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Every day I stop by The Digital Bits to find out the news on what's going on in the world of DVD. I think this time though, the web site creator has gone off the deep end. Here is his rant from yesterday's article:
Also today, we at The Digital Bits feel it's time we weighed in on another hotly-debated issue that's cropped up related to the home video industry. There are a number of companies that are trying to promote the use of special digital software packages to "clean up" or "mask" certain portions of Hollywood movies that are deemed "offensive". MovieMask has a technology that allows you to watch any movie on your PC "without exposing you and your family to the objectionable content contained in that film". So, for example, instead of blood splattering when people get hit by gunfire in The Matrix, you see a shower of sparks instead. Don't want your kids seeing Kate Winslet's "assets" in Titanic? No problem - this software will put a dress on her. Oh, but it's not all about censorship. No... this software can also insert clickable hyperlinks to retail stores into movies. Really like that dress Meg Ryan's wearing? Click here to order online now. There are also online stores that offer "edited" movies for rent. And the Arizona Republic recently did a story on the growing trend.

We side firmly with the Directors Guild of America on this one folks. Editing a movie without the filmmaker's knowledge, permission and supervision is absolutely, unconditionally and completely wrong. This is every bit as bad as colorizing a black and white film, or showing a 2.35 film in pan & scan. You don't like the violence or sex in a film? Then don't watch it! Read a book, for God's sake! I frankly can't believe this is even an issue.

At a recent DVD event, someone came up to me and said, "Gee... you know, I'm a parent and I love movies. And there are just tons of films I'd love to start exposing my kids too, like The Godfather and Saving Private Ryan, if only I didn't have to worry about them seeing all the sex and violence and swearing. What can I do?" Well... I do have an answer to that question, and I'll say it right out in plain language: You have absolutely no f#@king business showing a film like The Godfather to your kids until they're old enough to see it (and understand it) the way it was originally meant by the director to be seen. Period. There are PLENTY of films out there to watch with your kids. But altering a film just to conform to your own personal tastes and morality is absurd and wrong. You wouldn't pull a pair of Fruit of the Loom boxers over Michaelangelo's David and then say, "Look kids... that's a Renaissance sculpture! Isn't that great art?" Why not just paint dresses on all of Picasso's nudes? How about we just let everyone rewrite sections of classic books to take out whatever they find personally offensive? Maybe Harry Potter would read better to religious conservatives if Harry were simply a "boy scout" rather than a "wizard"? Maybe every reference to the character of Jim in Huck Finn should read "disadvantaged African American" rather than "******"? Where does this stuff stop?

People might argue, "But this is a movie! It's NOT the same thing as a Picasso or a Mark Twain novel!" But it IS exactly the same thing. Movies are one of the dominant art forms of our time. Some are good and some are bad. And yes... some depict sex and violence. But that doesn't give ANYONE (other the creators) the right to change them. 'Nuff said.
Apparently this guy doesn't have kids. While my children were growing up, I would have loved to have been able to allow them to watch many of the movies in our collection. Unfortunately, over half were unwatchable by preteens so they had to wait. No big deal but many opportunities were lost for excellent discussion about topics contained in certain "R" rated movies.

I understand his points and do think that at least the rental companies like MovieMask should get permission before editing any movie but on the other hand, it's only a movie and if people want to rent these "clean" versions, they should have the choice. Besides, when R rated movies are shown on network TV, they are not only edited but also cropped.

I think some people need to lighten up and get a life.

Clean Cut Cinemas

My Clean Flicks
 

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I think they should be allowed to edit down the movies as long as

1) They publicly tell those buying/renting

2) The Owner of the Movie dosen't protest.

Since they tear apart movies to fit in a certain time length or to be watchable on airplanes or for Television, that moral high ground is gone. And the use of Pan and Scan destroys the artistic point of view of the visual part of the movie. SO why not this. But if James Cameron says "Don't do that to my movies" they should respect it and not offer his movies...

But I think of an editied Godfather or Saving Private Ryan or Schindler's List and they become pretty lame. Might make the kids wonder "What is so great about this movie?"
 

· Arcane Movie Trivia King
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well, if you take the nudity out of schindler's list(there really isn't that much violence-a couple of shootings; the villian gets hung), you REALLY haven't altered the thrust or the point of the movie(i would be curious if the software can "tell" the difference between the sex related nudity in this film from the gas shower nudity-i can see where the latter has purpose related to the story)-to be honest, i wish the software had the capability of making "list" lose the final fifteen(or so) minutes when spielberg's genius gives way to spielberg's love of coke commercial endings(think how much stronger "list" would have been if the movie ended with schilndler driving off with the faces of those he saved reflected in the car window, or how much stronger "A/I" would have been if the movie ended with david in the helocopter at the bottom of the ocean)
 

· Damn you woman!
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OK, so why even make a movie if someone is going to censor it? Why did Spielberg put nudity in the movie? Why should some teenager with an editing machine decide if its important to the story or not.
 

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nudity sells....(that's a no brainer-lol)

and i think it's more like some adult CONCERNED ABOUT WHAT HIS CHILDREN ARE EXPOSED TO deciding what's appropriate-

you can take the two nude sex related scenes out(a young girl in schindler's bed, another in the chief nazi's bed)and you will not have a gutted film-you just won't...the nudity in the showers are somewhat justified, but "the hiding place" had a similar scene in it and had the same impact without showing full body nudity-the holocost tv mini series several years ago covered much of the same terrain and did it without nude sex related scenes, tho they did show nudity in the gas showers and in mass shootings of the jews...

filmakers today, because they have little imagination in the writing process, add nudity and foul language in the guise of being "more realistic"(even tho in my circles, you really DON'T hear use of the f word that much)...

filmakers cop out of using legitimate talent to take the lazy road to their finished product-go back to the films of the thirties, forties, and fifties to see what one CAN do with a little talent and imagination...
 

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James, but it is done all the time with "Edited for Television" presentations. Now it is probably done by the Film studio, but I believe that edit are also done by the locals to suit thier tastes as well.

And while Spielberg may have enough power to say "No editing of my film without my permission", the Director of some films may not have enough power to fight the studios who want the movies to air on TV or in places that like Edited movies. Those who lack "Creative Control" will be screwed either by the "Editied for Television" or by the edits the Studios make for Theatre release (as well as the edits made by any other editor)
 

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also, local independant channels have been doing their own edits on films and older television programs for years-this is not a new thing-just a new technology and the studios don't like it because they probably aren't getting any green for it from families-

trust me-artistic expression goes right out the window when greenbacks are involved-these arguements are so specious(sic) especially concerning the industry in question(keep in mind these hollywood types would sell their own mothers to white slavery if the price was right)
 

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As long as the disk is clearly marked that it is an edited version I have no problem with them being edited. Something like:

This film has been EDITED to be less violent and to remove sexual content. IT WAS EDITED WITHOUT THE CONSENT OF THE ORIGINAL DIRECTOR.
 

· Arcane Movie Trivia King
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another good example right now of editing wars???catch "highlander:endgame" being stripped on various premiums right now-on any given day, you can either catch the director's version OR the redit done by the producer-the difference is in the director's version, the girlfriend dies in the third act and the film ends with the duncan character at another character's grave-in the producer's version, the girlfriend shows up at the end and duncan and the girl walk off into the sunset together-it drastically changes the thrust of the film(for what it's worth-it's a pretty lousy film regardless the version you catch)...
 

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There are several companies here in Utah that will alter movies that YOU buy. The store is called "Clean Flix" and their business is thriving.

If I buy a DVD or VHS and am using it for home use, why shouldn't I be able to alter it? It is mine. I have paid my royalties to the studio, the artists and everyone else. If I want to change the thrust of a movie, why shouldn't I be able to. I bought it. Just my .02 worth.
 

· Damn you woman!
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Originally posted by gcutler
James, but it is done all the time with "Edited for Television" presentations. Now it is probably done by the Film studio, but I believe that edit are also done by the locals to suit their tastes as well.
Damn right its done by the studios. There is no way they give up their rights to a movie to some hack in a back room. They invest millions on these things and if anyone is going to change an ending it will be done with their permission. The locals don't edit content, they buy edited versions from the distributors. Look, from a legal standpoint, they can't sell these hacks without permission from the owners of the material.
 

· Damn you woman!
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Originally posted by karl_f
If I buy a DVD or VHS and am using it for home use, why shouldn't I be able to alter it? It is mine. I have paid my royalties to the studio, the artists and everyone else. If I want to change the thrust of a movie, why shouldn't I be able to. I bought it. Just my .02 worth.
Yes, but you can't sell that version to someone else as an edited version. Fair use allows you to do what you wish, but you can't edit "Ishtar" and sell it. You can edit it for your own use, you can give it away or you can pay someone else to edit your copy, but you are paying them for the editing capabilities, not the actual edited copy.
 

· Damn you woman!
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Originally posted by jrjcd
another good example right now of editing wars???catch "highlander:endgame" being stripped on various premiums right now-on any given day, you can either catch the director's version OR the redit done by the producer-the difference is in the director's version, the girlfriend dies in the third act and the film ends with the duncan character at another character's grave-in the producer's version, the girlfriend shows up at the end and duncan and the girl walk off into the sunset together-it drastically changes the thrust of the film(for what it's worth-it's a pretty lousy film regardless the version you catch)...
Ok, but the owners of the material have ok'd this. Adrian Paul can't edit his own copy without the owners of the material saying OK.
 

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(rolling eyes smiley)

james-local channels add their own edits ALL THE TIME foi both content and time concerns...

if i wanted to reedit all the vhs tapes I OWN, i can do so with impunity(sic)-i own 'em and if paul wants to edit his copies, he can do so also-i could also probably sell 'em at the flea market and not get into any trouble to boot...

if someone wants to sell software for a product that makes a film more family freindly after they take it home-GOOD FOR THEM- the customer has bought it and they own it and they can use it as ribbon on christmas presents if they want to-it's amazing WHAT YOU CAN DO WITH THINGS YOU BUY AND OWN!!!!They can EVEN GIVE IT AWAY TO THEIR FRIENDS AND FAMILY IF THEY WANT TO...

what they probably can't get away with is selling re edited versions prior to the sell(if a customer buys it and then hires someone in the store to re edit it before he takes it home, guess what????THAT'S OK!!! speilberg may not like it, but tough toddies...)

and for the record, "ishtar" should be edited into oblivion because it was an AWFUL film to begin with...lol
 

· Damn you woman!
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Originally posted by jrjcd
(rolling eyes smiley)

james-local channels add their own edits ALL THE TIME foi both content and time concerns...
With permission. They just don't roll down to Best Buy and start cutting.

if i wanted to reedit all the vhs tapes I OWN, i can do so with impunity(sic)-i own 'em and if paul wants to edit his copies, he can do so also-i could also probably sell 'em at the flea market and not get into any trouble to boot...
You can edit all you want. Then you can sell at a flea market. But it doesn't make it legal. No one is going to come after you for selling a movie for $10 at a flea market. But you start making thousands of dollars and see what happens

if someone wants to sell software for a product that makes a film more family freindly after they take it home-GOOD FOR THEM- the customer has bought it and they own it and they can use it as ribbon on christmas presents if they want to-it's amazing WHAT YOU CAN DO WITH THINGS YOU BUY AND OWN!!!!They can EVEN GIVE IT AWAY TO THEIR FRIENDS AND FAMILY IF THEY WANT TO...
I'm not arguing with you on that point. I completely agree. Fair use laws protect this practice.

what they probably can't get away with is selling re edited versions prior to the sell(if a customer buys it and then hires someone in the store to re edit it before he takes it home, guess what????THAT'S OK!!! speilberg may not like it, but tough toddies...)
Again you are making my point. You can edit your own copy. You can dow what you want with it, but you start selling or renting these modified films then you might get a call from the studios.

and for the record, "ishtar" should be edited into oblivion because it was an AWFUL film to begin with...lol
Come on, you know I'm just being funny. When was the last time you typed ishtar on the internet? :D
 

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actually today-wasn't it????this new job is ruining my conception of time...
 
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