24 Frames

Movies: Past, present and future

Category: Poll

'Argo,' 'Quill' and 'Nocturnal Agony': Take our movie title quiz

April 19, 2012 |  4:09 pm

"Lawless"

Movie names are no small business, and are often tested and changed repeatedly, but that doesn’t mean they always make sense.

Recently, the prohibition drama “The Wettest County” (based on Matt Bondurant’s book “The Wettest County in the World: A Novel Based on a True Story,” which was perhaps too long to fit on a marquee) was renamed “Lawless,” which sounds like a generic thriller. Mel Gibson's prison drama "Get the Gringo" was originally known as "How I Spent My Summer Vacation," which suggested a Sandra Bullock romantic comedy.

Some title changes work. “Pretty Woman” was once known as “3000” (Julia Roberts’ fee for an evening of prostitution) and Bullock's “While You Were Sleeping” was originally the awful “Coma Guy.”

But any number of upcoming movies have titles that are either hopelessly generic or frustratingly inscrutable. Here’s a list of some of 2012’s most problematic movie names. See if you can guess what they are intending to describe (answers on the next page):

 

'NOCTURNAL AGONY'


 

'QUILL'


 

'SAFE HAVEN'


 

'ARGO'


 

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--John Horn

Photo: Shia LaBeouf and Tom Hardy in "The Wettest County" "Lawless." Credit: The Weinstein Co.

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How would you change the MPAA's movie ratings? [Poll]

March 23, 2012 | 11:48 am

Bully
The ratings board of the Motion Picture Assn. of America has had better months.

Following its assigning of an R rating for the documentary "Bully," the MPAA has been attacked from all quarters.

Harvey Weinstein, the film's distributor, and "Bully" director Lee Hirsch claim the MPAA's rating is not only hypocritical and inconsistent (the more expletive-laden documentary "Gunner Palace" was rated PG-13) but also keeps the film from its intended audience of middle school kids. (Their appeal of the R rating was defeated by a single vote.)

Katy Butler, a Michigan high school student, started an online petition aimed at overturning the R rating and has collected more than 400,000 signatures. A number of celebrities, including Johnny Depp and Meryl Streep, and members of Congress have joined the chorus asking that "Bully's" rating be revised to PG-13.

The Parents Television Council, which supports the MPAA's rating for "Bully," says movies such as the dystopian drama "The Hunger Games," in which a number of teenagers kill each other, should be rated R, not PG-13.

What do you think?

Take our poll, and give as many as three answers.

 

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— John Horn

Photo: A scene from "Bully." Credit: The Weinstein Co.


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