Random Factoid #441

12 10 2010

I’ve seen lots of topics around gender pop up on the web over the past few days, so I’ve decided to dedicate two factoids to the issue.  Today’s focuses on the men; tomorrow, on the women.

Cinematical took a look at the MPAA’s sexism in evaluating nudity in movies.  Listen to this statistic:

Since 2006, 786 movies have been flagged for “nudity.”  Only three — all 2010 releases — have the warning of “male nudity”: Jackass 3DEat Pray Love, and Grown Ups. Zero in five years carry a “female nudity” red flag.

So why the discrimination against men?  Apparently it’s the legacy of “Bruno,” which angered quite a few parents.  I’ll admit that it was quite graphic (and a little bit more than I expected from an R), but I’m sure there are plenty of movies with graphic female nudity and we don’t see them getting descriptors added.  And for those wondering, “Bruno” was rated R for “pervasive strong and crude sexual content, graphic nudity and language.”

I don’t understand why male nudity is that much more taboo.  I saw “Eat Pray Love” and “Grown Ups,” and neither featured any sort of traumatizing images.  Both were just bare backsides, which can pass in PG movies.  The double standard seems quite strange.  Are we just protecting women from the indecency of seeing certain things?

There’s only one fair way to do this: either the MPAA takes the unnecessary step of adding the gender of the naked person before each mention of nudity in a movie OR they just go back to saying “nudity” and leaving it at that.

Random Factoid #267

21 04 2010

This factoid is brought to you by Ross v Ross’ post “Which Movies Have You Not Been Able to Finish?”

If you hadn’t guessed by now, I will be revealing the movie(s) that I just couldn’t see through to the bitter end.  No matter how bad the movie, I virtually always finish it.  On just my fourth day of blogging I established that I had only walked out of two movies, “The Return” and “Bruno.”  I did not care to ever finish the former, but I actually rented the latter (from the library – so it was free!) and finished it out of curiosity.

But as for other movies, I only remember stopping a movie and never restarting it because I didn’t like it once.  That honor is reserved for “Ghost Rider,” starring Nicolas Cage and Eva Mendes.  I’ve seen worse movies, and I’m not quite sure what motivated me to stop.  I think it could be some sort of an objection to having an incarnation of the Devil be the protagonist.

Any movies that you just couldn’t see through to the end?

Random Factoid #147

22 12 2009

I sat for over an hour at a screening yesterday watching a trivia reel on a loop.  I complain about the pre-show entertainment and the endless advertising, but having to sit through the same trivia questions dozens of times could drive Gandhi mad.

However, once, I managed to make trivia entertaining.

At the 8:10 opening night show of “Bruno,” the projector broke (I think I called it a “mercy killing” in my review).  While the AMC staff slowly worked to fix the projector, they flipped on the trivia reel.

The first time, my friends and I offered our guesses at who said what quote.  But by about the third time around, it was getting reaaaaaaaally boring, so we had to spice it up some.  It was fun for a little while by yelling out BS answers to the quotes, yet even that got old.

We walked out.

Random Factoid #11

8 08 2009

I hate watching unrated cuts of movies.  I always want to see the theatrical cut because after seeing “Bruno,” I found out that anything can get an R-rating.  The director could include practically whatever he wanted, but there is a reason that he did not include it in the version that the masses go see.  So I figure that the rated version, while tamer, is probably what the director wanted you to see.


7 08 2009

This review is incomplete because I missed the last 20 minutes of “Bruno,” but from the hour that I did see, I got the gist of it. Sacha Baron Cohen’s latest raunchy romp takes everything that made “Borat” work and throws it out the window. He replaces it with graphic male nudity and over-the-top and exaggerated homosexual sex scenes that made the bulk of the audience cringe in my theater. The movie has some funny moments, but they are incredibly brief and don’t make up for the other disturbing content that fills the bulk of the movie. “Bruno” makes “Borat” look like a Disney cartoon, offending people of virtually any sexual orientation, nationality, religion, or social group.

Cohen’s character, Bruno, is a flamboyantly homosexual fashion reporter who comes to America after being disgraced in his home country of Austria. Once there, his glitzy nature collides with the harsh homophobic climate in some parts of the United States. He starts out in Los Angeles where he tries to get his own fashion show on television. This ultimately flops, but it leads him to try to discover what really makes a celebrity. The quest is where the movie is at its funniest, as Bruno tries to get involved in social concerns like the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, even talking to an actual terrorist group leader. The best moment comes when he talks to two young, air-headed starlets about the most trendy issues and organizations. But its second half deals exclusively with tackling the subject of homosexuality, and here it takes a turn for the worst. I think had the filmmakers not bungled the handling of the very sensitive subject, it would have been bearable even for someone like me who is not easily offended. However, it is just awkward and unsettling, and when the projector died in my theater with 20 minutes left, very few people were willing to see it out the very graphic end.

As I am writing this review, the movie has flopped at the box office and received dismal reception from fans. I think the main reason for this is that Americans are much more willing to laugh at their xenophobia like they did in “Borat” than they are at their homophobia. I admire Cohen for having the guts to make movies like “Bruno” that attempt to throw all of our fears out of the closet and poke fun at them, but this attempt falls flat on its face. If after reading this, you are still compelled to see “Bruno,” my advice would be to wait until it comes out on DVD, rent it on iTunes, go take your computer and sit alone in the closet and watch it alone to avoid the awkwardness of watching it with anyone with whom you want to have a normal relationship. For the best experience with the character, take a look at his in-character talk show appearances this summer, or watch the much funnier “Da Ali G Show” where you will see a much less vulgar Bruno. C- / 1halfstars

Random Factoid #4

1 08 2009

I have only walked out of a movie once.  The movie was “The Return,” a crummy 2006 horror film with Sarah Michelle Gellar.  It was my first time to go to the movies as a social occasion, and I couldn’t understand why people didn’t want to go see the infinitely better “Casino Royale” which was opening that day.  I now realize that for big gatherings, it’s best to see movies that you don’t actually want to see because you just sit in the front and talk, irking other moviegoers who then call the manager and get the loudest members of your group kicked out.  After a fair few of my friends had been not so politely escorted out of the theater, the remainder of us decided to leave.  I have absolutely no desire to watch what I missed, or even to go on Wikipedia and read what I missed.

I guess, technically speaking, I walked out of “Bruno” too.  There were about 20 minutes left in the movie, and I noticed that the picture was getting especially blurry.  I leaned over and I asked my friend if she noticed it, and she didn’t seem concerned about it.  Sure enough, about a minute later, the projector broke and the lights came on in the theater.  We decided to wait it out as they fixed it, but when the movie came back on, it resumed in the wrong spot.  The theater booed until they turned it off and tried to get us back to the right spot, but that just led to it breaking three more times about every two minutes.  After about the fifth break, we were among the last twenty people in a previously packed house, and we decided to just leave.  I would have stayed until the very raunchy end had it not been for the projector.