Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Part III: Unrated Cuts and other Marketing foolishness

In the past two years, and increasingly more and more, there seem to be an ever growing number of "unrated" DVDs on sale. First off, the term is plastered on the DVD box like it really means something. For the most part it doesn’t, but I’ll get to that later.

The Chronicles of Riddick was PG-13, if the Unrated version had been rated it would have easily have gotten a PG-13 rating, it may have been a hard PG-13 rating, but it would have been one none the less. Harold and Kumar had an unrated film with R rated content, no change in rating. Eurotrip (another R film) only huge difference in the unrated version was that it had about 90 seconds of additional nudity, which around a minute of which was “comedic” older male nudity.

Beyond that the “unrated” cover is generally worse than the regular box and makes the entire thing hideous. Okay, we get it, the only people it fools are High School students and drunken frat boys (apologies to any non-drunken, white hat wearing frat boys). The only thing it means is they didn’t bother submitting it to the MPAA. Personally, I believe any film which is not a documentary which hasn’t been rated should be restricted from sale the same way NC-17 films are (meaning that in the end the pros of submitting the film and having an extended version with *gasp* the same rating would be better financially for them in the long run).

One of the worst marketing ploys was The Bourne Identity's "explosive extended edition" which actually was a DOWNGRADE (no DTS, commentary tracks) with worthless alternate scenes that never would fit into the film or with the sequel in any instance. It makes me wish I had bought the DVD a few years ago when that edition was easy to find.

I actually refuse to buy DVDs when I know there will be an extended version in the works. I'm not fooled. I won't buy a film twice (only certain editions that I own will be replaced depending on the quality of the secondary release, such as a bare bones DVD bought in 1999 replaced by a special edition high quality transfer in 2006).

No one should be fooled by the buzz words that people use. "Collectors" (usual a regular, and only, release) "Ultimate", "Explosive" (hardly), "Special" (only if it has a crappy earlier release). On a side note, if a film is an "infini" release, it stays on the shelf, why would anyone want to make it nearly impossible to find special features, and claim it to be like a gift from God, when it's just a hyped up term that means the navigation on the DVD is impossible?

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