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Why Fear the End of the R-Rated Superhero Movie?

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the at-least-as-much-as-that-reaper dept.

Movies 640

brumgrunt writes "Last year, Marvel said that R-rated comic book superhero movies weren't in its future plans. Now, in the light of Watchmen's box office performance, Warner Bros is going the same way, meaning high-profile comic book superhero films will be restricted to the PG-13 rating at most. But is this a bad thing, and should we fear the end of the R-rated superhero movie?"

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I can live with it (4, Interesting)

gruntled (107194) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340573)

The graphic, lovingly photographed violence in Watchmen is what kept people away. Heck, it almost kept me away.

Re:I can live with it (5, Interesting)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340671)


That's really strange. I went into it expecting it to be violent and gory and came out of it surprised at how low-key it was. Strange how differently we saw it.

That difference is easy to explain... (4, Funny)

macraig (621737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341093)

... you've been playing too much Grand Theft Auto, and he hasn't.

Re:I can live with it (5, Insightful)

cgfsd (1238866) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340757)

I would have loved to take my nephew (who is 11) to the Watchmen.

Violence was not the issue, the blue schlong was the issue.
For some reasons parents don't mind violence, but show one schlong or some boobies, and that makes the movie off limits.

Pretty screwed up world we live in.

Re:I can live with it (5, Insightful)

Nutria (679911) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340829)

For some reasons parents don't mind violence,

We are born selfish and violent, lashing out (stomping feet, hitting, biting, scratch, hitting, etc) when we don't get want.

but show one schlong or some boobies, and that makes the movie off limits.

OTOH, we don't even start to become sexual beings until the early teen years. (Later, in cultures that aren't so sex-saturated as the US.)

Pretty screwed up world we live in.

Well, yes, but not for the reason you think.

Re:I can live with it (5, Interesting)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340929)

I would think it is almost the opposite of what you say (in a way).

For most people graphic violence triggers an aversion. While graphic sex triggers a pleasant tingling.

Additioanlly most of us have/will have sex, while most won't even have a chance to gun people down. This makes it easier for violence to be isolated into the pure fantasy realm.

Re:I can live with it (4, Insightful)

mewshi_nya (1394329) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340945)

Ah, yes. But the very fact that we obsess over being sex-saturated makes it worse. Think Victorian times - child prostitution and deviance went through the roof, due to the repression of something NORMAL.

Re:I can live with it (4, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340949)

"OTOH, we don't even start to become sexual beings until the early teen years. (Later, in cultures that aren't so sex-saturated as the US.)"

UH, which societies would those be? The ones that allow marriage as young as 12 or the ones that allow it even younger?

There's this thing called biology that ensures that humans become sexually aware in their early teens, it's got very little to do with your society.

Re:I can live with it (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340831)

Pretty screwed up country. Europe seems to be the opposite.

Re:I can live with it (1)

Pecisk (688001) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340885)

Schlong will simply trigger too much questions which in case will take too much time to answer (and most answers will be a lie, like "it is God's indicator to sort out girls and boys", etc.). Also propably there is huge problem with fact that showing huge man's penis is signaling that he is ready for sex. And it is just another embarasing topic to talk about with kids.

They don't this for kids, but for to avoid parent's embarrassment, so they don't have to waste their precious time with kids, but can stay late at work and work like slaves.

Re:I can live with it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27340927)

Uh.. I assume the kid has one himself and doesn't need it explained to him.

Violence is fine... murder is fine. Body parts they own are off limits.. female nipples are evil.. oh except for very young kids, then they are fine.

Re:I can live with it (1)

Thumper_SVX (239525) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341013)

If an 11 year old girl or boy doesn't know the physical differences between the genders, then something's really wrong with that child's upbringing.

I have two kids... 10 and 8... both of whom know the differences. No, they're not yet sexually aware... nor have I talked to them about it, but if they were to see nudity on screen (and who's to say they already haven't?) then I actually find it highly unlikely they'd ask any questions.

Re:I can live with it (5, Insightful)

Norwell Bob (982405) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341033)

If you think, after having seen it, that Watchmen would be in any way acceptable for an 11 year old, your nephew's parents should get a restraining order.

Let's see, aside from the handful of scenes of graphic violence (sawing off of arms, anyone?), how about the attempted rape, the sex scenes and, yes, the "blue schlong" that nobody can seem to wrap their minds around.

This isn't directed at you, but many people today seem to almost WANT to expose kids to as much adult material as possible. Whether it's to prove they're "enlightened", or because they saw boobies in Nightmare on Elm St when they were 11 and thought it was cool, or what, I don't know. "Pretty screwed up world we live in", indeed.

You can take an 11 year old to an R-rated movie, sure... but as a parent or guardian (IOW- an adult), you're supposed to exercise judgement based on your knowledge of the material, and the maturity of the child. Children DO imitate movies, whether you want to admit it or not. Face it, you yourself probably wish you could fight like Jason Bourne or sleep with pretty much any girl you want, like James Bond... but social structures and fear of looking like a moron (probably) prevent you from acting it out. Those social rules are much less effective on a child, which is why you see them acting out their favorite movie characters on the playground.

In short, and I am sure this is an unpopular opinion these days, children are less capable than adults are when it comes to separating fantasy from reality. Hell, my 9 year old still occasionally asks me "did this really happen?" when we're watching a movie that is at least halfway plausible.

Re:I can live with it (1)

tripdizzle (1386273) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341041)

This statement makes me think back to watching movies with my parents when I was younger. People killing each other, blood, guts, gore, no prob, but two people have even an extended kiss in a movie, everyone gets unconfortable and one of them or me would leave the room. Sex scenes are just more offensive and/or disturbing than violence when a family is involved, I can't explain it, its just the way it is. Maybe one of our psychology knowledgeable /.ers can enlighten me.

Word Of Mouth Kept People Away (1)

BRock97 (17460) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340847)

I had not seen it until this last Tuesday. Before that, I had talked to eight different people and only one person recommended it. Everyone else said it was pretty bad. Around here (central part of the US), it was Dr. Manhattan's package that those seven people were turned off by (my sister said it was like watching porn) and not the violence, which this being the US, I shouldn't be too surprised by. Having read the comic, I knew what to expect and thought the movie wasn't bad. It was way too long, though, and I enjoyed the ending of the comic more so than how they ended the movie. All that said, never underestimate how much word of mouth can kill a movie.

Re:Word Of Mouth Kept People Away (4, Insightful)

xouumalperxe (815707) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340959)

it was Dr. Manhattan's package that those seven people were turned off by (my sister said it was like watching porn)

Ironic, since the blue willie is about as non-sexual as you can get without explicitly stating "this penis is not meant to be taken sexually". I'd even say it's pointedly non-sexual: he's transcended the human state, his body is really just a convenient shell, and he has pretty much started to lose sight of what the whole point of sex is (as the plot shows you).

Re:Word Of Mouth Kept People Away (1)

BRock97 (17460) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341117)

Ironic, since the blue willie is about as non-sexual as you can get without explicitly stating "this penis is not meant to be taken sexually". I'd even say it's pointedly non-sexual: he's transcended the human state, his body is really just a convenient shell, and he has pretty much started to lose sight of what the whole point of sex is (as the plot shows you).

I agree and thought it was pretty obvious as to why he didn't wear clothes. By the time I had to explain it to the third person, though, I began to understand the argument that the comic would not translate well into a movie.

Re:Word Of Mouth Kept People Away (4, Funny)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340967)

it was Dr. Manhattan's package that those seven people were turned off by (my sister said it was like watching porn)

If your sister likened the Doctor's blue dong to porn, she is into some freaky shit.

Re:Word Of Mouth Kept People Away (1)

BRock97 (17460) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341021)

If your sister likened the Doctor's blue dong to porn, she is into some freaky shit.

*sigh* Tell me about it. That comment was an unwanted window into her soul...

Re:I can live with it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27340849)

Yet, a well-done film with gore and blood, like 300, grosses $456 million, and $ 70.1 million opening weekend. That's over 3 times as much as any movie's opening weekend going back to the last week of 2007 (2.5 months) - and that was a 4-day weekend.

It's not the ultra-violence; it's the general shittiness of films like Watchmen. Only a handful of people go to see it (the comic lovers and the few who catch the advertising and think it's good, and bored teenagers) opening weekend, and then nobody tells their friends about it - because it sucks.

Re:I can live with it (1)

foo1752 (555890) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340897)

What kept people away is that the movie sucked, it was way too long, and had too much Dr. Manhattan penis. It had nothing to do with the rating.

Re:I can live with it (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27340899)

I didn't RTFA, but I assume they are saying they won't be making movies for adults anymore. Apparently the adult demographic matters not.

I suspect this has a lot to do with brain-dead parenting over the last 25 years changing society's view of children into mini-adults. Everything marketed on television, even things that children cannot in any reasonable way use (like cars, alcohol, etc), is marketed to children. Television and movies have turned into mass-market-salesperson-training instructions. They are specifically designed to make children the main *advertiser* by filling their little heads up with details and suggestions how to convince their legal guardians to purchase wares.

FFS go see a rated R movie. Tell society to get fucking bent for trying to turn your kids into mini-salespeople, and us adults into children. Tell the movie studios to get fucking bent for not catering to, or blatantly ignoring your demographic.

The ratings exist for a purpose. Just because the movie is about a superhero, doesn't have to mean it's a child's movie! If they ever decide to do another "dark" superhero movie like the Punisher, or Dark Knight, or Watchmen; they'll never be able to do them any justice without being able to utilize the R rating. I will be skipping the new Wolverine movie for these very reasons. Wolverine is an extremely violent comic, and the trailers seem to be showing that aspect completely removed and "tweened" up for the PG-13 rating. Homogenizing the ratings before the films are even made is a terrible idea, and I for one will be boycotting every future superhero movie in a personal protest against these retarded studios.

How about rated PG? (4, Interesting)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340575)

I'd love to take my 7 year old son to a superhero movie. He saw the Fantastic Four movies, they were pretty light. But even Iron Man was too adult.

That being said, the Dark Knight really should have been rated R. It was like watching Spinal Tap being forced to pay only at 10.

Re:How about rated PG? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27340659)

Just because their are references in a movie, doesn't mean it's going to screw a kids brain, sexual reference clearly go straight over their heads. When my lad was five, he loved both Hulk movies, was into Iron Man for a while, and loved Transformers. He has very little interest in kids animations in general, Madgascar and the Toy Stories are the only ones he's ever wanted to watch again. He didn't like either of Fantastic Four flicks, too boring apparently.

The reality is, most of these PG13 movies are rated that level because of sex, not the visuals. Dark Knight being the only exception I've seen in a number of years, which as you say, should have been bumped to R and I feel extra material put back in. Watchman was certainly more refreshing that these recent comic movies.

Re:How about rated PG? (4, Interesting)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340731)

When I said that Iron Man was too adult, what I meant was that the situations would only be interesting to adults, e.g., the relationship between Tony and Pepper. There was simply too many scenes with only "talking" in it. Of course, as an adult, those scenes were necessary to develop the characters and move the plot, but to a kid, it's just "wah wah wahwah wah."

In thinking about I wrote, I guess there really are superhero movies for kids. Bolt, Underdog, Incredibles, the Spy Kids series, Sharkboy and Lavagirl, the upcoming Monsters vs Aliens. Heck, even Race to Witch Mountain could be considered a superhero movie. I guess I just want my kid to be able to watch the heroes I grew up with.

Re:How about rated PG? (4, Informative)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340955)

You know, back in the day, kids listened to radio programs. Not just music. TV Programs without the "vision" part. Dramas, comedies all that. Without seizure inducing bright flashy pictures every three seconds. All those were pretty much nothing but "talking" with some sound effects tossed in.

Kids have more potential then people want to believe. They let that damned myth of innocence morph into a need for ignorance because once those little gears do start turning it is hard to make them stop (well, easy once you get the kid diagnosed with the deficit disorder du jour and load them up with meds).

I like sex and violence (3, Interesting)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341101)

I also like sci-fi, and unfortunately these superhero moves seem to be the nearest we get to scifi a lot of the time these days.

So keep em bloody and full of sex, then us adults that don't care for the saw franchise or chick-flicks have something to wath that isn't constantly thinking of the children.

Screw the children.

(not literally, please).

it's a good thing (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27340581)

eating out my ass, that is. I don't care much for comic books.

That's not the real issue (5, Insightful)

captainpanic (1173915) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340591)

We should not fear that Warner Bros is ending the R-rated movies. We should fear the fact that one single company has such massive influence that we even bother talking about this.

Re:That's not the real issue (1, Insightful)

ChienAndalu (1293930) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340665)

We should not fear that Warner Bros is ending the R-rated movies. We should fear the fact that one single company has such massive influence that we even bother talking about this.

Why? Is Warner Brothers prohibiting independent studios from making their own R-Rated superhero movies?

Re:That's not the real issue (-1, Offtopic)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340717)

Nah, but it's politically correct here on /. to blame any big corporation for every plague on Earth (except Apple, who are saints). Following that tactic, I have climbed 3 times in my karma from terrible to excellent in no time (really).

Re:That's not the real issue (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27340971)

They are if they are buying the rights to make said movies.

Re:That's not the real issue (1)

iainl (136759) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340983)

They'll prohibit independent studios from making their own R-Rated DC Superhero movies, yes, because DC is owned by AOL Time Warner.

As such, they're easily the most important single studio, if you had to pick one.

The thing that has made great superhero movies... (4, Interesting)

Assmasher (456699) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340613)

...lately, at least to me, is that they are elements of the fantastic that dovetail nicely into the hollywood version of 'the real world' that we live in. They are grittier, people are less 'cookie cutter/superficial bad guys.' In most of the non R rated superhero movies I've seen you could always walk away with the feeling that the main villain could have, at any moment, had a change of heart because he's not really evil - he's just made bad choices (lol.)

In the darker movies, the most definitely R rated movies, you can see struggle, ugliness, depravity, insanity (not the laughable kind), all things that give the villain and the unfolding events a sense of gravitas and immorality that you can't (imho) really get from a movie that HAS TO fit in some production company's ratings 'box.'

Personally, if there's a superhero movie where I'm not really interested in the super hero itself (for some reason), and it is R rated - there's a very good chance I'll go to see it because the director has obviously not pandered to the 13 year old boy market (although he may be pandering to me by throwing in R rated stuff.) If there's a superhero movie that I am interested in and then I find out that it is PG-13, it's unlikely that I'll see it. Perhaps on video.

Seriously, imagine if the Dark Knight movies were made PG-13? What a loss that would have been.

Re:The thing that has made great superhero movies. (5, Informative)

PunditGuy (1073446) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340681)

Haven't had my morning coffee yet. Irony detector may not be functioning.

Batman Begins: PG-13
The Dark Knight: PG-13

Re:The thing that has made great superhero movies. (1)

Sebilrazen (870600) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340759)

I think it was ironic. They're trying to point out that you can deliver a dark and visceral experience without gratuitous blood, boobs and excessive use of the word "fuck." My detector went off when they said they wouldn't go see a PG-13 movie in theaters due to it being rated PG-13.

Re:The thing that has made great superhero movies. (1)

Assmasher (456699) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341157)

My apologies. I thought that both the Batman movies (which didn't suck) were rated R...

Well, if you can make The Dark Knight w/o an R rating, I'll be seeing PG-13 superhero movies in the future too.

Weird, if you think about The Dark Knight, you'd think there's no way that movie would be anything less than 'R'. Crazy. LOL.

Re:The thing that has made great superhero movies. (2, Informative)

asills (230118) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340699)

Um, the Dark Knight was PG-13. That was part of the point of this article, had you read it ("look at the successful PG-13 comic movies!").

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0468569/ [imdb.com]

Also part of the point was that damn, that was seriously rated PG-13 and not R?

Re:The thing that has made great superhero movies. (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341049)

Also part of the point was that damn, that was seriously rated PG-13 and not R?

No doubt. I had to check on IMDB - even though I'd seen the film 3 times - to verify that it was, indeed, PG-13. Because I didn't believe it. The most recent one was dark, dark, dark, and not only because it had an at-the-time dead Ledger playing the craziest portrayal of the Joker yet.

Granted, a lot of movies fall on the 'wrong' side of the rating line, often. But as a general rule, studios want to avoid "R" movies anyway. Parents are trusting, and will let their kids view PG-13 films unattended, but not R. I expect this to change as PG-13 films get more nudity and swearing.

Ironically, films have kind of mellowed out all along. Used to be, PG films would occasionally have nudity and inter-gender violence (1974, Reynolds, The Longest Yard). It seems uncommon to see 'major' films like that made today at all, never mind with anything less than an "R" rating.

Re:The thing that has made great superhero movies. (1)

bondsbw (888959) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340725)

Here's the difference between the Dark Knight and the Watchmen:

  • The Watchmen had way too much violence, sex, and especially gore. It was on the level of horror movie gore.
  • The Dark Knight had a good amount of violence, no sex, and little gore. And it had a plot.

Re:The thing that has made great superhero movies. (1)

LinuxIdiot (708662) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340767)

Not to mention Watchmen had a dangling blue shiny penis through half the movie it seemed.

Re:The thing that has made great superhero movies. (1)

cduffy (652) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341001)

Not to mention Watchmen had a dangling blue shiny penis through half the movie it seemed.

It's not like there aren't generally other things on the screen at the same time. Why do you notice?

Re:The thing that has made great superhero movies. (3, Informative)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341081)

Your name is apt. You are an idiot.

You get roughly eleven seconds of Dr Manhattan manhood in the entire thing. The problem you have is that you instantly go "It's a dick! FIXATE FIXATE FIXATE..." Exactly the same as my girlfriend did.

The same thing appears in the comic book. That's why it's there. It shows his lack of regard for human ideals; The human body is not to be ashamed of, or revulsed, surprised, or shocked by. I have one. You have one. Your dad has one. Get over it.

The plot was lost because the story takes a HELL of a lot longer than 2.75 hours to read. It's the way comics work. You get time to stop, consider the implications, imagine the scene, then move on. You didn't get that in the movie. It was still a reasonable good movie, though, and true to the comic.

If the only thing you brought back from that movie was "OMG LULZ I SOR A PEENAR!!1122" then you need to grow up a little.

Yeah yeah, off-topic. It needed to be said.

Re:The thing that has made great superhero movies. (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341133)

Sex is one thing, nudity is another my dad had no problem with me watching total recall (there is a non-sexual seen with 3 nipples in it :O) when i was >10. If your that insecure that you think looking at a blue shiny penis for 30minutes will turn you gay then you might as well come out the closet now.

Re:The thing that has made great superhero movies. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27340939)

I will agree that Watchmen had too much gore and sexuality but it did have a plot. I could even argue that Watchmen was a better overall movie (even with its faults) then Dark Knight. Opinions will differ and I think both are well done movies.

One point to consider is Watchmen is an R movie but Dark Knight might have been a bit too violent and gory for a pg-13 movie. Could Dark Knight have been improved if they hadn't worried about that pg-13 rating? Something to consider.

Re:The thing that has made great superhero movies. (2, Informative)

alexhard (778254) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340969)

Just like the graphic novel, the point is not the plot. As the creators have said, the plot is just an excuse for a number of character studies.

Re:The thing that has made great superhero movies. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27341151)

That's all well and good but that doesn't make it a good movie. "It's not a bug if it's documented!"

Re:The thing that has made great superhero movies. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27340979)

If you were not able to discern the plot of Watchmen, then I would suggest less time at the movies, and more time reading. Got to get those two braincells a-workin'!

As for your comment on gore being present, I can half-heartedly agree that the violence was quite realistic and uncomfortable to watch (as a squeamish individual). I would then say that if you had read the graphic novel, you'd see that the novel was quite graphic and suited more so for an adult audience. They followed the source very closely, something that's very rarely done in movies today.

Re:The thing that has made great superhero movies. (1)

internerdj (1319281) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340729)

On the other hand, a lot of directors gunning for an R rating use cheap paths to showing us villains are bad. The best directors make a Joker, the worst make a Jigsaw. I just watched Punisher: War Zone Sunday evening for the first and likely last time. A good director can make a villain believable in his targeted rating. In the X-Men franchise, despite the bad acting in most cases you come to both understand and fear Magneto. He is a man who has suffered at the hands of men and will go to any length to stop it from happening again. Just because he isn't a psychopath or less refined doesn't make him a lesser villain.
The penultimate villain of movies: Hannibal Lecter could have been conveyed in a PG-13 movie. R gave the director alot more to work with but the chilling aspect of Dr. Lecter is his normalcy up to the point where he does or says something taboo to our culture.

Re:The thing that has made great superhero movies. (1)

puetzk (98046) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340741)

Err, the Dark Knight *was* PG-13 (IMDB [imdb.com] ).

Re:The thing that has made great superhero movies. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27340855)

Whoosh!

It's all about freedom (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340795)

Constraining a director to a PG-13 rating means restricting their freedom beyond even those restrictions already imposed by the budget, time, etc. You can hedge it or slice it anyway you like, but it's still a straitjacket. Less freedom means less variety. Less variety forever limits the possibilities of the entire genre. This will have the practical effect of reestablishing the Hays Code [wikipedia.org] for anyone wanting to do any sort of comic book adaption (and I say "comic book" here and not "graphic novel" quite intentially, because PG-13 means "comic book").

Re:The thing that has made great superhero movies. (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340937)

They are grittier, people are less 'cookie cutter/superficial bad guys.' In most of the non R rated superhero movies I've seen you could always walk away with the feeling that the main villain could have, at any moment, had a change of heart because he's not really evil - he's just made bad choices (lol.)

That's a large part of the reason why I'd rather my 5-year-old son watch, say, Commando than a modern equivalent that's rated PG-13 (say, Ironman). The "good guy" isn't as clear cut, and aside from that, there's really little difference in the film itself aside from the level of swearing.

Sure, there's a quality difference (particularly in my example), and sometimes a difference in the level of gore, but if you want to confuse a child, let him watch a PG-13 action film.

(Oh, and the 2 most recent Batman films were - thankfully, inaccurately, IMO - rated PG-13. Their ambiguity was somewhat less than in other PG13 films, though they were pretty dark and gritty.)

And what about Batman? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27340615)

The box office on that one was great.
I hear another is in the works, and I doubt it will be PG-13.

Besides, why should we fear anything?
Independent producers can do it if there's a market for it. This is a genre that was now constrained by the cost of special effects. Now, anyone can (with talent, time and dedication thrown in by good measure) do it.

I think that this announcements are just to indicate saturation of market. In the late 70's Superman ignited a furor for superhero movies and TV shows, in the 80's the market was saturated and the "cool factor" was lost, until Tim Burton made superheroes cool (and dark) again.

The pendulum will shift eventually.
What we should be afraid of is the impending return of the boy bands!

Re:And what about Batman? (1)

Assmasher (456699) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340691)

"Independent producers can do it if there's a market for it." - Therein lies the primary fear. I, for one, worry that big production companies (who are talking about no more R rated superhero movies) will lock up all the options with the comics companies. Many of these 'properties' already have their rights licensed.

Re:And what about Batman? (1)

soupforare (542403) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340781)

That doesn't bother me that much, superhero doesn't need to be major comic-book hero. Licensing an off-beat comic or, heaven forbid, creating a superhero for the film could be a great shot in the arm to the industry as a whole.
The real problem is getting the movie rated in the first place, and then trying to find a way to distribute the damn thing. How many non-chain theatres even exist anymore? How many bother to take solicitations from film makers? The few near me are just second run discount joints.

Re:And what about Batman? (5, Interesting)

neomunk (913773) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340865)

Personally, I hope they DO lock the big comic book companies into PG-13 (I'd even like to see PG) ratings.

I've thought about this long and hard, but I cannot escape the conclusion that we're being terribly unfair to our kids by turning the stories WE loved as children (as did the generation before us) into fare for adults, just because we don't want to give our toys up to the younger generations.

Yes, the potential for great stories is immense given the formula of old comics + modern day grittiness + Hollywood production techniques, that's a given. I just can't bring myself to let my kids watch the Dark Knight though, it's too violent-in-mindset (worse than fake blood in my opinion). I -LOVED- the movie, but I cannot shake the feeling that we're robbing the next generation because we don't want to grow up, but we want grownup things.

I truly believe it's a disservice to the future and I hope we can correct it.

Both Nolan/Bale Batmans were PG-13 (4, Insightful)

denzacar (181829) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340887)

The box office on that one was great.
I hear another is in the works, and I doubt it will be PG-13.

Batman Begins (2005) [imdb.com] - Rated PG-13 for intense action violence, disturbing images and some thematic elements.
The Dark Knight (2008) [imdb.com] - Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and some menace.

Remember that scene where they bring Joker's "corpse" to Gambol, only Joker jumps up from the table alive and psychotic...?
What exactly does he do to Gambol?
How about those two guys that were standing right next to his "corpse"?
Did you ever actually see what happens there?

A good director can do wonders with PG-13.
Always remember that we never really see the actual stabbing in Psycho.

Why the R-Rating then? Phantom boobs, men dressed in women clothing and even toilets being flushed. [wikipedia.org]

R means sexuality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27340627)

Filmmakers can get away with lots of violence without being hit with an R rating. There are a lot of superhero stories that can be told below R, as long as they avoid sexuality.

What's to fear? (1)

IamAHack (706509) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340663)

I don't think that it should be a matter of fear at all. Some of the best comic based movies were PG-13, and, like the earlier post, I enjoy watching comic based movies with my kids. I'm more concerned that the movies are faithful to the series. I think that several movies have done a good job of modernizing the origin stories of the character while remaining true to the core. That said, I recognize that there are some comics out there that would probably be pointless to be made into a non R rated movie - it would remove the themes and plot elements that make them interesting.

So long as they don't suck. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27340701)

Watchmen sucked. It had the potential to be a great film, but it blew. The content rating had nothing to do with it; no one wants to go to a movie that sucks.

I support a continued effort to produce R rated super hero films. Just don't make CRAPPY R rated super hero films. It's a shame those studios don't understand that.

Not Surprising (1)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340703)

When movies are being made to attract the largest viewing audience possible (and thus generate the largest revenue possible), we should not be the least bit surprised that movie companies are shying away from constricting their possible market. An R-rated movie cuts out a rather sizable chunk of the typical theater-going audience. It's a bold move to restrict your audience so much but one that does not make good "business sense." Not surprising that the studios are moving away from that.

This is the same mistake the music business made (5, Insightful)

Andy_R (114137) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340707)

The only movie I saw in the last 12 months was Watchmen. Sure, Spider-man 6 might make a bigger profit, but if you concentrate only on getting the biggest possible slice of the Spider-man 6 demographic, you'll never get any money from people like me, and the industry as a whole will be poorer.

The music business already fell into this trap, churning out countless spice-girl clones in the hope of hitting the jackpot and ignoring the fact that even if they can find a girl-group that outsells the spice girls, there are a lot of potential customers who just don't like that genre.

If the big studios stop making $100m blockbuster R-rated movies, then a smart film company should start leveraging CGI to make $5-$10m ones to tap into that market.

Re:This is the same mistake the music business mad (4, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340873)

Honestly the frequency of R-ratings have gone up for all movies. I remember when there were countless great movies from the 1980s that were all rated PG. Now most comedies seem to be rated PG-13 and R. I don't personally have anything against R-rated movies being that I use "fuck" as a comma and have nothing against watching on-screen violence, but I'm wondering if the movie industry is hoping to move back to where it was 20 years ago. Hell, we say that they need to change how they do business, perhaps this is a step in that direction--something which they hope they will get back to a time when they feel that they were a little more successful?

Obviously they thought that their core demographic required that they have a movie rated R to attract viewers. Instead of flashy CGI they're moving to over-the-top language and T&A to cover the fact that the dialogue kinda fucking sucks. IMHO Iron Man, while rated PG-13, wouldn't have gained anything by becoming rated R.

Re:This is the same mistake the music business mad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27340913)

The only movie I saw in the last 12 months was Watchmen. Sure, Spider-man 6 might make a bigger profit, but if you concentrate only on getting the biggest possible slice of the Spider-man 6 demographic, you'll never get any money from people like me, and the industry as a whole will be poorer.

But luckily, "people like you" are such a tiny demographic.

Batman vs Watchmen (4, Insightful)

the_Bionic_lemming (446569) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340723)

I think the wwriter is failing to take something into account.
I'd heard of Batman all my life - never heard of watchmen until this movie. I suspect I'm not the only one.

For an accurate comparison, they should do an r-rated Batman.

Re:Batman vs Watchmen (1)

oahazmatt (868057) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340917)

My wife and I were having a discussion about this very notion.

I believe part of what hampered Watchmen's performance was that any randome Joe off the street had no idea who the main characters were, or had even heard of the original material.

Batman, Superman, Spider-Man and Iron Man have decades of comics behind them, not to mention t-shirts, posters, stickers, pop-tarts, video games, board games, saturday morning cartoon shows and quite a bit of pop-culture notability.

To some guy off the street -- Who the hell are the Watchmen?

I think what really hurt the movie's performance was that there was no identifcation with these characters other than what you learn during the movie, and that's a gamble. People know Batman's just a guy with a brain, a costume and some weird villains. People know Superman's a really strong alien. People know Spider-Man is a nerd with an allergic reaction. People know Iron Man is a guy in a suit of armor.

People don't know about to complexities of Rorshach's backstory (of which even the mask wasn't discussed), the Comedian's motivation or Silk Spectre's reason for being a superhero.

The movies, on top of being profitable themselves, are used to promote the source material. Marvel and DC want new readers to be attracted to the titles. If the audience has to know the source material beforehand to judge any interest in the movie it's not going to perform well at all.

Re:Batman vs Watchmen (1)

frission (676318) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340925)

I guess the studios are saying that they don't need to do an R-rated Batman to see the proof. They already proved with the Dark Knight and the Batman animated series, that you can have a really good Batman story without the R rating.

Re:Batman vs Watchmen (1)

gid (5195) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341043)

You bring up a good point, Batman, Spiderman, Superman, Ironman all NOT rated R. I've heard of all these guys before the movies were made, big profit (well maybe not so with Superman, but that's another story)

300, Watchmen, rated R, never heard of them before the movie, smaller profit.

Re:Batman vs Watchmen (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341097)

Actually it would be funny to reboot the franchise again back into the Adam West era - all ZAP and POW popups during fights. Except that is that the actual fights are R rated ultraviolence with limbs getting lopped off people getting raped etc.

In fact you'd film it as gorily as possible and put in the popups to get from NC17 to R. The special edition unrated DVD would just move the popups a bit.

Good movies can be made regardless of the rating.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27340737)

A good, adult superhero movie can be made that would get a "G" rating - it would just take a little more talent to do so than relying on lazy blood, sex and violence.

What is the point of R rated movies. (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340745)

Normally the R Rating doesn't help the story anything, and usually causes a loss to the movie firm as they cant advertise to a wider audience.

Most of the stuff that the makes it from PG 13 to R are mostly visuals, and some language. There are many editing elements they can do to show the guy dies a slow painful death, or the hero is doing it with the lady. Which don't effect the story however keeps things clean.

Superhero movies, all show and no shebang (1)

waffle247 (1516215) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340747)

Superhero movies are always the same, lot's of hype and loads of sfx but then a flat storyline full of cardboard characters. Violence, set pieces, action sequences and beautiful people; all secondary to a story that actually goes somewhere and maintains interest. Be it for kids or adults; it's got to have a good story and an engaging script or it's just a set of expensive moving pictures. Holywood wants to make movies that people will watch, try writing an intelligent movie instead of movies for the unfortunates with a room temperature IQ.

No more blue cock (0, Troll)

javacowboy (222023) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340751)

For this, we should be extremely thankful :)

The studios have it all wrong (1, Insightful)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340769)

The studios have it all wrong. The reason Watchmen tanked was because it sucked. Badly.

First, you take a half-rate superhero and make a movie out of him. Starting off, it's already disadvantaged: there's a reason s/he's a half-rate comic book hero. He has a crummy story, costume, plot, writers, or what have you which the vast majority of people do not like. They're already striking out before they've even got the storyboard - which is, frankly, astonishing, because it's a comic book, after all.

Second, they don't fix most of the flaws in the comic, but amplify them, in the creation of the movie. That's like strike three, except the third ball hits you in the face and kills you.

(Thankfully, today's PG-13 is, in many ways, as gratuitous and maturely themed as yesteryear's R.)

Re:The studios have it all wrong (1)

beowulfcluster (603942) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340807)

You can say what you want about the story, plot, writers and what have you of the Watchmen but you can't call her costume crummy expect to be taken seriously.

Re:The studios have it all wrong (1)

gid (5195) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341115)

Exactly, the only difference between today's PG-13 and yesterday's R is you can't show tits, and you can't cuss like sailor.

Blame Dr Manhattan's blue dong (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27340793)

Apparently Americans don't want full frontal nudity in their superhero movies.

Re:Blame Dr Manhattan's blue dong (1)

dAzED1 (33635) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341121)

funny how often this trollish little attempt at a point is made.

Ok, how about a retort, just for fun. So Americans didn't like it because we don't want to see a big blue dong for half a movie. Europeans on the other hand will love it because they DO like seeing a big blue dong for half a movie.

Not fair? Sortof silly, really? Hmmm. Yeah, I agree.

There is a point at which something goes well beyond gratuitous, passes up Supersize Me [imdb.com] , and goes on past there being any point anymore.

Re:Blame Dr Manhattan's blue dong (1)

Syberz (1170343) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341131)

Hell yeah I do, just not MALE full frontal nudity :)

Re:Blame Dr Manhattan's blue dong (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341141)

As someone on imdb put it, it would be funny if they'd showed the nudity in the Vietnam sequences where all the Vietcong were running in terror from Doctor M.

PG-13 is the new R (5, Interesting)

Wild_dog! (98536) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340805)

The only thing that people fear is women's naked bodies and maybe some excess swearing. Those movies end up with an R rating. Of course V for Vendetta did get an R so there are still some levels of violence that will garner an R. Things like Dark Knight would have ended up with an R rating in the past. No longer. The boundaries of these things are constantly being pushed. A while back I had the ducts in my house cleaned and we found some old stashed gentlemens magazines. The average Redbook or Vanity Fair magazines have more nudity in them than these old porn magazines did. 10 years from now V for vendetta might also fall into the PG-13 category.

What about Preacher? (1)

toddvj (1074977) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340843)

So much for a Preacher Movie ever being made.

Watchmen still have made money (4, Informative)

Pecisk (688001) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340809)

Yes, it won't be huge profit, but come on, for such violent and anti-mainstream experiment they got nice cash back. It is 165m (costed 120m), and it is only third week.

I love movie, I only would like to be it more itself not just a copy of living very good comic book. However, it would require to move sideways from original material.

Anyway, I think team who made it have proven their point. Kudos to them, all actors especially.

write a real movie (2, Insightful)

eples (239989) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340811)

Howabout Hollywood writes something original and new instead of rehashing old material over and over again? Put any rating on it you want.

Re:write a real movie (1)

cryfreedomlove (929828) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341143)

What is stopping you from following your own suggestion? It should be easy. Right?

The invisible hand of the free market (1, Insightful)

cryfreedomlove (929828) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340813)

Why are people wringing their hands over this? Those R rated super hero movies were placed out there in the free market and consumers made a voluntary choice to not spend money on them. The response by the studios is to move into a demographic (families with young children) where they can sell more tickets. What's wrong with that?

If you disagree with the studios, then start your own studio and then create an R rated super hero movie. That should be easy since you are so convinced that studios are run by idiots.

Re:The invisible hand of the free market (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27340981)

[quote]That should be easy since you are so convinced that studios are run by idiots.[/quote]

Wouldn't he be just adding to the problem?

Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27340837)

"Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"

Kirby Dick? (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340985)

Kirby Dick? [imdb.com]

It's about the money (2, Insightful)

JerryLove (1158461) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340857)

I'd love to live in a world where movies were made how best the story could be told and the ratings were figured out later... but it comes down to simple economics.

The R-rated version of a movie might be the better one, but reducing it to PG-13 is not going to cost as many people as it gains.

IOW. People who want Watchmen as PG and won't go to R > people who want it R and won't go to PG.

It's the same problem in the video game world. It's not that niche' games won't sell... it's that non-niche' games sell better.

Here's an interesting link.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27340859)

http://www.mpaa.org/FlmRat_Ratings.asp

So I guess we could say goodbye to "adult themes, adult activity, hard language, intense or persistent violence, sexually-oriented nudity, drug abuse or other elements" in superhero movies.. personally, I will miss the theater being quiet throughout the movie.

The Ratings (1)

Khaloroma (1381853) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340947)

The market is all about ratings. First off you have to think of who you are trying to market to, people that enjoy hero films. Now virtually anyone can enjoy Spider Man for example, because most people can relate to him with his ordinary life, and enjoy the loftiness that his superpowers give him over society. If we then contrast that with a classic superhero like the Punisher, you will obviously have a more restricted audience as not everyone can relate to or enjoy a wronged individual hell-bent on revenge.

What it all boils down to is they are finally realizing that the more people that can see the movie, or more importantly will consider seeing it, the more money they'll make. It's basic logic that the company is finally beginning to apply at what cost? The change of a few swears and slightly less gore?

Failure? (4, Insightful)

Thumper_SVX (239525) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340961)

Is Watchmen really a failure? I mean, for an R-rated comic book movie, it's doing pretty well in my opinion. But that's not really the subject of the article.

The problem with Watchmen is not the R rating, at least in my opinion. The problem is the changes made to the ending that really changed the tone of it, and thus changed the meaning of the ending.

Let's look at it this way. Watchmen is a source material about which people are passionate. It was a seminal piece of comic book art, a graphic novel before there were graphic novels, and as the first of a genre it has a rather devout following. I know, I read it on first release... and re-read it... and re-read it... and yes, I loved it. However, in the intervening years (decades? OMG... I'm old!) I have not touched the source material and as such somewhat grew away from it. I re-read it last year as an adult and although I still found it to be an incredible piece of art, I found that it didn't resonate with me the same way it did when I was 13 and 14 (when it was first released). I still loved it, but in the way you do an ex girlfriend with whom you had a "soft breakup" because you grew apart instead of a difficult one.

I went to see the movie, and was blown away. 90% of the movie was damned close to the comic book... closer than I would've expected from Hollywood... and it would've been impossible to get that close without an R rating. The original comic book should have had an R rating as well! The ending though, had a different meaning for me than the comic. I won't spoil it here, but it IS different. However, for me it did not fundamentally change the tone of the entire movie... and in fact I think the comic book ending would've been less accessible to a more general audience and probably would've looked somewhat ridiculous on screen.

OK, call me an heretic. I enjoyed both of them but for different reasons. But the R rating is not the reason for the lackluster box office!

Here's my theory; the box office taking are low because of two things; (1) The Watchmen is a comic book that appealed to a niche, and (2) that niche is typically the very technically savvy.

OK, let's expand on that a little:

(1) Watchmen didn't appeal to a wider audience because it had a lot less exposure. Batman, Superman, Spiderman, Iron Man... all highly identifiable characters with a long history in print. All of them are part of the common consciousness that we have in the Western world, and all are characters we can visualize easily. Rorschach, Nite Owl, Doc Manhattan... who? These were all characters created for Watchmen because Alan Moore wasn't given the go-ahead to use the characters he wanted to... those with an history.

The upshot of this is that we have characters that only a small subsection of our society identifies with because they never really got into the social consciousness the way the more "iconic" characters did. This means that Hollywood produces a Watchmen movie, and the characters are new to the average viewer... and the average viewer doesn't want new; they want more of the same.

There's also this idea in the public consciousness that superhero's are always good, always doing the right thing. Watchmen's moral ambiguity on the part of ALL of the characters means that the average viewer won't identify their icons within the context of the movie, and thus won't connect with them. They're looking for simple... black and white. Watchmen is full of shades of grey.

(2) Because the subset of society is mostly tech-savvy, it means that they are going to read reviews of the movie before they go see it, usually written on websites by people with similar tastes... the blind leading the blind in a sense. This leads to one or two slightly negative reviews driving away the very core audience that was most likely to see it.

I refer in part to Massawyrm's review of Watchmen on Aint It Cool News [aintitcool.com] (for which I can't find a direct link right now, sorry!) in which he slammed the movie because of the ending. He's a fan of the original material, and found the ending disappointing and allowed it to taint his opinion of the entire movie (in my opinion... take it for what it's worth :) ) His review, which I also read before I went to see Watchmen set my expectations rather low... and I second guessed going to see it myself except that my girlfriend wanted to see it (her having never read the comic).

Now, the problem with this is, as I said before, the tech-savvy audience reads a review like this and the purists stay away in droves. And their friends. Those who know the ending is changed automatically have their opinions tainted because the ending did resonate, and did have implications that aren't even touched on with the new ending. That is a loss to the purists... and since they're the people most likely to go see it at all they're also the people you'd least want to alienate... especially with characters that the general populace does not connect with.

In upshot, I'd say most of the problem with Watchmen is NOT the R rating... in fact you couldn't have made Watchmen without the R rating. The problems are (a) that the source material is not as iconic as (say) Batman because popular culture somewhat ignored it, and (b) because the changes made to the movie alienated the core audience. In all honesty, in talking with my girlfriend before going to see it, she said she had found the trailer odd and almost incomprehensible... but she wanted to go see it after I had told her about the comic book and she liked the ideas behind it and wanted to see how it translated. As a result, the third mistake (though probably a lesser one) is that the trailer only seems comprehensible to someone familiar with the source material, but those same people are the ones alienated by the ending.

The R rating does play into it a little; they ALWAYS have lower viewing figures than a PG-13 movie... but it's got nothing to do with it being a comic book movie. The simple fact is that the 13-18 crowd is one that goes to the movies quite a bit (particularly the 15-17 crowd)... and they can't typically get into an R rated movie. Sure, an 18 year old can... but really... do they? But I would argue that the R rating is not the reason for the lower than expected takings.

Finally, one other factor the article ignores is the economy. The typical core audience is in their 30's and 40's... they're the ones most familiar with the source (though obviously some 20-somethings are in there too) and thus are the most likely to go see a movie. Typically, they have kids. With the economy currently in shambles worldwide, spending on luxuries like going to the movies has been curtailed. If these 30 and 40 something parents are going to go to a movie, they're going to make it a family event... meaning a PG-13 or below movie. Taking themselves out to an R-rated movie is going to be a luxury that few are going to spend money on right now because that kind of spending just isn't happening.

Besides, those same tech-savvy 20,30 and 40-somethings have mostly got nice HDTV's at home with home theater setups... the ones most likely to buy it on Blu-Ray when it comes out and then relax in their easy chairs and pause it when they need to go to the bathroom (and you will during a 3 hour sitting! :) )

In all honesty, if it hadn't been for my girlfriend and the fact that it was playing on an IMAX screen here in town, I probably would've waited for it to come out on disc (or some legal download service... yes, I will happily do that!). Just wait, it'll do far better on store release than it's done at the box office... people loved the source but were dissuaded by the few negative reviews from their peers (due primarily to the ending) will buy it when it comes out... or get it from Netflix and then buy it. But by then, with a bit of luck there'll be more light at the end of the economic tunnel as well.

All this is just an opinion of course... feel free to weigh in :)

Fine with me... (4, Funny)

murr (214674) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340975)

I'm looking forward to NC-17 rated superhero movies instead.

"Bigger, Bluer, and Uncut!"

Teens are the largest market for movies (1)

keithpreston (865880) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340993)

Movie makers have come to the conclusion that a movie is either a blockbuster or bust, so they can not ignore the largest audience. Go to your local theater and look around. Every theater I remember (mostly in suburbia) have been largely filled with Junior High and High School kids. When do you personally think you peaked in your in-theater movie watching? I was high school and I would expect most of you did too.

To me it almost seems to be in-grained in culture. Movies are the popular choice for your time in the younger years, drinking the popular choice in College. The people engulf themselves into work after that and finally into their kids. Maybe not quite exactly for everybody, but a lot follow the formula.

This will all work out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27340997)

In five years when some director makes an R-rated superhero movie and everyone falls all over themselves praising its artistic genius.

Yes. 10,000 times yes. (1)

fallen1 (230220) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341039)

Why? Simple: While an R rating usually means more gory violence and blood splashed across the screen, what it can also mean is that the director could choose to actually deal with DEATH. The director can show serious consequences of choosing particular actions instead of the (Marvel inspired) revolving door program where no-one dies (really).

Do we get to see death in PG and PG-13 movies? Sure. We just don't get to really see the horror that death contains usually. We get a cut-scene where someone pulls a trigger or uses a power and we cut to the hero crying or expounding upon the impact said death had on him and how the evil must be avenged. Make a decent film? Usually. A little reality creeping into a movie? Ummm, no. Death is rarely - if ever - a pretty, clean event where no blood is spilled and a body looks perfect. Even in a superhero movie.

Look at Star Wars. Episode IV, we had two dead bodies (Uncle Ben and Aunt Beru); we had all the dead Jawas; we had a mutilated arm; we had Han shooting Greedo (first!) In the Empire Strikes Back we had a hand getting chopped off and a few other incidents. In Return, we had some ships getting blown up and some minor violence but no real blood or such. In Ep I, II, and III we had what? A lot of droids getting killed so the Jedi had an opponent they could cut into pieces. The only gruesome moments were Darth Maul getting cut in half, the fight between Mace and the Emperor, and Anakin getting his ass kicked by Obi Wan. I'm sure I missed a few things, but overall they were tame. Sure, for the audience they wanted to market to they were balanced correctly. For a little more realism (Jedi were JUST killing droids the whole time? Please.) there could have been multiple bodies strewn around with limbs missing and such. I'm sure the Jedi didn't go down easy or quickly when Order 66 was issued which means a lot of dead clones.

Punisher's problem was that they replaced the guy who had just played Punisher for the reboot. I mean, wtf?? If they had left the same actor in there and DID NOT RETELL WHY PUNISHER BECOMES PUNISHER - AGAIN - then they would have had a much better reception. Just make a Punisher movie where he has a bad guy, lots of guns, and a reason to kill the motherfucker and let him go to work.

So, back to the main reason I started this rant: I realize we go to the movies to escape reality for an hour or two but there is a place for R rated superhero movies; they just actually have to be worth watching in the first place. Watchmen is one of those movies. It also requires the audience to actually think and not just float through the movie going haha at the right moments. Movies do not need to be dumbed down, the viewing public should be intelligenced up instead. I can see why movie studios will focus on PG and PG-13, because that is where the most profit usually is. But if they can get a decent script for an R superhero(ish) movie, it will make good money. Also, stop using $30,000,000 per movie actors - find someone else who can fill the role(s) and cut down on your overhead.

Flame retardant suit on, fire away :)

Crappy Book = Crappy Movie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27341079)

Watchmen did terrible not because super hero movies can't be rated R but because it was based on this crappy graphic novel where none of the super hero's are actually super hero's but losers in costumes who run around like Tickle Me Emo (see Youtube) and complain about the state of the world and the only actual super hero climaxes in a scene with a girl arguing about whether humanity is worth saving.

Not quite the same as watching Jack Nicholson as the joker

Fear x-rated instead ;-) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27341153)

Because once that has been produced then I think things have really hit rock bottom!

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  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>