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Comments

sMoRTy71

It may just be the films you chose. I got the unrated version of "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy" a week or so ago.

Ollie

Netflix's willingness to stock unrated and NC-17 movies is exactly the reason why I continue to choose them over Blockbuster. I personally haven't noticed any evidence of Netflix changing their policy on this, but if they did I'd probably cancel immediately.

Sometimes BB does have movies that Netflix does not. Blockbuster has the John Waters film, Pink Flamingos (rated NC17, but in my opinion it should have gotten an X). Netflix does not have that.

Stephan

Sometimes Netflix does not state that it is the unrated version, even when it is. I have seen the information say R, the image of the dvd say unrated, and I will get the unrated movie.

Mike

I prefer the unrated versions. I agree with Ollie that this is why I would never rent from Blockbuster.

Dirjy

I also prefer the unrated versions. They are typically closer to the filmmakers true intent, though it has become more of a marketing ploy in recent years.

I joined Netflix years ago because they carried movies that my local Blockbuster and Hollywood Video stores did not. That included independent and foreign films, as well as some offbeat and classic titles, but their willingness to carry NC-17 films was a major factor as well.

Hunter McDaniel

I'm one of those God-fearing family-friendly Walmart-dwellers, but I still want a choice. Best idea would be for Netflix to have a profile setting for which determined whether, when more than one version exists, a search would show the rated version, the unrated version, or both.

I have one friend who is bothered by the fact that they list GLBT as a genre. You can never please everyone.

BB and Netflix customer

I think the idea of blockbuster not carrying UR or NC-17 films is very old and not applciable in most stores and certainly not with its online selection. I just did a sort of netflix UR and NC-17 picked the first ten and checked Blcokbuster online. they both had the exact same selection and versions

Stan

Well, I just got an unrated "Swimming Pool" from BB. And they also have the unrated version of "Taking Lives", so I don't understand why you guys are saying BB doesn't carry unrated versions.

joe

I'm not sure the initial comment is accurate - if anything, Netflix is guilty of only stocking the unrated versions without offering people the rated one. Try finding the PG-13 versions of Girl Next Door or Eurotrip on their site. But as for me, i'd rather see the unrated version so it doesn't bother me. Better yet, i like it when the producer of the DVD offers one version on each side of the disc.

And just to be clear, do i need to fear anything from God if i'm watching the unrated versions, and enjoying them? Is there an eleventh commandment i missed in school?

REN

The director's cuts aren't necessarily censored versions. It can be a new cut of the movie with additional scenes and structure. The director may have been pressured to deliver a movie of a certain length for the theatrical release. I think if a director's cut has been released, it should be carried by the rental service. What I don't like is when multiple versions of a movie is released, each one with different extras.

I really hate seeing movies edited because of content. Why censor a movie to remove curse words, or a few seconds a nudity, when the very subject matter of the movie is inappropriate for children?

REN

Not everything is a commandment. Did you know that God really hates people who color outside the lines?

J-bird

I'm all for director's cuts as well. I got Harold and Kumar in the other day and was a bit concerned as the website said Unrated, but the sleeve it came in has it listed as the R version. I thought they sent me the wrong title, so I went down to BlockBuster and picked up the unrated version so I could check them side by side.

They were the identical movie, Netflix just mistakenly labeled the sleeve with an R instead of UR.

In the past, I have always received Unrated & Director's Cut version when it was available. Netflix has always been great about it.

Don't know about BB online as I didn't try any UR's during my trial, but their B&M stores carry both UR and R for most titles.

chahn

I just checked and NetFlix is carrying the unrated version
of "Irreversible".

This film is about as harsh as films go.

I think that this takes Netflix off the hook, as far as
allowing no un-rated films.

I cannot comment authoritatively on what they do carry,
but they do carry un-rated films.

Ollie

Perhaps Blockbuster doesn't turn away NC-17 and (recent) unrated films 100% of the time. However, there is a history though movie studios editing films for content specifically for stores like Blockbuster. REQUIEM FOR A DREAM might be one of the more well-known cases.

Here's Roger Ebert writing about this (http://www.raptorial.com/Zine/b-buster.htm). See the second question.

Maybe Blockbuster are not doing it anymore, though. Or maybe it was always region or store-specific. Or maybe they don't do it for the online selection. If anyone has any hard documented facts on this, it'd be interesting to see.

Ollie

Screwed up that Ebert link. Sorry.

http://www.raptorial.com/Zine/b-buster.htm

> I just checked and NetFlix is carrying the unrated
> version
> of "Irreversible".

Much to my surprise, the Blockbuster site also offers the unrated version of IRREVERSIBLE. I just looked it up. Also, the remark about PINK FLAMINGOS above is true and Blockbuster carries both the edited and unrated editions of REQUIEM FOR A DREAM.

Well, I guess some of us -- like me -- are learning a few things here.

I'm still standing by Netflix, but now I hate Blockbuster a little less than I used to.

RP

Blockbuster's conversion to stocking unrated films has been relatively recent. It wasn't too long ago that such films were rare-to-nonexistent per corporate policy. Corporate policy has changed more recently, obviously.

The same thing is true of Blockbuster that they once preferred fullscreen versions of any given movie as corporate policy. Now widescreen is the official preferred format (so much so that my local Blockbusters usually don't carry the fullscreen version of a title), though some stores don't follow that as closely as others.

I do think that Netflix sometimes mislabels movies. Harold & Kumar go to White Castle,as mentioned, is such an instance where the website said the movie was the Rated R version up until a day or two after the release when it was changed on the site to Unrated. So, it wouldn't surprise me to see a lot of instances where it appears Netflix is carrying the rated version and not the unrated version is actually just a clerical error (for lack of a better term).

On the other hand, as far as I know, Netflix is not carrying the extended editions of LOTR, so sometimes they don't carry an alternate version of a movie (though that choice would seem to be for different reasons than the traditional rated/unrated choice).

90% of the extra dvd's that come with the feature film are worthless. That's just my expierence, but for what it's worth, I watch a #@% load of movies.

Scott

Does the world really need an unrated, director's cut of "Who's Your Daddy" or "Drunken Asses: The Quest?"

Chris

The world probably doesn't need those movies at all, in any version. But they exist, and to the audience these films appeal to, they would want to see the unrated versions.

I will always want the unrated version. I can't watch an edited version of a film I know has an unrated counterpart. Most movies I only watch once and if I knew that there's more of a movie out there I would feel I'd have to hunt it down to see what was excised. Perhaps it's just a minor form of OCD.

Hunter McDaniel

There's an underlying theme in these discussions that the "unrated" or "director's cut" editions are "purer" and are what we need to see the juicy stuff Jerry Falwell wouldn't like.

More often than not, however, editing is a good thing. For example, three hours for the LOTR movies was already pushing my limit. I don't need or want another 40 minutes; I could save time by re-reading the books.

REN

I am like Chris. I can't even watch a movie if I know it has been edited, assuming I know there is a more "complete" version available. I don't tend to watch movies more than once, and I'd like to make the most of it the first time I watch it. This is one major reason why I don't watch movies on TV.

Hunter, why not just watch a highlight reel from LOTR and save even more time? As for the books, get the Cliff's Notes.

I want to see the movie the way the creative team behind it wants it to be seen. If the movie is good, I tend to trust the people behind it. If it is a bad movie I don't care how long it is, I'm not going to watch it, not even the summary version of it.

REN

Another thing, take something like a zombie film and look at the alternate versions listed on imdb. You can find numberous versions which remove maybe a few seconds of gore or sex from scenes throughout the film.

I resent the pressure put on filmmakers to edit their movies. In this case, these are horror movies, the whole subject should be unfit for most people, cutting a few seconds of gore doesn't make the film acceptable. A lot of times the editing is taken out of the filmmakers hands and dubbing is added, narration added, edited for time, and so on.

I'm just really annoyed by censorship, changing a movie because of studio pressure, changing it because of test audience reaction, etc.

Hunter McDaniel

Look, I'm generally with you guys when it comes to censorship. But there has always been a tension between the creative team (book authors, movie directors, etc.) and the editors/publishers they go through to get to market. The former are often prima donnas, the latter are sometimes heartless suits. But both of them play an essential role.

REN

Yea, I agree. There isn't really an easy answer. The studio people might pressure them to edit a movie to make it a viable product for theaters and the editing might actually improve the film. Still, I tend to side with the creators, and yea, there are even different ideas on what the final version of the movie should be within that team.

vn

I tried BB for a month. One of the films I rented was Basic Instinct unrated version. Strangely their store nearby also carries it but that may be peculiar to the store sited as it is next to a university.
Offering unrated versions online (Walmart does too) could be a combination of bottom line pressure and the fact that what you don't see doesn't offend you if you are the type that would be offended by the sight of "porn" when you walk into the store.
Slightly off topic, I was surprised by the depth of Walmart's offerings. They do carry some international classics.

Mike

I think that they should offer a choice though, because one movie I ran into trouble with was The Butterfly effect. The movie was released on a double sided dvd with one side being the theater version, one side the director's cut..Well when I rented it, it was one of those netflix's grey dvds with only one side, which had the director's cut. I found out from talking to other people who had seen it that, while the director's cut doesn't have much worse content ratings wise, it does have an entirely different ending. And I mean way different. So I couldn't watch the original version as people saw it in the theater

REN

I forget which service I rented the movie Vulgar from, but the version I received didn't have the commentary track. If I recall correctly, the R version didn't have the track, probably due to language, but the unrated version did.

I'm kinda sick of movies being re-released over and over. I know that one version might have the best quality and maybe one version has some exclusive extras, but at some point it is hard to keep track.

Ryan

Whatever happened to renting hard core porno at the video store??? Its a freaken shame that I cant order porn from Netflix. They really dont have a valid excuse for not allowing it. Blockbuster can use their family business crap (even though they are a large even corporation that has been stealing from the American people for years). But Netflix has no excuse, no adult area that children can sneak into and look at the cover boxes. I want porno damnit, and maybe if they rented porno it would help the porn industry, people like me wouldnt have to download our porno for free. We could rent it, and netflix would be purcahsing copies giving the porno industry more money to hire hotter skanks. Who knows they might even be able to develope plots that were worth watching if the budgets were high enough.

Bottom line ...Give me porno or give me death... (Porno is the same as liberty)

REN

I'm sure this has been discussed before.

Personally, I could care less about porn, but I think Netflix made a huge mistake by not taking advantage of it. The benefits are many. Look at the how large the market is, especially online. Many people who would feel odd walking into a porn store would appreciate the privacy renting from NF would provide. There are porn DVD services out there, but even now I think NF could overwhelm them if it started offering porn. They could easily password off the porn section, or even require a seperate adult profile for porn.

Are there any drawbacks besides the occasionally sticky discs (that old gag)?

Are there really people who won't walk into a Walmart if it sells suggestive magazines or rent from Netflix because it offers porn?

Bubba

In regards to porn. Even the porn shops that used to rent them, dont anymore. I was told it is because for some reason people take horrible care of the dvds. To quote, "people think that they can let there cats use them as scratching posts." Probably got to expensive to restock to be worth it.

REN

If that is the case, I'm sure Netflix could use its tracking system to hold those people accountable.

Ollie

Didn't Netflix used to rent porn? I only joined NF this year so I don't know firsthand, but I've read that they did.

One fine online rental company that rents porn DVDs is Greencine. http://www.greencine.com They also have a great selection of independent films, art films, foreign films, and other non-mainstream material (along with the mainstream stuff, too). If not for the convenience of Netflix's 2-day turnaround times, I personally would probably dump Netflix completely and just subscribe to Greencine. As it is now, i'm a subscriber to both.

Sonja

I was able to get the unrated version of White Chicks, Soul Plane and a few other titles. As for people who want to rent porn, there are sites out there that have as netflix like service so you can rent porn that way.

It's high time people stop discussing the porn issue because it's obvious that Netflix, BB won't change their stance on that. Or better yet, start your own adult DVD mail service.

REN

Why pay for an extra service? Why doesn't Netflix dump all Niche genres and let them spin off into their own services. Porn isn't even a niche market, it is big business. I have been annoyed in my own experience with NF not carrying enough martial arts DVDs. I am going to cancel at the end of this month and sign up for a month of BB in order to get the titles I want to see.

I guess you could argue that porn has a short shelf life and new movies are being made all the time, but I think Netflix could at least carry popular titles.

I can't even imagine someone who wants 12 porn DVDs a month. I think many people would be happy renting the occasional porn movie from Netflix and this would give them an edge on places like BB. Also, the availability of porn would attract renters from the porn only services. Either way it is beneficial. Hardcore porn renters can rent all porn and an ocassional movie and vice versa for the normal renter.

The argument is similar to the one for NF carrying games in that people don't want to pay for multiple services.

REN

If Netflix just rented high profile bombs like Soul Plane and White Chicks I would be gone in a second. I can get that from a video store. I love the huge selection. And while I would probably never rent a porn title, I think it would be good for NF's business. Noone has commented on any real barriers to entering this market, and I can't think of any. It would definitely be much easier to pull off than games, after all, it is just another set of DVDs to stock.

For the person who mentioned that Netflix used to carry porn, I'm not sure, but I think Reed Hastings decided against it early on based on a moral position. I found this in another post; "Reed is the president of the Cal. Board of Education. I highly suspect he would need to resign that position.".

Chris

In the beginning, Netflix offered Girls Gone Wild DVD's I know they rented well because there was always a very long wait. But they disappeared. I don't think it's necessary for Netflix to carry adult titles. DVD Overnight is a decent alternative to renting individual movies including adult.

I think Hastings being on the Board of Education is a huge reason why there aren't any adult titles on Netflix. Think of the political headache that would be if someone wanted to usurp him. A wise move on his part.

REN

It is wise if he wants to keep his position on the board. I have no idea what he gets from that position or if he has political goals, but he also has to run a business and compete in every way possible. Adult titles seems like a huge way to differentiate the service from a Blockbuster and Walmart to me.

Netflix had the early start and worked to create the system and show its feasibility, but now places with money are jumping in and catching up quickly. If it comes down to BB and NF with roughly equal services, why would someone choose NF over BB?

CashForFlow

"If it comes down to BB and NF with roughly equal services, why would someone choose NF over BB?"

Exactly. Blockbuster is quickly catching up to Netflix online and offers much more convenience as a result of its stores.

Netflix's days are numbered.

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