, but ended up getting a PG-13 once actually rated by the MPAA.

Supermallet
03-27-12, 10:48 AM
What's really funny about that letter is the implication that the MPAA treats every movie equally. Anyone who has seen This Film Is Not Yet Rated knows they do not.

Giles
03-27-12, 10:51 AM
Super Size Me originally went out unrated, but ended up getting a PG-13 once actually rated by the MPAA.

actually there are two cuts of the film according to MPAA's database:

PG-13: for language, sex and drug references and a graphic medical procedure

"Educational Enhanced" version: Rated PG for thematic elements, a disturbing medical procedure, and some language

Giles
03-27-12, 10:54 AM
What's really funny about that letter is the implication that the MPAA treats every movie equally. Anyone who has seen This Film Is Not Yet Rated knows they do not.

and what the doc also notes, is that someone (one of the raters I assume) actual has a count sheet of how many expletives are uttered during the course of the movie

TomOpus
03-27-12, 10:58 AM
Anderson Cooper's daytime show today has been talking about the movie. Kids (and parents) from the movie along with the director are showing clips and it's heart-wrentching. My god, this film needs to be seen. Kids need to see this film. I hope it can make a difference.

Giles
03-27-12, 11:05 AM
Anderson Cooper's daytime show today has been talking about the movie. Kids (and parents) from the movie along with the director are showing clips and it's heart-wrentching. My god, this film needs to be seen. Kids need to see this film. I hope it can make a difference.

last week on 'Ellen' one of the families was interviewed and it was equally heart wrentching, and it was the last portion of the show, it was a downer of an ending but highly emotional.

TomOpus
03-27-12, 11:15 AM
I'll check her website for the clip. Her show out here comes on a lot earlier than when I was in San Diego.

Oh, the woman in the trailer claiming the kids on the bus "are good as gold" because she rode that bus...is the school principal. Gee I wonder why they behaved themselves with the principal riding along.

wishbone
03-27-12, 11:27 AM
and what the doc also notes, is that someone (one of the raters I assume) actual has a count sheet of how many expletives are uttered during the course of the movieWould bleeping the expletives give this film a more "friendly" rating? If so could it be released with bleeps for a wider audience and also released unedited for those that can see the original version?

I understand that kids curse like this everyday but when I hear a barrage of obscenity -- even as an adult -- it wears on me and I tend to tune it out. This seems like an important film for this generation of kids to see so I hope that families will have a chance to see it.

Giles
03-27-12, 11:31 AM
honestly, the bleeping would be for the benefit for the parents, parents for the most part think or want to think their kids are little angels and dont know one single naughty word - jeesh, get a clue folks.

actually for the most part, I think kids are more embarrassed in having to watch R-rated film with their parents in fear of the conversation afterwards regarding sex or vulgur language "tell me something I don't know already or I haven't heard on the playground"

Matthew Chmiel
03-27-12, 01:06 PM
actually there are two cuts of the film according to MPAA's database:

PG-13: for language, sex and drug references and a graphic medical procedure

"Educational Enhanced" version: Rated PG for thematic elements, a disturbing medical procedure, and some language
I saw the film during its original theatrical run where there was a warning at the box office that the film was Unrated and contained scenes with graphic medical images. However, this was at a Century theatre (before being purchased by Cinemark) and they allowed anyone/everyone into the theater. The "Unrated" cut of the film is that of the PG-13 edit; Spurlock made minute changes to get a PG version out for schools to show the film.

However, I remember when Y Tu Mamá También came out at the same theater and there was an usher in front of the specific auditorium making sure not a single individual under the age of 17 made their way in.

Theaters should be able to make the call, it all depends on content. However, I feel like Bully is a film all children, teenagers, parents and teachers/school employees NEED to see.

Would bleeping the expletives give this film a more "friendly" rating? If so could it be released with bleeps for a wider audience and also released unedited for those that can see the original version?
Bleeping the profanity would be able to secure a PG-13, but why? That ruins the impact and point the film is trying to make. These kids are being both physically and verbally abused. Why hide it?

arminius
03-27-12, 01:45 PM
I favor the unedited version. But if they are going for a pg13 rating I would prefer bleeping rather than cutting. It still has an impact that way. Too many bleeps in a row though would start making it funny.

TomOpus
03-27-12, 02:02 PM
As it stands right now, I almost wish they would go ahead and release as an R. At least that way more kids will have access to it than if it was treated as an NC-17.

mhg83
03-27-12, 05:01 PM
When i was in Grade School, my class went to see Amistad an R rated movie. Parents had to give permission to go but pretty much every student ended up going. Why can't schools do the same with this film?

PopcornTreeCt
03-27-12, 06:06 PM
They play that Scared Straight bullshit on tv unedited because it's deemed "important" they showed Schindlers List unedited and show it to kids so in other words it's all bullshit.

Matthew Chmiel
03-28-12, 11:04 AM
There was a great article from Salon (http://www.salon.com/2012/03/28/why_the_mpaa_doesnt_want_your_kid_to_see_bully/singleton/) posted last night regarding the MPAA and their response to the film.

TomOpus
03-28-12, 12:56 PM
The MPAA and NATO could've done the right thing and almost become heroes in this situation. They could've agreed to release the movie as PG-13 but post signs stating that the language was a little more harsher than with a normal PG-13.

Matthew Chmiel
03-28-12, 01:46 PM
The MPAA and NATO could've done the right thing and almost become heroes in this situation. They could've agreed to release the movie as PG-13 but post signs stating that the language was a little more harsher than with a normal PG-13.
IIRC, Gunner Palace and The Hip Hop Project did not have warnings. They went out as standard PG-13 films.

In fact:

In a rare reversal, the MPAA's Ratings Review Board voted 6-2 on Thursday to shift the rating of ThinkFilm's "The Hip Hop Project" from R to PG-13.

Set for release May 11 in 15 cities, the film tells the story of a formerly homeless teenager who inspires a group of Gotham teens to transform their life stories into hip-hop-driven works of art.

The MPAA has come under fire in the past couple of years over the nearly 40-year-old ratings system. Topper Dan Glickman has acknowledged, for example, that the NC-17 rating has not operated as it was intended -- as a fully integrated filter for mainstream adult content.

Think execs and those behind "Hip-Hop" likened it to "Gunner Palace," the 2005 Iraq war doc that depicted young soldiers' tours of duty. It likewise garnered a reversal to PG-13 despite containing 30 variations on the f-word. Typically, more than two kicks any pic into R territory.

"This motion picture is a call to end the destructive forces of violence, misogyny and criminality that dominate the music our children are listening to," said director Matt Ruskin. "This is the first film to show an alternative that is positive, growth-oriented and honest in a way that is accessible to young people. The overwhelming majority of parents, educators and medical professionals who have seen this film have told us that they are desperate to provide their children with this model for change."

Chris "Kazi" Rolle, founder of the Hip Hop Project, said the filmmakers appealed the rating because teens are the film's most essential audience demo.

"Just as I didn't have a parent to take me to the movies when I was a teenager," he said, "many of the young people who would benefit most from this film would have been denied access if the R rating stood."

Let's go back a little bit further to an article from Documentary.org (http://www.documentary.org/content/war-may-be-hell-fighting-mpaa-over-r-rating-fin-lethal):

When I arrived in Baghdad in 2003 to document the day-to-day lives of the soldiers in my film Gunner Palace, all they asked was that I "tell it like it is." In the months that followed, both in Baghdad and in the edit room, that request became the mantra of the film. It was about them--their experience, their story--in their words. Little did I know that the soldier's words--spoken and sometimes sung in a combat zone--would be individually counted and weighed by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).

Shortly after Gunner Palace was acquired by Palm Pictures in September 2004, Palm informed us that if we wanted to have a wide release, we would have to submit the film to the MPAA's Rating Board. Only 15 percent of exhibitors will book films without ratings and in the home video market, a rating is essential to get shelf space with retailers like Wal-Mart (which has a 60 percent market share). While the ratings system is voluntary, participation is mandatory if you want to have a mainstream commercial release, so we somewhat begrudgingly sent off a print to the MPAA.

I didn't know much about the Ratings Board at the time, so I read up on its rules and recent rulings. What I found surprised me: The Ratings Board is made up of parents and community leaders from just one community supposedly representative of American mores and values--Simi Valley, just outside of Los Angeles. The membership is secret, and details about demographics of the board are sketchy at best. A submitted film is screened before eight to 12 members of the board, who then make a decision that is supposed to reflect the "majority opinion of American parents." The board refers to a manual that offers guidelines for ratings--from the number of permitted sexual thrusts to the number of times expletives can be uttered. In our case, I was told by numerous people who had submitted films for ratings that the issue would the language in the film and that more than two uses of the word "fuck" would mean an automatic "R" rating. If that was indeed their yardstick, then Gunner Palace would receive an "R" two minutes into the first reel.

Our hope was that the Rating Board would consider the context and use of the language, understanding that the soldiers in the film are emotionally reacting to the violence and intensity they live in. Moreover, we hoped that the board members would separate reality from fiction. This wasn't a sophomoric comedy or a teen slasher flick; it was a documentary about young soldiers living in a combat zone where four of them had been killed and 60 wounded.

Six weeks later, we received word that the film had been rated "R" for language. The judgment was clinical, void of any explanation. We were told that our only recourse would be to appeal. I was angry. This wasn't simply a bureaucratic procedure anymore; it was about how we
perceive reality. Context was completely lost.

We decided to appeal based on the fact that the "R" would effectively restrict young adults from seeing a film that is especially relevant to their generation. It was a position I felt strongly about. Like many of the soldiers in the film, I walked into an Army recruitment station when I was 16 and was wearing a uniform at 17. If young Americans can make decisions like that--and if they can actively be recruited by the military when they are 14--then surely they are mature enough to see a film about their peers at war.

As we prepared for our appeal, we were reminded that Michael Moore and his consortium of distributors, with the advice and support of a legal team that included Mario Cuomo, had appealed Fahrenheit 9/11's original "R" rating with a similar defense and had lost. In a phone conference we were told by Joan Graves, the head of the MPAA's Classification and Rating Administration (CARA), that we were "wasting everyone's time" when we suggested that perhaps it was time to address the popularity of theatrical documentaries by developing a rating specifically for nonfiction content. She said that the rules were the rules and the MPAA wouldn't budge.

The more we looked at the system, the more we saw that it was flawed. In many cases, it didn't even make consistent sense. The best example we found was Go Tigers!, a theatrical doc about high school football that was rated "R for language and a scene of teen drinking" while a fiction feature about the same subject, Friday Night Lights, was rated "PG-13 for thematic issues, sexual content, language, some teen drinking and rough sports action."

To support our argument, we found a precedent: In November 2004, dozens of ABC affiliates refused to show an uncut version of Saving Private Ryan for fear of being fined for the FCC for obscenity. The film aired with a taped statement from Senator John McCain that said, "Saving Private Ryan is a powerful and important depiction of the sacrifices made for our country. While it contains violence and profanity, these are not shown in a gratuitous manner."

Also in support of the broadcast of the film, former MPAA chief Jack Valenti wrote an op-ed for Variety entitled "Moral Values in Times of War." He writes, "Yes, there is some language in the movie that may cause dismay to some. But this is not just another movie...It cries out to be seen by every young boy and girl in the land so they can understand what sacrifice, duty, honor, service and valor truly mean ..."

In the days before our appeal, PBS faced a similar problem with the Frontline documentary A Company of Soldiers, which also featured hard language from soldiers. Fearing FCC fines, PBS made two versions of the film available--one with expletives bleeped--and let individual stations make their own decisions. Ironically, viewers didn't complain to the FCC; they complained to PBS about censoring the soldiers' speech.

On February 24, 2005 we made our appeal to the 12 members (and one priest/observer) of the CARA appeal board. They screened the film and then Palm Pictures' Andy Robbins and I presented our argument, in which we maintained, "To restrict access to the film via an 'R' rating is essentially censoring an experience." We asked CARA "to constructively work with us to bring the soldiers' story to an audience that will include teens who are mature enough to see this film. As a young soldier says in the film, 'No need to like this, but please respect it. This is life.'"

After our appeal, which was rebutted by Graves, we withdrew to a waiting room for the decision. Graves consoled us with, "Nice try, guys, but this isn't the venue to change the system." Three minutes later, one of the MPAA's moderators came in and told us that the decision was 9 to 3 in favor overturning the "R." I swear I heard an obscenity uttered before Graves said, "What will Michael Moore say?"

Our appeal of Gunner Palace made the cover of Variety under the headline "F-Bombs Catch a Break," and the film was cited as the most profane PG-13 movie ever. But more than half a year later, after a three-month theatrical run and two months on DVD, I have yet to receive one complaint about the language in the film, and I hear from students and teachers every day who feel that the film uniquely enables young people to connect with the war.

I wish I could say that we set a precedent in the world of the MPAA, but based on their rules, we haven't. Producers can't refer to previous rulings in appeals, so our rating means nothing. However, I believe it's a start, and I encourage the IDA to defend the rights of filmmakers to present reality uncensored.
Remember, Gunner Palace came out before This Film Is Not Yet Rated which then changed the tides at the MPAA and allowed producers to refer to previous rulings in appeals.

CARA had the opportunity to bring the film to a PG-13 even if Graves believes giving Gunner Palace and The Hip Hop Project PG-13 ratings were both mistakes. Instead, they gave Harvey Weinstein more free publicity and power than one should ever give him. Weinstein will come out looking like a hero and a savior for getting the film out there whereas this will start an entirely new wave of bad press and publicity for the MPAA and CARA.

Which I'm all for. If Weinstein wants to start a battle with the MPAA, I'm all for it. :thumbsup:

TomOpus
03-28-12, 02:09 PM
I'm all for a battle with the MPAA also. But I also want this movie to get a wide release.

Matthew Chmiel
03-28-12, 03:55 PM
I'm all for a battle with the MPAA also. But I also want this movie to get a wide release.
The Weinsteins could play nice to the the independent chains/theaters if the big three (AMC, Cinemark and Regal) bring pushback. Both the Weinsteins and the independent chains/theaters have the most to gain if TWC opts to go that route.

I could see the film gain a lot of traction if it goes that route. However, rumor is TWC is already brokering a deal with AMC to get the film in their theaters.

EDIT: The Weinsteins are also going the Eventful route at the moment offering those to demand the film and the top ten cities will get an exclusive screening with Q&A afterwards. http://movies.eventful.com/competitions/bully2012

The film opens at the Landmark in Los Angeles (independent chain owned by Mark Cuban) and the Angelika (another independent chain) in New York this Friday.

On Friday, April 13th, the film will open in Chicago (AMC RiverEast), San Francisco (AMC Meteron), Seattle (AMC Pacific Place), Philadelphia (Landmark Ritz), Boston (Landmark Kendall Square) and Minneapolis (Landmark Lagoon). More playdates will be announced within the next week or two.

Giles
03-28-12, 11:01 PM
AMC mentions this:

"This film is not rated. AMC Theatres will permit guests younger than 17 who want to see the movie without a parent or guardian to do so if they provide a signed permission slip."

http://go.amctheatres.com/bully

I'm not sure how this will actually work, but hey it's a step towards to getting this movie seen by teenagers.

TomOpus
03-28-12, 11:50 PM
Nice. The permission slip is very simple. Plus there's no way they can verify the signature but I'm okay with that.

PopcornTreeCt
03-29-12, 12:53 AM
I think this film is going to be big.

TomOpus
04-05-12, 08:51 PM
Weinstein Co. Changes Course, Edits 'Bully' for PG-13 Rating (http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/bully-rating-weinstein-edits--307418)

The ratings board acts swiftly in granting the PG-13 and allows the Weinstein Co. and filmmaker Lee Hirsch to retain one crucial scene after other language trims were made.

The Classification and Ratings Administration has lowered the rating of high-profile documentary Bully from an R to a PG-13 after the Weinstein Co. resubmitted an edited version of the film.

Bully, which focuses on the bullying epidemic in America's schools, was assigned an R for six uses of the F-word. Rules allow only one use of the word in a PG-13 film.

After viewing the resubmitted version, the ratings board is allowing three uses of "f---" in a victory for the Weinstein Co. and director Lee Hirsch, who did not want to cut a crucial scene where the word was used several times as Alex Libby -- a main subject of the film -- was bullied on a bus. Language exceptions can be made if there is a two-thirds vote by the ratings board.

The Weinstein Co. and Hirsch heralded the exception a win.

"I feel completely vidicated with this resolution," said Hirsh, who earlier this week blasted the MPAA for its langauge rules. "While I retain my belief that PG-13 has always been the appropriate rating for this film, as reinforced by Canada's rating of a PG, we have today scored a victory from the MPAA," Hirsch said.

Harvey Weinstein and Hirsch had unsuccessfully fought to overturn the R rating during an appeals process, sparking off a nationwide debate that put the ratings system under a microscope. The duo have kept the story in headlines for weeks.

In separate statements, the Motion Picture Association of America and the National Association of Theater Owners, which jointly administer the ratings system, said they were pleased that the Weinstein Co. ultimately decided to make trims.

"We are pleased the Weinstein Co. respected the rules and processes of the voluntary ratings system by editing and resubmiting Bully in order to receive the PG-13 rating," NATO said Thursday.

In its statement, the MPAA said: "In the case of Bully, the ratings system has worked exactly as it is supposed to: parents have been kept informed of the content of each version of the film, and they have been given the information they need to make movie-going decisions on behalf of their kids."

Bully opened unrated last weekend in five theaters in New York and Los Angeles, including three AMC theaters. Most exhibitors refuse to carry unrated films, but AMC still required kids younger than 17 to have the written or verbal permission of an adult, essentially meaning it was still treating Bully like an R-rated movie.

Regal Entertainment was expected to follow the same policy once Bully started expanding its run, along with smaller circuits, making it difficult for Bully to be widely seen by kids.

On April 13, Bully makes a major expansion into 55 markets with the new rating.

Harvey Weinstein gave a special shout out to MPAA chair-CEO Christopher Dodd, who held a special screening of Bully for educators in Washington, even as the ratings debate swirled.

"Senator Dodd's support gives voice to the millions of children who suffer from bullying, and on behalf of TWC, the filmmakers, the families in the film and the millions of children and parents who will now see this film, I thank him for recognizing that this very real issue cannot afford to go unnoticed," Weinstein said.

Weinstein is famous for his battles with the ratings board. Last year, he fought to overturn the R rating assigned to The King's Speech for language. As with Bully, he ultimately resubmitted the film so as to secure a PG-13 rating and woo families.

Giles
04-05-12, 09:08 PM
I think this film is going to be big.

after April 13th. For all it's hubbub the opening on the 30th of March was only a two theater release in NYC and LA