Tuesday, May 1, 2012

MPAA upholds NC-17 rating on Lynch's 'Chained'


Another movie has been branded with an NC-17 by the Motion Picture Assn. of America.

The filmmaker and distributor behind “Chained,” a thriller about a serial killer starring Vincent D’Onofrio, saw their appeal rejected by the group on Tuesday. The movie, which was directed by Jennifer Lynch (“Boxing Helena,” and daughter of David Lynch) and distributed by Anchor Bay Entertainment, was given an NC-17 for “some explicit violence.”

It marks a rare instance of an NC-17 rating being given because of violence alone; the MPAA’s harshest tag is usually applied at least in part because of sexual content. The movie centers on a man (D'Onofrio) who kills a young boy's mother and then raises the boy as his murderous protege.

The rejected appeal marks the second time in the last six weeks that an appeals board for the MPAA's Classification and Rating Administration has decided to stick with an NC-17 on an independent movie. In March, the group upheld raters’ decision to give the Matthew McConaughey hit-man picture ”Killer Joe” an NC-17 for “graphic aberrant content involving violence and sexuality, and a scene of brutality."

The NC-17 has been a little-used tool by the MPAA since replacing the notorious X rating several decades ago. But either because filmmakers are pushing the envelope or because the MPAA has become more serious about using it, the NC-17 has surfaced more of late. In the last 18 months, the romantic drama “Blue Valentine” and sex-addict tale “Shame” were also each given an NC-17, with the former overturned on appeal.

Producers did not immediately reply to a request for comment or to say whether they will cut some of the violent scenes in response to the ruling.

NC-17 — No One 17 and Under Admitted.

An NC-17 rated motion picture is one that, in the view of the Rating Board, most parents would consider patently too adult for their children 17 and under. No children will be admitted. NC-17 does not mean "obscene" or "pornographic" in the common or legal meaning of those words, and should not be construed as a negative judgment in any sense. The rating simply signals that the content is appropriate only for an adult audience. An NC-17 rating can be based on violence, sex, aberrational behavior, drug abuse or any other element that most parents would consider too strong and therefore off-limits for viewing by their children

'Barry Sonnenfeld Declares ‘Men in Black III’ a Return to Form'


By Jack Giroux on April 30, 2012

In just a few weeks we will be getting our first Men in Black film in nearly ten years, and hopefully the Men in Black sequel we deserve. Director Barry Sonnenfeld's first installment was a real head-turner, a rare type of blockbuster that could be touted as being something like a modern day Ghostbusters, though it was its own original breed of film. The 2002 sequel, however, was not that, forgetting nearly everything that made the first film unique. Thankfully, Sonnenfeld is well aware of this.

The Get Shorty and Addams Family director is hoping to bring the series back down to where it all began: character and plot-driven action, not another aimless gag after gag sequel. From his different 3D approach to having what he calls a real nasty villain again, Barry Sonnenfeld declares Men in Black III a return to where the series started off so well.


I thought the second film was missing a Vincent D'Onofrio, a villain who had real menace to him and raised the stakes. Would you say Jemaine Clement brings that back? 

Well, yes, thank you for asking me that. For one, on the second movie, I think we forgot to pay attention to having a really strong villain. D'Onofrio was fantastic, because he was both menacing and also very funny because he was so frustrated by earth. In this movie, Jemaine is an incredibly good villain. For one, Rick Baker's makeup, which took Jemaine four and a half hours every morning to put on, really turned Jemaine from the nicest human being you'll ever meet into someone who both looks and acts really scary. He's a really mean and great-looking villain. We learned from the second one and are back to have a really strong villain. In fact, Danny Elfman, who did the score on all three movies, is huge Jemaine Clement fan and loves every moment of Flight of the Concords. The first time I showed him Men in Black III, he said, "That villain is fantastic. Who is he?" I said his name was Jemaine Clement, and he said "no way." Danny Elfman not recognizing one of his musical idols was very satisfying.