Overrated: Unrated DVDS

October 02, 2008 | Comments (0) | by Chaim Witz

Sometime a few years back (I think it was in response to 9/11), some mid-level marketing manager, in a seemingly futile attempt to resurrect his career, proposed an idea so absurd, so seemingly pointless, that it seemed doomed to failure. This idea was the 'Unrated DVD'. Said marketing manager was laughed out of the boardroom and later fired by his unscrupulous superior, who then sold the 'Unrated DVD' idea as his own and watched his career flourish. This unscrupulous superior now enjoys the high life, smoking cigars, having sex with not one but four mistresses and eating the finest steak in town. Little does he know, there's a place in hell reserved especially for him.

Why in the name of Dolph Lungren (Patron Saint of VHS) does every single DVD need to come with an Unrated Version? Oh this pains me to no end. The word unrated conjures up images of wild orgies, gimp masks and innocent virgins being sawed in half. Swear word combinations that you never thought existed, offenses to good taste henceforth unseen, and penetration shots usually found in movies with multiple X's in the title and Paris Hilton home videos.

But no. Unrated DVDS give us none of that. Half the time I'll watch the unrated version (feeling incredibly dirty while doing so) of a movie that I've already seen and not be able to tell where the rated stuff ends and the unrated stuff begins. Oh the humanity!

The worst is when you get an unrated version of a movie that had been rated PG-13. Nooooooooo! Take Live Free or Die Hard. Rated PG-13 for it's theatrical release. But the 'unrated' version contains, oh my God, a couple of f bombs! Holy shit! Don't let little Johnny hear such atrocities. You know what? That's not the unrated version. That's the fucking 'R' rated version. Don't patronize me Hollywood.

If you're going to call it unrated, you better go balls deep. Literally. Seriously, your movie better show some dude going balls deep on a buxom blonde. Anything else can be appropriately rated.

And then there's deleted scenes. 99% of the time you watch those and think to yourself, "Well no wonder they deleted that scene. It was gay." The worst is when a deleted scene is identical to one from the movie, but it just goes on a beat longer and adds an extra line. Stop. For the sake of your children! Yet then in the commentary the director will have some pretentious-ass reason as to why they cut the scene. Hey movie director, I will cut you!

Now lest I be labeled an old man in a rumpled cardigan who can fart the musical score to Patton, I will say that not all DVD features are horrible. Outtakes (different from deleted scenes) can be mildly entertaining, especially in a comedy where a bunch of stuff was improvised. Featurettes are hit or miss. While they generally do more harm than good, you will occasionally stumble upon something that enhances your viewing experience. Alternate endings are a crapshoot. If it's the case of the studio making the filmmaker go with a more 'audience friendly' ending, then it can be enlightening to see the director's original vision. And of course the restoration of older movies with the newest technologies can also be a good thing.

All of this though, is canceled out by the unrated phenomenon, which has spiraled out of control faster than Tommy Buzanis drunkenly navigating his El Camino through a group of children playing street hockey. It's over. I'm finished.

For the unrated version of this rant, click here (NSFW!).