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New Escapist Column! On the “Necessity” of the R-Rating for “Birds of Prey”…

I published an In the Frame piece at Escapist Magazine last Friday, looking at the debate around the “R-rating” that Birds of Prey earned.

Following the film’s release, there’s been a lot of a debate around Birds of Prey, particularly in light of its box office performance. One of the more interesting arguments has been around the film’s age rating, with several pundits arguing that the film did not “need” to be rated R, that it could have been cut to a PG-13 movie without losing anything of value. This is an interesting argument, one that deserves a little interrogation. After all, the scenes which likely earned Birds of Prey its R-rating – certainly the scenes singled out as unnecessary by such critics – are essential to its identity. They make the film unique and distinct.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.

The History of the “R” Rated Blockbuster

It looks like The Wolfman, the first monster movie reboot due from universal, has just secured an ‘R’ rating State-side. In Ireland and the UK, we’re used to blockbusters receiving higher film ratings (12s, 15s, 18s), but in the US it’s unheard of for a major motion picture intended to make loads of money to go out with a rating higher than PG-13. It’s bizarre, as technically an adult can take a child to see an R-rated movie, whereas over here, back in the old days, it didn’t matter who you were with – if you weren’t the age on the poster, you didn’t get in. So what’s with this recent trent towards selling big budget movies with the R rating on them serving not as something to be downplayed by the studio, but actually used as a major selling point? Hell, we’re even seeing more redband trailers.

Because red is just sexier...

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