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ENTERTAINMENT
September 18, 1990 | MICHAEL PHILLIPS
Don't misunderstand Fred E. Aurbach DDS: "Sex in movies, neatly done, is a neat thing." He sits, backed by a row of Bibles and Bible study books in his downtown Dallas office, dental drills whirring away in the next room. "It's part of life," he says. Aurbach, however, finds himself appalled at much he sees at the movies, the excessive sex and bad language and pointless nudity and extreme violence. Especially in PG and PG-13 films.
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ENTERTAINMENT
April 9, 2014 | By Oliver Gettell
They say if you want something done right, do it yourself. That approach just worked for Cameron Diaz, who represented her upcoming movie "The Other Woman" and successfully appealed the MPAA's Classification and Rating Appeals Board to overturn its initial R rating. The film is now rated PG-13 for "mature thematic material, sexual references and language," CARA announced Wednesday. Emma Watts, president of production at 20th Century Fox, represented the film with Diaz in the appeal process.
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ENTERTAINMENT
November 20, 1995 | ROBERT KOEHLER, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
The NC-17 rating applied to "When Night Is Falling," and upheld last week by the Motion Picture Assn. of America appeals board, has renewed debate about the ratings board's standards, particularly regarding homoerotic content. The lesbian-themed love story by Canadian filmmaker Patricia Rozema was initially rated NC-17 by the MPAA's ratings board, which is made up of non-industry parents of minor children.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 20, 2013 | By Elaine Woo
When Jack Valenti , the president of the Motion Picture Assn. of America, asked historian and public television host Richard Heffner to oversee the group's controversial movie ratings system, Heffner turned it down, saying his mother "did not raise me to count nipples. " But Heffner eventually reconsidered and became, by some accounts, "the least-known most powerful person in Hollywood. " Heffner, who for two decades helped parents decide which movies were suitable for children, died Tuesday at his New York City home of a cerebral hemorrhage, said his son, Daniel Heffner.
OPINION
November 15, 2012
One of the most valuable pieces of information about a video game is also the simplest: the rating that tells parents what ages the story and graphics are suitable for and why it might not be right for younger users. But as games have moved from computers and consoles to mobile devices, the rating systems have multiplied. Apps for the iPhone and the iPad, Facebook, Android devices, BlackBerrys, Kindles and Windows phones all go through separate ratings processes, each with its own set of labels.
BUSINESS
October 7, 2004 | Robert W. Welkos, Times Staff Writer
"Team America: World Police," a raunchy satire featuring a cast of marionettes who seek to save the world, won its efforts to earn an R rating from the Motion Picture Assn. of America. The film had been plunged into a dispute with the MPAA ratings board over a scene depicting simulated sex between the puppets.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 9, 2014 | By Oliver Gettell
They say if you want something done right, do it yourself. That approach just worked for Cameron Diaz, who represented her upcoming movie "The Other Woman" and successfully appealed the MPAA's Classification and Rating Appeals Board to overturn its initial R rating. The film is now rated PG-13 for "mature thematic material, sexual references and language," CARA announced Wednesday. Emma Watts, president of production at 20th Century Fox, represented the film with Diaz in the appeal process.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 13, 2012 | By Nicole Sperling
The only way to kill a vampire in Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight" universe is to rip its head off -- not a very family-friendly method for the legion of young fans clamoring to see the final chapter of "The Twilight Saga. " So, it was with great apprehension that director Bill Condon showed the Motion Picture Assn. of America an early cut of the franchise's fifth and last installment some six months before the film was ready for release. It was a must-do for the filmmaker, who shot both parts of the final novel, "Breaking Dawn," in one long six-month shoot.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 8, 1989 | DANIEL CERONE
After narrowly losing an appeal to lift an X rating, the producers of "Scandal" said Friday that they would re-edit an orgy scene and resubmit the film Monday in hopes of being granted a more commercially viable R rating from the Motion Picture Assn. of America. Producer Steve Woolley, who flew from London to New York Thursday, said he does not intend to shorten the orgy scene but will construct a less explicit version this weekend with previously unused footage. An association appeals board voted 8-7 Thursday to retain the X rating issued to the film last month.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 19, 2007 | From Variety
Long criticized as arbitrary and secretive, the Motion Picture Assn. of America's system for rating movies has been revised. For the first time, filmmakers appealing a rating can cite examples from other movies that were judged less harshly. What's more, some R-rated movies will carry a warning to parents that they are unsuitable for younger children, according to Variety.
OPINION
November 15, 2012
One of the most valuable pieces of information about a video game is also the simplest: the rating that tells parents what ages the story and graphics are suitable for and why it might not be right for younger users. But as games have moved from computers and consoles to mobile devices, the rating systems have multiplied. Apps for the iPhone and the iPad, Facebook, Android devices, BlackBerrys, Kindles and Windows phones all go through separate ratings processes, each with its own set of labels.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 13, 2012 | By Nicole Sperling
The only way to kill a vampire in Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight" universe is to rip its head off -- not a very family-friendly method for the legion of young fans clamoring to see the final chapter of "The Twilight Saga. " So, it was with great apprehension that director Bill Condon showed the Motion Picture Assn. of America an early cut of the franchise's fifth and last installment some six months before the film was ready for release. It was a must-do for the filmmaker, who shot both parts of the final novel, "Breaking Dawn," in one long six-month shoot.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 22, 2012 | By John Horn
Anybody who has seen "The Sessions," which opened last weekend to strong business in limited release, would likely agree that the film deserves an R rating, assigned by the Motion Picture Assn. of America for "strong sexuality including graphic nudity and frank dialogue. "  But 100% of that "graphic nudity" comes from Helen Hunt, who plays the film's sex surrogate and often wears not a stitch of clothing. John Hawkes, who plays Mark O'Brien, the polio patient who hires Hunt to lose his virginity, is bare from the waist up, yet the actor never does the Full Monty.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 18, 2012 | By Steven Zeitchik, Los Angeles Times
In the late '80s a thunderbolt of inspiration struck Jack Valenti, longtime chief of the Motion Picture Assn. of America: What if his organization got rid of the X rating, besmirched by years of misappropriation by hard-core exploitation films, and replaced it with a new marker that was both trademarked and respectable? Thus was born the NC-17. Formally instituted in 1990, the restrictive rating aimed to signal moviegoers that a film included adult-oriented - but not necessarily pornographic - content and made those movies off-limits to anyone under 18. Valenti had high hopes that the NC-17 - he called it "unstigmatized" - would usher in an era of mainstream acceptance for films with serious adult themes.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 22, 2011 | By John Horn, Los Angeles Times
Like the comedy in his movies, Todd Phillips is unapologetic. The director of Thursday's "The Hangover Part II" and its preceding blockbuster has made a mint at the box office by leading his characters to the cliffs of irredeemable iniquity, dangling them over the precipice, then reeling them back to safety just before they plunge into the abyss. The men in Phillips' movies have trafficked with hookers, consumed perilous quantities of drugs and alcohol, placed children in peril — and along the way attracted a broad swath of the moviegoing public, not simply the young males who storm theaters showing R-rated raunch.
OPINION
December 8, 2010
Applying a rating to a movie is not a scientific process, which helps explain why decisions by the Motion Picture Assn. of America sometimes seem arbitrary. A recent spat between Weinstein Co. and the association over the assessment of an upcoming film makes the association's inconsistencies all the more apparent. The company is upset because its film "Blue Valentine" was designated NC-17 by the MPAA's Classification and Rating Administration. Such a harsh assessment (which bars admission by children under 17)
ENTERTAINMENT
February 23, 1987 | JACK MATHEWS
Film director Alan Parker spent Friday morning in the editing room, surgically removing a little more than nine feet of film from his X-rated "Angel Heart." Then he spent the rest of the weekend wondering whether the ratings board of the Motion Picture Assn. of America thought he had gotten all of the tumor.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 21, 1990
In the 22 years since the MPAA installed its current ratings system, the vast majority of publicity has been generated by films rated X. Among the landmark debates * Midnight Cowboy (1969): John Schlesinger's urban drama was X-rated because of a scene implying a homosexual act in a theater, but the X rating didn't hurt films in those days. "Midnight Cowboy" won three Oscars, including one for best picture.
BUSINESS
April 8, 2010 | By Richard Verrier
Joan Graves has never published a movie review in her life, but she is arguably more powerful than any movie critic in the country. As the head of the movie ratings system for the Motion Picture Assn. of America, Graves presides over a 10-member board that rates more than 700 films annually and assigns them one of five grades, from G to NC-17. It's the kind of job that, it's safe to say, probably makes a lot of people wonder how the board comes up with that decision. Graves, a mother of two, says it often gets down more to gut feeling than rocket science: "What would I want to know about this film before I let my child see it?"
OPINION
December 18, 2009 | By Robert Ablon
A minor ruckus has erupted in Hollywood over the R rating assigned to the Meryl Streep romantic comedy, "It's Complicated," as reported in The Times' Dec. 10 post on the Company Town blog, "It's complicated, but 'It's Complicated' will be released with an R rating." According to The Times, those familiar with the Motion Picture Assn. of America's hearing on the movie say a scene featuring "pot smoking with no bad consequences" was key to the decision. But imagine the ratings wars that the MPAA's latest warnings will ignite: "This film is rated R for brief alcohol use portrayed in a positive light."
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