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sandman

The 12A certificate

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Personally, I think the 12A certificate is a bit daft. Parents (even myself on occasion and I am quite draconian) tend to just ignore it completely and treat it as PG.

Why did 12 become 12A - was it pressure from the film industry? It seems widely abused with Tower Heist being a recent example of a film that would have got a 15 when I was a lad and nobody would have been surprised or wanting to reduce it.

I'm sure I read the original certificate of 12 was bought in for Burtons Batman as WB didnt want it getting a 15.

So, what do you think of the certificate. Is it a sensible choice or should filmakers be slightly restrictive with the content they want to put into blockbusters?

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The advisory rating does match most other countries way of rating rather than having blanket restrictions. To be honest I think it makes sense as long as the adult who accompany the child is responsible. Because children at that age are so different a more flexible system is better because some under 12s will be able to cope with the content perfectly well. Of course it does get abused by both the studios and the parents/adults. I have no problem with something like The Dark Knight getting a 12A rating but I would question parents taking their four year old kids to see it. But this lack of regard to ratings from parents seems a common trait with games too.

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I think it's fine. There is clearly a big difference in content between a 12A and a PG and there's fair warning to the parents at the beginning that responsibility for letting children see it lies with them.

In an ideal world, there would be more responsibility with parents to police what media their kids are consuming with an advisory body there to provide the relevant info for them to make an informed decision rather than enforcing age ratings so stringently. But that's not going to happen any time in the foreseeable future.

I don't think filmmakers should be forced to compromise on their films on the off-chance a parent doesn't read the relevant advice before allowing their kid to see it.

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I find it irritating. It made the Casino Royale torture scene uncomfortable for entirely the wrong reason: young children crying. Putting aside how annoying it is for everyone else, a 6 year-old really shouldn't have to watch scenes of a man having his genitals mutilated just because their idiot parents want to watch it.

I don't think filmmakers should be forced to compromise on their films on the off-chance a parent doesn't read the relevant advice before allowing their kid to see it.

If anything, it's the 12A and the various international equivalents that have lead to filmmakers compromising on their films. See: Die Hard 4, Aliens vs. Predator, The Dark Knight etc.

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I went to see a late showing of the last Harry potter film with my sister about a week or two after it opened and some family went along and brought their toddler, anyway it was obviously too long with the kid getting restless halfway through crying and just being a kid. After it was over we went to complain and the manager tried to fob us off saying that they couldn't do anything and it was only because we kept complaining that he relented and offered us some free tickets...

I think there should be some absolute limits, even if it's just the cinema policy, letting toddlers in to see them is fucking stupid.

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I find it irritating. It made the Casino Royale torture scene uncomfortable for entirely the wrong reason: young children crying. Putting aside how annoying it is for everyone else, a 6 year-old really shouldn't have to watch scenes of a man having his genitals mutilated just because their idiot parents want to watch it.

I agree with you. But ultimately, it's the parents call.

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I don't think filmmakers should be forced to compromise on their films on the off-chance a parent doesn't read the relevant advice before allowing their kid to see it.

I'd say it's the other way around. There's far more compromising being done nowadays to squeeze a film into a 12-A shaped hole than there ever was before it was introduced. If Lethal Weapon or Die Hard were being made today I guarantee you the studio would be doing their utmost to trim them down to that level.

Essentially we'll have an entire generation who will only ever have the 7:00pm Saturday Night ITV version of films.

I can't find the Robocop ITV edit, it truly is the masterpiece of these things.

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Personally, I think Dark Knight is a 15 - its quite frankly staggering that a 5 year old can watch it if his older sisters boyfriend will take him.

Casino Royale really shouldnt be seen by anyone under 12. Spiderman 2 is certainly pushing things as is Iron Man.

Yet these films seem to get away with it. Can you imagine Licence to Kill getting a 15 now, or 48 Hours an 18?

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Personally, I think Dark Knight is a 15 - its quite frankly staggering that a 5 year old can watch it if his older sisters boyfriend will take him.

Casino Royale really shouldnt be seen by anyone under 12. Spiderman 2 is certainly pushing things as is Iron Man.

Yet these films seem to get away with it. Can you imagine Licence to Kill getting a 15 now, or 48 Hours an 18?

Even The Terminator, with its cyborg self-surgery scene, point-blank emotionless murder, hit-and-runs, police massacre, sex scene complete with the feeling of boobs :eyebrows:, bloody uppercut-under-the-ribcage death scene, use of "motherfucker" etc and big scary fucking metal skeleton pursuit scene was reclassified as a 15 some years ago. It's no [name of notorious shocking gory movie], but 15 still strikes me as light.

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It was Spiderman 2 wasn't it?

Nah, the BBFC were already trialling it months before Spider-man 2 (under a different name). Spider-man 2 just so happened to be the first film that was rated (specifically, this film was rerated) after they officially brought in the 12A rating country-wide.

Can you get a 12A rating on DVD/BD releases, or is it just for cinemas?

The Dark Knight BD is 12 but it was a 12A in the cinema.

It is just a 12 rating for home releases because you can't police having an adult watching the film with under 12s at home.

Specifically, it makes no sense from a buying-it-from-retail sense (you can't insist on a child having an adult present while buying it).

I'd say it's the other way around. There's far more compromising being done nowadays to squeeze a film into a 12-A shaped hole than there ever was before it was introduced. If Lethal Weapon or Die Hard were being made today I guarantee you the studio would be doing their utmost to trim them down to that level.

Die Hard 4.0 is a good example of this (although yes it got a 15, in the US it got a PG-13 rating, which is a lower rating that the first three's "R" rating).

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I agree with lots of what everyone is saying. I mean, when I was sub 10 my 10 year older brother had me sitting through stuff like Vamp, Chinese Ghost Story and The Fog. I saw late night Hammer Horror films too. But that was candyfloss compared to the stuff kids see now.

Woman at work was asking whether she should let her 9 year old son watch that Human Centipede film or not. Fuck! indeed.

If anything, rather than downgrading films like Terminator to a 15, they should have brought in some kind of M rating for the likes of Saw and Hostel. Only viewable for non teenagers that don't act like a bunch of dicks when purchasing the seats.

And I'm all for gore and sex in my films!

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It was Spider-Man 1, Smoothy, not the sequel. The 12A certification came into force in 2002, Spider-Man 2 came out in 2004.

Ah that's it, thanks :)

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On my phone so cant link but there was a good discussion regarding the 12A and the reasonings behind it on a recent BBFC podcast, worth a listen.

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Kids should just stop being such wusses. It's not like the good old days when charred Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru's corpses could be laid out for all to see in a U. We obviously just wrap them up in cotton wool now. What kid wouldn't giggle in glee as The Joker pushes some guy's head into a pencil? They need some proper video-nasties.

YIPPEE-KI-YAY YOU LITTLE MOTHER-FUCKERS!!!

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Kids should just stop being such wusses. It's not like the good old days when charred Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru's corpses could be laid out for all to see in a U. We obviously just wrap them up in cotton wool now. What kid wouldn't giggle in glee as The Joker pushes some guy's head into a pencil? They need some proper video-nasties.

YIPPEE-KI-YAY YOU LITTLE MOTHER-FUCKERS!!!

I remember watching films like Robocop, Death Wish and The Hitter (or a similarly-titled film, very hazy) and they were all 18. 18 films these days seem to be only horror films, with the action films all now dumbed down just to get kids in.

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IMO the BBFC's certificate categories and rating criteria are generally preferable to those of the MPAA. It might be annoying to watch a 12A film and find the screening populated by parents who have brought in kids too young for it, but the American R effectively allows that situation to occur in what to us are 15- and 18-cert films as well.

Yet these films seem to get away with it. Can you imagine Licence to Kill getting a 15 now, or 48 Hours an 18?

As has been mentioned in the Skyfall thread, Licence to Kill was on ITV1 at 11am on New Year's Day. Pob described some of the bits they had to cut.

There are still a fair few 18 action films - Rambo, Crank, Shoot Em Up and Universal Soldier: Regeneration off the top of my head all carry the highest certification.

So did Wanted. Can't think of many more recent than that, though.

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According to the BBFC, you can have 4 instances of the word 'fuck' in a 12A. That seems quite a lot to me, although I'm well aware that times do change, and each generation is expose to more than the last.

I think they said 'Shit' in Twister once, which was a PG, I think. Me and my friends were talking about it for ages...

The lack of a decent US counterpart almost certainly means a grim future for the 15 certificate though - a film that is naturally 15 will more than likely be rejigged to fit into the lucrative younger rating.

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According to the BBFC, you can have 4 instances of the word 'fuck' in a 12A. That seems quite a lot to me, although I'm well aware that times do change, and each generation is expose to more than the last.

I think they said 'Shit' in Twister once, which was a PG, I think. Me and my friends were talking about it for ages...

You've got films like Back to the Future and such from the 80s, though, which are PGs and have quite a lot of swearing in them. And these films get shown without many cuts at all if any, language-wise, in the afternoons. I distinctly remember seeing Back to the Future on TV a few Christmases ago with all the swearing intact at around 4pm.

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I'm fine with the restrictive limit on swearing in 12As if it means we're still allowed to at least have the 'kid uses a swear word in his victory scene at the end of the film' trope. It's always a treat.

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I for one i'm thankful, it's not like the states. Was talking to a friend who lives over there and he was saying that when he went to see 'Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' last week there were young children with their parents in the screening one of the kids started crying when the rape scene went on. The parent just told the kid to shut up.

Can you imagine some of the ingrates who would bring their little kids to highly unsuitable movies if they allowed it over here. :facepalm:

Back on topic the 12a is interesting i have noticed more use of the word "fuck" being allowed lately and of course films which are clearly a 15 getting that all important 12a certificate nothing whatsoever to do with them being big hollywood pictures i'm sure..

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I'd say it's the other way around. There's far more compromising being done nowadays to squeeze a film into a 12-A shaped hole than there ever was before it was introduced. If Lethal Weapon or Die Hard were being made today I guarantee you the studio would be doing their utmost to trim them down to that level.

Essentially we'll have an entire generation who will only ever have the 7:00pm Saturday Night ITV version of films.

I can't find the Robocop ITV edit, it truly is the masterpiece of these things.

They already fucked up Die Hard 4.less with the shitty PG13 in the US. I'm genuinely surprised they didn't edit it for a 12A here but bleh. As such a big fan of the first 3 films I really don't like 4.0 at all. McClane calls someone a jerk off, fucking jerk off. In any other Die Hard film he'd call them a fucker before putting about 15 bullets in them.

For some lighter amusement here's some fantastic dubbed over lines for tv versions of films, my favourite one is still The Big Lebowski one :lol:

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According to the BBFC, you can have 4 instances of the word 'fuck' in a 12A.

Unless it's The King's Speech, when you can have eleventy billion instances as they are instanced by the King rather than some scally no-mark.

Or alternatively because you decide on appeal by the distributor to reclassify it from a 15 to a 12A because the film only 'contains strong language in a speech therapy context' and that 'the public would understand why the Board has reached this decision'. Gawd bless yer, guvnor.

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