`Unrated' label is intriguing but misleading

The Gripe

October 26, 2007|By Chris Kaltenbach | Chris Kaltenbach,Sun reporter

Can we please ban the tag "Unrated" from DVD boxes? The unstated promise is that these films will offer more sex, or violence, or perversity, or outrageousness, than Hollywood's R rating will allow. But is that really the case?

Often, I've watched "unrated" DVD versions of R-rated films, and darned if I've been able to see any difference. I've never actually sat down and compared the versions scene by scene -- to be honest, watching most of these films once is tough enough -- but someone who has confirms my suspicions.

Freelance writer Mike Berger, on the associatedcontent.com, lists 10 unrated films "that aren't worth your time." Among those he mentions: Dodgeball, which includes one minute of additional footage, "which basically consisted of some naked cheerleaders," and Date Movie, which adds one scene, "where a woman sits down completely naked, for no reason whatsoever."

This kind of ploy is tried all the time. True, sometimes a DVD will be unrated because the director really has reworked the film since its theatrical run, and the studio saw no need to submit the new version to the ratings board (The Lord of the Rings trilogy comes to mind). But that's the exception, not the rule.

chris.kaltenbach@baltsun.com

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