Ratings Request

When the MPAA started cracking down on movie ratings in 1984, I thought it was a little ridiculous.  I mean, all parents let their children watch Cheech & Chong movies when they’re 9 years old, right?  No?

Seriously, though, I’ve stated before that I think the responsibility falls to the parents to TALK to their kids about something they might see in a movie or cartoon, rather than put the onus on the film makers to “clean things up” for young eyes.  I can, however, see the need to inform parents just what they might need to explain to their child, so I like the fact that they now are putting explanations of WHY a movie is rated PG-13 (an example is below).

MPAA Ratings - 2 copy

However, there are some things that are missing from the descriptor box.  And I’m here today to make some suggestions to this egregious omission.

1)  Story Compromised for CGI Budget

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love turning my brain off and watching a CGI fest just as much as the next geek, but there are some movies that take it WAY too far.  You can actually feel a shift in the movie when the filmmaker geeked out on all the cool technology available to him/her.  It was done well in The Matrix, with the bullet cutting through the air scene.  That was cool!  However, all of the sweeping, sprawling underground worlds in The Hobbit got a little ridiculous.  No, scratch that; it got a LOT ridiculous!  The same is true for the complete waste of time Snow White and the Huntsman, and how often we had to see Charlize’s wicked queen morph into either the shards of black glass, black crows or melting wax-thingy.

Yes, we get it, you can do really cool special effects.  Oooh. (note the Ben Stein sarcasm there)

2)  Gross Bodily Functions

I’m not talking about scenes like in Austin Powers, International Man of Mystery where he pees for a good five minutes during the unfreezing process.  Hell, Booger from Revenge of the Nerds was one of my favorite characters.  However, any scene where you see people vomiting (pie eating contest from Stand By Me), or purposely grossed-up characters (naked Fat Bastard from the Austin Powers sequels), truly turns my stomach.  I wouldn’t necessarily avoid those movies, but it would be nice to know there’s something like that in there, so I have fair warning in case I want to wait to eat until AFTER I’ve seen the film.

3)  Movie Filmed Entirely on Hand-Held Cameras

This is my biggest gripe with some movies, these days.  The phenomenon started with The Blair Witch Project (at least, as far as I know).  I never saw the movie, but I distinctly remember those who did commenting on how “real” the film making was, because it looked like you were right there, running through the woods with them.  After that, it was only a few cinematographers that decided to film their movies like this, but the number is growing, unfortunately for people with sensitive stomachs.

We recently went to see the new Superman movie, Man of Steel.  I’d been looking forward to this movie because someone had FINALLY written a script where He-Who-Wears-Blue-Footie-PJs showed more emotion and angst than any of the other times, where Clark’s one-dimensional boy scout-ness carried over too much into his superhero persona.  I even enjoyed the spunky Lois Lane (played superbly by Amy Adams, IMO).  However, my enjoyment of the movie was greatly dimmed by the constant jiggling of the camera.

Those who are in favor of this “realistic” style of filming claim that it makes you feel like you’re right in the action.  While it’s true that my vision does appear jiggly and not smooth while I’m running, if I’m sitting in a movie theater, eating popcorn and whatnot, I’M NOT RUNNING!  It’s right there in the previous sentence: I’m SITTING.  So, to have the camera jiggle around all the time while I’m sitting still, only serves to give me a headache and make my eyes cross from trying to focus on the image I’m looking at.  I stopped watching the Bourne movies for this very reason.

I can accept this filming method to be used once or twice in a movie, but after that, PAY FOR THE *$@! STABILIZER!

So, hopefully someone from the MPAA will read this blog and take my suggestions into consideration.  Please feel free to comment if there are disclaimers you’d like to see show up in the boxes.


7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. kerryemckenna
    Jul 19, 2013 @ 14:56:56

    Yes, by all means! I’d like to add “subtle or not-so subtle deameaning of women’s characters” or “unrealistically weak and ineffectual female portrayals” or “fewer than 3 women in this film, and all those breasts are featured”…
    But seriously, I want “violence against women” warning. It triggers me big time. Grrrrr!!


  2. Craig
    Jul 19, 2013 @ 21:59:56

    I’m sorry, but ‘male ass’ should not be counted as nudity. Just a tip… if it says nudity and it’s “R” rated, then it’s female nudity. PG-13 and you’re going to see a man’s naked ass. Just saying.
    Seriously though, I agree with the above comments, and also think that there should be a differentiation between sexual nudity and non-sexual nudity. Maybe then they’ll get more non-sexual nudity into movies and help us not be such a prudish county.


    • Alyx Morgan
      Jul 19, 2013 @ 22:06:09

      LMAO. “Male ass” IS nudity, though, dear. And us women want to see that just as much as you guys want to see lady parts.

      But you’re right, we need to be a less-prudish country.


  3. Craig
    Jul 19, 2013 @ 22:23:16

    If you got Ryan Reynold’s ass or someone like that. Most times though it’s like “Failure to Launch” and you get to see Terry Bradshaw’s 50 year old wrinkly sagging ass. Bachelorette party, here you come. Wooo Hooo!


  4. Dolly Chamberlin
    Aug 20, 2013 @ 03:59:53

    I agree with your comments, though I’m not aware of all the acronyms. I also agree that talking with kids is an important in their understanding. One of the reasons I tape movies more than going to see them is so I can FF through scenes I don’t want to watch, or if they’ve carried a scene too long for my comfort. I see this country more self-righteous & judgmental, than prudish, or maybe they’re all synonyms. LOVES :}


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