Max Payne director attacks MPAA
The director of Max Payne, John Moore, has been talking about his struggles with the MPAA to try and receive a PG-13 rating, and when I heard that a number of questions leapt to the fore immediately. The first being why is Max Payne going for a PG-13?
Then there are other issues, why is an R rating such a problem for the filmmakers and the studio, and would Americans really not go and see an R rated Max Payne?
Speaking at Das Gamer through Latino Review the director of Max Payne, John Moore, shows his contempt for the MPAA rating system, run by a bunch of middle class, middle aged, straight, sometimes religious, parents.
“Das Gamer: How challenging has it been to get a PG-13 rating for Max Payne?
John Moore: It continues to be a challenge. We’re right in the middle of it now. We’re suffering from what I call Batman blowback. The Motion Picture Association of America gave The Dark Knight a PG-13 rating and basically sucked Warner Bros. [rude word removed - Richard]. I have a serious amount of issues with the MPAA. Did you know it was made up of volunteers? As if that somehow excludes them from some type of wrongdoing. You can’t serve on it if you’re a homosexual or if you didn’t grow up in a shared parenthood home. Go to their website and read their charter about what gives a fair and balanced view for typical parents. We’re still strangled by an association that’s straight out of the House Un-American Activities Committee...
...The MPAA has mutated into an extremely dubious organization.”
Wow, he's defintely not happy with the MPAA, and who can blame him, I mean can anyone defend them? Just watch This Film is Not Yet Rated (Filmstalker review) to see what a mess that MPAA is and how dubious they are in their decision making.
“The MPAA will never publish the rules. They’ll never tell a director, Here’s what’s going to get you an R, Here’s what’s going to get you a PG-13...the MPAA changes their rules willy-nilly and it depends on who’s seeing your actual movie at the time. It’s very difficult to get a hold on what’s acceptable. The only thing you can use is current standards. So I go and see The Dark Knight and I say, “Gee, that’s pretty gnarly for PG-13,” but I felt good about Max Payne after coming out of the theater. I thought Max wasn’t going to have a problem. And that’s not the case. They’re coming down on us pretty hard
Das Gamer: What did the MPAA tell you was the problem with Max Payne?
John Moore: They said to me, the movie feels R. And I said, “What the [expletive removed - Richard] is that, a group therapy session?” You can’t do that. They’re meant to judge content, not intent. They said the movie felt dark...
...They really hung themselves with The Dark Knight. Every other filmmaker in town is knocking on their door saying, “Please sir, may I have my PG-13 rating and be as fair to my movie as you were to The Dark Knight.”
Now I thought that the studios were scared of R rated films in America because that meant the film wouldn't be shown in a great many cinemas in the country, but Moore says it's something different.
“A lot of people aren’t fully aware that the reason studios are so gun shy about R-rated movies isn’t because of the content, it’s because it limits the advertising opportunities. You can’t advertise an R-rated movie before 9 p.m. in most states. You can’t advertise an R-rated movie in front of a PG-13 movie. There are some real hamstring rules of advertising.”
Latino Review make a great point though, the target audience for this film are the gamers who've played Maz Payne before, and that's a big audience, so are they really going to be concerned about an R rating for the film? Will they be concerned about travelling a little to see the film? Will they be concerned about a lack of advertising? I don't think so.
However you can imagine that the studio are pressurising him to make it a PG-13 for one reason and one reason alone, demographics, numbers of people, and hard cash at the door.
Will you go and see Max Payne as an R rating? Would you go and see any film that you were interested in if it hit an R rating and meant a little bit of travel to see it?