The MPAA hullabaloo surrounding Zack and Miri comes to a close?
If you haven’t heard by now, Kevin Smith, director of such vehicles for Dick n’ Fart jokes as “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back” and “Mallrats,” recently appealed the MPAA’s decision to give his new movie, “Zack and Miri Make a Porno,” the ultimate Kiss O’ Death, and NC-17 rating. And guess what?
The good guys won! For once, the good guys actually won. That’s right — Smith and his usual cronies of no-gooders — Scott Mosier, Jason Mewes, Walt “Fanboy” Flanagan and the rest of those goofballs — actually got the revision board to not only watch “Zack and Miri,” but also coaxed them into reversing the MPAA’s initial decision, sans script changes, major editing and the like. Smith has dealt with this situation before. “Jay and Silent Bob” had to have a few crude jokes cut, but this time around, Smith debauchery will be shown on the silver screen, uncut and glorious, just as he intended.
This isn’t even the first time the MPAA has gone hay-wire over “Zack and Miri.” A while ago, Smith released a short, totally ad-libbed teaser trailer for his upcoming flick, which featured Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks holding, uh, auditions for the porno. As soon as the MPAA caught wind of the unauthorized trailer, it came off the interwebs forever.
My initial thoughts about the new rating are as follows:
- It makes total sense
The only difference between an NC-17 and an R-rating is that children under 17 can see R-rated movies if accompanied by a parent or guardian. That’s it. And although this movie — which undoubtedly incorporates terrible language, nudity, sex-related topics and whatever other forms of mature content Smith can cram into two hours of film — may very well deserve a harsh rating, the MPAA has consistently regarded movies on a case-by-case basis, with no strict guidelines as to what makes a movie PG-13, R, etc. I mean, no one can argue that “Titanic,” and maybe even “The Dark Knight,” could have garnered R-ratings, and I’m sure those aren’t the only two movies in history that the MPAA seems to have made a special exception for.
Because of that, I think the MPAA should have taken “Zack and Miri” into special consideration. To me, the name of the movie provides any and all warning that parents will need. The freaking word “Porno” is in the title — if that doesn’t raise some kind of red flag, neither will ratings or DVD-package labels. The name “Zack and Miri Make a Porno” will make parents more skeptical than an R-rating, and I’m guessing the number of under-17ers that see this movie won’t drastically change now as opposed to if the movie was released as an NC-17 movie.
No, the NC-17 wouldn’t have done much to help keep kids from seeing the movie eventually. All it would have done is kill any chance the movie had of even making its production costs back. NC-17 movies not only restrict the audience, they also are restricted from advertising in certain places (i.e. television) at certain times, which would have negated any chance Smith had of getting the flick out there. Basically, there’s no way the Weinstein brothers would have released an NC-17 movie. It just would have been stupid — instead, Smith would have been forced to cut any “obscene” reference in the flick, thus limiting his original vision.
- All of this might end up helping Lunch Box in the end
No one outside of Smith’s cult following of fanboys and comic-book-reading geeks (I say that jokingly. I’m a huge Smith fans, and I don’t fall in either category, or at least I don’t acknowledge that I do) was really talking about this movie before all of this mess happened. Well, during the brief, albeit terrifying, NC-17 rating, it seemed as though this film would be trapped in developmental hell. Now, the flick is R-rated and everyone everywhere is talking about the movie and the controversy surrounding it (in this case, I really think controversy is a really good thing), which will no doubt (at least, I hope) help this thing in the box office. Smith has never had a B.O. smash, and the more the general population talks about and becomes aware of “Zack and Miri,” the more likely it will have bankability. I know people are going to be curious to see it after so much fuss about the ratings and such. Plus the film drops in October, so there’s not really the risk that people will totally forget about this controversy before it comes out.
UPDATE: I found that teaser trailer I was talking about earlier. Apparently, someone snuck it onto YouTube before the MPAA forced Smith to get rid of it:
Haha, “ass-wise… things going in there?” This movie is going to be hilarious.