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January 23, 2007

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DVD of the Week – This Film Is Not Yet Rated (2006)

by RISHI AGRAWAL

I will admit, as an adult with no children, I don’t pay very close attention to film ratings. I do pay attention to critical reviews and I think I have a general idea of the content of a film – whether I expect violence or profanity. It has no effect on whether I watch a film or not, however. If a movie looks good, I’ll see it. I have run across the occasional adult who will prefer R-rated movies over PG or PG-13 movies, because he doesn’t want a film to be toned down. (I don’t mean to be sexist here, but I use the pronoun “he” because I have never met a female with this viewpoint.)

Still, I think we all realize the importance of the rating system. As flawed as it may be, many parents depend on it to determine what their kids are allowed to watch. It is a proven fact that, generally speaking, PG and PG-13 movies receive more box office attention than R movies. Most theaters won’t even carry NC-17 movies. Most filmmakers recognize the need for a rating system, but only seek consistency in movie ratings.

What the documentary This Film Is Not Yet Rated does is examine the inner workings of the MPAA rating system, exposing flaws and inconsistencies. The reports are that this film has been successful in opening a dialogue between the MPAA and filmmakers. Indeed, we’re increasingly seeing reports of reform within the MPAA. (Thanks, James, for the link.) This is a documentary that looks at the movie industry, and we can’t help but be fascinated.

Other new releases this week: The Guardian, Jesus Camp, Saw III, Sherrybaby


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  1. Jason Greenwood
    Jan 28 2007

    We have ratings for movies, although unrated is meaningless because it can have simulated bestiality to scenes that were edited out due to them being boring. Record albums have explicit lyric labels. If we look at books and the written word, anyone can usually buy or check out any book at a library any book, no matter how explicit. Although it might be hard for a minor to check out the Joy of Sex or Cthulhu Sex. People are so quick to ban movies, music, and pictures, but don’t touch those romance books. It is unfortunate that movie makers do not have the freedom that book authors do. Now we have a rating system for TV shows and Video games. Instead of all these stupid ratings which are inconsistent between movies, TV, and videogames, parents should take an interest in what their children are doing and watching. Movies have G, PG, PG-13, R, NC-17; TV has Y, Y7, Y7 FV, G, PG, 14, MA; Video games have EC, E, E 10+, T, M, AO, RP. Music just has explicit lyrics.

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