I have to admit that on the surface it may sound like an alternative, but under deeper introspection it makes no damn sense at all. RCA is going to be selling a DVD player that will have the technology to skip over violent scenes, sexual content, and even offensive language. It used to be that you had to go to Blockbuster Video to watch movies that were sanitized for your protection, but now we will have the ability to bypass the middle man.
Of course the obvious has to be stated here. Those who may become offended by the list of grievances filtered out by this machine are likely to harbor no interest in a film with said content in the plot. But just supposing that is the case the end result will be a 90 minute feature reduced to little more than an extended trailer. Take as an example, Diane Lane in "Unfaithful" (purely an arbitrary pick). You will be looking at roughly a 60 min. soap opera without the back story. Tarentino's "(Censored) Bill" will be about ten minutes of homage montages. "(Censored) In the City" episodes? Five minutes of Manolo Blahnik talk.
For years Blockbuster Video has come under fire for editing the sexual content in the movies they offer up to the general public and I am here to tell you it is plain untrue. I have even spoken with a man who works as an editor at the corporate headquarters and he assured me that in 17 years of working for them nobody at Blockbuster has altered a motion picture.
Sure, they refuse to rent or sell films with an NC-17 rating, and they have insisted on studios to cut some questionable material or they will not carry a particular title, but they have never altered the movies. This is particularly hard on independant films--which have a tendency to take on NC-17 or "unrated" status.
A flow chart may help explain.
Blockbuster is owned by---->Viacom.
A subsidiary of Viacom is----> Paramount Pictures.
Paramount is a member of----> The Motion Picture Association of America.
The MPAA is the governing body which oversees---->the movie ratings board.
More than a few times it has been stated that the MPAA is more lenient with the studio movies than they are with independants, because they know that exhibitors and rental companies like Blockbuster are reticent to become involved with "adult" oriented material. Ergo they look out for themselves and the indies get emblazoned with the scarlet A.