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March 16, 2012: "The PG-13 Fuck" 
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Post Re: March 16, 2012: "The PG-13 Fuck"
Dragonbeard wrote:
Ragnarok73 wrote:
Of course, America is a martial culture like many empires before it, so I guess it stands to reason that they would expose their youth to violence at the earliest age possible. They need to desensitize them so that they're more prepared to accept the idea of volunteering for military service and defending democracy


"Shoot bitch, democracy's at stake!"

I wonder if that's what Staff Sgt. Robert Bales was thinking when he massacred those 16 Afghan civilians over a week ago.


Mon Mar 19, 2012 7:32 pm
Post Re: March 16, 2012: "The PG-13 Fuck"
MisterG wrote:
Btw, in regards to filmmakers who deliberately insert "risque" material into their films in order to bump up the rating, I trust we all remember the infamous "penis breath" line in "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial," designed to avoid the dreaded "G" rating, as well as the heart-ripping sequence in "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom," which secured a ticket sales-enhancing "PG13" for Spielberg's sequel to the "PG" rated "Raiders of the Lost Ark."

Can this possibly be right? First, Temple of Doom is rated PG--because PG-13 was invented after that movie came out, and largely as a response to that movie getting a PG [edit: what Ken said]. Second, while PG-13 seems to be regarded currently as the best rating commercially, I have two questions. 1) When did this theory start taking hold? Couldn't have been right at the outset, right? 2) Do filmmakers really purposefully kick movies up from PG to PG-13 just for the rating? I'm thinking here of Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones (PG), Harry Potter 1-3 and Harry Potter 6 (PG), Alice in Wonderland 2010 (PG), Most of the Pixar Catalog (G). All really high-grossing movies that would have been exceedingly simple to kick up a rating with just a couple tiny changes.

As for the one-fuck movies, the one that annoyed me the most was Sixth Day. Had a pretty good Arnold-one-liner setup with "You should clone yourself--so you can go fuck yourself" only to be followed up (after the bad guy is cloned and laying on top of... himself) with "When I told you to go screw yourself, I didn't mean for you to take it literally." Seriously, everyone? So. Lame.


MinnJD wrote:
Ironically, I'd argue that junior high is far worse than high school for profanity. I drove a school bus and some of the stuff coming out of these young teenager's mouths is so ridiculously profane that it's funny. They know they aren't supposed to be using that language, so they fling it around like a forbidden toy. By the time they get to high school they have refined their use of it a bit. They still swear a lot, but it's more 'normal' usage.

This was definitely my experience. I started throwing crazy amounts of profanity in my language on the playground in 7th or 8th grade. In 9th grade, I thought it made me seem older and cooler--was disabused of that notion really quickly by juniors and seniors who made it very clear that it was a juvenile call for attention. Actually, the movie in high school that had the biggest impact on my swearing was probably The Matrix. I don't think I'd ever heard "what the shit" used as a phrase before. I still love that one.


Tue Mar 20, 2012 10:11 am
Post Re: March 16, 2012: "The PG-13 Fuck"
The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones aren't great examples, given that George Lucas was pretty dead-set on marketing them as boys' adventure stories.

The mania for PG-13 applies mainly to more typical examples--big generic blockbuster wannabes, comedy/horror shovelware, etc. The idea is to get teenagers into the theater, who exist at the intersection of marketing susceptibility and disposable income. It doesn't work if the movie is specifically intended for a different or wider audience. Pixar movies, for example, are pitched at a younger audience, though they're really for everybody.


Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:38 pm
Post Re: March 16, 2012: "The PG-13 Fuck"
Ken wrote:
The mania for PG-13 applies mainly to more typical examples--big generic blockbuster wannabes, comedy/horror shovelware, etc. The idea is to get teenagers into the theater, who exist at the intersection of marketing susceptibility and disposable income. It doesn't work if the movie is specifically intended for a different or wider audience. Pixar movies, for example, are pitched at a younger audience, though they're really for everybody.

I guess I've just never thought of there being a drive to keep your movie from being rated PG. I mean, yes, there's obviously a drive toward including the kinds of themes / visuals that earn a PG-13, but are there really movies targeted toward teenage boys that would change something in the final cut not to add anything to the movie, but simply to change the rating?


Tue Mar 20, 2012 4:29 pm
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Post Re: March 16, 2012: "The PG-13 Fuck"
Jeffy3 wrote:
Jim wrote a well-reasoned and thoughtful article, but now more than ever aren't ratings irrelevant because I don't know any theaters that enforce them anyway. In my local AMC local theaterplex there is sometimes not even a ticket-taker, let alone someone monitoring who is going into what theater. I remember in my tweens (I am 47) having to sneak into an R rated movie at a twin theater with an usher nearby and that was a little risky, but back then I would've killed for the freedom of today's multiplexes.


Sneaking into a watched theater in a duplex or triplex was part of the fun back in the day... And it resulted in a sense of accomplishment. Or so I have heard. I never did such a disgraceful thing.

My 14-year old nephew and I were discussing this ReelThoughts over the weekend, and he admitted to having bought a ticket to one of the TRANSFORMERS movies so he could see THE HANGOVER. His parents, who were listening to our conversation, weren't the least surprised or bothered. He went on to admit that he and his friends regularly see R-rated movies this way, that the audiences of R-rated movies on Friday/Saturday nights are >50% "underage", and that no attempt has ever been made to stop them from going in.

So, yes, ratings are irrelevant. Which is why they should be abolished.


Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:32 am
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Post Re: March 16, 2012: "The PG-13 Fuck"
The thing that is really going to kill this is that Congressmen are voicing their support. The last thing the MPAA wants is to feel like they're being governed by Congress (or will be), so they're going to dig their feet in deeper to retain some autonomy.

Maybe now the public will see how worthless the MPAA is. We just need JB to get one of his MPAA bashing articles in the NY Times or USA Today.

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Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:46 pm
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Post Re: March 16, 2012: "The PG-13 Fuck"
James Berardinelli wrote:
My 14-year old nephew and I were discussing this ReelThoughts over the weekend, and he admitted to having bought a ticket to one of the TRANSFORMERS movies so he could see THE HANGOVER. His parents, who were listening to our conversation, weren't the least surprised or bothered. He went on to admit that he and his friends regularly see R-rated movies this way, that the audiences of R-rated movies on Friday/Saturday nights are >50% "underage", and that no attempt has ever been made to stop them from going in.


This reminds me of something Trey Parker and Matt Stone said in an interview; they said that a lot of their younger fans told them that when the South Park movie came out, they bought a ticket to Wild Wild West (which was playing at the same time) but snuck in to see South Park instead. So a decent-sized chunk of Wild Wild West's gross was actually kids going to see South Park.

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Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:12 pm
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Post Re: March 16, 2012: "The PG-13 Fuck"
Ragnarok73 wrote:
Dragonbeard wrote:
Ragnarok73 wrote:
Of course, America is a martial culture like many empires before it, so I guess it stands to reason that they would expose their youth to violence at the earliest age possible. They need to desensitize them so that they're more prepared to accept the idea of volunteering for military service and defending democracy


"Shoot bitch, democracy's at stake!"

I wonder if that's what Staff Sgt. Robert Bales was thinking when he massacred those 16 Afghan civilians over a week ago.


I imagine that in his head, there were score markers appearing above people's heads as they fell.

Desensitization is one thing but I personally don't think that movies cause people to carry out acts of violence.

I must ask, although I'm not sure how accurate an answer I'll get, has there ever been any evidence to support the theory that the MPAA have certified a movie to ensure a certain box office result? Would make total sense given some of the weird decisions!

Let's say we do abolish movie certificates (for a start, the American system needs to be simplified. The UK one is far easier to understand). What will you then replace it with?


Wed Mar 21, 2012 4:37 pm
Post Re: March 16, 2012: "The PG-13 Fuck"
Sexual Chocolate wrote:
This reminds me of something Trey Parker and Matt Stone said in an interview; they said that a lot of their younger fans told them that when the South Park movie came out, they bought a ticket to Wild Wild West (which was playing at the same time) but snuck in to see South Park instead. So a decent-sized chunk of Wild Wild West's gross was actually kids going to see South Park.

In fact, they (jokingly?) encouraged it! The week both movies game out, Parker and Stone were guests on Jay Leno at the same time as Salma Hayek (who was in Wild Wild West). When they got to the end of the interview, Parker or Stone said something like "kids, go ahead and buy a ticket to Wild Wild West then sneak into our movie." Salma Hayek chimed in: "Yes. Do this."


Wed Mar 21, 2012 6:23 pm
Post Re: March 16, 2012: "The PG-13 Fuck"
moviemkr7 wrote:
The thing that is really going to kill this is that Congressmen are voicing their support. The last thing the MPAA wants is to feel like they're being governed by Congress (or will be), so they're going to dig their feet in deeper to retain some autonomy.

Maybe now the public will see how worthless the MPAA is. We just need JB to get one of his MPAA bashing articles in the NY Times or USA Today.
Congress has to voice its support, given that the MPAA is run by one of their own and is also one of the richest and most powerful lobbying groups in the country.

Dragonbeard wrote:
I must ask, although I'm not sure how accurate an answer I'll get, has there ever been any evidence to support the theory that the MPAA have certified a movie to ensure a certain box office result? Would make total sense given some of the weird decisions!
I wish I had the URL on hand, but I read an article not too long ago that broke down which kinds of movies tend to get leniency in which areas. Big, expensive blockbuster movies (i.e. movies made with a substantial investment by the companies that comprise the MPAA) invariably got easier treatment than independent films, especially where violence is concerned.

Dragonbeard wrote:
Let's say we do abolish movie certificates (for a start, the American system needs to be simplified. The UK one is far easier to understand). What will you then replace it with?
I've already said this, but information about the age-appropriateness of movies is so ubiquitous these days, and from so many independent outlets, that there is no need for a single centralized organization any longer. There is certainly no need for such an organization with the coercive power and ties to the movie industry that the MPAA ratings board has.


Thu Mar 22, 2012 12:40 am
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Post Re: March 16, 2012: "The PG-13 Fuck"
Ken wrote:
I wish I had the URL on hand, but I read an article not too long ago that broke down which kinds of movies tend to get leniency in which areas. Big, expensive blockbuster movies (i.e. movies made with a substantial investment by the companies that comprise the MPAA) invariably got easier treatment than independent films, especially where violence is concerned.


It's my belief that, had THE HUNGER GAMES been an indie movie based on an obscure source, it would have garnered an "R" with the exact cut that's currently in theaters. There was no way, however, that this was going to get anything but a PG-13 coming from a major studio based on a best-seller with huge box office potential.

The MPAA is controlled by the studios. The studios exist to make money. End of story.


Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:50 am
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Post Re: March 16, 2012: "The PG-13 Fuck"
James, is there a prevailing theory out there as to why America has become more receptive to violence as opposed to sexuality over the past 30 years? I know that some people are proposing that America is are more lenient with violence in order to desensitize the masses for past, current and future conflicts, but is there any evidence of that? America has always had a violent history so why is the acceptance of more intense depictions of violence a recent phenomenon?

The other thing I've always wondered about is what is the exact reason for nudity being more taboo in our culture than violence? And why is Europe more comfortable with sex than we are? American advertisements, music and entertainment are filled with sexual innuendo, yet the moment Janet Jackson shows a nipple for half a second, and the entire country loses it. Isn't seeing nudity a more natural part of the human experience than seeing a mutilated body on CSI?

Sorry for the rant but this issue has always bugged me and I would love to read a ReelThought or hear more theories about this very topic.


Thu Mar 22, 2012 8:15 pm
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Post Re: March 16, 2012: "The PG-13 Fuck"
PistolPeteBoluk wrote:
James, is there a prevailing theory out there as to why America has become more receptive to violence as opposed to sexuality over the past 30 years? I know that some people are proposing that America is are more lenient with violence in order to desensitize the masses for past, current and future conflicts, but is there any evidence of that? America has always had a violent history so why is the acceptance of more intense depictions of violence a recent phenomenon?

There is no conspiracy to make violence more acceptable in mainstream media. Just check the history of other empires if you'd like to see why violence is more prevalent and accepted in media today in the U.S. And no, it is not a recent phenomenon.

PistolPeteBoluk wrote:
The other thing I've always wondered about is what is the exact reason for nudity being more taboo in our culture than violence? And why is Europe more comfortable with sex than we are? American advertisements, music and entertainment are filled with sexual innuendo, yet the moment Janet Jackson shows a nipple for half a second, and the entire country loses it. Isn't seeing nudity a more natural part of the human experience than seeing a mutilated body on CSI?

I'll say it again: welcome to a "Christian America"- I put it into the parentheses because America, contrary to the misguided beliefs of many people in the Bible Belt, was *not* founded as a Christian nation. In fact, thanks to founding fathers like Thomas Jefferson, the U.S. was created to be a *secular* nation that didn't favor one religion over another while allowing all of them freedom to propagate. Anyway, prudish religion-based outlooks helped to shape the policies that affect things like sexual content in films and other entertainment media.


Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:20 pm
Post Re: March 16, 2012: "The PG-13 Fuck"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u72AIab-Gdc


Fri Mar 23, 2012 1:50 pm
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Post Re: March 16, 2012: "The PG-13 Fuck"
PistolPeteBoluk wrote:
James, is there a prevailing theory out there as to why America has become more receptive to violence as opposed to sexuality over the past 30 years? I know that some people are proposing that America is are more lenient with violence in order to desensitize the masses for past, current and future conflicts, but is there any evidence of that? America has always had a violent history so why is the acceptance of more intense depictions of violence a recent phenomenon?

The other thing I've always wondered about is what is the exact reason for nudity being more taboo in our culture than violence? And why is Europe more comfortable with sex than we are? American advertisements, music and entertainment are filled with sexual innuendo, yet the moment Janet Jackson shows a nipple for half a second, and the entire country loses it. Isn't seeing nudity a more natural part of the human experience than seeing a mutilated body on CSI?

Sorry for the rant but this issue has always bugged me and I would love to read a ReelThought or hear more theories about this very topic.


Religion plays into both issues, specifically fundamental Christianity. The "average" fundamental Christian doesn't have problems with violence but has major problems with sex and nudity. I'm not able to say whether this has filtered in from society or whether it influences society, but there is a relationship. Keep in mind that most card-carrying NRA members would consider themselves fundamentalist Christians and morally upright citizens.

Almost all fundamental sects, not just Christianity, are scared to death of sex and nudity. On the other hand, many use violence regularly.


Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:27 pm
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Post Re: March 16, 2012: "The PG-13 Fuck"
James Berardinelli wrote:
PistolPeteBoluk wrote:
James, is there a prevailing theory out there as to why America has become more receptive to violence as opposed to sexuality over the past 30 years? I know that some people are proposing that America is are more lenient with violence in order to desensitize the masses for past, current and future conflicts, but is there any evidence of that? America has always had a violent history so why is the acceptance of more intense depictions of violence a recent phenomenon?

The other thing I've always wondered about is what is the exact reason for nudity being more taboo in our culture than violence? And why is Europe more comfortable with sex than we are? American advertisements, music and entertainment are filled with sexual innuendo, yet the moment Janet Jackson shows a nipple for half a second, and the entire country loses it. Isn't seeing nudity a more natural part of the human experience than seeing a mutilated body on CSI?

Sorry for the rant but this issue has always bugged me and I would love to read a ReelThought or hear more theories about this very topic.


Religion plays into both issues, specifically fundamental Christianity. The "average" fundamental Christian doesn't have problems with violence but has major problems with sex and nudity. I'm not able to say whether this has filtered in from society or whether it influences society, but there is a relationship. Keep in mind that most card-carrying NRA members would consider themselves fundamentalist Christians and morally upright citizens.

Almost all fundamental sects, not just Christianity, are scared to death of sex and nudity. On the other hand, many use violence regularly.


Still, I agree with PistolPete here. I'd like to see a ReelThoughts about this. Your research is exhaustive and enlightening, plus you have plenty of rants about this without thoroughly explaining why. I'm curious to see what your research tells you.

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Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:40 pm
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Post Re: March 16, 2012: "The PG-13 Fuck"
So to conclude: If you dislike sex and nudity in movies, you are a prude and/or a Christian? Good thinking Watson :)


Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:24 pm
Post Re: March 16, 2012: "The PG-13 Fuck"
Dragonbeard wrote:
So to conclude: If you dislike sex and nudity in movies, you are a prude and/or a Christian? Good thinking Watson :)

There are other possibilities, of course. You could be a

- Hermaphrodite
- Proud virgin
- Misanthropic sociopath
- Eunuch
- Sentient robot
- Alien species with no genitalia whatsoever
- Human who has somehow had all sexual hormones removed

However, I think that prudish religious nut is the most likely possibility.


Fri Mar 23, 2012 4:14 pm
Post Re: March 16, 2012: "The PG-13 Fuck"
Ragnarok73 wrote:
Dragonbeard wrote:
So to conclude: If you dislike sex and nudity in movies, you are a prude and/or a Christian? Good thinking Watson :)

There are other possibilities, of course. You could be a

- Hermaphrodite
- Proud virgin
- Misanthropic sociopath
- Eunuch
- Sentient robot
- Alien species with no genitalia whatsoever
- Human who has somehow had all sexual hormones removed

However, I think that prudish religious nut is the most likely possibility.


:roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll:


Fri Mar 23, 2012 5:00 pm
Post Re: March 16, 2012: "The PG-13 Fuck"
Ragnarok73 wrote:
Dragonbeard wrote:
So to conclude: If you dislike sex and nudity in movies, you are a prude and/or a Christian? Good thinking Watson :)

There are other possibilities, of course. You could be a

- Hermaphrodite
- Proud virgin
- Misanthropic sociopath
- Eunuch
- Sentient robot
- Alien species with no genitalia whatsoever
- Human who has somehow had all sexual hormones removed

However, I think that prudish religious nut is the most likely possibility.

What's wrong with being a hermaphrodite?


Fri Mar 23, 2012 5:17 pm
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