The One Good Thing About Pornography

legs.jpgGot your attention didn’t I? A couple of weeks back a friend of mine and I watched Old School again. Pretty funny movie, but I still don’t think it was as great as a lot of people believe it was… anyway…

The scene with the topless college girls comes up and a thought struck me (not the thought you may be thinking of). I realized that unlike the 80’s and first half of the 90’s, you really don’t see all that much pointless nudity or sex in films anymore. Sure, you get the odd boob shot like the one in Harold and Kumar go to White Castle or American Pie but thats about it.

Then I remember a conversation I had with another friend a while ago when The Girl Next Door started it’s ad campaign. I said to him “What’s the point of going to pay $13 to get into a movie just to see some woman take her clothes off when anyone anywhere can just hop in the internet to any one of millions of porn sites and see the same thing for free.”

Think about it. In 2003 Meg Ryan (smashingly beautiful woman) did her first nude scene in the film In The Cut. In 1995 that would have gotten HUGE media push… and the marketing department tried to capitalize on it by making sure everyone knew about it. But it had almost zero response and the film was a box office disaster (like most of Meg Ryan’s films these days). The nudity did nothing for the film. Why should it? You all can see all the nakedness you want online anytime.

So is that it? Is easily accessible porn on the internet the reason why fewer pointless nude and sex scenes are being included in feature films these days? Or am I way off base on this? What do you think?

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30 thoughts on “The One Good Thing About Pornography

  1. hey john you make a great point but, i cant complain about seeing angelina’s tits in taking lives. not only does she have great lips, but wow! what a rack!

  2. IMHO it has less to do with pornography and more with the white Catholic Moms of the MPAA that make sure PG13 movies contain none of that evil amoral thing called Sex and more of that inspiring and character building gunfire action. There’s nothing wrong with senslessly killing a few people for a totally pointless action scene (as long as they are people – if it was an animal there would be a public outcry, but yeah killing humans isn’t that bad). Yet showing humans just like the way they simply look like (In Swordfish Mrs. Berry was sunbathing topless – what’s so special about that?) or god forbid showing people making love is just wrong. Better cut that and get some more Matrix-style action in there.

  3. Richard, you really need to learn how to upload photos to John’s site using the Upload Images feature in the MT software. Honest, it won’t bite or mame you. John might, however, if it’s not tastefully done. That said, I’m now picturing you posing as George Costanza from Seinfeld did on a day bed. *ROFL*

  4. I would also like to see that ‘proof’ Richard! *winks*

    I saw “Closer” last night before seeing “Million Dollar Baby” and well, I was surprised with the audience reception that this film got last night in the 18:15 screening at UGC West India Quay, the audience were rolling in laughter, and towards the end of the film you can tell that the audience truly enjoyed it. First time that I was in a cinema with an audience that gave a real big applause to the film. I thought there was going to be some standing ovation. I wish now that I had seen this on stage. But what does this film have to do with this topic? I’m getting there now…

    Now this is an example where a film doesnt need to show off so much and yet the film delivers. As some of us might already know Portman’s character is that of a stripper, but in the film she only wore really skimpy clothing. She’s got really nive flawless baby skin! In one scene, in one of the private rooms of the strip club, she was asked by Larry (Clive Owen) to spread her legs which she did and when he wanted to see more, she did the same again but WE didnt see it. It was just implied but I thought it was tastefully done. Somehow it’s possible to do it in some movies, maybe that’s what they have to learn to do in the future.

    As for Richard’s question earlier about “Swordfish”, and I quote, “Do you think those two scenes are totally useless in those movies?” I have to say yes, it was useless for what does it have to do with the movie?

  5. Richard, I’ve never seen Swordfish. I didn’t think much of the trailer, and none of the promo blitz peaked any interest in me. As for XX, who cares about the sex scene? I agree with you about that scene in that it shows you just how much he’s into the game for his own needs. And thankfully the scene didn’t show much or last long. I could tolerate it all right, but if the whole movie was centred around how hot Vin is, *gagging* no thanks.

  6. Wow, this whole sex in the movies thing has hit a lot of people’s nerves. Anyways…I’m not drawn to the theatre anymore because it’s way too expensive to get in. Not to mention stupid assholes who talk during the movie and stuff. I don’t really care to see sex scenes in movies, I only go to see a movie if it really really attracts me now. If Halle Berry shows her tits in Swordfish, let her do it. If it brings in ticket sales, great. But I know that a lot of movies make a lot of money and they all don’t depend on nude scenes to get by. Most of know, going into a movie, that the movie will have cheap laughs and cheap raunchy fun. Old School is a great example. I saw what kind of movie it was going to be. I say, that if the trailers are good and make a lot of sense, then people will go see the movie. I listen to stupid people in the movie theatre audience cackling at the end of a comedy trailer, or at the end of a horror trailer, and they either say “that looks goooooood,” or “That looooks stooooped.” Bunch of retards judge it by the trailer only, and hardly care for the actors. Then other idiots like FILM CRITICS ruin movie reps by bitching a moaning about it, like we should all value a rich asshole’s opinion.
    Sex and nudity scenes do not mean much. A film’s success is based on how good the trailer is and positive word of mouth. Then there are Indy surprises that seem to do much better on DVD since most Indy films are always limited release when they are first released into theatres. So bla bla…I’m gone now!

  7. John – definitely not agreeing with that, never said that myself. I would say the exact opposite in fact.

    Lilly\Simone – Do you think those two scenes are totally useless in those movies?

    The scene in Swordfish does show that the character is willing to do anything to manipulate men, and in particular the hacker. It’s re-enforced by the fact that the audience is so surprised that Berry is doing it so casually, and it’s presented that way in the movie. Another side to that is that the character is topless sunbathing and that is quite natural and happens in real life. Berry’s character is totally owned by Travolta’s, even to the point where he can order her to perform sexual acts and she is willing to. It all shows how far she is willing to go.

    However, there is a huge cheap thrill factor that it is Berry topless. Still the thing that sticks in my mind is how cool Travolta is and that wonderful TVR.

    In xXx, it’s a bit harder to associate it with the story, other than showing that the character is still wholly in his own world and out to get what he wants, despite being blackmailed into carrying out the mission for the Government. It’s later we see that he begins to act and think about others and what he can do to save them.

    Stretch, yes, but still right. However they could have achieved that in a number of ways and not with a pole dancer clambering over the bed. The DVD (which I *just* saw) has a rather large and exceedingly naughtier scene!!

  8. Thing is, John, Hollywood producers feel we, the audience, needs to be continually stimualted and entertained, therefore there are no natural pauses or events like nudity allowed or included because they distract from the gaming tie-ins for the DVD release and the gaming swag that each movie will generate. And let’s not forget the soundtrack. When you hear the stuff from XXX, I don’t think of that one near sex scene, I think of the shot where the motorbike goes over the building. That’s what they think kids want to see: mindblowing action and thrilling stunts. Forget plot development, characters, storylines or taste! All of that gets in the way and ends up costing millions they could save to buy better CGI treatments.

    And this is exactly why I love me some indies and European flicks. They slower they are, the more lush they seem. The more the camera stays fixed, the more I see happening in the frame. The more I don’t hear from a character, the more I learn and feel about them.

    Thank gawd I’m not a kid anymore. Yah being an old hag for a change! :-)

  9. One film that comes to mind where showing tits is not integral to the movie is “Swordfish”. Remember when Halle Berry walked in with her tits in full glory? Now what does that have to do with the plot? Just to get more male audience when word about it comes out so they will all come in and see Halle with her tits? Another one although they didnt show it was the reference to Halle giving Hugh Jackman the head, I actually thought that was done in poor taste.

  10. Hey Folks, John Here (The Boss)

    Hmmmm… with all due respect (seriously) to everyone who has posted opinions in this thread… I just don’t buy it.

    I can’t see any possible connection between good story development and showing me nudity. Are we saying that in order to really get to know a female character in a film we have to see her tits?

    Are we saying that we as an audience are so dumb that in order to understand the love between 2 characters we have to explicitly see them banging on a piano?

    Are we saying that directors are so untalented and so unskilled that showing tits and humping are the only tools to use to say anything on screen?

    There are times in some films when a nude shot is totally nessessary, or a passionatly shot love sceen does add to the story… absoleutly… BUT…

    95% of the time those kinds of shots aren’t needed because they add nothing to the story, plot, progression or feel of the film. To be honest, most of the time they’re just desperate attempts to get a rise out of an audience because they’re not talented enough to do it any other way.

    Just my two cents worth.

  11. Most films these day are rated toward a pg-13 audience. Nudity has been cut, along with most of the major plot points, character building and story lines to develop a movie that is as violence free and quick flowing as possible. Watch a commentary, listen to the director. Love and romance scenes, the development of relationships, nudity, needless action, spiffy one liners, are all cut for the sake of keeping the movie “flowing.” The movie cannot pause, you shouldn’t get caught up in a moment and wonder what’s going to happen next, you should be seeing it. “listen to the commentary on a few deleted scenes, most likely you’ll hear the director tell you they were cut because the movie did not “flow”. The basically slowed down the pace. Watch a movie from the 70’s, 80’s, early to mid 90’s. You’ll catch a lot of these so called “slow scenes, they were kept because they helped develop the point of the whole movie. Why this and that was happening. Or simply to get you to understand or like a character better. Now entire side stories are wiped clean because all and all it was maiking the movie just a tad too long. Entire sections of a film are scrapped because it would have taken from the “story” as it were. Come on people of hollywood! What ever happened to the R rated movie? I mean the R rated, not a pg-13 with a little nudity? Cause come on, that’s all todays is.

  12. Yes, John, I think that’s what we are all saying essentially. Sad but true. And we all feel it as well as recognise it.

    The question then becomes, what can/should we do about it? Who should we appeal to about this bullshit film making?

  13. So what are we saying? That because producers and directors arent’ showing T&A that means they’re not committed to making a good movie?

  14. i am think i am of the school of thought that producers more and more wnat to make things PG-13. The goal with most movies nowadays does not seem to make a good movie, but rather a movie with as broad appeal possible. Something that will fill as many seat as possible.

  15. I think there would have been more attraction to seeing Meg nude at 25-30 and when her career was at it’s height than at 40+.

    And I disagree with your view about the decrease in pointless nudity… what I’ve noticed is that female pointless nudity has been replaced with male pointless nudity for some bizarre reason. Plenty of butt-shots of guys in movies with nary a female skin shot to be seen.

    Vic

  16. This is a reply to Hello ::
    Meg Ryan was nude in “The Doors” from 1991.

    Well hello, you are absolutly correct sir -or mame- but in “In the Cut” she was in a realy hot oral sex scene in which she was given head from behind, I watch that movie just for that scene.

  17. I think we’re seeing far less nudity on screen because of the growing over-political correctness throughout society.

    So much is being censored or just plain missed out because it’s deemed too risky nowadays, and yet a few years ago it would have been fine and no one would have spared it a second thought. We’re over analysing everything that could possibly be interpreted as causing offence and I think we’re moving away from open free speech towards political correctness gone mad.

    I don’t just mean nakedness here, I mean jokes, scenes, characters everything.

    What I would like to say is that film makers have grown and the studios with them to produce more intelligent movies with less cheap thrills…but that’s dead wrong!

  18. I think we have glorified the nudity of those movies from back in the day. I remember weird science being alot sexier when I was 12. When I watched it again my memories were crushed.

  19. Halle got them out in Swordfish but if that was made now, the action would have been toned down to PG13 to guarantee the audience, and so there’d be no chance of the nude shot getting in.

    In The Cut, despite such media attention, was an arty flick, not mindless entertainment, which is where most of your titty shots used to be.

  20. I think we are all desensitized to it, and screenwriters aren’t including the scenes anymore since all of the movies out there are thriller and weird science flicks like The Core. Ugh. Who wants to see Hillary get down in a space suit? Not me. I think it comes down to a lot of movie types rather than it not being included deliberately. Sex scenes just don’t fit anymore. Take that movie with Nick Cage and the bizzarely placed kiss. Romance and sex between the paired up stars just doesn’t fit when you have a buddy type of relationship established between the main characters.

  21. I think it is just the general sex wave going on all over the television these days. When you’ve got shows like Desperate Housewives and Sex in the City completely focusing on sex, it seems to me that its just going to be a norm for many actresses. The precedent set is that we expect nudity, from both actresses (and now actors) at some point, just to do it. Everyone knows Meg Ryan and Halle Barry didn’t need to. Even Reese Witherspoon had a scene. Not to compare sex to nudity, but come on! We’re thinking it!

  22. But the free availability of online pr0n doesn’t seem to hurt the sales of the stuff on video, so I’m not sure that’s the answer. Maybe it’s just that there was so much pointless nudity and sex in films that people got bored with it? I don’t know, though I’ve heard similar arguments advanced to explain the death of the Italian cannibal film: there was just so much of it that people got sick of it eventually…

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