What's happened to all the great movie nudity lately? Billy Crudup started the year off with a bang, so to speak, with his big blue penis in Watchmen, and Marcus Nispel's Friday the 13th reboot featured sweaty sex and generous amounts of naked female flesh, but the summer and fall seasons have been curiosly bereft of talked-about sex scenes or body parts. Jessica Biel's bravely-bared breasts and backside in Powder Blue went direct to video, Hayden Panetierre nonchalantly limited her exposure to 'side boobage' in I Love You, Beth Cooper, and Megan Fox decided to keep her nipples to herself in the proudly feminist relationship drama ('cause it sure wasn't horror) Jennifer's Body.
In my youth, movies educated me about the wonderful diversity of naked bodies. Today, television and the Internet have stolen much of the thunder once claimed exclusively by the theatrical experience. (Case in point: Susan Sarandon's daughter, Eva Amurri, just made a big splash by going topless in Californication.) No wonder Terminator: Salvation director McG teased the audience at WonderCon earlier this year, bringing actress Moon Bloodgood up on stage and asking: "Who wants to see Moon's boobs in the picture?" She later said: "I'm a woman, I have boobs, it's a beautiful shot." As anyone who saw the movie in a theater knows, though, her toplessness was cut, reportedly as part of Warner Bros.' effort to secure a PG-13 rating.
The unrated director's cut is due out on DVD and Blu-ray on December 1, and the deleted scene has, apparently, hit the Internet (watch it after the jump). The verdict?
Gentlemen, start your search engines. Based on a viewing of unofficial footage posted below (beware of brief topless nudity), Bloodgood was right: it's a beautiful shot. It's a fleeting glimpse as she takes off her shirt outdoors on a rainy night. If that's the complete version of the scene, it's hard to believe the brief exposure, in a non-sexual context, would be sufficient grounds to justify an "R" rating -- or to set many tongues wagging. We'll have to wait until people who aren't anonymous Internet horndogs confirm what is, or is not, on the home video version.
But, still, we live in strange times, in which the MPAA assigns ratings with a mysterious and capricious hand, and it's much easier to see boobs on a tube than in a theater. Lately I've been wondering if movie nudity has become a casualty of these changing times. Fleeting glimpses in forgotten films from forty years ago can be resurrected, immortalized, and freeze-framed ad infinitum. Actors and actresses have to think even longer and harder about nude scenes, which may be part of the reason why they've been going out of style for years.
Or is this a temporary phase, soon to be forgotten when the next memorable nude scene (male and/or female) pops up on everyone's radar?