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Philomena

I can see why families would love CleanFlicks because it takes all the effort out of screening your viewing (assuming you agree with what's left out and what's left in). But CleanFlicks don't excite me at all. I love dark movies (except horror), exactly because they show the consequences of our terrible decisions and sometimes the goodness that can be found even in the midst of them.
I'm also guessing that the Hollywood directors would say that the movie ratings should tell you if the movie is suitable for kids or not. However, I know that the standards on that have been slipping and slipping and generally parents' judgement on what they let their kids see has also been slipping because when there are no more PGs coming out, they inevitably start considering the PG13's. So, maybe if there are more CleanFlicks alternatives that will be less of a problem and parents will have more choices. I can see both sides of this issue. But overall, I'll be sticking to the originals. If you didn't have kids, TM, would you be interested in CleanFlicks?

Thomas More

Frankly Philomena, I'm not interested in CleanFlicks at all with or without kids. We don't really watch too many movies to begin with. When we do, it seems like there are plenty of things to rent that are age appropriate.

That said, this seems like a bit of a consumer-choice issue more than my or your or some director's personal tastes. If someone wanted to watch "Titanic" with their 10 year old daughter, just for the fun, exciting stuff, but didn't need the nude Kate Winslett moments, why not allow them to rent it that way?

I probably wouldn't be interested in doing that at my house--I don't think I would get such a film until the kids were ready for the whole thing (which might possibly be "never" the way some movies are these days)--but my tastes aren't everyone else's.

If CleanFlicks properly bought the movies, and is editing them to meet a market demand, Hollywood gets their cut from the sale, and consumers get what they want. Why should I or Hollywood care?

Hollywood says it's concern for director reputation/artistic integrity. As the "Reason" article notes, technology (fast-forwarding, Tivo, etc.) has already invalidated the artistic integrity issue--we personally zap out what we don't want to view. Plus, not mentioned by "Reason" is the "TV version" of films on the list. I think "Titanic" already showed on network TV. If so, it was edited similar to a CleanFlicks version. Did the director freak out there? Did he worry about his reputation? (Yes, I'm sure the contract allowed some involvement in the final edit, but come on, the film on TV is not what the "artist" originally did for the theater--but many still watched it.)

I discussed in the post the fallacy of the director reputation issue: the movies are labeled as edited--which is a selling point, not a deterent to the renters/buyers--so the consumer has already made a decision about the director's "reputation" by avoiding his original product in the first place.

So what's left if not money or art?

Control. Hollywood wants to be the sole pipeline for our viewing of art, shaping culture, pushing boundaries, and setting the moral norms.

Philomena

I'm still inclined to believe that the objection is on artistic grounds, not because there's no desire to control the culture, but because I think it's a collection of very insecure people and in that respect, artistic recognition (ego) is a much stronger motivator. They probably don't care too much if average Joe fails to recognise their work (or TiVos it), as long as he's still buying the original product. They may care a lot more if there's potential for their work to be overlooked by others in The Industry.

Thomas More

I'm open to the fragile-ego argument. But as soon as they green light the made-for-TV version, I have trouble going with your theory entirely. The highly edited TV versions go out to everyone in the country, whereas the CleanFlicks version went out to a few families in Utah. I doubt the industry gurus are buying the edited version, just average Joes.

But the directors probably universally say their reasons are artistic, and not about shaping culture--I just have my doubts. Maybe it's some of both.

Either way, they are ignoring or missing a market opportunity.

Timothy

Ah, Hollywood. How the might have fallen! I think I am beginning to see a pattern here with respect to our culture clawing tooth and nail to uphold the "artistic value" of what would have once upon a time been deemed lewd and licivious. But I digress...

TM, I believe you stike the most relevant chord in the argument with the edited for television movies argument. Forgive my ignorance, Hollywood, but I don't see the distinction. I could be wrong but it would appear that all they are doing is shooting themselves in the foot by alienating a potential market that would most likely not be supporting their product otherwise. And all this for the sole purpose of flexing their financially inflated legal muscles and their morally deflated egos.

This issue brings up another question to me, however. So as to not abandon my musical roots, does this lawsuit then open the door for record labels pulling their music from the retail Goliath Wal Mart which sells nothing but edited cds (or at least that which gets caught in their not-so-airtight filter)? Do the artists even care that their music gets edited? Obviously it is nothing new to them given radio play, but perhaps they are simply hip to the loss of revenue they would be experiencing if they pulled all of their edited material out of the mega-retailer. Perhaps a case of the bird in hand theory? I believe you are right, TM, that Hollywood simply missed the opportunity of fattening the cash cow. If you listen intently you may be able to make out the sound of me weeping for them. Then again, maybe not.

Timothy

P.S. Speaking of the ills of Hollywood...Any response form our west coast brethern regarding the unfolding Mel Gibson saga?

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