Sunday, January 17, 2016

VidAngel Movies

Since I was a teenager I have avoided rated R shows for personal reasons. I've made a few exceptions over the years but generally I don't watch R movies. This has been hard since some of my favorite movies are rated R and I also acknowledge that many of the best films of all time have an R rating. This has also been hard since I am a world renowned movie critic and it eliminates a good portion of the movies I can review on this blog.

Over the years I've seen some rated R movies that were edited for TV. Years ago I enjoyed renting videos from companies that edited offensive content from movies and I saw a ton of edited R movies I had not seen before. Eventually these rental companies were shut down for copyright issues and since that time I have seen many trailers for movies I thought looked good but did not watch due to the rating. I was very pleased last year when I heard about VidAngel which is a company that edits movies and has found a way to avoid the copyright concerns since they technically sell you the entire edited video for $20 in streaming version with the settings you choose and then they buy it back for $19 when you are done watching it so it is a net $1 purchase. Here is a link to their site:
VidAngel Site

VidAngel allows you to block a variety of things from movies to varying degrees including violence, disturbing images, profanity, sex, nudity, etc. I am grateful for this service but also have mixed feelings. I am a little reluctant to recommend movies I have seen edited since I am oblivious to quite a bit of content that may be in the original version. I'd hate to tell someone a show is so good and uplifting when they may rent the same show and sit through disturbing images, gratuitous sex, and 50 F-bombs I didn't even know existed in the show.

Anyway I just wanted to give a quick update of some of the movies I've seen over the last couple months with this service. These are just very brief rating summaries as opposed to full reviews.

Kingsman: The Secret Service- 7.8- This was a fun take on the British spy industry. It drew on many bond references but was original and funny.
Ex Machina- 7.7- Very suspenseful and well done. There are only a handful of characters but their performances are well done. It is slow paced but it keeps you second guessing the entire film.
Elysium- 6.5- I loved the premise and thought the trailer looked good but it didn't really deliver. I actually fell asleep towards the end. Sorry.
The Equilizer- 7.5- You gotta love Denzel when he's on a justice rampage. It's similar in many ways to Man on Fire. Some cheesy stuff at home depot at the end but I liked it.
Mad Max: Fury Road- 8.3- One of the most visually striking movies I've ever seen. I was captivated the entire movie. Better than the originals.
The Book of Eli- 6.8- This post apocalyptic movie is about a man who journeys across American while trying to protect a mysterious book. It was dark but entertaining.
Spy-7.4- Most of the dialogue was blanked out due to language for Jason Statham's character. Melissa McArthy was great in this. I laughed hard throughout the entire movie.
Lone Survivor- 7.7- Great true story about Marcus Luttrell and his team of Navy Seals who's mission went south. Very gritty and intense. Not a pick me up movie as the title suggests.
Prometheus- 7.3- I love most anything from Ridley Scott. This is actually a prequel to Alien. Critics picked it apart but I really liked it even though some parts were confusing at times.

I'm glad this edited video service exists and it is a killer deal. Even if you just want to rent a PG or PG-13 movie you can still edit content and watch a movie for less than a Redbox rental with a better selection and you don't need to drive anywhere to return it after. I love VidAngel. Check out their link above to see more.


Unknown said...

Hi Tom, I found my way to your page because I was looking for a candid review of Mad Max that someone watched using Vidangel. I'd love to try Vidangel and have heard only good things about it. My question is this: What exactly did you filter out and did it feel disjointed given the overall gratuitousness of the film unedited? I mean, it appears that the whole film is a violent, sexually free, vulgar explosion within an explosion. I always loved the Mad Max films, especially Beyond Thunderdome. When I saw the trailer for this movie, it reminded me of Thunderdome, and I love the chase scene the MOST! When I heard that it was also loaded with sexuality and nudity, I decided to not see it. :^( Thanks in advance!


Tom said...

Paul, In response to your question, the VidAngel site allows you to see a summary of any questionable content prior to watching a movie and you can adjust the filter settings accordingly. I usually block F-Bombs, sex, and nudity but sometimes when I look at the details of those filters it will say things like "a man and a women kiss" or "a nude statue is seen in the background of a museum." Most people would not take offense with any of those things but it is nice that they give you the option should you choose to block them.

In regards to Mad Max, There is no bad language or sex but there are some scantily clad women trying to escape from the bad guy and one scene where a naked woman is seen up in a tower from a distance but it is very brief and is not gratuitous. Aside from that there is a ton of violence and some disturbing images as one might expect if they've seen the previews for it.

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