Reviews, articles, rants & ramblings on the darker side of the media fringe

Archive for June, 2012

Adoption of PG-13 rating

In 1984, explicit violence and gore in the films Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Poltergeist and Gremlins caused an uproar among parents over their PG rating. Their complaints led Hollywood figure Steven Spielberg, director of Temple of Doom and producer of Gremlins, to suggest a new rating to MPAA president Jack Valenti for movies that have too much adult content to be rated PG, but not quite enough to be rated R. Spielberg’s suggestion was for an intermediate rating of PG-13 or PG-14. On conferring with cinema owners, Valenti and the MPAA introduced the PG-13 rating on July 1, 1984, indicating that some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. The Spielberg films were never re-rated.

The first film distributed with a PG-13 rating was Red Dawn (1984); Dreamscape and The Woman in Red were released on the same day the following week. The Flamingo Kid (1984) was the first film to receive the rating, but was not released until December 1984.

The ratings used from 1984 to 1986 were:

  • Rated G: General Audiences – All Ages Admitted.
  • Rated PG: Parental Guidance Suggested – Some Material May Not be Suitable for Children.
  • Rated PG-13: Parents Are Strongly Cautioned to Give Special Guidance for Attendance of Children Under 13 – Some Material may be Inappropriate for Children Under 13.
  • Rated R: Restricted – Under 17 Requires Accompanying Parent or Adult Guardian.
  • Rated X: No One Under 17 Admitted.

In 1986, the PG-13 rating’s wording was changed to: Parents Strongly Cautioned – Some Material May be Inappropriate for Children Under 13.


The Dark Knight Rises – 3D Billboard


Frankenweenie – Hollywood Promo Stills

Victor Frankenstein is a clever and industrious 10-year-old boy who is inspired by science. He lives with his parents and dog, Sparky, in the town of New Holland. Victor immerses himself in making films and inventing in his attic workshop. When Sparky dies in a car accident, Victor uses scientific ingenuity to bring him back to life.

Check out these fantastic ‘old school Hollywood’ stills of Victor, Sparky, Mr and Mrs Frankenstein, Elsa Van Helsing, Elsa’s dog Persehone , Bob, Bob’s Mum and Toshiaki, the over-achieving and mega-competitive foil to Victor. He delights in beating Victor at his own game and like a power-hungry, mad scientist, Toshiaki will stop at nothing to win the top prize in the school’s science fair—even if it means stealing Victor’s ideas to do it.


Frankenweenie – Full Length Trailer

From creative genius Tim Burton (“Alice in Wonderland,” The Nightmare Before Christmas”) comes “Frankenweenie,” a heartwarming tale about a boy and his dog. After unexpectedly losing his beloved dog Sparky, young Victor harnesses the power of science to bring his best friend back to life–with just a few minor adjustments. He tries to hide his home-sewn creation, but when Sparky gets out, Victor’s fellow students, teachers and the entire town all learn that getting a new “leash on life” can be monstrous.

Adapted from his own, early live action short this has been a passion project of Burton’s for years and it shows in the attention to detail. The project reunites the director with many talents he’s worked with in the past, including actors Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short, Martin Landau, and Winona Ryder, as well as writer John August. The animation work looks fantastic and the cast of characters very fun indeed.


The Cabin in the Woods ****½

You should see Cabin in the Woods before you read this review; see it before seeing the trailer, which gives away far too much. The main problem of course is that it has been difficult for most people to see the movie at all. Bankrupt studios, lawyers, delayed release dates and a seemingly difficult movie to market; the Cabin in the Woods has had a troubled time over the last couple of years.

It beggars belief that this film hasn’t been championed by the studio or distributors, it was only due to an online campaign that we finally got to see it in the cinemas here in Australia, over a year late!

The premise is a seemingly simple one, five college students jump in a camper van and head out to distant cousins Cabin in the Woods, not an entirely unfamiliar scenario in the horror film genre. The students are Dana (Kristen Connelly), her best friend Jules (Anna Hutchison), Jules’ boyfriend Curt (Chris Hemsworth), his friend Holden (Jesse Williams) and stoner dropout Marty (Fran Kranz).

They are not your typical stereotypes, initially at least; however, their personalities change soon after they arrive at the cabin. A few beers and a game of ‘truth or dare’ lead them into the basement where they encounter a plethora of odd artifacts. What could possibly go wrong?

Sitterson (Richard Jenkins) and Hadley (Bradley Whitford), the two guys watching them on closed-circuit TV, and apparently manipulating their surroundings seem more than willing to ensure that a lot will go wrong for these kids…

To say anything more would only ruin the surprise and lessen the impact of what is so far the best movie of the year.

Written by Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard, the script is exceptional; it’s smart, fun and filled with tension. An obvious love and deep knowledge of the genre has been poured into almost every scene and it pays off for horror fans of all sub-genres. Filled with references to horror films of all eras, with a particular focus on the classic 80’s period, most notably The Evil Dead, this movie is destined to be a drinking game staple for years to come.

The script is filled with fantastic dialogue and some excellent jokes, all of which are delivered by a solid cast, with a special mention of Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford who are particularly good.

I was never a massive fan of Buffy or Firefly, however Whedon has surpassed those efforts this year with this film and some other super hero flick that has done quite well recently. Drew Goddard has done a great job bringing all the elements together, paying homage to many the films referenced.

As a horror film it’s not really very frightening and it loses it’s way slightly towards the end, however, as a horror-comedy, it’s up there with the very best. No spoilers here, if you like horror, see it at any cost, if you love horror you’ll want to own it as soon as possible.

Quality: 5 out of 5 stars

Any Good: 4 out of 5 stars (It would have been 5 with a few more scares)


The Cabin in the Woods – Poster Art


Isabelle Adjani

Isabelle Yasmine Adjani (born 27 June 1955) is a French film actress and singer. Adjani has appeared in 30 films since 1970. She holds the record for most César Awards for Best Actress with five, for Possession (1981), One Deadly Summer (1983), Camille Claudel (1988), Queen Margot (1994) and Skirt Day (2009). She was also given a double Cannes Film Festival Best Actress Award in 1981 and a Berlin Film Festival Best Actress Award in 1989. She also received two Academy Award nominations for Best Actress. She performs in French, English and German.

No stranger to dark roles in some of European cinema’s finest thrillers including The Tenant (1976), Nosferatu the Vampyre  (1979), the aforementioned Possession (1981) and One Deadly Summer (1983), Mortelle Randonnée (1983), and Diabolique (1996) an American remake of the French classic Les Diaboliques (1955).