Rated R

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I want to go se 1408. I reeeeeeally reeeeeeeally do. Ghost hunter in the most haunted room ever? Why WOULDN'T I want to see it?

But I'm skeered. Because it's rated R.

I am really wary of R movies. I can't even watch 13 Ghosts when it comes on SciFi. I finally watched Once Upon a Time in Mexico because it was on TNT and I figured it would be cut. I still hid my eyes. I have History of Violence, Derailed, The Ice Harvest, Sin City and Constantine, all of which I haven't seen because I'm wary of the violence.

Yet I've seen some R movies that aren't all that bad. Flags of our Fathers was bearable. So were 300 (cartoony violence), Children of Men, V for Vendetta and Inside Man. Two for the Money and The Constant Gardner - I can't even remember why that was rated R. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang wasn't bad. Munich was violent, but the story overcame it. Same with Lord of War. Wedding Crashers was fairly tasteless, but so was 40 Days and 40 Nights and that was on Comedy Central the other day. The dh watched The Descent, but I couldn't.

So there's a wide spectrum of R rated movies, from movies that have a few violent scenes, a lot of cussing, to movies like Hostel, which shows torture. You understand my wariness.

My students (remember, I teach 4th graders) see Hostel and all the ones I'm scared to see. Either mom is too indulgent and takes them to see it because she wants to see it (and it's more often mom than dad) or they rent the movie and don't bother to send the kid out of the room. You just have to wonder.

Then, there are movies that could have been PG but they throw in a gratuitous F word to get the PG-13 rating that gets more viewers.

And have movie ratings changed? I didn't remember Breakfast Club being rated R, but it is. I don't remember why. And I showed my class Clash of the Titans a couple of years ago. It was rated PG. And right there, naked woman walking on the beach. Yeesh! (I know, I should have watched first.) Even some of the PG movies throw in an unnecessary curse word now.

So, okay, I was all over the place here - it's early, I didn't sleep well (surprise! Now the ceiling fan is making all this noise and does it disturb the dh? Noooo.) But I want to know your thoughts on movie ratings, and if anyone's seen 1408, let me know!

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Anonymous said...

Very true. Mary. I hope someone who's seen the movie posts. I figure 1408 is scary like The Shining, one of the scariest movies I've ever seen but also one of the best.
I don't know if TBC changed in rating or not, but they drop the f-bomb quite a few times. You wouldn't think that would give it an R rating. It's been years since I've seen the non-TBS version.

kris said...

The Breakfast Club - what year was it made? If it was before Indiana Jones & Temple of Doom, then the only choices for rating would have been PG or R - because remember, Temple of Doom was the one that made them create PG-13.

Of course, if it was made AFTER Temple of Doom, then my theory holds no water whatsoever. And yes, I could look this up on my own, but I have a bar mitzvah in my home tomorrow and I shouldn't even be posting this!

kris said...

I am scum. I HAD to check.

Temple of Doom - 1984
Breakfast Club - 1985

Trish Milburn said...

I didn't know that about Temple of Doom (which I loved, btw, as I did all Indy movies). I do think movies, books, TV, pretty much all forms of entertainment have gotten more violent, explicit and gratuitous. And it's almost like we're numb to it all sometimes. I look back at movies from my teenage years (and it wasn't THAT long ago), and they seem so much more tame than now. That said, I still enjoy lots of current movies that do have violence -- the two Underworlds, for example. But then I don't have kids or take any to see these movies.

Kelly Boyce said...

I find the ratings are waaaaaaay more lenient now than they were. As a teen I couldn't get in to see one of the Halloween movies because it was rated R. These days it would probably just be PG-13.

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

Mary, 1408 is from a Stephen King short story. I'm thinking it's probably a "no" for you. :)

I didn't look it up, but I'm pretty sure if there is the F word in a movie, it gets an R rating.

Whether or not things are more "lenient" now depends on your perspective. I've shown old PG movies to my kids and been shocked by the language and other things they've shown. So PG movies now are MUCH tamer. But PG-13 movies are the ones that have the broadest possible audiences, so it's the most coveted rating, so it pushes the boundaries quite a lot, especially regarding violence. But then, not so much if you consider 13-year-olds. I probably wouldn't have a problem letting my 13-year-old see any PG-13 movie. If you consider cusp ages like 10, 11, 12, it gets much more complicated.

Red Dawn was the first PG-13 movie, BTW, in 1984. I remember because I was 13. :) I wasn't aware of the Temple of Doom issue, so I looked it up, and found this very interesting link.

MJFredrick said...

I didn't know about Temple of Doom and Red Dawn being the first PG 13 movies - because I was already a senior. I remember seeing Breakfast Club in the theater.

The Underworlds are a lot for me to watch. I have to watch them on TNT ;) I think the only Halloween I saw was the first one.

From what I understand, PG 13 can have two F words. Freedom Writers had one and it was PG 13.

As for letting your kid see some PG 13, I think you have to know the content, and the kids. I would encourage my kids to see Freedom Writers. I want them to know The Mummy and the first Pirates movie for discussions on writing. Even Harry Potters are PG 13.

I know 1408 is Stephen King, which is more incentive to see it - at least I can hope it's well crafted and not just gore for gore's sake. I just want to know if there's lots of gore ;)

Amie Stuart said...

My ex lets my kids watch movies I'd NEVER let them watch. Ever! Pisses me off but there's nothing I can do--talking to a wall is more productive than talking to him.

I REALLY want to see 1408 too, but we're going to see Nancy Drew this weekend hehe.

I think for me as a parent (My 11 yo son begged me to get clash of the titans on dvd for him to watch bec. he loves greek mythology), it's more about content than rating. PG 13 wiht lots of potty humor is a huge stretch from Freedom Writers.

MJFredrick said...

Amie, that would bug me, too, if someone else showed my kid something I didn't want them to see. You're right about content vs. rating. If there is something quality the child will get out of it, I think they should see it - I want my class to see Harry Potter and Pirates and Mummy, all good, but all PG 13.


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I'm a mom, a wife, a teacher and a writer. I have five cats and a dog to keep me company. I love bookstores and libraries and Netflix - movies are my greatest weakness.
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