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Featured classification decisions

This page provides detailed information about some of our recent classification decisions. Full written reports are available on request.

Spoiler alert

These pages outline how the classification criteria were applied to content in movies, games and other publications. We do our best to discuss the content while avoiding spoilers, but please avoid reading this information if you do not want to learn anything about the content of a movie or game you haven't seen.

For more insight into the classification process, see How classification decisions are made.

Contact the Information Unit if you require further information on a classification decision.

A classification officer reviewing a film for classification

Movie: Waves

Date registered: 01 July 2020

Waves is a 2019 family drama feature from the USA. It is an intimate and realistic story about the personal and shared struggles of the Williams family, particularly as experienced first by Tyler and then his slightly younger sister, Emily. They are high school seniors coming of age, living with their father and stepmother. Tyler is pushed hard by his father to excel at wrestling, struggling to balance this with other demands and aspirations, such as his relationship with his girlfriend, Alexis. This is further complicated when a shoulder injury threatens his budding career and Alexis becomes pregnant. Tyler pushes himself too hard before losing control, with rage taking hold and bringing devastating consequences. The family members are despondent and scattered. Emily’s life picks up when she finds romantic love.

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R13: Domestic violence, offensive language, sex scenes, drug use and content that may disturb

Movie: Good Boys

Date registered: 03 September 2019

Good Boys is a comedy film from the United States. It follows the three self-proclaimed ‘Beanbag Boys’, who are in their tweenage years. Their de facto leader is the hopeless romantic Max, who is invited to a kissing party where his crush will be present. Thor is excited to audition for their school’s production of ‘Rock of Ages’, but is bullied out of auditioning. Lucas finds out that his parents are going through a divorce and doesn’t know how to approach this with his friends.

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Good Boys
R13: Frequent offensive language, sexual material and drug use

The Great Replacement

Date registered: 29 March 2019

Following is a short summary of our classification decision on The Great Replacement. For the full legal decision, please see the linked file at the end of this summary.

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Movie: Christchurch Mosque Attack Livestream

Date registered: 27 March 2019

The page is an abridged version of our classification decision on the Christchurch Mosque Attack Livestream. Please be advised some of the content discussed could be distressing for the reader. For the full legal decision, please see the linked file at the end of this document.

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Movie: Boy Erased

Date registered: 30 January 2019

Boy Erased is a 2018 American biographical drama film based on a 2016 memoir of the same name. It follows Jared Eamons, the son of Baptist preacher Marshall Eamons and his wife Nancy, a homemaker. After Jared reveals to his parents that he has had romantic and sexual thoughts about men, he is made to attend gay conversion therapy assessment program, “Love in Action”. The manipulative chief therapist, Victor Sykes, tells the group that their sexuality is a choice, which is the result of inadequate and deviant family groups, and instructs them to perform harsh ‘moral inventories’ of themselves and their families. In flashbacks, the film shows the events that led to Jared telling his parents about his homosexuality.

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Boy Erased
R15: Rape, cruelty, offensive language and suicide references

Movie: If Beale Street Could Talk

Date registered: 21 February 2019

If Beale Street Could Talk is a romantic drama film based on the novel of the same name by James Baldwin. Set in 1970’s New York, the story is presented in a non-linear structure and tells the story of young lovers Tish and Fonny. Their lives take a tragic turn when Fonny is wrongfully imprisoned for a rape crime he didn't commit. With the couple expecting a child, Tish and her family race against time to prove Fonny’s innocence and seek justice.

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Poster for the film, If Beale Street Could Talk
Unrestricted M: Contains violence, offensive language and sex scenes

Movie: The House that Jack Built

Date registered: 04 December 2018

Set in 1970s America and taking place over a twelve-year period, Lars Von Trier’s The House That Jack Built focuses on the five killings that helped define engineer and would-be architect Jack, as a serial killer. The film is narrated by Jack who converses with Virgil, the Roman poet and author of The Aeneid, as the two analyse and interpret Jack’s killings as performance art in terms of psychology and sophistry.

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Poster for the film, the House that Jack Built
R18: Graphic violence, sadistic cruelty and sexual violence

Movie: They Shall Not Grow Old

Date registered: 31 October 2018

They Shall Not Grow Old is a World War 1 documentary entirely narrated from archival interviews with veterans of the Great War. Accompanying their layered voices is digitally processed footage and photographs from the early 1900s. The film brings the Western Front to life by adding sound to the old film stock, which has itself been renewed through digital colouring, and temporal effects to smooth out the irregular motion of films of that era. Beginning with veterans’ impressions of the outbreak of war, the film follows them through recruitment and training, and is alongside them in the trenches and battlefields of Western Europe, until they return home, forever changed.

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Poster for They Shall Not Grow Old
RP16: Graphic content may disturb

Movie: A Star is Born

Date registered: 19 October 2018

A Star is Born is the fourth iteration of a well-known rags-to-riches tale, originally written and filmed in the 1930’s. The 2018 update tells the story of aspiring singer-songwriter ‘Ally’ and her star crossed romance with grizzled country-rock star, Jackson Maine. Recognising a raw musical talent when he sees one, he plucks her out of obscurity and puts her on the world stage, where she soars. They fall in love and marry, only for Jackson to succumb to his serious drug and alcohol addiction. Romantic tragedy beautifully -  but predictably, for those who have seen any of the film’s previous iterations - ensues. Strong performances from the lead actors, an epic soundtrack, and a big, beating heart of a story, make for a brilliant feature.

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Poster for A Star is Born
Unrestricted M: Suicide, sex scenes, offensive language and drug use

Movie: BlacKkKlansman

Date registered: 27 July 2018

BlacKkKlansman is a biographical crime drama from the United States, based on the autobiography Black Klansman. It follows Ron Stallworth, the first African-American detective to serve in the Colorado Springs Police Department. Tired of working in records, he talks his boss into letting him go undercover. He is assigned to infiltrate a meeting of the Colorado College Black Students Union, at which former Black Panther leader Stokely Carmichael, now going by the name Kwame Ture, is speaking. After the success of this mission, Stallworth is transferred to Intelligence, where he and his Jewish colleague Flip go undercover to infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan. Stallworth interacts with KKK leaders by phone, sending Flip to engage with them in person. Along the way, Stallworth falls for the Student Union president, Patrice.

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Poster for the film BlacKkKlansman
RP13: Violence, offensive language, sexual references and content that may disturb

Movie: The Cleaners

Date registered: 13 June 2018

The Cleaners is a feature length documentary that examines issues relating to censorship and free speech on social media platforms such as Twitter, YouTube and Facebook. The ‘Cleaners’ are content moderators - all based in the Philippines - responsible for content moderating some of the largest social media platforms in the world. Through a series of interviews, the documentary examines their lives, the cultural values that shape their decision making, and the psychological impact of sifting through thousands of images and videos of difficult material, every day. It also examines the nature of social media itself. By interviewing journalists, free speech advocates, and former employees of social media organisations the documentary offers a macro perspective on how the tech companies that own the platforms are so eager to grow and expand that they fail to recognise the ways their products are fomenting hate and violence with devastating results across the globe.

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The Cleaners
R16: Sexual Abuse, Sexual Violence, Suicide & Graphic Physical Harm

Movie: Holiday

Date registered: 18 May 2018

Premiering in NZ as part of NZIFF, Holiday is the directorial debut of Danish director, Isabelle Hoklof, and is of particular note for the fact that it features an all-female production team. Lush in its cinematography, framing and naturalistic acting, Holiday tells the slow burning but explosive tale of Sascha and her older lover, Michael. When she joins him on holiday in Turkey, it quickly becomes apparent that the charmed life she had expected, has a dark and seedy underbelly. The film is an intense portrayal of relational power dynamics and the choices we make.

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Poster for Holiday
R18: Explicit Rape, Domestic Abuse, Violence & Drug Use

Movie: The Spy Who Dumped Me

Date registered: 12 July 2018

The Spy Who Dumped Me is a comedy-action film from the United States. It follows best friends Audrey and Morgan. Audrey is upset when her boyfriend Drew breaks up with her over text message. She then learns that Drew is a spy, and he tasks her with meeting up with his contact in Austria with a Fantasy Football trophy, which contains an important flash drive. Things go awry immediately as Audrey and Morgan unwittingly become entangled in an international terrorist conspiracy. Working with MI6 agent Sebastian, they must keep the flash drive safe while trying not to be killed by shadowy underworld agents.

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The Spy Who Dumped Me
R16: Strong violence, offensive language, and nudity

Movie: Superfly

Date registered: 04 July 2018

Superfly is a remake of a 1972 blaxpoitation film of the same name. It follows cocaine kingpin Youngblood Priest, who decides to get out of the game after surviving an attack from rival gang, Snow Patrol. Hoping for one last score to tide him over, Priest and his partner, Eddie, travel to Mexico to arrange a deal with a supplier. Priest soon finds himself caught in a war against Snow Patrol while trying to outwit two corrupt police officers.

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Poster for the film Superfly
R16: Violence, offensive language, drug use and sexual material

Movie: The Leisure Seeker

Date registered: 27 April 2018

The Leisure Seeker is a film based on the novel of the same name by Michael Zadoorian. An elderly Ella and John Spencer take one final ill-advised journey in their beloved RV – The Leisure Seeker. John is a stuffy retired English teacher who has moderately severe dementia and needs the constant supervision of Ella, his wife of over 40 years. Ella, who is simple and sweet, has decided to end her cancer treatment knowing that John will be unable to care for himself when she is gone. Together, they escape their adult children who fret about them back at home whilst they relive fond old memories and explore long-held frustrations on their road trip to the home of Ernest Hemingway in the Florida Keys.

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Theatrical poster for The Leisure Seeker
M: Contains suicide and euthanasia themes, sex scenes and offensive language

TV series: 13 Reasons Why: Season 2

Date registered: 18 May 2018

The laws around classification of online (video on demand) content in New Zealand are currently unclear, and so Netflix isn’t required to get its content classified before release. However the Classification Office can require that specific content is classified if there are concerns that it might be harmful to the public. Given the level of public concern about the first series we were ready for 13 Reasons Why: Season 2, and Netflix gave us access to the show on request prior to its release.

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A young woman holds up two pictures in a courtroom
RP18: Rape, suicide themes, drug use and bullying

Movie: Deadpool 2

Date registered: 11 May 2018

Coming off the back of the original, Deadpool 2 follows a masked Wade Wilson in his embodiment of the antihero, Deadpool. The film covers Wade’s quest to avenge his lover’s death, and on the way he meets Russell, a kid from New Zealand with superhero fire powers. Wade has a soft spot for Russell, and after Wade breaks out of jail, he forms the squad ‘X-Force’, made up of eccentric everyday quasi-heroes. The time-travelling cybernetic solider Cable arrives on a mission to murder Russell, with X-Force trying to stop him. The film works off the conventions used in the original Deadpool, breaking the fourth wall with satirical commentary. Deadpool’s witty banter and crude comments permeate the dialogue, making for a humorous and different kind of Marvel feature.

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Deadpool 2 poster
R16: contains graphic violence, sexual references and offensive language

Movie: Truth or Dare

Date registered: 27 April 2018

What happens when you stop playing the game, and it begins to play you?

After a harmless game of Truth or Dare in Mexico among friends, things take a deadly turn for the worst when the players are punished for not telling the truth or refusing to complete a dare. Slowly, each player is manipulated into revealing truths they never would have revealed, or completing dares they would never have imagined doing.

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Poster for Truth or Dare
R13: Violence, horror, sex scenes, offensive language and content that may disturb

Movie: Blockers

Date registered: 16 March 2018

Blockers is Kay Cannon’s first attempt at directing. The result is a hilarious comedy, featuring WWE star John Cena and Leslie Mann.

The film is a US comedy that follows three parents trying to ‘cock block’ their daughters, who are trying to have sex for the first time on Prom night. An overprotective mum, a sensitive hulk-like father and an estranged dad discover their daughter’s sex pact and endeavour to stop their girls from losing their virginity. The lengths the parents go to are somewhat extreme, and their adventures culminate in an eventful night for all.

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Poster for Blockers
R16: Contains nudity, drug use, offensive language and sexual themes

Movie: Fifty Shades Freed

Date registered: 10 January 2018

Fifty Shades Freed is the third entry into the Fifty Shades film trilogy. It is an American erotic romance film based on the best-selling novel by EL James, following Anastasia (Ana) Steele immediately after she marries Christian Grey. Ana finds that she has to adjust to married life, while navigating her husband’s controlling nature.

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Fifty Shades Freed
R16: Violence, offensive language, and sex scenes

Game: Metal Gear Survive

Date registered: 12 January 2018

Metal Gear Survive is a survival action-adventure spin-off of the widely celebrated Metal Gear series. It is set in an open-word environment and played from a third-person perspective.

The game follows the story of a previously-unnamed soldier from Metal Gear V, who is dragged through a wormhole into an alternate reality full of hostile, crystalline zombie-like entities called “wanderers”. The player character must find their way out of the world, while rescuing some Special Forces agents who have gone missing in it while trying to harvest energy.

The game contains depictions of horror, cruelty, and violence.

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Metal Gear Survive
R13: Violence, horror scenes and offensive language

Movie: Blade Runner 2049

Date registered: 06 October 2017

Blade Runner 2049 is a well-made, thoughtful and gritty sci-fi thriller, the sequel to the classic 1982 film about an ex-cop hired to track down and eliminate a group of illegal androids. Set in 2049, LAPD Officer K – a ‘blade runner’ tasked with killing human-like robots known as ‘replicants’ – unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what's left of society into chaos. K's discovery leads him on a quest to find blade runner Rick Deckard, who has been missing for 30 years.

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Blade Runner 2049
R13: Violence, offensive language & sexual themes.

Movie: Mother!

Date registered: 22 September 2017

Mother! is the latest film by writer/director Darren Aronofsky. A young woman, who is never named but is listed in the credits as ‘Mother’, busies herself in a vast, unfamiliar house, trying to renovate it after a serious fire. Her older husband (also unnamed) is a brilliant poet, acclaimed all over the world for his insight into humanity and his mastery of language. They love each other deeply, but their relationship is fraught with tension. He has writer’s block and she is obsessed with restoration of the old house which has a mystical life of its own. When uninvited guests move in they exacerbate tensions in the relationship. After Mother becomes pregnant the dramatic intensity builds to a shattering and increasingly fantastical conclusion.

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R18: Violence, horror, cruelty, offensive language and content that may disturb

Movie: Kingsman: The Golden Circle

Date registered: 01 September 2017

Kingsman: The Golden Circle is the sequel to the 2014 film Kingsman: The Secret Service. The film spoofs the class-orientated themes of the classic British spy films such as the James Bond series. In The Golden Circle, Gary ‘Eggsy’ Unwin returns as the film’s protagonist in his role as a secret agent for the British spy organisation Kingsman. When the Kingsman headquarters is destroyed and prominent agents are killed in multiple terrorist attacks, Eggsy and his colleague Merlin invoke doomsday protocol that sees them travel to the United States.

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Kingsman: The Golden Circle
R16: Contains violence, offensive language, drug use and sex scenes

Movie: It

Date registered: 04 August 2017

It is an American horror film based on Stephen King’s 1986 novel of the same name. In a small town in Maine in the summer of 1989, a group of outcast teenagers discover that an evil supernatural clown named Pennywise is responsible for kidnapping and murdering numerous children in the town. The friends who wryly dub themselves the ‘Losers’ Club’ are led by Bill, a boy in his early teens whose little brother was taken by the clown. Bill, Beverly, Stan, Eddie, Ben, Richie and Mike resolve to solve the case of the missing children, all the while trying to avoid the high school bullies, who cruise around town terrorising their victims.

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Poster of It
R16: Violence, offensive language and horror

Movie: The Love Witch

Date registered: 20 July 2017

The Love Witch follows the story of Elaine, a woman who has been failed by the men she loves. When her ex-husband dies under mysterious circumstances she becomes an initiated witch, using love spells to try and find a man who loves her the way she is capable of loving him. However, her love spells have a tendency to misfire. Finally she meets Detective Meadows, who tracks her down while investigating an ex-lover’s death. Is he the man the tarot cards have been predicting?

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Poster for The Love Witch
R13: Nudity and sex scenes

Movie: Black Butler: Book of the Atlantic

Date registered: 27 June 2017

Black Butler: Book of the Atlantic is one of a large number of television series and films produced under the Black Butler stable of content. The film is a fantastical action-drama about young Earl Ciel Phantomhive and his demon butler Sebastian as they battle a supernatural menace aboard a doomed passenger ship. Ciel and Sebastian’s mysterious pasts are portrayed in flashback, while aboard the luxury liner a secret society demonstrate an experimental technology designed to resurrect the dead. However, something goes wrong with the experiments and hordes of re-animated corpses become flesh-eating zombies.

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Black Butler: Book of the Atlantic
RP13: Bloody violence

Game: Injustice 2

Date registered: 16 April 2017

Injustice 2 is a multiplatform fighting game by the American developer NetherRealm Studios. It faithfully recreates the heroes and villains of DC comic books, featuring frenetic one-on-one fights between characters such as Batman, Green Lantern, Harley Quinn, and Black Canary. The cinematic story mode allows players to control a number of characters as they try and stop an alien supervillain from taking over the Earth, all the while navigating the internal ideological schism between Superman and Batman.

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Harley Quinn in Injustice 2
R13: Contains violence

Movie: Rangoon

Date registered: 22 February 2017

Rangoon is a lavish historical Bollywood drama set in 1943 during the closing years of World War II.It centres on Julia, a young actress and performer, and soldier Nawab Malik, who become involved in the Indian struggle for independence.

The film was given an uncommon RP13 classification. While its scenes of war violence and cruelty, in particular the scene of a mother and child being threatened at gun point, are likely to be shocking and frightening to young children, these depictions reflect a certain reality. Parents and guardians will be able to explain this relevance to their children and appropriately contextualise this material for them.

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Rangoon movie poster
RP13: Violence, drug use, and content that may disturb

Movie: Split

Date registered: 13 January 2017

Split is a 2016 American psychological horror film that follows Kevin, who suffers from an incredibly elaborate case of dissociative identity disorder. He has 23 different personalities and kidnaps three teenage girls, keeping them in an underground bunker in an undetermined location.

Split was classified M in Australia and so was cross-rated M in New Zealand also. However, Split received a PG-13 rating in the United States (with advisory notes for disturbing thematic content and behaviour, violence and some language) and a restricted 15 classification in the UK. There were concerns that the level of violence may have been stronger than the M cross-rating suggests.

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Split movie poster
R13: Violence, horror and content that may disturb

Movie: Hacksaw Ridge

Date registered: 04 November 2016

Hacksaw Ridge dramatises the real-life experiences of World War II American soldier, Desmond Doss, the first conscientious objector to receive the Congressional Medal of Honour. Doss went to war but refused to fire a bullet, choosing to enter the battlefield without a weapon.

The graphic nature of violence warrants restriction, and a higher restriction may have been necessary. However the Classification Office noted that the pacifist stance of the main character has a strong emotional impact.

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Hacksaw Ridge movie poster
R15: Depicts graphic and realistic war scenes

Movie: Suicide Squad

Date registered: 12 September 2016

Suicide Squad is a U.S. superhero action film based on the characters and stories of the DC Comics. Intelligence operative Amanda Waller assembles Task Force X, a dispensable team of imprisoned supervillains, to carry out a dangerous anti-terrorist mission in exchange for clemency.

Suicide Squad was classified following a complaint by a member of the public. After examination by the Classification Office, the original rating - M 'violence and offensive language' - was changed to R13 'violence, horror and cruelty'.

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alt="Suicide Squad movie poster"
R13: violence, horror and cruelty.

Movie: Kabali

Date registered: 18 August 2016

Kabali is a much-anticipated Indian Tamil/English-language crime/action film with English subtitles. Upon release, the film had the largest opening weekend for any Indian film worldwide and became the second highest grossing Indian film ever.

Kabali, a Kuala Lumpur-based gangster and revolutionary, is released after 25 years in prison having been falsely accused of instigating a massacre. He resumes charge of his old gang who work to help Tamils in Malaysia; and becomes determined to avenge the death of his pregnant wife.

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Kabali poster
R16: Contains violence and drug use

Documentary: Embrace

Date registered: 28 April 2016

Embrace is a film about women's body image and was first scheduled to screen at the NZ Film Festival during July and August 2016. A prior decision by the Australian Classification Board to classify the film as MA15+ caused some controversy and raised the ire of the film's director Taryn Brumfitt, a well-known body image advocate. She called the Australian classification "an outrage" and said that it reinforced the destructive idea that women's bodies are shameful.

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Embrace poster
Unrestricted M: Suitable for mature audiences 16 years and over. Contains offensive language and nudity.

Movie: Perfect Sisters

Date registered: 28 April 2016

The Chief Censor called in this DVD for classification following a complaint from a member of the public. Based on a true story, Perfect Sisters is about teenage sisters, Sandra and Beth, who live with their younger brother and mother Linda, an alcoholic. Linda enters a relationship with an abusive man named Steve, and the sisters’ lives soon become unbearable. After unsuccessfully seeking help from various adults, Sandra and Beth, so disordered from their dysfunctional home life, decide to murder Linda to rid their lives of alcoholism and abuse.

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Perfect Sisters movie poster
R16: violence, sexual violence, drug use and offensive language.

Wicked Campers

Date registered: 09 June 2016

Out of a total of nine Wicked Campers vans examined by the Classification Office, five have been classified as 'Objectionable' (banned) - this means it is illegal for anyone to supply, own, or possess the vans in New Zealand. The other four have been classified as 'Unrestricted'.

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Wicked Camper, showing artwork
Objectionable (five vehicles) / Unrestricted (four vehicles)

Movie: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

Date registered: 13 November 2015

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 is a science fiction war film, and is the second of two cinematic parts based on the novel Mockingjay, the final book in The Hunger Games trilogy. The Hunger Games books and films are set in Panem, an authoritarian society which has risen out of the ravaged ruins of North America.

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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 poster
M: violence and horror scenes. Content may disturb.

Movie: The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies - Extended Edition

Date registered: 30 October 2015

The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies is an extended version of the final instalment in Peter Jackson's three-part film adaptation of the novel The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien, and the prequel to The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. It concludes the epic adventures of hobbit Bilbo Baggins, and his time with King Thorin Oakenshield and the dwarves of Erebor.

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The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies poster
M: violence

Book: To Train Up A Child

Date registered: 31 August 2015

In March 2015 members of the public raised concerns regarding the availability of the book To Train Up A Child in an Auckland Library. Under the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993 books are not required to be classified before they are supplied to the public. However, members of the public can seek the leave of the Chief Censor to have a book examined and classified. This is what happened in the case of To Train Up a Child.

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To Train Up A Child book cover

Movie: Mad Max: Fury Road

Date registered: 30 April 2015

Mad Max: Fury Road is an Australian/US feature film 120 minutes long. The film is a reboot of the 1970s Australian classic Mad Max by George Miller, who has once more taken on the directing role. Set in a barren post-apocalyptic future where water is scarce and armies of heavily modified vehicles control the wasteland, the story concerns Mad Max, a mentally disturbed survivor who is captured by the scavengers of an evil overlord, Immortan Joe.

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Mad Max: Fury Road poster
R16: contains violence and content that may disturb

Movie: Ex Machina

Date registered: 10 March 2015

Ex Machina is a US science fiction feature film around 107 minutes long, written and directed by Alex Garland. It opens on Caleb, a young programmer for a global internet corporation, winning a week's stay at the reclusive luxury home of the corporation's owner and programming prodigy, Nathan. Nathan is egotistical and narcissistic but establishes a rapport with Caleb.

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Ex Machina poster
R13: nudity, offensive language, sexual material and content that may disturb

Movie: Birdman

Date registered: 18 December 2014

In this feature film Riggan Thomson is a fading movie star who was famed for playing the superhero Birdman. Riggan launches a Broadway production of the play What We Talk About When We Talk About Love in a bid to regain his former glory, and to be taken seriously as an actor.

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Birdman poster
R16: violence, sexual references, offensive language and drug use

Movie: Wild

Date registered: 20 January 2015

Wild is a film based on Cheryl Strayed's best-selling memoir, Wild: A Journey from Lost to Found. In 1995, needing to recover from her mother's death and a life which had disintegrated, she walked 1,100 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail. Her solo journey takes around 95 days, from the Mojave Desert to the Oregon-Washington border.

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Wild poster
R16: sex scenes, nudity, drug use and offensive language

Movie: American Sniper

Date registered: 19 December 2014

The film is a war drama about an American sniper deployed to Iraq four times in the years following 9/11, who struggles to adjust to civilian life. The film is based on the real-life experiences of marine Chris Kyle, who was known for his high kill-rate as a sniper. In between harrowing tours of duty, Chris gets married and fathers two children. His relationship with his wife Taya is at times strained as Chris suffers fairly acute post-traumatic stress disorder.

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American Sniper poster
R16: violence, offensive language and content that may disturb

Game: Battlefield Hardline

Date registered: 16 December 2014

The game Battlefield Hardline is a police themed spin off from the Battlefield series of first person military shooters. Developed by American studio Visceral Games it contains the expansive multiplayer options the series is known for as well as a single player story. Over the course of ten episodes and a prologue, the player controls Detective Nicholas Mendoza as an investigation into drug trafficking in Miami uncovers police corruption and organised crime.

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Battlefield Hardline poster
R16: contains violence, offensive language and drug use

Book: Down Under the Plum Trees

Date registered: 09 December 2014

The book Down Under The Plum Trees was previously classified by the Indecent Publications Tribunal (IPT) as "Indecent in the hands of persons under the age of 18 years, unless such persons are being instructed by parents or professional advisers." The decision was dated 21 March 1977. The classification has remained in force since that date.

In March 2014 Auckland Libraries sought leave to submit the book for reconsideration of its classifications under s42(1) of the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993.

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Down Under The Plum Trees book cover
R16: sexual content and offensive language

Movie: Juan of the Dead

Date registered: 27 November 2014

Juan Of The Dead is a comedy horror film set in Havana, Cuba. When the city is overrun by a zombie outbreak, Juan and his friends (Lazaro, California, Primo, and China) spot a business opportunity in the dispatching of zombie loved ones.

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Juan Of The Dead poster
R13: violence, offensive language and sexual references

Game: Dying Light

Date registered: 05 November 2014

Dying Light is a Polish console game formatted for play on the Playstation4 console. The game is a first-person survival horror set during a zombie apocalypse. The player character is a man named Crane, who parachutes into a dilapidated city. While performing missions, such as rescuing other survivors around the city, setting traps to attack a rival gang, and accessing supplies of food and vaccines, Crane increases his abilities and begins to acquire a variety of lethal weapons.

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Dying Light poster
R18: contains graphic violence and offensive language

Game: Guncraft

Date registered: 06 October 2014

Guncraft is a multiplayer first person shooter game set in a cartoonish blocky world. Comprised of traditional objective-based gameplay, players engage with their comrades and opponents in destructible environments made of cubes where defences can be constructed and levelled. A variety of military themed weapons such as machine guns, pistols and explosives can be used as well as vehicles such as tanks and helicopters.

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Guncraft poster
PG: violence. Gaming experience may change online.

Movie: Sharknado 2: The Second One

Date registered: 14 October 2014

The film is a low-budget comedy horror/thriller about destructive shark tornadoes hitting the city of New York. Fin Shepard and his ex-wife April Wexler are on their way to New York to publicise their latest book, How To Survive A Sharknado, which is based on their experiences from the first film. Before they can land in New York, their plane comes under attack by sharks being thrown about by a storm. As the sharknado worsens and begins to batter the city, Fin and April battle to save their family members from the airborne shark threat.

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Sharknado 2: The Second One poster
R13: violence and horror scenes

Game: Resident Evil: Revelations 2

Date registered: 26 September 2014

Resident Evil: Revelations 2 is a third-person horror game from Japanese developer Capcom. The game uses cutscenes, environmental clues and in-game dialogue to reveal its complex story of bio-terrorism and human experimentation.

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Resident Evil: Revelations 2 poster
R16: violence, offensive language and horror

Game: Saints Row: Gat Out Of Hell

Date registered: 20 October 2014

Saints Row: Gat Out Of Hell is an open world action game. It is a spin-off from the popular Saints Row series and is set in a fictional Hell. At the beginning of the game, the Saints (a group of young adults) gather in a futuristic crib ship. As they play with a spirit board their president is sucked through a portal to Hell. Johnny and Kenzie descend to Hell and must rescue the president before he is forced to marry Satan's daughter, Jezebel, and kill Satan. The player then works their way through the various realms of Hell.

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Saints Row: Gat Out Of Hell poster
R13: contains violence, offensive language and sexual references

Movie: Housebound

Date registered: 09 June 2014

Housebound is a New Zealand comedy horror film. The film opens with Kylie involved in a botched attempt to rob a bank ATM. She is sentenced to home detention at her parents' house, a fate that could be regarded as worse than prison. There are signs that the house is haunted. Kylie's probation officer Amos is a closet paranormal enthusiast, and starts investigating the phenomenon and things take a turn for the strange with her counsellor Dennis.

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Housebound poster
R13: contains violence, horror and offensive language

Game: The Evil Within

Date registered: 01 August 2014

The Evil Within is a third-person survival-horror game from Japanese game director Shinji Mikami. A single player game set in the present day, it follows Detective Sebastian Castellanos as he is called to a grisly mass killing at Beacon Mental Hospital. Attacked by Ruvik, a murderous inmate with supernatural powers, Castellanos wakes in a nightmare world of giant monsters, distorted humans and madness. Trapped inside the mind of a serial killer, Castellanos must battle his way through disturbing memories and tortured manifestations to save his remaining officers and unveil the source of the evil.

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The Evil Within poster
R18: violence and horror

TV series: Californication: Season 7

Date registered: 15 August 2014

Californication is an American drama/comedy TV series which follows Hank Moody, a New York writer based in Los Angeles. The series focuses on Frank's dissolute lifestyle and many relationships with various women. Hank has a difficult relationship with his young teenage daughter Becca. Other key characters include Becca's mother Karen, Hank's agent Charlie and his wife Marcy. This series introduces Levon, who is Frank's long lost son, and his mother Julia.

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Californication poster
R16: sex scenes, sexual content, drug use and offensive language

Graphic novel: Lost Girls

Date registered: 15 June 2014

Lost Girls is a graphic novel written by Alan Moore and drawn by Melinda Gebbie. The three main characters in Lost Girls are the heroines of classic works of fiction from the 19th and early 20th century: Alice, from Alice's Adventures In Wonderland (1865) and Through The Looking Glass (1871), Dorothy Gale from The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz (1900) and Wendy Darling from J. M. Barrie's (1904) play and (1911) novel Peter Pan.

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Lost Girls book cover
R18: contains explicit sexual material

Book: American Psycho

Date registered: 07 July 2014

The book American Psycho is set in the late 1980s and is written in predominantly first person narrative, split into 60 chapters with titles such as Date With Evelyn, Concert, and Taking An Uzi To The Gym.

The book follows the exploits of the central character Patrick Bateman, a 26-year-old Wall Street investment banker. The book documents Patrick firstly as a vain and superficial yuppie obsessed with materialism and pop culture, and secondly, as a sadistic and nihilistic serial killer.

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American Psycho book cover
R18: sadistic violence, drug use, offensive language and sex scenes

Movie: Under The Skin

Date registered: 06 June 2014

Under The Skin is a British feature film starring Scarlett Johansson, and was submitted for classification as part of the 2014 New Zealand International Film Festival. The film is slow-paced, shot in realist-documentary style. Set in Scotland, it follows a woman (revealed to be an alien) who, with the assistance of a motorcyclist (also alien), lures men to a den where the men's bodies are harvested. The majority of the film follows her as she prowls the streets looking for victims.

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Under The Skin poster
R13: horror, violence and nudity

Movie: Fantail

Date registered: 15 June 2013

Fantail is a New Zealand feature film about a young woman, Tania, as she saves to visit her father in Australia, and her adolescent brother, Pī, who descends into a lifestyle of crime when he moves to Papamoa to pick kiwifruit. Tania works the graveyard shift at a petrol station, saving money to take Pī to Surfers Paradise to find their father. The station's regional manager, Dean, trains Tania in store security, and the two become attracted to each other.

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Fantail poster
R15: contains violence, offensive language and drug use

Movie: A Million Ways To Die In The West

Date registered: 22 May 2014

The film A Million Ways To Die In The West is an American comedy-western about Albert Stark, a sheep farmer living in the frontier town of Old Stump, Arizona in 1882. When his girlfriend Louise abandons him for the local moustache shop owner Foy, Albert comes to realise there is little keeping him in town. However his world is soon turned on its head when Anna arrives. Unbeknownst to Albert, Anna is the wife of renowned gunslinger Clinch, and when they fall in love, Clinch is quite upset. Challenged to a duel, Albert must gather his courage and steady his aim to win.

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A Million Ways To Die In The West poster
R16: violence, sexual references, offensive language and drug use

Movie: Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie

Date registered: 16 June 2014

Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie is the feature-length film adaptation of Brendan O'Carroll's award-winning BBC television series Mrs Brown's Boys. The comedy is set in Dublin and follows market-trader Agnes Brown. Agnes' fruit and vegetable business comes under threat of closure from a retail property developer who hires Russian gangsters to pressure her into closing her stall. At the same time, she receives a letter from the revenue department stating she has a large historical tax bill that needs to be cleared in order to save her business.

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Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie poster
M: offensive language

Movie: Bad Neighbours

Date registered: 23 April 2014

The film Bad Neighbours is a comedy about a young couple, Mac and Kelly, whose quiet suburban life is disrupted when a fraternity moves in next door. Mac and Kelly initially try to befriend the fraternity members, but a rift forms after they call the police on them during a noisy party. From then on the relationship between the neighbours is marred, leading to tit for tat reprisals that spiral out of control.

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Bad Neighbours poster
R16: contains drug use, sex scenes, and offensive language

Dvd: Jim Jefferies: I Swear To God

Date registered: 03 April 2014

Jim Jefferies: I Swear To God is a recording of a stand-up routine performed in New York by Jim Jefferies, an Australian stand-up comedian with a crass and offensive comedic style.

This DVD contains one stand-up routine that was filmed in New York, and a variation of the same act on stage at an unknown location called Jim Jefferies: Contraband Live. Jefferies discusses a wide range of topics, including religion, sex, his family and previous romantic and sexual relationships. He is controversial and likes to shock his audience.

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Jim Jefferies: I Swear To God poster
R18: violence

Game: Risen 3: Titan Lords

Date registered: 08 May 2014

Risen 3: Titan Lords is a third-person action role-playing game developed in Germany. Playing as a captain haunted by a ghost pirate, he and sister Patty search for an ancient treasure. Exploring a crystal cave populated by demonic hounds, they discover a portal to another realm. Caught by a demon, the player's soul is taken to the underworld and Patty is left to bury her brother's corpse. However when a roaming mystic chances upon the fresh grave, the player is awoken from the dead. Faced with a slow transformation into a demon, the player embarks on a quest to find three mages and regain his soul. But with the underworld stirring, not everything is as it seems.

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Risen 3: Titan Lords poster
R13: contains violence, offensive language and sexual references

Movie: 12 Years A Slave

Date registered: 17 January 2014

Set in the mid-19th century, the film 12 Years a Slave tells the story of Solomon Northup, a free black man living in New York State. He is tricked into travelling to Washington with the offer of work. Once there he is abducted, transported to the south, and there sold into slavery.

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12 Years A Slave poster
R16: graphic violence and sexual violence

Game: Titanfall

Date registered: 31 January 2014

Titanfall is a multiplayer first-person shooter game set in the contested frontiers of sci-fi planets. The player fights alongside five others in an attempt to defeat six opposing players. A number of weaker, computer-controlled robots assist both sides, serving as additional cannon fodder. The main focus of the game lies in the classic competitive modes traditional to online games, such as team-based deathmatch, capturing flags or controlling areas of the map.

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Titanfall poster
R16: violence

Movie: Dallas Buyers Club

Date registered: 09 December 2013

The film Dallas Buyers Club follows the real life story of Ron Woodroof, a homophobic electrician and cowboy from Texas who is diagnosed with HIV in the 1980s. Facing persecution and death, he seeks out alternative treatments after a near-fatal stint on the FDA-approved drug AZT. He develops unlikely friendships with Dr Eve Saks and fellow sufferer and trans woman, Rayon, in the process.

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Dallas Buyers Club poster
R16: sex scenes, violence, drug use and offensive language

Movie: Her

Date registered: 15 January 2014

The film Her is set in a not too distant future metropolitan society, in which a new technology allows people to intimately interact with their personal computing operating systems thanks to the advancements of artificial intelligence. A soon-to-be-divorced writer, Theodore, purchases an operating system (which names itself Samantha) and quickly falls in love with her. Their relationship is marred by the question of human physical experience and Samantha's accelerated evolution as a free-thinking technology.

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Her poster
R16: sexual content and offensive language

Game: Dark Souls II

Date registered: 14 January 2014

Dark Souls II is an action adventure role-playing video game set in a dark fantasy world. Afflicted with a terrible undead curse, the player takes a portal to the in-between world of Drangleic in the hope of finding a cure. Played from a third-person perspective, the player explores decrepit ruins and windswept landscapes whilst avoiding traps and defeating deadly enemies.

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Dark Souls II poster
R13: violence and horror scenes

Game: Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes

Date registered: 15 December 2013

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes is the latest in a long series of games that debuted in 1987. The game is set in Cuba in 1975. The player controls a soldier named Big Boss whose mission is to rescue comrades from a US military detention facility using a combination of stealth and military combat. In contrast to earlier games in the series that were linear, this game engages the player in an open world environment allowing for a lot more flexibility when completing missions.

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Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes poster
R16: violence and offensive language

Game: Outlast

Date registered: 17 January 2014

Outlast is a survival horror video game for the PlayStation 4 and computers. It uses a continuous first person perspective and body awareness such as terrified breathing or a hand touching a wall when peeking to immerse the player in its world. The game follows journalist Miles Upshur as he follows a tip on illegal experiments occurring at Mount Massive Asylum. The player explores these dark, bloodied environments with the help of a night-vision enabled video camera.

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Outlast poster
R18: contains violence and content that may disturb

Book: Into the River

Date registered: 18 January 2014

This book was classified twice by the Classification Office and twice by the Board of Review.

  • 11/09/2013: Classified Unrestricted M by the Classification Office
  • 23/12/2013: Classified R14 by the Board of Review
  • 14/08/2015: Classified Unrestricted by the Classification Office
  • 14/10/2015: Classified Unrestricted by the Board of Review

Page: Into the River

Into The River book cover

Movie: The Wolf of Wall Street

Date registered: 23 December 2013

The film The Wolf of Wall Street is a flamboyant drama based on the true life events of Jordan Belfort, a Long Island penny stockbroker who was sent to prison for defrauding investors in a massive 1990s securities scheme that involved widespread corruption on Wall Street and in the corporate banking world. The film focuses on Belfort's rise from small beginnings to become wealthy co-founder and chairman of brokerage house Stratton Oakmont. As he leads an increasingly reckless and dishonest life, Belfort quickly transforms from a law-abiding citizen to an uncaring, drug-addicted, white-collar criminal.

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The Wolf of Wall Street poster
R18: drug use, sex scenes and offensive language

Movie: August: Osage County

Date registered: 06 January 2014

The film August: Osage County follows the Weston family, whose paths have diverged until a family crisis brings them back to the Oklahoma house they grew up in, and to the dysfunctional woman who raised them.

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August: Osage County poster
M: drug use, offensive language, content that may disturb

Movie: Carrie

Date registered: 29 October 2013

Carrie is an American film and the third adaptation of the Stephen King novel of the same name. Closely following the original narrative, it concerns a socially-isolated high school student Carrie White. Her fanatically religious mother Margaret torments her at home and a group of girls, led by Chris, viciously bully her at school. Carrie discovers she has telekinetic abilities which she hones after research and practice.

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Carrie poster
R16: contains violence, horror, offensive language and sexual themes

Movie: Filth

Date registered: 08 October 2013

The film Filth is a Scottish comedy drama about a misanthropic, drug and alcohol-addicted, misogynist, racist police officer - Bruce Robertson - who wants to secure a promotion at work and win back his wife and daughter. Bruce is selected to lead an investigation into the hate killing of a Japanese exchange student. Even though he apparently knows who the killers are Bruce makes little progress on the investigation, and instead sets about sabotaging and undermining his colleagues' chances of success for promotion.

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Filth poster
R18: violence, offensive language, drug use and sex scenes

Game: South Park: The Stick of Truth

Date registered: 26 September 2013

South Park: The Stick of Truth is a role-playing console game based on the popular American television series South Park. This particular game was examined on an Xbox 360 debug console unit, and is also available in PC and PlayStation 3 formats. Set in the South Park universe, the game uses a first-person avatar to complete quests within the context of a 'LARPing' (live action role-play) game played by the central characters in the television series.

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Stick of Truth poster
R16: violence, offensive language, sexual material and other content that may offend

Game: Grand Theft Auto V

Date registered: 13 August 2013

Grand Theft Auto V is the fifth instalment in a very popular, sometimes notorious, free-roaming action adventure game. The current version is set in modern-day Los Santos, a game world parody of Los Angeles and surrounding regions. There are three playable protagonists: Michael, a retired bank robber; Trevor, a destructive and possibly psychopathic drug addict; and Franklin, a repo man. The lives of the three men intersect as they complete missions to earn money.

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Grand Theft Auto V poster
R18: violence, sexual material, drug use and offensive language

Game: Orc Attack: Flatulent Rebellion

Date registered: 27 June 2013

Orc Attack: Flatulent Rebellion is a hack'n'slash adventure game examined on the PlayStation 3 console. The game is played in third-person perspective in single player or co-operative modes. The player selects one of four orcs to battle hordes of human warriors and fantasy creatures. The puerile humour of the game centres on the player's orc who is able to fart and belch in order to stun opponents, enabling them to be killed more easily.

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Orc Attack: Flatulent Rebellion poster
M: contains violence

Movie: The Heat

Date registered: 14 June 2013

The Heat is a US action comedy film about two female public officials forced to work together. Ashburn, a talented but arrogant and uptight FBI agent, is assigned a case that has her paired with a foul-mouthed, derisive Boston police officer, Mullins. Together they investigate a large local drug distribution ring in order to bring down the drug lord responsible.

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The Heat poster
R13: violence, offensive language and sexual references

Game: Saints Row IV

Date registered: 25 June 2013

Saints Row IV is the fourth in a series of free-roaming sandbox games initially modelled on the popular Grand Theft Auto series, but now striking out in a more fantastical and less realistic direction. The player controls the leader of the Third Street Saints, who has now become the President of the United States. The game returns to the same fictional city of Steelport from Saints Row: The Third and takes place a few years after The Third, focusing on the Saints fighting a larger threat than the typical street gangs: aliens.

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Saints Row IV poster
R18: contains violence, sexual themes and offensive language

Movie: The Hangover Part III

Date registered: 17 May 2013

The film The Hangover Part III is the third in a commercially-successful franchise about a group of friends who get pulled into ridiculous and often dangerous situations. Alan, Phil, Stu and Doug are travelling to Las Vegas to seek help for Alan's “condition” (unspecified, but seemingly a blend of Tourette and Asperger syndromes). On the way they are attacked by a crime boss named Marshall who kidnaps Doug and forces the others to track down an Asian criminal from the previous two films, Chow, who stole half of his gold.

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The Hangover Part III poster
R16: violence, offensive language, sexual material and other content that may offend