Thursday, 31 March 2011

The King's Speech/Rant About The MPAA

Image, Broca's Area
I'm sure none of you need reminding of The King's Speech, or its success both at the box office and with the critics. Now, given said success there was bound to be a few people who hold contrary views so they can brag about how they aren't media stooges or whatever. Sadly, as far as this blog goes anyway, there isn't many. But the film's release in America has given me the opening I need to attack the MPAA, so I'll do that too. But, first here are two reviews of the film from
This cynical (How is it cynical? Please enlighten us), mawkish (I'm sorry, but I would say that 'cynical' and 'mawkish' are pretty much mutually exclusive. And this film certainly isn't the latter) piece of tawdry cliched garbage (It isn't tawdry or cliched. If you believe it to be those things, please illustrate your points with examples. In the absence of these you merely come across as a fool.) poorly masquerading as a serious film (It is a serious film. In what way is it 'masquerading'?) with accompanying gravitas is simply blatant monarchist propaganda (It is not propaganda. I'm a Republican and I feel it was an excellent film. It doesn't really matter that Bertie is a King. He's just a man with a speech impediment.). It is no coincidence that the film has been grotesquely over-hyped in the press, fawned over by the "critics", and lavished with every hyperbole and accolade going, just in advance of the new "Charles and Diana" moment (Please. Shut up. You're single handedly putting the Republican movement back years. You're conspiracy theories are ridiculous. Besides, it was very warmly received at the Toronto film festival in early September. That was over two months before the wedding announcement.), i.e. the disgusting Royal Wedding Spectacle which will cost the tax payer tens of millions of pounds at a time of brutal austerity and public service cutbacks (Well, yes that is stupid. But it has no bearing on a film review, which is supposedly what this is). As a stand alone work of art it is patently mediocre and hackneyed in the extreme (Except it isn't. As a standalone piece of work it patently excellent in execution, with strong performances from the entire cast and superb direction from Tom Hooper. The story is, perhaps, slightly predictable but that is quickly forgotten as a result of the dynamic direction and editing and Colin Firth is worthy of all the plaudits that have come to him), despite pushing all those atavistic, pavlovian patriotic (You're really just a pretentious little prick aren't you?) buttons. In a word, repulsive. (Piss off.)
And number two:
BOUGHT THIS FILM AS I HEARD RAVE REVIEWS SADLY IT WAS A LET DOWN (You know caps lock goes off too don't you? Anyway, in what way was it a let down? Did you get bored because it's basically a bunch of people in some rooms? Perhaps you felt that there were some elements that were glossed over that should have been tackled more openly? Or was it that you didn't appreciate the lack of historical accuracy in some aspects? Well?)
THE FILM WAS DRAWN OUT AND GAVE US NO JUICY SECRETS ABOUT THE KING. (I see. That's why you've given it one star. Because it took its time and there wasn't any celebrity-style gossip or scandal? You truly are a pathetic man. Oh, and you clearly bought an illegal copy since it isn't out on DVD yet. You shouldn't do that. Those adverts say illegal DVDs fund the drugs trade...)
Now in America the two one star reviews are complaining that the PG-13 version available in the cinemas isn't being released on DVD. I, on the other hand, have a similar but different view on the matter. It should never have existed in the first place. The 15 or something appearances of the word 'fuck' are not used in an offensive way, but to as a way to cure a man of a debilitating speech problem. In Britain we revised the film form a 15 certificate to a 12A certificate because, as argued by Hooper, it was ridiculous that a film that used swear words in this way was given a higher rating than films that involve killing, murder and even torture. I fully back the BBFC in this move. The US' MPAA did not do this. Instead, the distributors cut the swears so that more people could see it. This is stupid. By losing the fucks they've lost much of the point of the movie. And this sort of thing is by no means an isolated incident. The whole system is wrong. The Americans seem to find the idea of a film aimed purely at adults as disgusting. The NC-17 (their equivalent of an 18) rating is death for any film that carries it. Why? Why can't films be just for adults? They're not porn, they're just movies with themes that are unsuitable for those younger than 18. Look America, fix the MPAA so the rest of us can also enjoy films that aren't cut down to get that ever-so-precious R rating. Thank you.

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