Hard Candy, V for Vendetta, Dodgeball, and the US Movie Rating System

Let’s start with the US movie rating system. For those of you unfamiliar, there are a few basic ratings:

  • G – General Audiences. Suited for people of any age. Normally like mellow historical movies or documentaries. And Disney movies (although most Disney movies nowadays are PG or PG-13).
  • PG – Parental Guidance Suggested. Kids should have an adult with them. In practice, this is about the lowest rating a normal movie can get. These are like little kid movies though.
  • PG-13 – Parents Strongly Cautioned. This is your average movie. Might have a bit of violence or language, but not much.
  • R – Restricted. Anyone under 17 has to have an adult with them. Most theatres only enforce this by keeping minors from purchasing tickets. These movies range from a bit of violence and language, to downright awful movies filled with sex and gore.
  • NC-17 – No One 17 And Under Admitted. Porn.

So I don’t like watching movies that are, to me, offensive. This includes movies with gratuitous nudity, language, and gore. I say gore instead of violence because violence is a part of life. If a guy gets shot in a war scene, whatever. If for no reason two main characters decide to have sex, thats kind of dumb. Even if there is a reason, there really isn’t any point in SHOWING them having sex. It doesn’t add to the story line. It’s just there in a pitiful attempt to draw more viewers.

But anyways. My point. So two movies I watched recently: V for Vendetta and Dodgeball.

V for Vendetta: Rated R. Basically the government is horribly oppresive and a crazy masked guy decides to blow stuff up and kill some bad guys in order to fix things. Had a fair amount of violence, but for the most part pretty minor. People getting shot and stuff. Buildings blowing up. Also had a bit of language. I honestly don’t remember very much foul language at all. Perhaps a bit here and there where appropriate, but nothing gratuitous. No nudity. No sex. Overall, a very enjoyable movie.

Dodgeball: Rated PG-13. Basically, the employees of a local gym decide to compete in a dodgeball tournament to win the prize money so they can save their gym. This movie was filled with foul language, sex innuendoes (including blow-up genitals and bisexuals), and violence (although a lot was comical, like a guy throwing wrenches at people). I really didn’t like the movie. Would’ve been funny if they had cut the crap out and just had some clean humour.

So my issue here is why the crap is a movie like V for Vendetta rated R, and a movie like Dodgeball rated PG-13? I don’t have kids, but when I do, I hope the avoid movies like Dodgeball. There isn’t any value in them. Not even much comedy. I’d rather they go see rated R movies like V for Vendetta where at least the movie has a purpose, teaches some morals, and doesn’t have sex interlaced throughout it.

Just another wonderful contribution to society by our beloved MPAA.

Okay quick note: Just finished watching Forest Gump again. Anyone notice that Dorothy Harris, the bus driver, looks the same even after all those years? Dorothy drives the bus for Forest Gump, Sr. and Forest Gump, Jr. Maybe Dorothy #2 is Dorothy Harris, Jr. or something. I don’t know…

So now that I got my bit out about the rating system and how I think it is dumb and shouldn’t govern ones views on movies, but rather the content of the movie should cause a person to decide whether to watch it or not, I’ll talk about Hard Candy.

I found Hard Candy on a newsgroup the other day, and watched it. What an amazing movie! Definitely not for little kids as it covers topics that require a more mature understanding of things, but a great view for the average adult IMHO. The story is this:  Hayley is a precocious 14 year old girl who takes it upon herself to punish Jeff, an older man and a photographer, for pedophilic tendencies. She does this by hooking up with him on the internet and then taking him hostage in his own home. Filmed in only 18 days, this movie shows deep insight into the minds of two disturbed individuals, and accomplishes this without showing any nudity whatsoever. Pretty impressive for a film about a pedophile. This movie does have a fair amount of language. However, this is understandable in the circumstances that the characters are placed in. I don’t mind bad language as much when it is used in realistic situations. It seems like some movies only use language to get an R rating.

But seriously. Watch this movie. It is AMAZING. Honestly one of my favorite movies. Again, not good for kids, but good for anyone who likes a movie with a bit deeper meaning, a few good twists, and a minimum amount of offensive content. Unfortunately, looks like it is out of most theatres and not on DVD yet, so unless you download it, you are out of luck. Sorry.

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