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Cleanflix
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Cleanflix More at IMDbPro »

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Obviously flying well under the IMDb radar...

6/10
Author: MrGKB from Ohio
25 April 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

...judging by the fact that I'm putting up the very first review of this film on this site (a situation I've never encountered in the thirteen years I've been visiting here), but the truth is that I'm not overly surprised. Documentaries simply aren't IMDbers' cup of tea, as I have noticed time and time again.

Never mind that; if you're actually reading this, then you've either already seen the film, in which case anything I say isn't going to make a bit of difference to you, or you're actually checking here first to see what others have to say before you spring cold, hard cash to buy or rent the thing (does anyone even rent any more?), in which case you're one of the people I'm writing this for.

"Cleanflix" presents a tale of profit motive meeting religious impulse to satisfy an unserved demand for bowdlerized film entertainment. These sorts of things always amuse me, since the impulses are so rarely pursued with the purity otherwise subsumed by the motive. In this case, it's the heavily Mormon population of Utah wanting to partake in mass culture without the onus of exposing themselves to corrupting influences, which is to say, they want to watch R-rated movies stripped of the stuff that makes them R-rated, or even PG-13, for that matter, since apparently films like "Pirates of the Caribbean" got the same scissor-wielding editorial treatment from an enterprise called CleanFlicks. Lordy-lord, how they must have had to be careful how they designed the logo for that business!

This all started up in the late 90s, when a Utah theater cut the naughty bits out of James Cameron's "Titanic" to make it safe for its predominantly Mormon clientèle; a video shop then followed suit, and after Paramount Pictures got wind of it and reacted accordingly, an idea was born in the head of a guy named Ray Lines, who promptly co-founded CleanFlicks to provide edited content for what was obviously a large and demanding demographic, never mind pesky things like copyrights and artistic integrity. A booming business was born, and thrived quite handily in Utah and other enclaves of aggrieved morality for a number of years until Hollywood (and most pointedly, the Director's Guild of America) finally said enough is enough, bringing the full weight of its legal arm to bear on the profiteering censors.

That wasn't quite good enough, though, because a seeming loophole existed, enough of one for guys like video shop owner Daniel Thompson to try to squeeze through. Thompson, a profound attention whore and consummate hypocrite, along with various other bottom-feeders, simply found new suppliers once Lines' operation was shut down, and kept at it, nobly defending his illicit enterprise right up to the day Hollywood's lawyers shut him down for good. Thompson even got a bit of extra comeuppance when he was arrested and convicted on a sexual misconduct charge involving minors; amazingly, he served less than two months in jail!

At any rate, "Cleanflix" does a fine job of delineating the whole affair. Anyone interested in issues of censorship, creator's rights, and a particular strain of religious morality that holds great sway in this country is well advised to seek this one out. I found it at my public library, and for once applaud their buyer's good sense in acquiring it.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

More Than Meets the Eye

8/10
Author: gavin6942 from United States
20 November 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When a small Utah-based edited movie company is caught sanitizing Hollywood's copyrighted material, the film industry strikes back with a devastating blow.

For those who do not understand Mormons and Donny Osmond, they may appear ignorant from this film. Most of us freely watch violent or profane movies without much thought (indeed, this documentary has nudity and violence). But think about them like you would the MPAA -- just as we have a censor that wants to keep things R rather than NC-17, they just want to take it a step further.

Daniel Thompson, featured prominently in this film, is a sketchy and dirty character who was allegedly involved in theft and clearly had the motive of profit rather than purity. He rubbed me the wrong way from the first scene, and therefore it was no surprise to me when it turned out he was arrested for statutory rape in March 2008 and running a pornographic business from his store.

The focus on Thompson is what makes this story worthwhile. The fight of editing versus copyright is a great tale... but then when you throw in this twist, it gets even better.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

An Interesting look at the Movie Industry

7/10
Author: makiprettywoman3 from United States
28 May 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

If you go looking on Netflix there are some more obscure documentary movies you probably haven't heard of. I ran into this movie called "CleanFlix." There were these movie rental places in Utah such as Cleanflix where you could get edited movies. There were Mormon's out there that wanted clean version's of R Movies and PG-13 Movies that didn't have all the sex or so much violence. Eventually the movie studio's took notice of this and forced all these rental places to shut down.

I thought this movie was interesting. It shows you a different side of the movie industry, Apparently these directors can take their artistic work very seriously. You are also not suppose to edit and resell those movies because then you are violating copyright laws. You had these people editing movies because they saw a market for it. There are people out there who cannot watch movies with any violence, sex or foul language in them. They filled this void by offering clean versions of movies. This movie does show you what many Mormon's believe in but mostly it shows you what happened to Cleanflix. I would recommend watching this movie. It's an interesting look at Mormon's, The Movie Industry and Copyright Laws.

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The Rise & Fall & Rise & Fall Of Sanitized Cinema

6/10
Author: Dalbert Pringle from New Zealand
23 March 2017

Hey, all you movie fans! - In this day and age of over-the-top violence, gore, sex, and profanity in films - Are you really ready for "sanitized" cinema??

I mean, I hope you think the same as I do here - 'Cause I cannot see the point, at all, of watching a film like Caligula (with all of its sex edited out), or 28 Days Later (with all of its gore edited out) - Can you?

But, apparently, in the state of Utah, the ultra-conservative, Mormonized folks there want to watch these sorts of "sanitized" films so badly that for 8 years (2000-2008) (before copyright infringement laws were being challenged in court) it was, indeed, a million-dollar business.

Competently written and directed by Andrew James and Joshua Ligairi - "Cleanflix" is a very insightful and informative documentary that offers the viewer a well-balanced argument for or against sanitized cinema (whose story inevitably escalates into quite an eye-opening scandal).

*Trivia note* - In the film The Wolf of Wall Street the word f*ck is spoken 569 times. So, that means, within its 180-minute running time, that one word is uttered about 3x a minute.

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