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September 17 2012

Disney UK comments on the censored Avengers Blu-ray disc. "The version on disc is the same as was released in the UK theatrically." Ummm no?

Sorry, WHAT?

Thaaat just looks a little ridiculous without the spear. Like if this wasn't The Freaking Avengers and I saw that, I'd probably think it looked cheap and embarrassing. Seriously, what.
Please tell me that I am not the only person in the UK who saw the uncut scene in the cinema. Because right now I am reading the article and feeling much in the same way my namesake felt in Jaynestown.
I don't understand how they expect to be taken seriously even stating that. Every person who saw the film all those months ago just imagined what they saw? I'm not buying it.

It's also a bit of a downer that we won't be getting the commentary at all.
I saw the scene uncut several times. I remember being shocked when it happened. That's just the truth. I don't know what Disney hopes to achieve by adopting this line.
Probably just not getting in trouble with the bbfc.
I saw the movie three times (and only the first was a screening thing) but then I'm in Iceland so maybe we got the U.S version or something.

I don't even know. This stuff is just weird and annoying.

Also if the American version of the blu-ray is region free then why does Amazon.com say it's region A? o_O

[ edited by druzilla on 2012-09-17 23:19 ]
This has gone from bad to frankly hilarious... What on Earth are Disney thinking?

So they dont want to re release a version with Commentary in the UK because they dont want fans to have to double dip?? No ones forcing people who have it, to buy it again... your just giving the people who want the full package the option.

Its just mind boggling... Disney just keep making things worse and worse.

And yes the spear penetrating his chest was DEFINITELY in the UK cinema release. It is an incredibly shocking and powerful scene. And without it, it just does not have the same impact.

Im just livid right now at the stupidity on display here....

[ edited by Fuelreaver on 2012-09-17 23:18 ]
I'm kinda hating myself for doubting what I saw at the cinema. I gotta believe the edit would have been known at the time of release though.

ETA: Oh, right, of course... Wash. Of course I saw it at the cinema.

[ edited by Jaymii on 2012-09-17 23:22 ]
Yeah, but surely the BBFC will know what the content was in the version of the film they certified. Otherwise what's the point of having them or in certifying any films at all?

The BBFC's original report on the film says:

A slightly stronger moment occurs when a man is stabbed through the back by the chief villain's spear. The detail of the impact is not shown, only the tip of the spear protruding from the man's chest with a small amount of blood on it. The image is not dwelt upon and serves an important narrative purpose.


But the article seems to suggest that Marvel Studios decided to remove the tip of the spear in order to get a 12A certificate, even though the BBFC's website states that the scene was deemed appropriate for a 12. That's what's confusing me.
And they'd built up such goodwill by making the film in the first place...

Meanwhile, I'm re-evaluating my DVD-buying practices. I've quite often gone for British versions, but after this and having to go blu-ray to get uncensored Hunger Games, it's looking less and less appealing.
Also if the American version of the blu-ray is region free then why does Amazon.com say it's region A? o_O

I imagine that is simply a standard warning Amazon have up for their international customers, because the studios tend not to be clear themselves on which disks get region-locked.
This is ridiculous. I've never seen anything like this before.
@Niels: Ah, thanks. That makes sense. Tho I swear I checked a while back and then it only had the region up for the DVD's and not Blu-ray. Like they just recently put it up. But I guess this Disney person would know better than Amazon. XD

But if the American version really is region free I guess I'll get that when I have the money.

This whole business is still really weird.
I would imagine that within a week, we'll see Disney trying to salvage something out of this mess with some sort of face-saving exercise.
Surely someone on here is from the US and can check the region encodings for the dvds and bluray in the US? I'm dying to get the all-inclusive edition, but can only do that if I know it's region-free. I refuse to buy dvds because of bluray, but I don't want to buy bluray only because I don't have a player for it yet, AND I currently do most of my watching-things on a computer that doesn't have a bluray player.
I definitely saw the uncut version in a UK cinema. This Disney spokesman seems to have no idea what he's talking about.
Surely someone on here is from the US and can check the region encodings for the dvds and bluray in the US?
If it were actually out here.
The thing is... We dont have a bbcf in Spain. We dont, usually, censor movies here to get an age certificate, wich exists but allmost nobody cares for, and ours still got censored also. This isnt a UK problem; its a half of europe problem. They either used some censored masterdisk for eurozones or i really dont get it.
For a minute I was in the crazy boat with Simon, remembering having definitely seen that in my local cinema. BBFC report concurs. So either Marvel/Disney violated UK law by adding that cut - that mysteriously none of us remember in the UK version that showed in cinemas - after it was BBFC certified... or they have violated UK law editing it for the DVD/BR as per twitter. Which is it Disney? Can't be both.

Hey, handy how that little note at the end tells us `hardcore fans` about being able to import it... which will add a little bump up to the US domestic take. Look at how that worked.

[ edited by apollo11 on 2012-09-17 23:52 ]

[ edited by apollo11 on 2012-09-17 23:54 ]
I don't know much of anything about the legal situation in other European countries. All I know is that the BBFC's description of the film that they certified (available for all to read here) is demonstrably different to the version that was released in the UK today. Which I believe could be a problem for them.
Lots of reliable sites, like Blu-ray.com seem to be reporting its region free. I think it's a safe safe bet. But yes, it's probably worth waiting a week to see 100%.

[ edited by Jaymii on 2012-09-17 23:52 ]
I honestly cannot remember what I saw in the cinema. Things like this you tend to fill in details and assume you saw what you were led to see. But the BBFC quote redders posted is very clear. BBFC saw the tip of the spear come out with blood on it. I imagine that would have been one of the most significant frames of the movie for them.
I've seen some places where the bluray is marked as region-free, but the dvd isn't. My GOD, Disney, why must this be so complicated? I just want that super-complete edition and be done with it. How hard can it be to orchestrate a complete european release for one of he biggest-selling films of all time?
"We don't want to rip-off the consumer" is all good and well, but what on earth was the point in not waiting or the commentary track, not releasing a bluray+dvd combo, not including certain extras... This is not a small release, people will notice this stuff.
They are lying. I saw it in the cinema twice. The spear was clearly visible. And the BBFC describe the scene in detail in their parental advice!

This is appalling.
1.5. billion worldwide. Hard to believe.

[ edited by Darkness on 2012-09-18 00:11 ]
For the Disney Rep to be correct:

Someone at BBFC wrote the report currently on the website and approved the 12/12A rating.

Someone else overruled the original approval and made Marvel remove the spear tip.

Through a bureaucratic mishap, the original report made it on to the website and remains today. The original report is used for the DVD/Blu-Ray.

Through another mishap, the unedited version makes it into UK theaters without issue. OR everyone in the UK imagined the spear tip after the fact.

Another mishap allows the edited version of the DVD/Blu-Ray into other countries that did not request the edit for ratings approval

The details may not be exactly as above of course, but that's essentially the way to make the Disney rep an honest and informed representative. While there may or may not be some truth to the above, I'm betting on some sort of mishaps along the line and that the response here is just early damage control. They're still trying to figure out what happened, and putting out a company line in the mean time.

I wonder if it WAS edited in the theatrical run, but not for the UK, and the screw up was the UK (and others?) getting thrown into the group of edited countries. If so, they're possibly tracking that down now, and the rep does think his info is accurate. In the end, they won't change anything until a future release.

[ edited by bobw1o on 2012-09-18 00:12 ]
The excuse for the missing directors commentary is pretty lame. Marvel have planned this film for the last five years! You'd have thought that planning the Blu Ray release and things like Commentaries would have been thought of. This isn't the first film Marvel and Disney have released!
The fact that Disney's creating an argument about what people saw in the cinema is bizarre. It's a film, not some mass-hallucination. (Although if it is a hallucination, let's all bow down to Joss's direction, which can make a continent of people feel the pain of watching a character get stabbed through the chest with an invisible prop!)

And let me get the spokesperson's logic about the commentary straight. "Oh poor fans, we can't possible expect you to shell out on a second DVD just for the commentary, but here, how about you import a foreign Blu-ray instead? Now wasn't that a lot easier?"
I'm so annoyed about this, I wrote an email to this disney rep. If anyone else cares to her address is easy to find.

[ edited by bivith on 2012-09-18 00:24 ]
I can't remember ever seeing anyone, in all the reams of stuff that was written back in the spring, mention anything about the spear tip being digitally removed in any territory where the film was released theatrically. It's certainly possibly that it happened somewhere. But this strikes me (thank you) as something that was specifically done to the film for the home video release, based on the evidence we've got at the moment.
Well, this is an amusing mess to watch unfold. I'm in the "I can't clearly remember what I saw and it could well be suggestion by now" camp, but there are enough of you who obviously do remember the spear that I believe it's not a hallucination.

It's the commentary, though, that galls me. I am not a huge dvd extras person, but a Joss commentary? Come on.

So the spear... I'm not actually that fussed, I think the scene will not be destroyed by its loss, but boy am I going to be amused if Disney end up on the wrong side of the BBFC for it. This whole debacle, commentary and all, appears to be due to the cheap decision to imprint discs for a lowest common denominator dvd release across Europe, and if they've contravened individual countries' rules by doing that then it serves them right for not thinking it might matter.
All's fair when speculating :)
If they won't sell me a proper uncensored release complete with commentary, then fuck 'em, they don't get my money. Disney, don't be such asshats!
I hope this isn't deemed off topic, but this really reminds me of the Mal/Operative fight in Serenity...i never saw the sword go through on screen, only in the visual companion book. I don't understand how that is so violent to need editing.
Also, regarding the US release of the bluray, I got a great email from Amazon. Those of us who ordered the now-delayed Marvel box set will get the Avengers bluray On The House! Check your email!
Stupendous, in the early screenings of Serenity the editing of the Mal/Operative fight changed every so slightly. I don't know if they were concerned with cutting out violence, but I felt the final cut felt like it was more of a wound Mal could walk away from (limp away from?) while the more violent version felt a bit more unrealistic.
The DVD version and the UK theatrical version differ. The BBFC certified with the spear - its in their own notes. It's a very minor edit and I have no idea if it's in BBFC's interests to investigate.

[ edited by gossi on 2012-09-18 02:37 ]
In some markets the spear tip was removed. My friend has a crappy pirated cam version, no clue as to where it is from. The spear tip wasn't in it. But really its the sound of the spear tip going in that sells the scene.
redders, I saw some people mention on SHH that the film was censored in one country but I don't remember what it was. It definitely wasn't the UK.
I suppose it's merely a little old thing called doublethink - "We've always been at war with Eastasia", yes?
Another mishap allows the edited version of the DVD/Blu-Ray into other countries that did not request the edit for ratings approval


That's not a mishap ,it's been their standard procedure for a number of years except now they seemed to have expanded it .
There has been one or two movies that the Irish censor did not cut but the BBFC did . The version that turned up on DVD in Ireland was the version complete with BBFC edits
Dťja vu.
The same thing happened with the German release on September 13th.
Disney wants us to believe that we saw the censored version at our cinemas. And some people are actually starting to believe this nonsense("memory can be misleading")...

Perhaps Disney is going for a retcon?
Still, this doesn't explain why several European releases feature the uncensored version(e.g. Italy).

[ edited by Chili on 2012-09-18 08:49 ]

[ edited by Chili on 2012-09-18 08:50 ]
@Disney: Know what? We can tell facts from fiction.
Can anyone explain how Disney used a blanket European disc for all euro territories, when the movie is called "Avengers Assemble" in the UK? Does the title say "The Avengers" or "Avengers Assemble" on the DVD/Blu ray? (It said "Avengers Assemble" in the UK cinema with the lamest title graphics i've seen.)

[ edited by bivith on 2012-09-18 09:41 ]
I just sold my UK BluRay copy to a friend who doesn't care about commentaries, and preordered the US one.

What a giant cock-up by Disney.
The censoring blade thing and lack of commentary so far seems to be 2 separate issues.

All the international markets that have released the DVD/BD sets so far lacks the commentary track for the movie, which is supposed to be one of the basic extras even for the single DVD set in the US. And that includes most of the major international markets (Europe, Australia, Asia, South America), except for Japan, that only got the theatrical release last month.

It does surprise me that the censoring the blade thing wasn't a bigger issue before the UK release, considering that some European markets did get the set some days before. Can't affirm this for the Asian or Australian copies, but as far as I could figure out (and by verifying my own copy) South America releases has the blade scene intact.

Add this to the briefcase kerfuffle from the Phase One set in the US, this has not been a good release process for Disney.
The BBFC have issued a statement this morning.
Something smells fishy. Anyway, it still doesn't change the fact that Disney lied and said it's the same as the theatrical version. In fact it only highlights that it's not the same!

[ edited by bivith on 2012-09-18 12:12 ]
Yeah. Basically the BBFC statement confirms that the version of the film submitted for home video consideration was in fact different to the version submitted back in the spring for its theatrical release. All of which contradicts the Disney representative.
Why would they even censor this? Seems like a very stupid and unnecessary thing to do...
Because it was cheaper for them to make one version of a disc for the whole of Europe? Anyhow I've given the BBFC statement a front page entry.
But as I've asked before, how can it be one disc for Europe when the title of film is different in the UK? What does the title graphic say in the movie?
Itís perhaps unfortunate that the censorship hullabaloo follows on from the disappearance of Joss Whedonís commentary track from the UK disc, which has similarly rankled fans: 'That was a bit of a disappointment,' admits Rodrigues. 'Our DLT (Digital Linear Tape, required to replicate the disc) had to be delivered one month earlier than that required for the US pressing. So we missed out. We wanted it too.'

So is the Whedon commentary ever going to surface in the UK, maybe as part of a special edition release? 'Thatís been the subject of heated debate here (at Disney UK),' says Lydia Rodrigues, 'but we donít think we can really ask fans who have bought this version to buy another just to obtain the commentary. So at the moment we are thinking it wonít be released. We also know that hardcore fans with Blu-ray players are probably going to end up buying the US release which has the commentary. The American Blu-ray is region-free.' The Disney spokesperson says she knows the UK will take a hit on sales, but itís better than asking fans to double dip: 'We donít think we can ask people to buy both versions.'


F*** you Disney, f*** your lies about what we saw with our own eyes, and f*** your faux remorse. Given you've lied about the censorship how can I believe what you say about the US version being region-free? I wasn't going to buy it the first time without the special features. Guess I'm just not going to buy it at all.

[ edited by daylight on 2012-09-18 13:56 ]
Could I ask a favour of the Americans please? If you buy the BluRay version (which I assume a fair few will), can you please let the community know about the region encoding? I've just bought the UK version after a few weeks of research and nothing of hope coming up. Now they've just released this statement, and I'm holding out that the representative is telling the truth in regards to the region free-ness of the BluRay.

Thanks.
@OneBluesBrother

Not an American but I pre-ordered the US version and it arrived yesterday and yes it is most definitely region free and contained the commentary and spear. I got the double-pack which also has a DVD which contains the commentary - not sure if that is region free though.
@banner thanks, that is good to know.
Does the DVD in the double-pack have all the features, or just the commentary?
@Rachelkachel It only has the commentary and the 'Assembling the Ultimate Team' featurette - more than the R2 DVD but still lacking the good stuff of the Blu-Ray.
@banner Thanks. I don't have a Blu-ray player so I guess that means I don't get to see all the special features. Oh well. The commentary's the most interesting to me anyway.
I thought the region 2 blu rays and DVDs both lack commentary? Or are we speaking region 1?

[ edited by Skytteflickan88 on 2012-09-19 19:02 ]
@Skytteflickan88 should have been clearer sorry but yes R1.

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