Everyone knows that there are just some movies that wouldn’t be the same without a bit of stuff that’s not for the kids. Prime example – take all the swearing and innuendos out of old films like Superbad and The Hangover and, let’s face it, they just won’t be quite the same.
The reason some of those kinds of films were good was because they weren’t afraid to push the envelope and explore the darker side of comedy for a bit, because every now and then everyone needs a bit of light relief.
It’s for that very reason that Sony’s latest move is baffling a fair few people.
They have now launched their ‘Clean Version’ plan, to create new versions of classic older movies without swearing or any adult themes. Top of their list of films to try the idea out on are classic comedies like 50 First Dates and Talladega Nights, along with the likes of Spider Man, White House Down and even the multi-national classic Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
Seth Rogen has been the first major Hollywood name to come forth on the issue and he is not happy, which isn’t a surprise because most of his movies would be lucky to get beyond a title sequence if they were reformed. He summed up most people’s reactions with the simple message on Twitter: “Holy s**t please don’t do this to our movies. Thanks.”
Well said, sir.
Now, forgive me for stating what may well be the obvious here, but some of the films on that list were built around adult themes. Especially something like 50 First Dates, which is basically Adam Sandler putting in an honest shift to try and get matey with a girl on repeat, so I don’t quite see how a clean version of that as Sony have described it is going to work.
Simply put, there are some (in fact, more than just some) films that hold adult themes as central to their identities and are deliberately directed at an adult audience, so cleaning them up would not only alter the message and intention of the picture but would just also strip out the heart of the initial venture.
I know that there will only be limited films that this will happen to, but it’s worrying that the step has been taken at all. If this is readily accepted, then we leave ourselves open to the possibility of all films being over-edited to death to fit bigger audiences as a matter of course.
Maybe we don’t need to talk down to younger people as much as we possibly do. Maybe we just preserve the films as they are (i.e. the way we like them) and just let them experience them when they’re ready, like we do now. It’s a system that works and that everyone is happy with, so what’s the drama? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Also I reckon kids these days can handle that kind of thing pretty easily anyway. I mean, most of us watched Johnny Bravo as a kid and that guy was only one bad double-entendre short of a Carry On movie.
Let’s just sit for a moment and remember that he was the hero of a kid’s cartoon.