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Another Ebert rant about the MPAA

Discussion in 'Movies' started by TheLongshot, Jul 20, 2003.

  1. TheLongshot

    TheLongshot Well-Known Member

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    Just got done watching Ebert and Roeper tonight. Towards the end of the segment was a rant against the MPAA about the use of quotes from his reviews. In the promo material for "Whale Rider", they quote Ebert saying that people should take their kids to see this film. The MPAA, apparantly, took exception to that, since the movie is rated PG-13, which of course means that kids have no business watching this film. They told the studio that they needed to remove the quote from their ads.

    Ebert's disagreement it twofold:

    1. He fully believes that kids should see the film, and his comments aren't limited by the ratings, which does not preclude parents bringing their children to the film. The MPAA shouldn't dictate this.

    2. The whole issue with "Whale Rider" being PG-13 in the first place. Being placed in the same category as "Charlie's Angels 2", just seemed very wrong, and proof that the MPAA ratings are meaningless.

    I gotta say I agree with him.

    Jason
     
  2. Jason Kleeberg

    Jason Kleeberg Active Member

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    The MPAA ratings are worthless.

    The last 2 rated R movies I went to had crying babies and 3 year olds in the theater (T3 and Bad Boys).
     
  3. Chris

    Chris Well-Known Member

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    He's right. Hell, I don't care if a movie is "R", even if the parent disagrees, a reviewer has a right to say the film is important enough/good enough to warrant being a 'family film'.

    I would tell kids that I would prefer they see "Schindler's List" if they are over 13-15 rather then say, some of the PG-13 CRAP that is showing.

    The point being: the MPAA has no right to determine what a studio can use to promote a film if the reviewer said those words. Because the MPAA doesn't pay, promote, endorse, or change the reviewer.
     
  4. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Well-Known Member

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    Cris, the jerks - in effect - changed Ebert. I think it's censorship. What happened to free speech?

    If the studio used Ebert's quote, what could/would the MPAA do, stop rating their movies? Wouldn't that just show how silly the MPAA is?

    Glenn
     
  5. Dan Rudolph

    Dan Rudolph Well-Known Member

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    Glenn I was also wonderign that. What can the MPAA do in this sort of situation?
     
  6. Ricardo C

    Ricardo C Well-Known Member

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    Aren't parents allowed to take their kids into PG-13 movies, as long as they're present in order to provide the "parental guidance" the rating itself suggests?? If so, then Ebert isn't breaking any rules, nor is the studio.
     
  7. Jason Harbaugh

    Jason Harbaugh Well-Known Member

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    So since when is 13 the age you stop being a kid?
     
  8. Ricardo C

    Ricardo C Well-Known Member

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    That's the age when they let you watch "Crossroads" and you're forced to come to terms with the cold, cruel world [​IMG]
     
  9. Bryan Tuck

    Bryan Tuck Well-Known Member

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    Well, I agree that the MPAA shouldn't have requested that the quote be removed from the ads, as similar comments have been used to advertise other PG-13-rated films (most recently, Pirates of the Caribbean), but I don't think ratings are meanlingless.

    Certainly, there have been movies where I've thought to myself, "That got a such-and-such rating?" but overall I think that people's perception of the rating system is more skewed than the system itself. The ratings system was started as a system of guidelines for parents to judge whether or not to let their children see certain films. An PG-13-rating doesn't necessarily mean that a 10-year-old cannot see a certain movie; the rating is simply a warning to parents about what that movies might contain. "Some material may not be appropriate for children under 13."

    I agree that there are inconsistencies in the ratings, but it's hard to pinpoint exactly where things go wrong, because different things offend different people, and children mature at different rates. There may be some 10-year-olds who are ready to see an R-rated film like Schindler's List, and there may be some 13-year-olds who aren't. It should be up to the parent to decide if their kid is ready.

    At any rate, there are some parents that let their kids see anything they want; then there are others who use the ratings system as the end-all, be-all of what is appropriate for their children. Either way, that is the parents' decision, even though neither one are the way I would go about it. Children do surprise you, sometimes they are ready to handle more than you expect, but at the same time, there are some films that I feel just aren't appropriate for 9-year-olds, and the rating system gives us an idea of what to expect in a given film.

    Again, you may not have a problem with your child watching a PG-13 or R-rated film; that's your decision and I fully support it. However, there are parents who would rather their kids not see certain movies yet, and that's what the ratings are for. I haven't seen Whale Rider, but from what I've heard, it probably would be a great film for older kids to see. But the ratings do not denote quality; merely content that could potentially be offensive.

    Also, I think that Roger Ebert's continued campaign for an "A" rating to replace NC-17 is kind of silly. He claims that it would free adult-oriented films from the "NC-17 stigma," but that's what NC-17 was supposed to do for movies that would have gotten an X-rating. After 10 years, the same thing would happen to the A-rating.

    Sorry for the long post, but this is getting to be such a big topic, it seemed like it needed some discussion. Perhaps a re-evaluation of the ratings is in order, but it wouldn't really fix anything. Some parents would still let their kids watch anything they wanted to, and others would blindly follow it. I just think parents need to take the responsibility of finding out about movies, and then decide what to allow their kids to watch. And the current ratings system, while not perfect, gives them a jumping off point. At least for the movies the kids don't sneak into. [​IMG]
     
  10. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Well-Known Member

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    There are no entry restrictions on PG-13. Anyone of any age is free to attend the film, with or without a parent/guardian.

    Only "R" and "NC-17" have entry restrictions. "R" must have a parent/guardian (or just have them buy the tickets at the box office at some theaters). "NC-17" is no one under 18 admitted, period.
     
  11. LisaDoris

    LisaDoris Well-Known Member

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  12. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Well-Known Member

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  13. TheLongshot

    TheLongshot Well-Known Member

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    BTW, it sounded like Ebert would like to be rid of the PG-13 ratings, since he feels that there is too much stuff that should fit more in PG or R that is in that category. I disagree with that for the most part, since there is a signifigant difference between a PG-13 action movie, and an R action movie. (And is why the rating was created in the first place...)

     
  14. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Well-Known Member

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    Peter, that's insane. They sound worse than my mother! They'd actually not review any of their future movies so they would be blacklisted then?

    (Meaning they couldn't get a rating on their next film, and without the rating the theater won't accept the movie at all).

    I'm still waiting for Disney to do this on their next flick. Just skip the MPAA and send it right to the theaters. Since the studios pay the MPAA to rate their movies, - well - I can hear the MPAA screaming about now.

    The major point of Ebert's speech was that he didn't want anyone to send their kids to see it - but was that they should take their kids to see it. With a parent in tow, they would be able to explain anything that wasn't appropriate.

    Glenn
     
  15. Bryan Tuck

    Bryan Tuck Well-Known Member

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  16. Craig S

    Craig S Premium
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    FWIW, I was cheering Roger on when I watched the show this weekend.
     
  17. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Well-Known Member

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    The rating system is complete out and out farce and I would love to see the studios come together and drop them altogether.

    There has been a problem with this system for years and it's primarily because there is no system. If you take a movie rated PG from 15-20 years ago, it would probably be G now. A rating system shouldn't be dependant on the time period that it was released. (What a Joke!)

    I feel that there should be either no rating system or a completely restructered rating system. Maybe something that can be quantifiable and not just a rotating group of people's voted on opinion. Who chooses who is on this board? There is currently nothing about the rating system that describes what a particular movie is about. The ratings are based purely on nudity, profanity, & violence.

    I could ramble on and on, but I feel that I'm starting to repeat myself. I can't even remember the last time that I looked at the rating on a movie before I saw it and most of the time I don't even know afterwards. I simply couldn't care less and I doubt that I would care more if I had children. If I did, I would read reviews first in order to decide whether it was appropriate.

    This system has done nothing but breed laziness!!
     
  18. Jefferson Morris

    Jefferson Morris Well-Known Member

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  19. TheLongshot

    TheLongshot Well-Known Member

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  20. Jefferson Morris

    Jefferson Morris Well-Known Member

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