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When you really think about it, "unrated" DVDs are bullshit. All they do is give studios an excuse to release a new edition of a movie you already bought and squeeze more money out of you (this is commonly referred to as double dipping). In reality, however, all they are really doing is inserting deleted scenes back into the final cut and calling them "unrated," which they can do because technically the cut was never approved by the MPAA - by this same logic Disney could have released an unrated version of Bambi. What you may not know, however, is that directors don't necessarily have any control over how this is done, and now one of them is standing up against it.
Speaking with MovieLine on a panel at the ongoing SXSW festival, director Todd Phillips, whose movies such as Old School, Road Trip, and School for Scoundrels have all been given unrated releases, spoke out against the studio practice. Most recently Warner Bros. cut an unrated version of The Hangover on Blu-ray and DVD which was only seven minutes longer than the theatrical cut and Phillips said that it's something he may take up with the Director's Guild of America.
"Warner Bros., they’ll make your movie; your movie does well, and they want to create an unrated version, which is entirely against DGA rules because it’s not your cut. And they can’t call it the ‘Director’s Cut’ — they’ll call it ‘Unrated’ or some ridiculous term. Really all it is, is about seven minutes of footage that you cut out of the movie for a reason."Phillips went on to promise that it's something that won't happen when The Hangover Part II comes out on home video.
As an avid, bordering-on-obsessive movie collector, I can't tell you how happy it makes me to hear someone speak out about this. It's completely unfair that a studio would edit a film without the director's permission and then totally screw the audience by releasing new editions months after the premiere release date. With any luck more directors will join Phillips in his outrage and this unfair practice will stop.