Debate and Discussion

PG13/12A = Family Friendly?
Faliat at 10:26AM, Dec. 27, 2009
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I couldn't help but look at the “Anti-Gay” Avatar thread and read a post about it being a bit weird having people making out in a family friendly blockbuster.

And I got to thinking about my opinion of movies of the same age rating in general.

Back when I was a younger kid you knew what you were getting when you picked up a VHS tape or early DVD. It told you right on the back by category why it was the age rating it was. A similar thing went on outside cinemas as well. I actually copied and used it for Mahlaste.

http://comics.drunkduck.com/Mahlaste/gfx/comic_title.jpg

However these guides seemed to vanish into nowhere some time towards the mid “Kaysies”(00s). And now (in the UK at least) you pick up a DVD or BRD and on the back you get a very brief description or no description other than “Suitable for persons of 12/15/18 years or over”.

Now despite this, more and more production comparies are trying to make the most money with 12A movies while marketing towards children legally too young to buy the movie with their own money (Under 12s)

Are movie ratings being too loose? Should new age ratings come in or should the old ones be enforced more? Should we bring back the old system I described above or create a new one? Or perhaps they don't need changing at all?

Discuss.

Call that jumped up metal rod a knife?
Watch mine go straight through a kevlar table, and if it dunt do the same to a certain gaixan's skull in my immediate vicinity after, I GET A F*****G REFUND! BUKKO, AH?!

- Rekkiy (NerveWire)
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:25PM
isukun at 6:21PM, Dec. 27, 2009
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This seems pretty specific to your country. In the US, they never gave descriptions of what to expect, just a rating. So here, the changes aren't as obvious and simply reflect changing social standards. Considering what I see every time I go to the movies, though, I don't think anyone really cares about ratings here, anyway. The toy companies have been cross marketing R-rated films to kids for more than a decade. I still remember the Terminator Play-Doh sets.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:04PM
ozoneocean at 10:04PM, Dec. 27, 2009
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The Australian rating system has moved MORE towards the rating system Faliat describes. The content of the product is described along with the rating now, and I find it very irritating! >.<
-Because it treats all viewers as children who are not trusted to make viewing choices.
The other problem with Australian ratings are that now we no longer have a classification for “extreme” material (in games or films), which means that because they can't find a rating for these things, they can't be sold locally.

Moves are constantly made to introduce a rating for such material, but because of an influential minority of hyper conservative morons in the federal parliament we are hamstrung and even going backwards in some respects. It's making us a laughingstock internationally. It doesn't help that our supposedly left wing government is led by a conservative religious nut (Kevin Rud). -_-

So, from my experience, I've found “family ratings” and the reasons for using them quite negative.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:35PM
Faliat at 10:10PM, Dec. 27, 2009
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I was exposed to a lot of Terminator stuff when I was young and to this day I've never seen any of the movies in full. Hell, I even got a Terminator Mini Idols shirt to wear on Christmas day. It's more of an icon rather than an advertisement which is what I'm talking about.

BTW, in the UK the last two Terminator movies were 12A.


And one more thing, Ozone. It was because of that system of mentioning the content in more detail that I was ALLOWED to watch older rated films in my own home since my parents had an idea of what to expect and roughly when to jump in front of the TV. It was the equivalent of shortened version of an IMDB parents guide.

Mind you, if one of those things had been on the back of Bioshock I doubt my mum would've even noticed it anyway.She was already suckered in by the song playing in the ad and didn't even notice the age rating until she saw me kill a few kids offscreen, embed a golf club in somebody's head and throwing the flaming corpses of dead splicers at big daddies.

Call that jumped up metal rod a knife?
Watch mine go straight through a kevlar table, and if it dunt do the same to a certain gaixan's skull in my immediate vicinity after, I GET A F*****G REFUND! BUKKO, AH?!

- Rekkiy (NerveWire)
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:25PM
isukun at 11:36PM, Dec. 27, 2009
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BTW, in the UK the last two Terminator movies were 12A.

And the Play-Doh set I'm thinking of came out alongside the second movie, which wasn't. The UK also has a thing for editing movies. Still, a toy aimed at the under 10 crowd isn't just an icon. Terminator was never a fashion statement, so when you sell a toy to six-year-olds, you're trying to generate interest in the franchise. In the US, there was no extended toy line aimed at that age group, which only leaves one other outlet.

last edited on July 14, 2011 1:04PM
bravo1102 at 1:01AM, Dec. 28, 2009
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US ratings have gotten extremely specific of late. Even a radio commercial will have the rating announcement: Rated R for graphic war violence and language, Rated PG-13 for brief sensuality and sexual innuendo, Rated R for Continuous Profanity and sexual references etc.

The usual movie poster ads have the same texts as opposed to the original PG-13 Parents Strongly cautioned, Rated R Children under 17 Not admitted without parent or guardian etc
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:33AM
ozoneocean at 1:49AM, Dec. 28, 2009
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bravo1102
Rated R for Continuous Profanity and sexual references
Viewers must wear a condom at all times (weather male or female). Viewers must be accompanied by a blind and deaf elderly relative who is still a technical virgin. Contains scenes of Smoking. Contains references to evolution. Contains nuts. Contains Guts. Contains nothing of interest.

That's how my ratings system would go. >:[

I generally frown on facile behaviour in this part of the forum, but these ratings make me frown generally anyway, so it helps to lighten things up.
I find the current ratings trend as overly didactic, nannying, and mothering. It's part of a general trend towards more censorship and an erosion in freedoms of speech. You can thank your lucky stars that you people in the U.S. have your constitution and the first amendment to fall back on when people get a bit to silly with things- other countries aren't so luckyand we have to rely overly much on the good conmen sense of our elected officials… You can obviously see why that strategy is prone to failure!

So in many countries now, materials (films, games… what else?) is either censored or not allowed to be bought and sold at all. In Australia, this will soon extend to the internet: we will have a mandatory country wide internet filter, similar in operation to those in places like China, Libya, Syria, and Iran. All under an ostensibly left wing government mind you.
-(in actuality the people currently in power are the right wing faction of a traditionally left wing party).
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:35PM
Aurora Moon at 9:11AM, Dec. 28, 2009
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*sigh*

and then there's the parents who doesn't even use or look at the ratings when buying stuff for their kids. >.<;;

They will literally buy a X-rated videogame for thier impressionable 7 year old, all without even looking at the label or the rating. and then lay the blame on somebody else when thier now-slightly-older kid goes around raping girls and killing kids in a school masscarce.

honestly, what is the fucking point??
I'm on hitatus while I redo one of my webcomics. Be sure to check it out when I'n done! :)
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:10AM
Hawk at 10:20AM, Dec. 28, 2009
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I like the idea of being told what content I'm about to view. We get an ingredients label on our food so we know what we're about to put into our bodies, so why not find out what we'll be putting into our minds before we watch a movie or play a game?

Things get a bit awkward when I take the wrong people to a film with “surprises” in it. My mom casts glances in my direction when too many fart jokes are happening, so wouldn't it be great to know if a movie has a sex scene in it so I can take her to something else? I think so. You can make fun of my parents for being old-fashioned, but content-specific ratings give them a choice, and I can't see how that would be a bad thing. (unless you count Australia, where ratings have become a form of censhorship. My condolences, Ozone. Best of luck getting that fixed)

I think the ratings system is generally doing a good job, at least in America. Like Aurora Moon mentioned, I think parents have some things to learn about videogame ratings, but mostly I think it works.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:47PM
isukun at 12:08PM, Dec. 28, 2009
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I don't think I've ever heard these commercials bravo is referring to. Then again, I almost never hear commercials for movies on the radio, anymore. I hear mostly ads for TV series and those take the complete opposite approach and don't even bother to mention the rating. I know commericials on TV and trailers in the theater certainly don't mention what sort of content got the movie the rating it got and I have yet to see a movie poster which does (and living in Hollywood it's not like there is any shortage of posters around here).

As far as I've seen, only video game ratings in the US actually give a list of the content. Parents still have preconceived notions of what content SHOULD be on different media types, though, and will ignore ratings on things like games and comics. I've seen parents chew out clerks at comic shops when they bought a manga for their kid which had nudity in it when the manga was clearly labeled for it. That hardly seems like the store's fault to me.

Actually, that's one of the things which bothers me to some extent about the rating sysem in the US. The government and the parents all want to put the burden of enforcing the rating system on the retailers who sell the content, but in most cases, the retailers don't know where that content will end up. There is no way for them to enforce the rules if parents are buying the products for their children. I think when some kid goes and shoots up a school and they find he played GTA or some FPS, instead of chasing after the company that made the games, they should prosecute the parents who bought them despite the warning signs and ratings.

I don't even believe that games are that influencial to kids, but if lawyers are going to make that argument, then they should really be looking at the disinterested parents who buy games, music, and videos to keep their kids out of their hair.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:04PM
Orin J Master at 1:17PM, Dec. 28, 2009
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isukun
I don't even believe that games are that influencial to kids, but if lawyers are going to make that argument, then they should really be looking at the disinterested parents who buy games, music, and videos to keep their kids out of their hair.

the problem is those parents are also the ones that hire the lawyers, so it's kind of off-limits to blame them. they don't want to teach their kids, so the kids learn from whatever's available and the parents act like it's not their fault they weren't, y'know, Parenting.

also, if we're trading stupid parent stories from comic stores, i saw a parent buy a punisher trade paperback once, and when the guy behind the counter tried to warn her of the explicit gore and violence ad pointed out the rating on it, she waved him off and said she was sure it was fine.

a week later she came back ranting about how violent it was and she would sue for letting her give this to her kids without any kind of a warning on the front. i was kind enough to point out i was there and that she was in fact warned.

we laughed at her for days after she'd left….never heard of any lawsuit either.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:22PM
Faliat at 3:51PM, Dec. 28, 2009
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My parents used ot be tough on buying videogames for me about a decade ago. But a few years ago my mum made TWO mistakes of buying me 18 rated games for my 360. The first was when they actually got me it and people in the shop strongly suggested Gears of War to her. The second time was even more stupid. She bought me a copy of Bioshock after being suckered in by the music in the TV ad without even checking the age. And she was absolutely horrified by images of the offscreen murder of children and puppies and the batterings of a guy over the head with a golf club screaming “OBEY!” though brain-damaged induced slurs. A few days before I finished it my mum forbade me from playing it anywhere near my traumatised 15 year old sister.

Call that jumped up metal rod a knife?
Watch mine go straight through a kevlar table, and if it dunt do the same to a certain gaixan's skull in my immediate vicinity after, I GET A F*****G REFUND! BUKKO, AH?!

- Rekkiy (NerveWire)
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:25PM
isukun at 4:20PM, Dec. 28, 2009
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we laughed at her for days after she'd left….never heard of any lawsuit either.

My friends and I still joke about the time we went to see Kill Bill and at the beginning when the Bride is bleeding to death at her wedding, a little girl no more than six yells out to her father, “Why's the lady crying, Daddy?” I almost felt like chewing out this other woman who was in a Gamestop and asked her obviously preschool aged daughter if she liked Grand Theft Auto when trying to get her to choose a game to buy. This country is full of idiots.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:04PM
bravo1102 at 9:42AM, Dec. 29, 2009
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ozoneocean
Contains scenes of Smoking.


That is the latest addition to the nanny goat exact rating system along with that all movies with smoking must be at least PG-13. One cigarette and *kah-ching* PG-13.

I say *kah-ching* because it seems PG-13 is the new “in” rating.

Isukun these specific ratings are like legal disclaimers. You have to be fast and good at reading find print to see them. Look at your typical movie poster display in the newspaper; you'll see it along side the PG-13 or R in tiny print on such a huge poster, but it's there. I pay close attention because I'm zeroing in on the movies with topless babes in them.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:33AM
Faliat at 9:46AM, Dec. 29, 2009
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BTW, Saying the UK does a lot of censoring of movies?

Yeah right.

It's likely the US is cutting out more than us!

Call that jumped up metal rod a knife?
Watch mine go straight through a kevlar table, and if it dunt do the same to a certain gaixan's skull in my immediate vicinity after, I GET A F*****G REFUND! BUKKO, AH?!

- Rekkiy (NerveWire)
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:25PM
ozoneocean at 10:48AM, Dec. 29, 2009
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Faliat
BTW, Saying the UK does a lot of censoring of movies?

Yeah right.

It's likely the US is cutting out more than us!
Look up a few dodgy titles. Baise Moi is a good start. ;)

————————–

Watching movies and playing games with violent or sex content isn't going to turn kids into sexfreak killers. That is an idiotic idea thought up by very simple people. If you want to see kids who really are sexfreak killers then various war torn failed states in Africa are the place to be- Seira Leone, The Congo etc. The child soldiers in those gangs that hack off people's lips, penises, hands, breasts, labia, noses, kill babies and rape mothers in front of their children didn't grow up watching the terminator or playing GTA.
Whereas in places like the U.S.A. where kids do often grow up watching porn and violent movies with blood and guts there's a distinct lack of bands of murderous child soldiers… Funny that, isn't it? O_o

So it's the prevailing political and social conditions (i.e. WAR) that determine what kids will be like, not entertainment products.
This means the social environment is the important thing. With that in mind, socially it IS awkward to sit through sex scenes with your parents. Socially, I'd rather not have children in the cinema while I'm watching a sexy or violent film. Socially, I think most of us in the English speaking west love the illusion that kids are innocent and don't think about sex or violence… So I'm happy for there to be ratings that restrict them from having access to more “adult” entertainment material.
But we need to balance it out always with the fact that the material doesn't do any real harm, children are always in the minority of the population, and most parents are stupid anyway.

So; ratings yes, within REASON, and censorship or banning NO because that is pointless and harms freedom of speech and freedom of expression.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:35PM
bravo1102 at 8:46PM, Dec. 29, 2009
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Latest ridiculous rating disclaimer PG: Rude language and mild peril. lol!

I immediately imagined the Galahad and Lancelot's dialogue when the latter is recuing Galahad the Chaste from the Castle Anthrax.

Zoot: And then the oral sex
Galahad: (eyes wide and beginning to smile)
Lancelot and knight charging in.
Lancelot: We're here to rescue you from certain peril!
Galahad: Oh can't I have just a little peril?
Lancelot: No, it's much too perilous!
Galahad: Bet you're gay.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:33AM
Faliat at 8:46PM, Dec. 29, 2009
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It might not turn kids into murdering rapists, but people are often overlooking the other issues of the existance of age ratings.

So kids don't get traumatised for life!

Some things kids grow out of being scared of something. But show something to a kid with a bit of awareness of the world a movie meant to mentally scar adults and you've got yourself a horrible phobia or two AT LEAST!

Take note: I watched Urotsukidoji: Legend of the Overfiend at 15. I feel unclean every time I hear the name alone and I get a shiver up my spine. Imagine if I'd seen it a few years earlier! I'd have been terrified to put my feet anywhere in case giant genitalia sprouted out of the ground and absorbed me… But no. I didn't.

And thank Christ for that. I'd only just gotten over my fear of being run over by tarmac cars…


God damn PSAs ruined my life! They're something the UK is definitely brutal with. In fact we do a lot of weird stuff for the sake of “education”. Including images of sex from the inside of the woman…. According to my dad. Although he may haev been drunk, I wouldn't put it past the country that made a TV show with a section about reviewing bare man-junk poked through a wall. SERIOUSLY!

As for the worst disclaimery thing I've ever seen, it was on the back of my dad's Hong Kong Phooey DVD:
“Contains Mild Racial Insensitivity”

On a similar note, one time my mum bought eggs in a supermarket back in Clydebank that said “Contains Egg”!

Call that jumped up metal rod a knife?
Watch mine go straight through a kevlar table, and if it dunt do the same to a certain gaixan's skull in my immediate vicinity after, I GET A F*****G REFUND! BUKKO, AH?!

- Rekkiy (NerveWire)
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:25PM
elektro at 9:49AM, Jan. 1, 2010
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Since this is a similar subject, has anyone else noticed that there is almost no such thing as a G rated movie anymore? I mean, they still exist, but they almost have to be on the level of preschool TV to be given that rating.

Nowadays, almost every children's cartoon has a rating of PG or maybe even higher. I guarantee you that “The Lion King”, if released today, would've gotten a PG because of the death of Mufasa. Everyone wants to shelter kids from the real world these days. There's too much emphasis on overprotecting kids. As the late George Carlin said, Americans “have a child fetish, and it's not healthy”.

What a nation of pussies.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:21PM
isukun at 10:09AM, Jan. 1, 2010
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Princess and the Frog was G and still had a death in it. I think the MPAA is still a bit relaxed when it comes to animated films.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:04PM
bravo1102 at 7:06AM, Jan. 2, 2010
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Princess and the Frog was G and still had a death in it. I think the MPAA is still a bit relaxed when it comes to Disney animated films.

There fixed.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:33AM
isukun at 4:12PM, Jan. 2, 2010
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Yeah, Disney. Disney along with Fox, Warner Brothers, Universal, Dreamworks, and Paramount. Most “kids” movies these days aren't aimed just at kids and frequently have material that push them past what would be considered a G rating. Most animation studios take more from Dreamworks' example than Disney/Pixar's when it comes to family-friendly content.

And really, Disney hasn't gotten any favoritism in this area. Look how the MPAA rated the last 10 Disney 2D animated features to hit the theater. There are more PGs in there than Gs and the criteria doesn't always have to do with the level of violence.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:04PM
Faliat at 8:11AM, Jan. 3, 2010
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Actually “Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas” almost became a 12a but the offending headbutt was removed so it would stay PG.

Not a Disney, a Dreamworks.

Call that jumped up metal rod a knife?
Watch mine go straight through a kevlar table, and if it dunt do the same to a certain gaixan's skull in my immediate vicinity after, I GET A F*****G REFUND! BUKKO, AH?!

- Rekkiy (NerveWire)
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:25PM
seventy2 at 10:44AM, Jan. 3, 2010
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here in the middle of the US, there are only the actual rating on the movie posters. and DVD's will tell you why they're rated what they are.

and to agree with everyone else on this thread, parents really are to blame for what their kids get….I was in gamestop a couple weeks ago, and the counter person warned that the game was rated M, and the parent said, “oh i didn't notice this, i don't think we can get it” and the child said “but i've played it before, i know how to play it”….

i can't remember if the child won out, but me and another customer were looking at each other laughing….It amazed me, that the parent didn't even consider looking at the box…most M games have it labled front and back. maybe on the side….i know halo did…
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last edited on July 14, 2011 3:30PM
bravo1102 at 5:03AM, Jan. 18, 2010
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Such short memories. I recently viewed some older 1960s live action adventure films rated G but full of violence and death. Then there was the Disney Live action.

By the way the first Disney PG 2D animated was The Black Cauldron That caused a huge stir back in the day. Before that there were Ralph Bakshi's features which no one expected and blew everyone's minds. At the time it was “X” now it's a rather mild “R”.

And Disney was able to pull off nudity in Fantasia and the Hayes Board looked the other way. Cartoons after all.

Ratings have gotten a lot more restrictive. Once upon a time there were “G” features with blood. That was back when I was a kid in the 1960s and 70s.

Disney has always been able to get away with “G” when others got pegged with “PG” That's what a survey of films going back more than the last decade reveals.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:33AM
Hawk at 9:33AM, Jan. 18, 2010
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I don't like the idea of movie-makers thinking “What can we get away with? Let's put in as much as a specific rating will allow.” I'd rather they include only what aids the story and then just have a rating system that reflects the specific kinds of things you'll see in the movie.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:47PM
Faliat at 5:24AM, Jan. 19, 2010
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I think the problems with older ratings being changed to milder ones is because so many people have the opinion that back in the old days we were easily offended by this stuff and so we gave films higher ratings than the equivalent would be nowadays.

Newsflash! It's a load of bull.

In Canada and Spain Hitchcock's “Frenzy” is rated 13. In Brazil it's a 12.
Since when has even the premise of a serial rapist murderer been higher than a 15?

Hilariously, the original Psycho is a PG in some parts of Canada and an 18 in others.

Call that jumped up metal rod a knife?
Watch mine go straight through a kevlar table, and if it dunt do the same to a certain gaixan's skull in my immediate vicinity after, I GET A F*****G REFUND! BUKKO, AH?!

- Rekkiy (NerveWire)
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:25PM
isukun at 1:51PM, Jan. 19, 2010
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Once upon a time there were “G” features with blood. That was back when I was a kid in the 1960s and 70s.

You can still find that today. Maybe no excessive violence like in higher rated movies, but I can think of G rated movies even in the last year which had blood in them.

Disney has always been able to get away with “G” when others got pegged with “PG” That's what a survey of films going back more than the last decade reveals.

During the 60's and 70's, a lot of studios decided to try to cash in on the popularity of TV with a buttload of TV movies rather than pushing everything to theaters. There was not an abundance of animated films aimed at kids coming out in theaters during that time, but those that did pretty much all got G ratings whether Disney made them or not. It isn't much of a surprise that the adult-oriented films didn't get G ratings and the more kid friendly films did. I'm not seeing much favoritism there.

I also see that a lot of the classic films which got G ratings had a tendency to be based on classic literature. There really isn't any correlation between Disney and G-rated movies from that time as other studios producing the same kind of films got the same rating.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:05PM
Sea_Cow at 8:21AM, Jan. 30, 2010
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The film ratings system is now defunct. I mean, come on, the internet.
I am so happy to finally be back home
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:27PM
The Gravekeeper at 10:18PM, Jan. 30, 2010
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In Canada there is no national rating system; each province has their own. The Alberta rating system is pretty specific about why films were rated what they were. Some of the reasons crack me up, though. I mean “sci-fi action”? It's freaking Star Wars, there'd BETTER be some sci-fi action!

But yeah, ratings change along with public tastes. I mean, a movie like “Clockwork Orange” would get a an 18A rating (I believe that's equivalent to the USA's R rating) these days, but when it was originally released it was rated X (now NC-17) and was actually banned in the UK. Sex scenes and gore have become more tolerated overall. Yeah, movies with high content of either or both still get high ratings but it's rare that a movie will be outright banned these days. Well, in North America anyway.

Someone
I don't like the idea of movie-makers thinking “What can we get away with? Let's put in as much as a specific rating will allow.” I'd rather they include only what aids the story and then just have a rating system that reflects the specific kinds of things you'll see in the movie.

It can all too easy to forget that the film industry is a business. Yes, it sells entertainment and requires the skills of artists, but if executives don't think a movie's going to bring in enough movie to at least pay for the millions of dollars that went into making it, then it probably isn't going to be made. As much as we'd like to think that we're past the “shock value” of it, sex and violence still draws a crowd. Nevermind that you could potentially make more money with a G rated movie since you're taping into a larger market…
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:14PM

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