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Penn & Teller Bulls**t DVD Censored


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19 replies to this topic

#1 of 20 OFFLINE   Jared Reich

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Posted March 30 2004 - 03:27 AM

I just bought the censored version. Um, nothing is censored as far as I can tell?

What is the difference between this version and the uncensored one?

#2 of 20 OFFLINE   TedT

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Posted March 30 2004 - 03:34 AM

It may be just the word on the cover.

#3 of 20 OFFLINE   Jared Reich

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Posted March 30 2004 - 03:36 AM

Can anyone confirm this for me. Best buy told me it was just the cover but all the reviews online seem to say it is the content in the dvd itself that is altered. I also went to FYE today and they said that they are getting the uncensored version in and it is higher priced than the censored.

#4 of 20 OFFLINE   Joshua Lane

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Posted March 30 2004 - 03:49 AM

All the reviews are wrong... only the cover is censored.

#5 of 20 OFFLINE   Jared Reich

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Posted March 30 2004 - 03:52 AM

Why would they go to the trouble of releasing two seperate boxes for it? Really stupid on the marketing part of this dvd.

#6 of 20 OFFLINE   MattHR

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Posted March 30 2004 - 04:16 AM

Quote:
Why would they go to the trouble of releasing two seperate boxes for it? Really stupid on the marketing part of this dvd.


Actually, it's quite smart on their part. They'd never get this title onto the shelves of Target, Walmart, Best Buy, etc. with the word "bullshit" so prominent on the packaging. The casual browser won't be offended, or have to deal with their giggling child who may happen to pick up the dvd, since the cover is "tamed" down.

This is not a new practice. The studios have been offering alternate cover choices to dealers for years, when the original art may not satisfy certain "sensibilities".

Recently, the movie PARTY MONSTER was offered in two varieties: one featured stars Macaulay Culkin and Seth Green in normal appearance, while the other featured them (disturbingly) in drag. Years ago the Timothy Dalton movie THE KING'S WHORE was displayed as THE KING'S MISTRESS at Blockbuster, since they objected to the word "whore" on the box cover. The actual on-screen title was correct, however.

There are hundreds of other examples of alternate packaging and/or titles. Maybe others would like to submit some more examples. Keep the list to just titles that have had their packaging or titles altered, and not their content, such as an "unrated" edition. Also, don't list titles that have had their packaging changed later for a re-release (Dante's Peak, etc.) Just titles that have had dual covers on initial release for the reasons cited above.

#7 of 20 OFFLINE   Jared Reich

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Posted March 30 2004 - 04:32 AM

Thank you! I feel so much better with my purchase now.

#8 of 20 OFFLINE   Larry House

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Posted March 30 2004 - 05:32 AM

Just to comment on something similar to Matt Hankinson's post, years ago when a touring company of the musical The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas was playing in Atlanta, it was heavily advertised on TV ... without ever mentioning the title! All the references were to "the chicken ranch" as in, "come on down and see all the fun at the chicken ranch". I do think that the title logo was displayed on the screen, though. I wouldn't be surprised if this were a title that at some point was distributed with a different cover for home video.

#9 of 20 OFFLINE   WillG

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Posted March 30 2004 - 05:47 AM

At the Wal*Mart near me, on their discount rack (not the bin) they have, plain as day "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" Not that "Whore" is one of the Seven Dirty Words, but it struck me as odd for Wal*Mart.
STOP HIM! He's supposed to die!

#10 of 20 OFFLINE   Craig Sherman

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Posted March 30 2004 - 08:29 AM

I'm still patiently awaiting the Ken & Teresa Russell opus WHORE.

God, I still remember years ago, when Arsenio Hall mentioned it in his monologue... "A movie coming out, called WHORE!!! Once again, that title is WHORE" (Yes, I'm paraphrasing, despite the quotation marks.)

He sure loved that word.

There's also the sequel, aptly titled WHORE 2. Might be a good 2-pack.

Back on my meds,

CS

#11 of 20 OFFLINE   Jon B NY

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Posted March 30 2004 - 05:51 PM

How is that DVD anyways? What is that show about? I was interested in picking it up being that I lovethose two misfit magicians.

#12 of 20 OFFLINE   Alex Spindler

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Posted March 30 2004 - 07:32 PM

The show is a skeptics show with a generous dose of humor thrown in. Penn and Teller, branching out from magic, focus on several wide ranging topics like Organic Foods, The End of the World, and Creationism. It's quite nice that they choose such a wide range of topics that they're bound to hit on one you've been sympathetic to before, or have never questioned (their episode on Chiropractic Medicine was certainly a new perspective for me).

It's loaded with colorful language and some fun contributions on both sides of the coin, although always weighed towards P&T's (correct?) perspective.

I'd highly recommend it if you're a fan of theirs or if you like the debunking of myths and scams. I've enjoyed it immensely.

#13 of 20 OFFLINE   todd s

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Posted March 31 2004 - 02:27 AM

I watched a few of the episodes last night. It was interesting to hear why they use the word Bullshit and other colorful expletives. In a nutshell it is for legal reasons. If they call anyone a scam artist or a fraud. They can be sued for libel. But, if they say someone is full of crap. It is ok. Posted Image

Some of the interviews they do are really funny. Some of these people are really whacked out. Posted Image
Bring back John Doe! Or at least resolve the cliff-hanger with a 2hr movie or as an extra on a dvd release.

#14 of 20 OFFLINE   Julie K

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Posted March 31 2004 - 02:48 AM

I watched this originally on Showtime and loved every episode. I'll certainly be picking up the DVDs.

small spoilers....
One of my favorite bits was the Feng-Shuit^H episode where every 'designer' came up with a different design. You'd think if this were so scientific then independent designers would produce similar if not identical ways to channel this alleged energy. Posted Image I also like the bit where the one designer was caught unknowingly on the microphone Posted Image

Don't forget!! Season 2 starts tomorrow! (It looks like fur's going to fly and a bunch of feathers will get ruffled...)
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"The power of accurate observation is frequently called cynicism by those who don't have it."

#15 of 20 OFFLINE   Brian Thibodeau

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Posted March 31 2004 - 03:18 AM

I'm still waiting for my DVD set to arrive, but I managed to tape nine of these episodes when they originally aired and have shown them to nearly everyone I know. And even if they don't always agree with the viewpoints the show puts forth, they almost always get a few laughs along the way.

I think the most important thing BULLSHIT tries to get across is the importance of keeping an open mind towards everything. Questions everything. Question what you see on the news. It’s frightfully easy to select and edit the footage you show an audience (and the words you choose) in order to influence their thinking when they’re at their most dependent upon you (even BULLSHIT can be accused of this). Question big business. They don’t always have your best interests in mind. Question religion. If God indeed created us, then He’s the one who gave us the ability to question even Him. Odds are if you suspect something could be a ripoff, there's a very real chance someone else has already figured out how to take advantage of those who believe without question in its intended value. I thnk BULLSHIT just wants more people to start thinking rationally. That it uses humour to avoid serious lawsuits is fine; but you don’t need to read between the lines to pursue their trains of thought to the next station. Too bad it’s not on network TV. Then again, could end up getting canned like TV Nation. After all, who wants their safe little bubbles punctured by conspiracy theorists with new ways of looking at our own weaknesses?

I certainly do.

A few personal favourite segments (and these ARE just segments):

The Bottle Watered episode, where, after establishing that many bottled waters actually come from municipal water supplies that WE help pay for with our taxes (and are then sold back to us at higher than the cost of gasoline), the show takes over a posh L.A. restaurant and proceeds to send a "water steward" with a menu of imported bottled waters (!) to patrons' tables. Simply because they see it printed on a fancy menu, they ASSUME it to be authentic bottled water. The diners are then shown sampling their water like they're seasoned wine tasters, commenting on the fullness, the mineral taste, the smoothness, etc. What they don't know, and what we DO know, is that the "steward" simply filled all the bottles from the garden hose outside the restaurant (hilarious shot of him laughing maniacally while he's doing it), then let the patron's pre-conditioned minds do the rest of the work.

The New Age Medicine episode, where the show sets up a staggeringly phony-looking magnet therapy display in a crowded mall, then proceeds to lure in the rubes, including one poor lady that swears she can feel the healing power of the “magnetic oven mits” and the “magnetic helmet” (a construction helmet with u-shaped magnets dangling from springs and pointing towards her head (all the magnets, of course, were demagnetized). Then they whip out the snails, and convince people that snail mucous has the ability to remove age lines and wrinkles. A few people actually volunteer to have snails crawl all over their faces, then proclaim with amazement that their skin actually feels rejuvenated! Penn Jillette even admits at the end that many shoppers weren’t fooled by the presentation, and that they chose to leave them out because they weren’t as interesting as the ones who did take the bait. And naturally, its a given that people might react favourably to anything when they know their being openly videotaped. This of course, give the show extra credibility by admitting that it, too, takes a subjective viewpoint of it’s own content. But at least BULLSHIT ‘fesses up. That’s not something you’d see them doing on the nightly news.

The parenting episode, in which they thoroughly prove that all these “Baby Mozart” and “Baby Beethoven” and “Baby Chef” and all this other stuff designed to make newborns and infants more intelligent is just so much, er, bullshit. I’d been reading studies on this marketing phenomena that concluded basically the same thing when I saw this episode, so it was nice to know that the evidence they presented could be at least corroborated by the viewer. This is the classic where they set up a phony infomercial shoot for a revolutionary new parenting technique that has three expectant fathers actually teaching their babies (in the form of dolls) to consciously belch and, in a hilarious bit, donning diapers and actually “acting” like babies to better understand what the baby is telling them. My GOD, but this had me in stitches.

The Armageddon episode, which is the one (if I recall correctly) where Penn and Teller, quite accurately if you freeze frame through Teller’s flash cards, list all the people who predicted the end of the world (and when) down through the ages. That little segment alone is a goldmine of historical misinformation that has been heaped on the uninformed throughout history. Then they send two city boys to a “Survival Camp” where they’re trained to make fires with sticks (assuming that a nuclear war would destroy every remaining lighter on the planet) and build body-sized huts out of mud and leaves. The dude named “John Smith” (I think) with the jittery eyes who says he always comes to the camp is a real treat! This might also be the episode with famed Nostradamus scholar and author John Hogue, who conveniently updated the antichrist from Ayatollah Khomeini to Saddam Hussein in one particular bestseller upon it’s second printing.

The Fung Shui episode. This was great because my girlfriend once got a kick out of comparing the cavernous differences between fung shui “science” from book to book when we’d be in a bookstore. The set-up on this one is classic: get three fung shui “scientists” to reconfigure a house accorinding to the exacting laws of their craft. All three do it differently, one makes the place even uglier and another mutters “Still looks like shit” under his breath, unaware that his mic was still on. Beautiful stuff. This also has two twins getting haircuts, one from a regular barber, the other from a fung shui stylist, then hitting the streets to see if anyone can tell the difference. The results are about what you’d expect: everyone appears to be guessing and the twins still feel and look exactly the same.

I highly recommend this show to everyone, from the naive to the cynical. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll definitely come away with a newfound (and healthy) skepticism for the world around you. You can even argue that the producers are only showing one side of the story (as my girlfriend sometimes feels the need to remind me) but when the other, more positive but no less subjective, side is spoon fed to us on a daily basis from our parents, our politicians, our clergy, our media and others (as I like to remind her), it’s nice to have both sides to weigh against each other. Even better if some of us can be made to look like asses on shows like Bullshit in the process. It might protect a few of us from letting the same thing happen to us in real life, it’s done its job.

My only gripe is that sometimes Penn Jillette can be too self-righteous when he launches into one of his expletive-filled rants. That’s irritating because most of these episodes speak for themselves and don’t need his “shut the fuck up” closing thoughts.

#16 of 20 OFFLINE   Brian Thibodeau

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Posted March 31 2004 - 03:31 AM

Just thought of another one that I was familiar with before the episode actually exposed it.

It was the Armageddon episode again and they interviewed this Canadian guy who's semi-infamous up here for building an underground compound for survivors of the impending holocaust. The bunker, of which he claims he will be the sole leader, is basically an elaborate series of schoolbuses gutted, connected, refinished into living quarters and sunk below the ground under concrete. Unfortunately, the Alberta government won't let anyone in the damned thing come holocaust or high water because its been deemed a fire trap. So there it sits...

I honestly thought the damned thing was dug up and detroyed years ago, but there it was, with it's paranoid proprietor making a fool of himself on national TV some twenty years or so after it was built.

Nice to see some of our Canadian crazies still getting a little airtime.

#17 of 20 OFFLINE   Gord Lacey

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Posted March 31 2004 - 04:18 AM

now might be a good time to mention the cool contest we have going on for the show. You have a chance to win the DVD set, but also a neat prize package. Here's the link:

http://www.tvshowson...com/contest.cfm

I loved this show!

Gord
Want to see your favorite show on DVD?

#18 of 20 OFFLINE   GarySchrock

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Posted March 31 2004 - 12:06 PM

I haven't made up my mind on whether to get this set or not. I watched them originally when they were on tv (and am definitely looking forward to the next season), but I just don't know if it's something that I'd be interested in watching again. My wife tolerates the fact that I find them hilarious, although she did get a kick out of being on stage for part of their vegas show. Maybe I'll mosey over and enter the contest.

#19 of 20 OFFLINE   Jared Reich

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Posted March 31 2004 - 12:22 PM

great, great dvd!

#20 of 20 OFFLINE   MarkHastings

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Posted May 11 2004 - 04:44 AM

I just got a chance to watch this last night. I picked it up as a blind buy since anything P&T do is good. I LOVED this show. It was better than I thought.

I am a big fan of Mythbusters so this show was right up my alley. Posted Image
Quote:
This is not a new practice. The studios have been offering alternate cover choices to dealers for years, when the original art may not satisfy certain "sensibilities".
Some "mature" (i.e. porn) titles are like this where the cover shows the women in bathing suits or with artwork covering the "naughty" parts, but you can flip the artwork over (after you've opened the packaging) and display the nude cover art.
Quote:
I watched a few of the episodes last night. It was interesting to hear why they use the word Bullshit and other colorful expletives.
I loved the segment on the Dr.'s (i.e. the chiropractors) and Penn & Tellers sign off segment had all those ducks in the background quacking Posted Image then they chased them off screen making quacking noises. Posted Image





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