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It’s “Time to Vote Tuesday!” 109

July 24, 2012

Today is Tuesday! and if you’ve been coming here for any length of time, you know that, for most people Tuesday is just the day after Monday, but for you it means that “Time to Vote Tuesday” is here!! YES!!!

What is “Time to Vote Tuesday”?:

“Time to Vote Tuesday” is the session of fun weekly polls which spark thought, debate, and intrigue! Each poll closes in a week with results posted on the following ‘TVT’!

Last week’s poll, Money-Making Movies has now closed with 43 votes. The results are in and the top 2 movies that were chosen to invest in are: The Avengers and Titanic. Poor Waterworld did not receive any votes from any of you investors, however, Ben-Hur, Fight Club, and even It’s A Wonderful Life got some money! Be sure to check out the results from last week’s poll’s HERE.

I wish to thank everyone that voted in last week’s polls, shared it with others, and made it fun with your comments!

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In this edition of ‘TVT’ this week’s poll, entitled “Editing the Edits”, focuses on a rather sensitive issue: Politically Correct Reactive/Over-reactive Reactions by Hollywood.

Before I proceed, I wish to state that this post is in no way intended to be disrespectful or insensitive to events and victims of tragic events that have caused pain and rocked the world. The subject of today’s poll is a little heavy. It is that of Hollywood’s reaction to events such as the tragic recent event that took place in a crowded movie theater in Aurora, Colorado last week.

It infuriates me to see such evil take place in the world we live in today. And it is great to see studios, such as Warner Bros. go to certain lengths to respect the pain that such events incur. (Over the weekend, Warner Bros. Studios refused to release any box office earnings of The Dark Knight Rises in a show of respect that there are more important things out there than money. They also committed to donating to several charities for the families of the victims in Colorado. =Awesome.)

Those are some very amazing and great reactions to such a tragedy. But at what point in time do the reactions become overboard? I’m not talking about a political issue of gun control, or banning costumes from theaters, or posting armed guards at movie premieres. What I am talking about is the editing of the art in movie form that tends to take place after such events.

Do you remember the trailer for the very first Spider-Man movie? The one with the reveal of Spider-Man via a getaway helicopter full of bank robbers caught in a web between the two towers of the World Trade Center? The trailer got pulled and the scene removed from the movie immediately after 9/11.

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers faced a possible edit/rename as a result of the horrific events of 9/11.

Remember the Trayvon Martin case? To distance itself from any related negativity, the comedy entitled Neighborhood Watch was renamed to The Watch and the previous poster/marketing was pulled.

I don’t necessarily condone 100% of the edits, but sometimes, these edits are made because the studios feel that they have no choice. Either edit, or face the possibility of being labeled as “insensitive” and “supportive of the alleged guilty party.” That decision, funded by the business hope for great financial success in the box office, can make or break a film in its theatrical release.

There’s a line to be drawn, however, I don’t know exactly where that line should be. With the recent tragedy in Colorado, tv spots for The Dark Knight Rises with gunfire included have been edited. Another upcoming film faces some edits and reshoots: Gangster Squad (starring Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Sean Penn, and more) has had trailers/tv spots pulled which feature gangsters shooting into a movie theater from behind the screen. The scene is also to be edited and reshot (it apparently held some weight in terms of the storyline and plot). While I am sure the edited scene may appear on the blu-ray extras, I find myself a bit frustrated at edits such as this appearing “knee-jerkish” in reaction. 

Movies are exactly that: movies. Does editing them in such a fashion still maintain the integrity of the film? Does it help? Does it hurt? Do you care? It frustrates me a little but I’m not sure how to answer the question of how much editing of art is too much vs. how much non-editing is too little. Let’s think about it for just a minute?

Do the madmen/terrorists still win if we edit everything? If Bane in The Dark Knight Rises was real and really bombed a football field like he does in the trailer/movie, do we ban all NFL games from airing on television?

I am genuinely interested in your thoughts on this hot-button issue. 

Today I ask you:

Thanks for taking the time to read, contemplate, and vote/comment.

The poll closes on 7-31-12 and the results will post on next week’s “Time to Vote Tuesday!” 

Thanks for reading! Happy Watching!

T, The Focused Filmographer

***Don’t forget: For regular updates on movie news, rumors, pictures, posters, and more, FOLLOW ME on Twitter and Facebook.

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26 Comments leave one →
  1. Trevor permalink
    July 24, 2012 9:53 am

    I think the line needs to be drawn on editing the movie personally. Changing the movie posters or the TV spots after a tragedy makes perfect sense. But going back and changing the movie (and possible integral plot points) seems out of line.

    I mean, personally, I think if anything they should have continued to superimpose the Twin Towers in the Spiderman movies. Those movies are set in a fictional New York where what happens in the real world doesn’t affect it. Unless you follow the comics where they actually did an entire issue dedicated to Spidey’s reaction to 9/11.

    The catch with that though, they had no intention of following the storyline so why change it in the film?

    It’s like you said though, they’re movies. People got upset over the Two Towers because it was “too close” of a reference to 9/11. Which makes sense I guess if the World Trade Center was really a tower with an evil wizard in it and the other had the Dark Lord Sauron in it and armies of Orcs were crawling out of the parking structure. The same thing happened in the Middle East with the release of 300, Everyone was up in arms because it was an afront on their Persian heritage. Completely ignoring the fact that it’s a movie, based on a comic book, based on a halfassed Greek poem/account of the Battle of Thermopylae.

    People go to the movies to escape reality. When we allow them to be edited and changed in response to reality, they lose the escapism.

    Like

    • July 24, 2012 11:18 am

      You bring up some excellent points. Trevor, thank you for sharing. The line does need to be drawn. It’s just…where?

      Great thought on the “escapism”, but what if the non-reality is too close to reality?

      It’s so hard to make that call. I loved reading your thoughts. Thanks.

      Like

  2. July 24, 2012 10:03 am

    Films should come to us as they are intended by who made it, not influenced by events in the real world because they have nothing to do with the fantasy of cinema 😀

    Like

    • July 24, 2012 11:20 am

      I tend to agree with you, Tim. Especially if a film is based on literature. Do we edit a film and risk not staying true to the content source? If they edit film, will they edit the books that come out with the same type of stuff in it too? I doubt it.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this subject.

      Like

  3. July 24, 2012 10:30 am

    No. No. no No.

    I really HATE these sort of reactionary events. How far do you go? Go back and re-edit past films? Stop people from doing these sorts of scenes for future films? Films are film. Reality is real.

    For one thing, what happened if the Colorado shooting took place at a screening of Ted instead of TDKR? It could have happened at any film screening.

    Maybe that’s insensitive of me…

    Like

    • July 24, 2012 11:22 am

      an excellent thought on the “Ted” point. And in years the sensitivity on such an event may decrease, but the movie itself may still be “incomplete”.

      Would all teddy bears have been pulled from toystore shelves? Probably not. It’s def a dividing subject.

      I don’t think of it as insensitive of you. It’s like I stated above in another comment…don’t see anyone up in arms to edit books, videogames, or television programs…hmm.

      Thank you for sharing your opinions.

      Like

  4. July 24, 2012 10:59 am

    This is a really touchy supbject. I could easily say keep everything as it is, but this would be because I have not been a victim of some of these tragedies, and in that case do I really have a right. It is necessary to be sensitive to victims. YEs I would really like a film to play out as originally intended, but I said it depends on how vital the scene is to the story.

    I am looking forward to Gangsta Squad, but the scene with the shooting through the movie screen has to be hard to see right now for anyone who was in that Colorado theatre. I think in time the sensitivity will dissolve, but right now I do think that it would be smart to edit if the scene if it isn’t too essential to the story. Yes movies are just movies, but Come On! If you havent been through it, really don’t think you can speak on it…just my opinion…

    Like

    • July 24, 2012 11:26 am

      You are so right, Tajuana! a lot of us haven’t been victims of such tragedies to that extent…but possibly we become victims of the overreactions (?). It is necessary to be sensitive to the victims and I thought, for example, Warner Bros acted appropriately. But where does the sensitivity yield to content/film?

      The sensitivity will dissolve, but the effect on the film will not. 10-20yrs later, the film will still be the same edited version as opposed to how it was intended.

      We may not be able to speak to the tragedy itself if haven’t been in it, but we can all speak to edited films.

      I thank you for sharing your opinion and perspective on such a touchy subject. Thanks so much.

      Like

      • July 24, 2012 11:47 am

        Although a sensitive subject, I like your courage to create this post…I honestly believe life is more valuable than the content of a movie. I don’t think I’ll miss those edited scenes as much as the victims of such tragedies will miss their loved ones…something to think about…

        Like

      • July 24, 2012 12:45 pm

        no argument there: life is far more valuable than the content of a movie. for sure.

        I appreciate your compliment on the publishing of this post. It wasn’t the easiest. Thank you

        Like

  5. July 24, 2012 1:51 pm

    Wow, tough subject for this week, man. I voted for ‘It depends. Is the scene vital to the story?’ as I agree w/ Taj’s comment above that I think human life is far more valuable than film scenes. I think we should leave current/past films alone and not go back to re-edit them, but if the movie has not been released and the scene in question is not crucial to the story, then I think it makes sense to edit it to be sensitive to tragedies like this one. The victims’ families/friends did not ask the studio to do so, but I’m glad the filmmakers, etc. are sensitive to how such scene would affect them and make the appropriate action, nothing wrong with that.

    I think just w/ everything, it should be looked at on a case by case basis. Like the Two Towers example, I think it’s silly that they had to change the name because the two towers referenced in the film are completely different and obviously the victims of 9/11 aren’t going to associate Middle Earth with the Twin Towers in NYC. Just my two cents.

    Like

    • July 24, 2012 1:59 pm

      Ruth,
      thanks for taking the time to add in your two cents. It’s a subject that isn’t easy, but it’s one that has been brought up a bit given recent events and tends to bother me a tad, so I figured I’d ask.

      It’s sad that it even has to be considered in the first place.

      A case by case basis can be very useful. It’s not super clear where that line should be drawn.

      Thanks for contributing to the discussion today. 🙂

      Like

      • July 24, 2012 2:03 pm

        Sounds good T, but I hope your future polls are more fun 🙂 Hope you’ll check out my TDKR review even if it’s not as glowing as yours 🙂 I feel like a lot of people are too easy on Nolan. Perhaps they might not be as forgiving if another director had directed it, ahah.

        Like

  6. July 24, 2012 3:56 pm

    Most of the time, I’m against it. It was OK in the case of Spider-Man because the movie wasn’t out yet, and it wasn’t in any way important to the movie. But with something like Gangster Squad, where they’re considering delaying the movie to rework it… no. That’s going too far. And renaming Neighborhood Watch to just The Watch over the whole ZImmerman thing isn’t just stupid, it’s insulting; do they really think people’s level of offense is going to be affected by a one word change?

    And The Two Towers was never at risk of having its name changed. Yes, there was a well-publicized internet petition by some morons, but it never garnered any significant votes, and there was never an indication that the studio was paying attention.

    Like

    • July 24, 2012 4:22 pm

      Hey Morgan! Thanks for chiming in.

      the sentiment of change is nice, but, you’re right, when it comes to Neighborhood Watch…I’m not so sure the exclusion of 1 word woulda made the difference.

      ‘preciate your insight.

      Like

  7. July 24, 2012 10:29 pm

    I don’t support reactive edits. I think it would be better to delay Gangster Squad by a month or two. Red-editing movies just feels like giving in to fear.

    Also, as a cosplayer myself i hope the costume ban doesn’t become the trend.

    Like

    • July 27, 2012 7:50 am

      I hope that the costume ban eases up too.

      Like

  8. July 25, 2012 2:53 am

    Well, I don’t like it when it means important parts of the movie will be edited out. The reaction is understandable as movie companies don’t want controversy around them. As I don’t watch trailers and don’t follow much movie news about upcoming movies I wouldn’t miss it when things get removed. For example I didn’t know about Spiderman catching those thieves between the buildings.

    Like

    • July 27, 2012 7:48 am

      Sometimes, I tend to believe in the method to your madness of avoiding trailers! 🙂

      You really should check out the original trailer for Spider-Man though with the towers. It’s one of my favorites and served as a great reveal that, afterwards, was never really done in the final cut of the film. There isn’t a real big “reveal” moment now in it.

      Like

  9. July 25, 2012 7:57 am

    I think you have to keep films they way were intended. The Gangster Squad situation seems too knee-jerk and reactionary, expecially because its release doesn’t seem imminent. I agree with pulling the trailers and maybe editing promotional material but not something as key as an integral scene in a film.

    Like

    • July 27, 2012 7:46 am

      Thanks for voicing in on this topic Ben. I tend to agree with you. It is a question without an concrete answer

      Like

  10. jackdeth72 permalink
    July 25, 2012 9:08 am

    Hi, Terrence and company:

    As long as a director of a film is financially beholding to producers and major studios to get their projects made, distributed and seen. There will always be lawyers whispering in the ears of the board members of those studios and distribution chains. Advising them to err on the side of caution and avoid lawsuits.

    I’ve a feeling that ‘Gangster Squad’ may not see mass release and the light of day until sometime after Christmas, if then. And that may not be an altogether bad thing.

    Like

    • jackdeth72 permalink
      July 26, 2012 5:37 pm

      Hi, Terrence and company:

      Looks like my feelings were correct after all.

      http://www.imdb.com/news/ni32777772/

      Like

      • July 27, 2012 7:34 am

        Yes, you called it…

        Well, at least one thing works in this. The Prestige and The Illusionist often get mixed up in people’s minds because they released so closely to each other. I feared the same thing for Gangster Squad and Lawless. Less chance of that happening now.

        Like

    • July 27, 2012 7:44 am

      It’s bothersome that art integrity is put under scrutiny as a result but I understand why.

      I hope that Gangster Squad still can see some great success

      Like

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