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Max Payne Director Battles MPAA

It's perhaps one of the most anticipated films for hardcore gamers, especially considering it might actually be a decent video game-to-film adaptation. But "Max Payne" director John Moore is in the midst of a battle to secure a PG-13 rating from the MPAA, and he's none too happy with the proceedings thus far.

During an interview with Das Gamer, Moore talks about his desire to avoid the R rating, and how the MPAA changes the rating rules "willy-nilly." In response to the question, "What are the parameters in Hollywood today between a PG-13 and R-rated movie?" Moore answered:

"The MPAA will never publish the rules. They’ll never tell a director, 'Here’s what’s going to get you an R, here’s what’s going to get you a PG-13.' People might think that’s impossible, but let me tell you, if I’m making a TV beer commercial, I know exactly what the rules are. The MPAA changes their rules willy-nilly and it depends on who’s seeing your actual movie at the time. It’s very difficult to get a hold on what’s acceptable. The only thing you can use is current standards. So I go and see The Dark Knight and I say, 'Gee, that’s pretty gnarly for PG-13,' but I felt good about Max Payne after coming out of the theater. I thought Max wasn’t going to have a problem. And that’s not the case. They’re coming down on us pretty hard."

Good to know the MPAA seems to be basing their ratings on gut feelings rather than a clear set of rules, isn't it? We've always said the ESRB seems to be more reliable than the MPAA, and after this, we're willing to bet that Moore will agree with us. "Max Payne" is set to release on October 17, and it remains unrated for the time being. We'll see if Moore wins his battle with the MPAA, and in the meantime, we'll leave you with his comical answer to "What did the MPAA tell you was the problem with 'Max Payne'"?

"They said to me, the movie feels R. And I said, 'What the fu** is that, a group therapy session?' You can’t do that. They’re meant to judge content, not intent. They said the movie felt dark."

9/8/2008 Ben Dutka

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