The room fades dark as the lights begin to dim causing the huge white screen in the front of the room to grow brighter and brighter as the light shines upon it. The chatter of voices from the crowded room slowly dies down as pictures flash across the screen and sounds come through the speakers. As the previews end everyone has gotten as comfortable in the soft red chairs as they possibly can in preparation for a couple of hours to see a good movie? Or is it so good?
There is a lot to discuss on this issue. There is the content in general. Then there is the rating system. What do these things say about us in our tastes and in our culture? The message is not a good one. At least not one I want to hear.
Movies in the United States undergo ratings from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). These ratings range from G (General Audiences) all the way to NC-17 (17 and under can forget getting in). This is a good thing, but sometimes…much of the time I think these ratings are getting a little to liberal. (More information about each rating can be found on the website at http://mpaa.org/FlmRat_Ratings.asp).
What constitutes a movie to be G, PG, PG13 and so on? It can have anything to do with violence, sexual content, drugs, language and other content that may make it unsuitable for younger viewers. As the years have passed, more and more has made it into lower rated movies. I recently watched a movie that was fairly clean. It was rated PG13, I believe. It was actually pretty good. There were a few instances of sexual allusions, drugs, and violence but the story was great.
There seem to be more movies now that attract large crowds but the rating is up there. The language, sexual content, etc is overwhelming. Why does Hollywood keep making these movies? BECAUSE WE SUPPORT THEM. I am guilty of this myself. One of the hottest movies people are talking about today is 300, the story of the Spartans. I keep wanting to watch this movie, and stuck it in the DVD player and watched about 15 minutes. Already it was violent, and had nudity at least twice. With the help of a friend, I turned it off. Hollywood is making movies that will make them money. If they don’t make money, they won’t make the movies.
Now the large screen lights up and words begin flying across the screen, along with the pictures and sound blaring form the speakers surrounding the room. “The following picture has been rated R due to strong language, sexual content, and graphic violence.” Maybe the movies weren’t such a good idea. Maybe the beach would be a better place to hang out…
(P.S.: I have recently come across a warning about the movie, The Golden Compas. Evidently it is based on a book series written by an atheist who wants to get children to ask for the books for Christmas. In the last book they protagonists kill God. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,305487,00.html )