A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library. ~Shelby Foote

Friday, June 01, 2007

Warning: May Include Themes

I was looking at some videos here at the library today, trying to find some material for weekend viewing if it rains a lot. Which it appears likely to do given the huge green, yellow and red blobs currently moving across Iowa and northern Illinois. Quite a few of the available titles were intriguing, but not half as interesting as the Rating label explanations. G, PG, PG-13, R, and NC-17 are straight-forward enough, but the "explanations" for the given ratings are just bizarre.

I settled on Batman Begins, which I've heard very good things about, which is rated PG-13. The given reasons? "Intense Action Violence, Disturbing Images and Some Thematic Elements." Why all of the words is capitalized is beyond me, but let us set that aside as a minor irritant. "Intense Action Violence." As opposed to... "Placid Action Violence"? And what exactly is "Action Violence"? Can you be violent without action? I guess there can be action without violence, though the former seems most often to be connected to the latter, but I really don't think there can be any other type of violence than action violence.

Moving on. "Disturbing Images". More understandable, and less redundant, than "Intense Action Violence" but really what does it tell us? Disturbing how? To whom? Would any of these count? Not really all that helpful, but at least you got the gist of what they were attempting to warn you about.

Not so much with "Some Thematic Elements". Huh? Don't all movies have thematic elements? If there were no thematic elements, all you would have is a bunch of random scenes strung together for 90 minutes. You know, like a Jerry Bruckheimer movie-- rimshot! Seriously, is the warning that there are only SOME thematic elements as opposed to an entire movie filled with a coherent, well-established and developed theme? Somehow I don't think that is what the MPAA had in mind when they appended that particular phrase to their rating.

Parents strongly cautioned because of "Some Thematic Elements". That means nothing. Zip, zero, nada. This movie, for example, contains "Some Thematic Elements" but I doubt they'd earn the movie a PG-13. Though you could argue that parents should not allow their children to watch it under any circumstances.

Heck, the stupid rating explanations aren't even consistent. Here's the explanation for the R rating of Saw-- the violent, sadistic, horror flick that has inspired so many recent violent, sadistic, horror flicks: "Rated R for strong grisly violence and language." No weak grisly violence here. Here's the explanation for Saw II's R rating: "Rated R for grisly violence and gore, terror, language and drug content." So, the grisly violence is no longer strong, but there is gore and terror? But... ummm... I'm pretty sure there was a fair amount of gore and terror in the original, too. Ok, ok, how about Saw III? "Rated R for strong grisly violence and gore, sequences of terror and torture, nudity and language." Ah... so, the grisly violence has once more been working out, the gore has returned from #2 (pity there was no actual gore in #1), and now there are sequences of terror AND torture. Guess all those poor saps that bit it in the first two movies from sawing their leg off, dying of blood loss in the razor wire maze, having a bear trap snap shut on their head, being burned to death in a furnace, slowing drowning under huge quantities of pig intestines, freezing to death, etc., etc. weren't actually tortured.

Phah. Phah I say. Rate if you must, but let's stop with the preposterous "explanations".

Labels: ,

I think it was before The Shield the other night, and we were warned that the show was intended for mature audiences due to "Violence, sexual situations, and language"

Given how many people still support GWB, I guess I can understand there are plenty of people who are uncomfortable with "Language" in their TV shows.

Okay, that was snarky.

I'm Not Sorry though! I'm Not!
Heh-- snarky, yes, but funny, no doubt. That was a good one. No apology needed. Language... yeah, wouldn't want any actual words or dialogue in our movies. The MPAA sucks, man.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?