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Harry Potter Is PG Again! WATCHMEN Supplement TALES OF THE BLACK FREIGHTER Is A "Grisly" R!

Beaks here...

RopeofSilicon's Brad Brevet likes to keep an eye on the MPAA ratings, and he just noticed two fairly significant judgments. First, HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE will be the franchise's first PG installment since 2004's PRISONER OF AZKABAN. As Brevet stated in his email, this is a little unexpected given the "dark" direction in which the series has been headed over the last couple of movies. As I haven't read beyond the first two Potter books, I'll put it to the fans: is this expected, or did WB catch the MPAA in a lenient mood? Receiving a much harsher rating is Zack Snyder's TALES OF THE BLACK FREIGHTER, the feverishly violent, direct-to-DVD pirate yarn that will accompany the theatrical release of the WATCHMEN. According to the MPAA, BLACK FREIGHTER is an R for "violent and grisly images". Frankly, given Dave Gibbons's vivid illustrations from the graphic novel, I could've seen them slapping an NC-17 on this sucker. Actually, it sounds like the MPAA might've been headed in that direction with Jody Hill's OBSERVE AND REPORT (starring Seth Rogen and Ray Liotta), which drew a very hard R for "pervasive language, graphic nudity, drug use, sexual content and violence." Sounds exactly like the script I reviewed last year, and I can't fucking wait.

Readers Talkback
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  • Jan. 7, 2009, 1:21 p.m. CST


    by sloanist


  • Jan. 7, 2009, 1:23 p.m. CST

    Half Blood Prince had some dark stuff

    by Nickn328

    Like the scene where Dumbledore had to swallow that potion and he was in like all kinds of pain was pretty disturbing in the book. And why is Tales of the Black Freighter not available to save on Netflix yet?

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 1:24 p.m. CST

    HBP is fucking dark

    by mefrog

    And this only worries me more

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 1:26 p.m. CST

    Why rate it at all?

    by Savage Lucy

    Why bother getting a rating for Black Freighter if it is going straight to DVD?

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 1:28 p.m. CST

    Screw HP

    by Evangelion217

    I'm just happy that WB managed to get an R rating for the "Tales of the Black Freighter." Which is a very disturbing, and throught provocking storyline, that completely contrasted certain characters storylines in the "Watchmen." :)

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 1:29 p.m. CST

    I stopped reading after the Tri Wizard Tournament one

    by slone13

    Some nonsense about Gillyweed or something... and a female Hagrid? Plenty of my friends told me to stick with it, but it was just getting so damn monotonous...

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 1:32 p.m. CST

    1000 zombies in a lake = PG?

    by Kizeesh

    I've seen stills and that's not child friendly at all. <p> Still who gives a toss, it has Alan Rickman in it.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 1:33 p.m. CST

    Black Freighter...

    by BrooseTheScharuk

    Somehow I thought that we were going to have to wait for the Watchmen dvd to see this. This is the first I've heard of it being released in conjunction with the theatrical run of the movie.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 1:34 p.m. CST

    So wait, TOTBF is a separate movie?

    by dr sauch

    I hope the Watchmen DVD actually has the pirate movie spliced in to the story, like the book

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 1:34 p.m. CST

    potter is so so friggin dark.

    by knowthyself

    Yeah about as dark as The Count on sesame street. If by dark they mean the color scheme is less colorful than yeah its dark.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 1:36 p.m. CST

    Yeah, Those Final Scenes in HBP

    by DKT

    Were some of the darkest stuff in the series (up to that point, at least). I actually thought it was one of the weaker books up to that point -- more of a connecting the dots thing, but still, those last few chapters were creepy.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 1:36 p.m. CST


    by knowthyself

    Will be spliced into the extended cut of the film as confirmed by Snyder.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 1:38 p.m. CST

    HBP = PG = Not Looking Good...

    by DisneyFanatic

    My fears that we were getting a shitty Movie 6 have just been confirmed. With all the blood, gore, and death in that film, to warrant a PG rating is unbelievable.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 1:41 p.m. CST

    HBP=PG= Hermione being raped has been cut out

    by Gorgomel

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 1:45 p.m. CST

    Calm down about the PG

    by Dosomo

    If you have closely watched the trailers and the stills for HBP, then you know all the darkest stuff is there. I think they just caught the ratings board on a good day. The darkest stuff in the book involved the cave and lake with Dumbledore, and I have seen lots of shots of that scene. So, stop over-reacting...

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 1:46 p.m. CST

    More blood in HBP than all the others...

    by AdrianVeidt

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 1:52 p.m. CST

    Hermione being raped ???Did i miss something?

    by j2talk

    i don't remember that happening in any of the books.....

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 1:53 p.m. CST

    think about it

    by Turd Furgeson

    they took out the battle at hogwarts, without that, there's no blood, so a pg rating makes sense. dark tones don't equal PG13, the level of graphic violence does. I always found HBP to be the most kid friendly book after the first 2 of course.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 2:16 p.m. CST

    Potter: The books get darker and more mature.

    by RobRed1

    The books get darker and more mature, as the intent is for the young reader to grow up with books. Potter starts at age 10 and ends at age 17. the stories mature as the character does.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 2:16 p.m. CST

    It confirms the rumors HBP is crap

    by textual

    Focusing on the teenage stuff and glossing over the plot. Which sucks because the best parts are the Voldemort flashbacks.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 2:22 p.m. CST

    its not just the last chapters (spoilers)

    by imascooby1985

    Remember the sectumsempra curse where Harry almost disembowels Draco? THat must have been toned down dramatically or cut altogether to get a PG rating. And like others have said, I dont know about if I would like taking a little kid to see this film when Harry is force-feeding Dumbledore poison as Dumbledore is crying out in agony. Im getting worried now.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 2:29 p.m. CST

    January 20th

    by Pr_Frink

    That's the day the courts will decide whether or not to delay Watchmen. Unless Fox and WB come to an agreement before. Which probably won't happen.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 2:31 p.m. CST

    Hard R for Potter

    by Kentucky Colonel

    I'm waiting to see Ginny's boobies!

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 2:32 p.m. CST

    Observe and Report graphic nudity? uh-oh

    by Mel Gibsteinberg

    Given Beaks breakdown of the plot, I anticipate this means lots of shots of the flasher character's little soldier, and no Anna Farris nudity whatsoever. Guhhh, don't know how interested I am in seeing this at the theater, I want to be able to flash forward errr fast forward the gratuitous wang action.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 2:33 p.m. CST

    Anything is possible at this point

    by Knightsong

    The books beyond the forth lost a lot of momentum and only three of the five movies done so far have done the series any justice. The third movie was stripped of so much detail and story, as well as had many images changed that it in my opinion was the worst of the series. That was until Order of the Phoenix. This movie came about from the weakest book of the series, but was a greater disappointment because any useful story was stripped away including nearly all the detail about the Order of the Phoenix. How stupid do you have to be to make a film about the Order of the Phoenix and then cut out every detail about each of the characters?! You turned the movie into Saved by the Bell with Magic. I have little to no hope for future installments and will likely wait for pay-par-view before watching them.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 2:34 p.m. CST

    HBP=PG= Hermione cephalopod tentacle violation scene cut

    by timothyarcher

    I've never trusted a cephalopod since reading this book.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 2:34 p.m. CST

    I was rather surprised the last two films got R ratings.

    by ExcaliburFfolkes

    There is no nudity or swearing in them, none of the violence was particularly gory, and most of the bad stuff that happens to people is implied rather than explicitly shown on screen.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 2:43 p.m. CST

    Watchmen is R, right?

    by ImJustSaying

    Like... That's a for sure R rating, right? That's been confirmed,yeah? Just checking. Hearing about Black Freighter made me realize I didn't know, and that made me so fucking nervous. But everythings cool with that, right? A dog with it's head split open?

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 2:45 p.m. CST


    by Nizzuts

    The Goblet of Fire (tri-wizard tourny one) is the worst of the my opinion. The books get much better after that one.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 2:48 p.m. CST

    Wasn't there a giant squid in the Hogwarts lake!?

    by greenstyle92

    It's all coming together.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 2:52 p.m. CST

    Deathly Hallows Part 2 is hard R for sure!

    by greenstyle92

    The Weasley Twins rape Ginny, Ron has a beer and cheats on Hermione, and Harry beats Voldemort by using Wandlore to trick Voldemort to put his own eye out and the Harry Fucks his face right in the eye socket!<br> <br> It's in the book people!

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 2:55 p.m. CST

    Bitching about the RATING? Seriously?

    by Liberty Valance

    Yet another meaningless detail that allows the internet community to condemn an entire movie months before it comes out. What's next, complaining that the key grip or best boy is going to ruin some movie? The major studios fund the MPAA you fucking morons, so they get the ratings they want. PoA is widely regarded as the best HP movie and it was shut the fuck up already.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 2:56 p.m. CST



    So will there be a buff, greased up guys running around in slow motion with their dicks flopping around in this one? I'm dying to see that shit!!

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 2:59 p.m. CST

    Well, we're all looking forward Osterman's flopping Dick

    by greenstyle92

    what's a few more wieners between friends, Glover?

  • Warning: spoilers in subject.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 3:02 p.m. CST

    Yeah, the rating

    by ToughGuyRizzo

    Liberty, yeah I do agree with PoA as best in series. BUT considering how violent and disturbing the final chapters are in HBP, people are bitching because that kinda shit would be toned-down.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 3:03 p.m. CST

    Not very happy about that

    by lb

    HBP is very dark with themse of incest and child abuse. Draco's foot stomp on Harry's face, Violent Quidditch, Inferate (zombies), Harry and Draco's bathroom duel, the whole cave sequence etc... They really have to tone things down to get it a PG rating. In my opinion, Prisoner of Azkaban is the best in the movie series so far and I really wished they brought back Cuaron to make the last movie.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 3:09 p.m. CST

    HBP is so dark, the last 3 pages are in Braille

    by pokadoo

    Actually, theirs a lot of fun stuff in HBP, just gets heavier in the flashback scenes and towards the end. The fact that they've not included the Hogwarts battle at the end (confirmed from those lukewarm test screanings), what do we get in it's place? a lot of important scenes occur here. The Most important being Dumbledore's death & Spape's (maybe) betrayal. I can only assume the large chunk of the battle has been taken out, because there's a very similar, but bigger, battle in Hogwarts at the end of DH?! Taking out the battle (hopefully) dosent mean they've taken out these important character based confrontations with the main characters. I hope i'm right about this.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 3:10 p.m. CST

    I KNEW David Yeats coming back was a bad idea

    by DOGSOUP

    Besides, isn't a boner an automatic PG-13? Everybody gets huge erections in this book.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 3:18 p.m. CST

    HBP=PG= no Fleur Delacour bukkake orgy

    by Gorgomel

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 3:37 p.m. CST

    HBP=PG= no 2girls 1 goblet

    by turketron


  • Jan. 7, 2009, 3:39 p.m. CST

    Spell changed from Mosexyo Youbonehim back to Expecto Petronum

    by panicdawg

    Too bad, I was hoping Harry used his "wand" to donkeypunch Voldemort... you know, like in the book.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 3:49 p.m. CST


    by Bramton1

    If you look around the table and don't see any suckers, that means you're the sucker.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 4 p.m. CST

    turketron: "HBP=PG= no 2girls 1 goblet"

    by Malicoire


  • Jan. 7, 2009, 4:02 p.m. CST

    How has no one made an "Ooo- R me hearties" joke yet?

    by Cameron1

    Ah because it'd be shit, that's why.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 4:13 p.m. CST

    They could rate the film G for all I care...

    by Nasty In The Pasty long as they GET JOHN WILLIAMS BACK!

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 4:15 p.m. CST

    Porn Potter?

    by Spamgelus

    Hairy Porker and the Sorcerer's Bone?

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 4:18 p.m. CST

    HP3 Porn?

    by Spamgelus

    Prisoner of the Ass Cabin?

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 4:21 p.m. CST


    by Bob Loblaw Law Blog

    Your subject line almost made me choke with laughter... hilarious.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 4:23 p.m. CST

    When can we get back ...

    by TheMcflyFarm

    to the days where movies like Jaws were PG?

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 4:37 p.m. CST


    by dvdhound79

    I don't expect the Harry Potter films to be a hard R, the books aren't even violent enough for that, definately PG13. But Half Blood Prince had one of the darkest scenes I've ever read in the series' entire run. Now that scene, between Harry, Malfoy and an untested magic word may not make the cut. I hope it still does as its one of the few human moments between Malfoy and Harry.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 4:44 p.m. CST

    PG is the new PG-13

    by terry1978

    Watch Marley and Me, and that upcoming Bride Wars flick...those two should be PG-13 territory, especially the former, but I suspect the MPAA is going back to the days of the 80s, when a PG rating basically meant you just couldn't show full frontal...everything else was fair game.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 5:04 p.m. CST

    The MPAA has lightened up a bit

    by andrew coleman

    I think. I just feel like they haven't been so nazi lately. Even though I saw Frost/Nixon and later found out it was R rated and I couldn't really figure out why. They cursed about as much as Jim Carrey did in Yes Man. That made no sense.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 5:08 p.m. CST


    by Oknight

    If they do an "interweaved" Tales of the Black freighter/Watchmen edition, I sincerely hope they equip the disk to show either with or without interweave. Also, considering that Tales was a comic book WITHIN the Watchmen story-- why did Snyder film a live-action version? or is it just the kid reading the comics with the screen showing pages of the book while he reads?

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 5:19 p.m. CST

    Well the trailer looks very funny.

    by Smashing

    A wise move given the best film was the third as it has the most humour and life, I have hopes for 6 now.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 5:42 p.m. CST

    Kramer vs. Kramer was PG...

    by Bob Loblaw Law Blog

    and it showed full frontal (well, pretty close, at least...).<p>

  • Sheesh.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 5:57 p.m. CST


    by limb

    <br>test <p>test

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 6:02 p.m. CST

    Shrinking expectations...

    by Evil Hobbit

    Every time content related info about this installment comes up my expectations are lowered. They create magnificent trailers for this film, but every review and content related info counters that. Personally, I blame Kloves. He's writing the screenplay after all. And Yates certainly knows how to show us personal pain and horror, as was on display when Harry was possesed by Voldemort in Phoenix -- Dumbledore helpless at his side.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 6:04 p.m. CST

    Kramer . . .

    by RumpleWho

    according to IMDB, for the theatrical release, the scene was darkened to avoid an R rating.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 6:29 p.m. CST

    This DVD and movie release is a great idea...

    by worldofwarcraft

    ... but I wonder how it'll work in terms of actually contributing to the story as a whole. The power of the story running alongside the actual events of the main story is what really gives it punch. On first reading the book I didn't really care foe the freighter story, I found it rather boring and kind of skimmed through it. Reading it again, only as the two stories started wrapping up did I start to really grasp the meaning of it. I believe I started to make some sense of it when Rorshach and Owl are wondering how to tell if the smartest man alive has gone crazy. Don't know how having a seperate DVD that's on it's completely own time frame will have the same impact.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 6:38 p.m. CST

    Well, Prince Caspian got away with a PG...

    by RongoRongoMu

    ...and there is no way in hell that it should have. I mean, the movie had a talking mouse that stabbed people in the face.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 7:24 p.m. CST

    Right on, RongoRongoMu

    by BeeDub

    "Prince Caspian" was an OK movie, but there's no way in hell it should have been PG. The Disney name can buy a lot of leeway, it seems.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 7:28 p.m. CST

    Surprising. They must have toned down HBP for the film

    by finky089

    The book has as much "action" as Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix, plus heavier emotional moments toward the end. "PG" rating sounds like HBP will be a bit "light inthe loafers" compared to the book.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 7:29 p.m. CST

    no Fleur Delacour bukkake orgy ?????

    by finky089

    This has gone too far!!!!!!!!

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 7:36 p.m. CST

    In the early 80s shortly before the PG-13 era...

    by Feral Aristocrat

    ...Elizabeth McGovern got PG ratings for showing her breasts during a simulated sex scene (RACING WITH THE MOON) and for going full frontal in RAGTIME (if memory serves, she held a hand over her pubic area, but some bush was still briefly visible.) <P> I felt sorry for her at first, thinking the MPAA found her nudity to be insufficiently titillating to score an R rating. But then I thought that perhaps they were just so enamored of her utter cuteness that they couldn't resist giving young teen boys the chance to see her naked.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 7:59 p.m. CST

    PG = no squid

    by ricarleite

    Think about it. Makes sense.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 8:02 p.m. CST

    you can rip a cgi polar bears jaw out

    by ThePilgrim

    and show the bloody mess in pg-13 and then you can go in for the kill and bite him on the neck in front of a little girl who first looks shocked and then smiles.... No I'm not talking about Harry Knowles. Golden Compass.. Can't believe that won best special effects oscar. Bullshit!

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 8:05 p.m. CST

    Scary Movie had a real penis showing on a gloryhole for several

    by ricarleite

    And it was PG-13. Please do explain.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 8:08 p.m. CST

    They must have edited to get PG

    by performingmonkey

    There's no way David Yates shot for PG. The PG-13 Order of the Phoenix made shit loads of money so WB won't have told him to deliver a PG this time, it makes no sense. The MPAA probably said make one or two minor cuts and get PG and he complied. How you can have reanimated corpses and not get PG-13 is a mystery but there you go. We probably won't see anything. Maybe a harder cut will exist on DVD.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 8:18 p.m. CST

    Battle at Hogwarts

    by enderandrew

    I thought during the test screening they said that the end battle at Hogwarts had basically been completely cut.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 9:28 p.m. CST

    Mr. Zeddemore

    by Yoda's Ball Sack

    You might have just saved me. I am back from 1997. Thank you sir. Would you be offended if I changed my name to Mr. Zeddemore's Ball Sack? .....if not you have my thanks.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 9:28 p.m. CST

    Mr. Zeddemore

    by Yoda's Ball Sack

    You might have just saved me. I am back from 1997. Thank you sir. Would you be offended if I changed my name to Mr. Zeddemore's Ball Sack? .....if not you have my thanks.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 10 p.m. CST

    HBP = PG = No Dumbledore on Brokeback mountain scene

    by jaymrobinson

    I can't quit you!

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 10:51 p.m. CST


    by BurgerTime

    How Potter can go back to a PG. I thought this series was supposed to be getting more sinister with the approach of Voldemort? If the filmmakers are serious they should reconsider this. The core audience of Potter has matured now and are expecting a more graphic treatment. For me, this is a regression, and the film may have lost some street cred it was getting. WB, don't fuck up one of your crown jewel franchises!!!

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 10:59 p.m. CST

    PG = worrying.

    by BiggusDickus

    Just how much has this guy cut out?

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 12:46 a.m. CST

    PG = Grisly R = Grizzly

    by YouAreAllMyBastardChildren

    Grrrrrriizzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzllllllllyyyyyyy. Stretch that muthafuckin' talkback!

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 1:12 a.m. CST

    I thought you were talking about CHERRY POTTER.

    by Bob Cryptonight

    AKA Sherry Angel.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 4:37 a.m. CST

    JAWS is rated PG here in the UK

    by Mr Gorilla

    I will never, never, never, never, never understand that.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 4:38 a.m. CST

    The Man from Laramie is rated 'U'

    by Mr Gorilla

    Even though it features Jimmy Stewart being shot IN THE FUCKING HAND! And he yelps with pain. Which shows that the dumbasses who rate movies don't bother watching past the first 5 minutes.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 4:40 a.m. CST

    Note to HBP colourist

    by Mr Gorilla

    Don't OVERDO the grade / colouring process. In OOTP the skin tones were all over the place. I know you were trying to follow the colouring of Alfonso Cuaron's episode, but look again, his was much less monotone, it was much subtler.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 5:26 a.m. CST


    by Lost Jarv

    Harry Potter and the Sordid wank fantasy. Just pages and pages of him fantasising about his mate's sister. <P>Loadashite.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 10:24 a.m. CST

    Why even rate TOTBF?

    by HollywoodBob

    Ratings are pointless nonsense that only has bearing on theaters (and shitty retailers) wanting to cover their asses from parents bitching if they let a kid in. So if you're going to release Direct-to-DVD, why even have it rated? All you do is lend credence to the fascist shitheads at the MPAA ratings board. I long for the era of no more ratings bullshit and parents that take an active role in parenting, rather than making everyone else do it for them.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 11:25 a.m. CST

    WATCHMEN Trailer Parody

    by Docbrowneye