Movie/TV Ratings

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We sat down to watch a movie this weekend on a regular television station and it started off as a “Rated 14 mature”. I asked my husband how do they know what 14 year olds are mature? Seeing as how ALL 14 year olds will say they are mature which of course every parent of one would highly disagree. Anyway I digress. The movie was called Wedding Crashers with Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn. I had heard great reviews about this movie supposedly very funny etc. We hadn’t gone more then 3 minutes into the movie when we scrambled for who had the remote and where was the remote so we could change the channel. I don’t think I ever heard that much profanity in that short of span of time in my life.

Who rates these movies? Who decides who is “allowed” to watch this movie? Am I the only one that thinks that was a wrong rating for this movie? Have we been so accustomed to profanity as part of our every day lives that it goes past us without so much as a blink? I will be contacting the station today (I have to find which station it was as I never paid attention last night) to complain about their ratings system. I remember being 15 when the movie Gone With the Wind came out and I wanted to go see it but because it had one swear word in it, it was given a Restricted rating and I was not allowed to see it. Why have we allowed this absorption to move forward in an acceptance mode?

It also made me think that when those two male actors have children are they going to allow them to watch their movies with that kind of language in it? We went out for dinner with one of our sons and grandson a few weeks back and all of a sudden our son swore. I made a unconscious noise and he said ooops sorry Mum and kept on going. Not a few minutes more he says it again and I said you do realize that is not acceptable language and you also realize you have your son sitting right next to you and his explanation was “Oh he knows there is adult language and child language!” WHATTTTT??? What kind of logic was that? I replied in that case seeing as how you are my child I expect you to use “child” language and if I ever hear that coming out of your mouth again you will be disciplined! Of course our grandson thought that was hilarious to the point of his father telling him if he did not stop laughing he could go sit in the car till we were done! I don’t get it.

31 thoughts on “Movie/TV Ratings

  1. Rating systems are horrible. From my international experience, I think they are even worse (i.e. they allow more crap in for a lower rating) in countries outside the USA. Good thing you stopped watching that movie – I’m told it has plenty of nudity in it as well.

    A great resource for finding out what’s in a movie before watching it is Screenit.com – they give very detailed reviews on each movie so that you can see what it contains before watching. Hope that helps.

  2. The rating system is a joke (in Canada or elsewhere), and often quite arbitrary. I never pick movies anymore based on ratings. Thanks to websites like ScreenIt, I can now choose movies based on whether I consider the content acceptable or not.

  3. Johnny Depp is qouted in the making of the Pirates of the Caribbean that he wanted to make at least one film that he could feel proud taking his children to.

    As for rating entertainment on TV and in the media today – we have the shocking news of what happened to the two sister missionaries in South Africa today.

    Maybe now LDS and other good people everywhere will take a bigger pro-active role in protesting the vulgar media that supports attitudes that led to such vicious treatment of two daughters of God.

  4. While what happened to those missionaries is deplorable, I am doubtful that what happened was a direct result of watching a movie with swearing in it.

  5. But you just fell for Satan’s big trap for young people. First he lures us into thinking its okay to view movies with a little swearing and inuendos.

    Then when we get comfortable with that he lures us onto some more risky stuff. And on and on it goes until there are many that are sucked into the horrible addiction of craving even more raunchier entertainment.

    Hollywood has no moral boundaries and is doing all it can to get you addicted to their bounties.

  6. South Africa ranks extremely high in the world today for both a problem with raunchy entertainment and also has the highest rate of violence towards women. (Don’t you see the pattern here.)

    I was surprised that the church allows Sister Missionaries to that country.

  7. Yeah right, Bryce.

    Swearing in movies is a slippery slope to becoming a serial killer. Give me a break.

    There is ZERO correlation between movies and a *change* to anti-social behaviour.

    More anti-social people enjoy particular forms of entertainment, but there is no link betweeen watching certain forms of media and changing from being a temple recommend holder to the anit-christ.

  8. Each country rates movies independently. In the United States, that falls on the MPAA, which has some weird rules for how to rate movies.

    This is a fascinating subject, one in which I’ve debated with a guy on, whether or not Hollywood is perniciously and conspiratorially attempting to undermine the values of families.

    Before 1968, studios were on an honor system in making movies. They kept certain things out of movies, and there was no rating. But movies got progressively more coarse in the 60s. Then this movie, Once Upon A Time in the West came out and Hollywood decided to create some kind of rating system to keep kids out of such movies. They created the modern rating system, with no PG-13. Then in 1984, two movies associated with Steven Spielberg came out, one after the other, rated PG, which had pretty graphic sequences in them. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom had a occult priest rip out a beating heart out of a live man. Then Gremlins came out with all sorts of violent images, including putting a gremlin in the microwave to see it blow up. With a loud chorus of criticism, Spielberg recommended a new rating level he called PG-13, which would caution parents not to bring younger kids in. The first movie with the PG-13 rating is Red Dawn.

    Movie producers and writers have always been trying to push the boundaries. Producers know what sells: sex and violence. Writers just let their imagination loose without care for morals. That combination equals a lowering of the standard.

    I don’t personally think studios are perniciously and purposefully reducing the morals and standards families should have. I think they just don’t live by those standards, and therefore have no anchor to hold to. When you don’t have an anchor, the wind is your guide.

    Since I got married last year, I’ve sold off my R-rated movies, with the exception of a few, like Saving Private Ryan, and such. However, interestingly, I watched Schindler’s List and was very bothered by the violence in the movie. I couldn’t watch it and enjoy it like I used to. I’m beginning to agree with those who criticized the release of Schindler’s List, that viewing such atrocities doesn’t actually help, but actually softens our defenses against such atrocities.

  9. “Since I got married last year, I’ve sold off my R-rated movies, with the exception of a few, like Saving Private Ryan, and such.”

    Dan

    I find this interesting and am a bit (sincerely) curious. Why did you wait until you were married to get rid of your R-rated movies? And how about lesser rated shows that still have objectionable material in them? Did you get rid of any of them as well? I am assuming your wife was an influencing factor in this decision.

  10. Mary,

    “Why did you wait until you were married to get rid of your R-rated movies?”

    I honestly had no reason to. I can’t speak for others, but getting married changed me. It gave me real, hard reasons to give up certain things that would otherwise be destructive to me.

    “And how about lesser rated shows that still have objectionable material in them?”

    It probably depends on the show. I’ve not gone extremist, just cut back on the bad stuff.

    But yes, my wife was an influencing factor, as was my baby girl just born two months ago.

    I really really really wanted to see Sin City, which came out last year. It is the style of movie I’ve been loving, such as Kill Bill, but at my wife’s request, I’ve not seen it, and may not even see a censored version either.

  11. Okay, I don’t mean to thread-jack here, but is it common for wives to request that husbands don’t watch certain movies?

    I’ve *never* heard of this outside LDS circles, and I’m generally curious.

    I’ve heard of one member of the couple not enjoying a particular show and opting out of viewing it – but the wholescale avoidance of a movie seems a bit much; to me at least.

    I’m genuinely curious about how often this happens.

  12. Mary,

    no worries, I didn’t think you were criticizing but honestly asking. :)

    Rick,

    My wife and I decided to clean out things in our lives we found not good enough for our children to watch. I can’t speak for other families, but our decision was mutual and together.

  13. Well, I don’t know if it is common, I think it is almost a given (at least hopefully) that husbands and wives are on the same pages as far as appropriate content in movies. It is for us. We might have different tastes or what have you (like Kim loved King Kong, I didn’t particularly but towards the end I was feeling very sorry for King Kong and appreciated the message of the movie)but usually when it comes to asking, I would think it isn’t really needed, at least not as time goes on.

  14. So Dan,

    It’s an all or nothing approach? i.e. there are no adult movies and kids movies?

    It’s very communal, but I fail to understand how your viewing the material is any different now than before. Or why there should not be any deliniation between the full-family things versus the just-adults things.

    Once again, no malice intended. I’m genuinely interested in your mindset.

  15. Rick,

    don’t worry, I don’t feel any malice from your question. :)

    it’s not necessarily an all-or-nothing approach, but a case by case approach. I’m keeping the original Matrix and the first sequel, but not Matrix Revolutions. Matrix Reloaded is on flimsy ground though because of its sex scene, but thankfully I am not interested in the scene in the temple, so i can easily click to the next chapter and avoid it. But still, I get the feeling it should go. The original Matrix really should be rated PG-13 as its violence is not any more intense than that of a James Bond movie. It is rated R because of its thematic elements.

    I love Buffy the Vampire Slayer series, and my wife loves Law and Order, even though there is questionable material in both shows.

    The thing about entertainment, and the drawback to entertainment is that it is meant as a distraction. Both in a good and bad sense. We need a distraction from the stresses of the world, but at the same time, these very distractions also take us further away from the Lord. Satan is at his best when we are distracted, when our concentration is at its weakest. Entertainment is also a distraction from being active. We as a people spend waaaaaaaaay too much time in front of the television, and one of the consequences is the fattening of our population. We sit down so much, eating popcorn and drinking soda, playing video games, that we’ve become a much less active people. If we reduce the amount of time we spend in front of the television, we also will reduce the amount of exposure to questionable material.

    The slow introduction of sex and violence in our entertainment is causing us to be past feeling, desensitized, to the actions. Take a look at the show “24” lately and tell me how often do you find a torture scene. What is the point of showing something like that?

    Sorry for getting on the soap box. There are plenty of adult shows that me and my wife watch. We’re just more careful about what we watch. :)

  16. Thanks for the reponse Dan.

    I guess I am really interested in why the change from before you were married. Is it a setting a better example thing?

  17. yeah. it’s like, I have a reason to avoid questionable content. before being married, i didn’t have a reason i cared about enough to avoid R-rated movies or other things of questionable contents. maybe it’s just me, but getting married changed me…for the better. :)

  18. Dan

    Youa re exactly right. (re #18). I agree with you very much. I have to admit to some of the same dilemma too. I too enjoy Law and Order and CSI and it is true they have questionable material often. We try to be careful too, and sometimes we succeed! We do, as NOrth Americans, watch too much TV. Several years ago Kim and I stopped watching TV altogether and it was a very good thing. I wish we could do that again. Many people do, and it sure is a good thing in their families and homes. Good grief, as homeschoolers we sure should stop watching TV. It certainly isn’t conducive to the pure homeschooling experience.

  19. I’ve enjoyed staying away from TV. right now we have just basic cable, and yes, I do miss out on such things as most of the World Cup games, which I enjoy watching, but it’s a well enough worth sacrifice to avoid all those other cable channels that are so appealing but so shallow and empty. I’d love to sit back and watch the James Bond marathon on Spike TV, or the Star Trek marathon on SciFi Channel, etc. But those are like empty calories.

  20. We just have basic cable too. Actually for most of our married life we didn’t even bother with cable. We only have it now so we can watch conference at home (it’s hard for Kim to sit for too long during conference sessions at Church because of his arthritis).

    Actually there is very little on TV.

    Oh the only essential show is Corner Gas.

  21. I was surprised by the Wedding Crashers as well.

    Here is the alberta rating website. http://www.cd.gov.ab.ca/albertafilmratings/

    Here is an excerpt from the 14A category.

    “At this level there are often elements of frequent coarse language, particularly use of the sexual expletive.

    There may be elements of nudity or implied sexual activity. Sexual situations are evaluated according to the level of detail and the context of each individual scene, rather than by the specific body part or activity represented in the scene.”

    Both of your complaints about this 14A movie are discussed in the Alberta Film Ratings. Other provinces or countries have different rating systems.

    -G

  22. Bryce… if Johnny Depp was so concerned about making a movie that he could take his children to, then why did he just finish making “The Libertine”? If actors are wanting to change so badly and not do these so called non-family movies… well DUH.. just say no!! If producers can’t get any big names to do their movies do ya think they will stop making the crap?

  23. “If producers can’t get any big names to do their movies do ya think they will stop making the crap?”

    No.

    The reason is that there is a never ending stream of actors who are willing to do any movie in order to move forward in their careers.

    For this reason, the minute all the ‘big name’ stars stopped doing a particular type of movie, there is another slightly less prestigious actor waiting in the wings to fill in the role – thereby gaining status, notoriety and becoming a big name.

    It’s not going to stop short of McCarthy-esque actions by the government or total social sharing of the ideals (which I can assure you will never happen).

  24. Hi!I would say there are some channels like Discovery/NGC/BBC which do have interesting shows which have nothing to do with saas bahu and tears..:-)
    One thing that I find DD laggin behind is packaging. People are now so used to good quality signals and nice packaging, that it is usally a pain to watch it in DD. For example, when DD and ESPN telecast a match, I prefer to watch it in ESPN, as the DD stuff is usally amatuerish, with the telecast being cut during the last ball for the advert and coming back only after the 1st ball of the next over..
    But CAS has made it difficult to view those channels in Chennai..:-(

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