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I’m sure many of you have either seen or heard about movies in earlier decades, especially in the 1980s, with lower ratings than they should have. One of the more notable films is Sixteen Candles. This film, which is rated PG, has strong language, adult themes and nudity. It surprises many when they watch this movie to learn that it is rated only PG. I had another surprise a few weeks ago. I recently rented Weird Science, another 80s movie with Anthony Michael Hall. The movie was rated PG-13, but, like Sixteen Candles, contained nudity and strong language, which should have pushed it to an R rating. I recently saw a few other 80s movies as well. I watched Footloose, which was filmed in Utah, and Can’t Buy Me Love. Footloose was rated PG, but definitely should be re-rated to PG-13. There are several adult themes, including sexual themes, which are very inappropriate for children. Can’t Buy Me Love, PG-13, has a more appropriate rating, but still deals with adult and sexual themes. Again, this movie would not be appropriate for children. After watching these movies I couldn’t help, but think that the standards for movies were severely different then they are today. These movies stand as examples that even though the rating may be low, the content is still questionable and may be inappropriate for most people.

 

To be completely honest, it’s hard to criticize these movies. I sort of grew up with them and they’re very entertaining!

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Best Picture Award Winners

December 10, 2007

Academy Awards

 

When I was thinking about movie ratings the other day I decided to look up the movies that won an Academy Award for Best Picture over the past 16 years or so. What I discovered was pretty interesting. Out of the 16 award-winners, 10 were rated R and not one was rated anything less than PG-13. I didn’t want to go in to all the nominees because the list would be terribly long, but the majority of them were rated R as well. It is interesting to see what movies are deemed “the best” and what types of values those movies represent. I’m not here saying that any of these movies are bad or shouldn’t win for best picture, but I’m just pointing out a trend in society. Before 1991 there were still rated R movies winning best picture, but it was far less than the past 15 years.

  

2006 – The Departed – R

2005 – Crash – R

2004 – Million Dollar Baby – PG-13

2003 – The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King – PG-13

2002 – Chicago – PG-13

2001 – A Beautiful Mind – PG-13

2000 – Gladiator – R

1999 – American Beauty- R

1998 – Shakespeare in Love – R

1997 – Titanic – PG-13

1996 – The English Patient – R

1995 – Braveheart – R

1994 – Forest Gump – PG-13

1993 – Schindler’s List – R

1992 – Unforgiven – R

1991 – The Silence of the Lambs – R

No Country For Old Men

December 6, 2007

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Well, it’s sad to say, but I was convinced to see this R rated movie by some friends and some really great reviews. No Country For Old Men is a Coen Brothers movie. If you don’t know some of the other movies they’ve directed, here are a few: Fargo, O Brother, Where Art Thou, and The Big Lebowski.

 This movie is set in the early 1980s in West Texas. A psychopathic killer is looking for a briefcase full of almost two million dollars, while a local man, who found the money after stumbling onto a drug deal gone bad, is trying to make sure he’s not discovered. The majority of the movie deals with the man who found the money trying to get away from the killer. This plot line is a return to the dark, noir themes which have provided the Coens with some of their most successful material. There is a style of comedy present in the film, but not as strongly as their other films. There is a very subtle comedic element throughout the movie, but if you’re looking for a good laugh, you might need to look elsewhere.  As much as this sounds like I’m trying to justify myself for watching an R rated movie, I thought this movie was done quite tastefully. There was no nudity and hardly any language in it; I’ve heard worse in PG-13 movies. There was a significant amount of violence, but I guess for me nudity is more offensive than violence. However, both nudity and violence are offensive.  

After watching this movie I was a little surprised at the rating, to be honest. This led me to think that many directors and producers have been adding certain elements to their movies in order to get an R rating. I don’t know if producers believe that their movies will be more credible if they have a higher rating, or if they want to attract an “R-rated audience.” Either way, I find this to be a slightly disturbing trend. Hollywood seems to place more importance on R rated movies so more directors and producers are making them. Good movies, such as this one, could quite easily be made PG-13, but won’t because the R supposedly makes them better. What will make producers move away from R-rated movies?

Beowulf

December 5, 2007

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A little while ago I had the unfortunate opportunity to see the movie Beowulf after I was given free passes to it. Beowulf is the animated film adaptation of the Old English epic poem of the same name. This film was created through motion capture, which is a technique similar to the one used in The Polar Express. All of the actors look like their characters; however, it is clear that they are animated.  The movie stars such actors as Angelina Jolie, Anthony Hopkins, Ray Winstone, John Malkovich, and Crispin Glover. Rober Zemeckis directed the film and took several directorial liberties to change the story to make it more appealing to general audiences.

 

Despite changing the original story of Beowulf, the greatest injustice to the public was the needless addition of nudity to the movie. Zemeckis decided to take every opportunity that presented itself to portray the animated characters with barely any clothes on. Although the film is animated and obviously not trying to portray reality, the nudity was still offensive and unnecessary to the general understanding of the film.

 

Beowulf is rated PG-13 for the violence and nudity, but for as many sexual references as the movie has and the nudity, it seems like the movie should have been rated higher. There is no strong language in the movie or profanity, but there are many anatomical and sexual terms that would very inappropriate for children.

 

I definitely wouldn’t recommend this movie to anyone, especially children. The fact that it is animated seems to attract many children, but it would be highly irresponsible to let them see this film.