Peter Jensen 8:30 a.m., May 25
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This Blog Rated PG
I heard a movie star talking about a film he was in. He mentioned it was the first movie that got the PG 13 rating. I was surprised, because I remember when I was 13, the movie Dreamscape came out. Entertainment Tonight (side note: Mary Hart’s legs look even better when you’re 13) said that movie was the first to get that rating.
And when it came on HBO, I remember a woman nude during a love scene. Although, I bought the DVD a few years ago and that scene was edited (no, I didn’t buy the movie just for that scene…it was on sale for only $4).
I talked about moving ratings with local musician Jose Sinatra at a party the other day (you can read about it in a future Crasher). Of course, we brought up the well known trivia question about Midnight Cowboy (Dustin Hoffman/Jon Voight) being the only X rated film to ever win an Oscar for Best Picture.
Somewhere in the 70s, “X” started to only mean “pornography”.
Eventually, they came up with NC17 to indicate that the movie wasn’t pornographic, but that it was for nobody under 17 (unlike R movies, which for some reason, parents are allowed to bring kids in).
The latest Meryl Streep movie “It’s Complicated” (it’s not very good) was rated R. The entertainment magazines have done stories about how it got that R rating simply because of a scene in which Steve Martin smokes a joint with Streep. The ratings board ruled that it showed marijuana in a fun and glamorous light.
Well, if that’s going to be what the ratings board does…what about all the movies that have people smoking cigarettes? The characters that are supposed to be cool or sexy, and they have a cancer stick dangling from their lip or hand.
Is the ratings board going to take the same approach to alcohol? Most teen comedies have a scene that involves a party with underage drinking. Shouldn’t the same rule apply to those films?
Sinatra told me that the PG rating initially was GP, but so many people were confused by that (he’s like a walking encyclopedia of music and movie triva).
I recently watched a DVD of Inside Moves (a must see if you’re a basketball fan, know someone that’s disabled, or you just like good movies). It came out in 1979 and was rated PG. During the director commentary, Donner talked about how it was initially given an R rating because of all the curse words. And that makes me wonder -- at what point does all that change?
Somewhere along the line, we were able to see Denis Franz show his butt on TV in NYPD Blue. And, we also heard some blue language from the cast.
I worked in radio when Denis Leary released the song “A$$hole”. Our boss gave us the okay to play it (this was the early 90s). It was surprising, since a year earlier we were told to edit the Lou Reed classic “Walk on the Wild Side.”
Avatar is currently rated PG 13. I’m not sure why it isn’t rated PG. The Chipmunks movie is rated PG. Not sure why it isn’t G.
Over the last few years, I’ve seen R rated movies that should’ve been NC17. Bruno, which had a one minute close-up of a naked man with a dancing penis (among other graphic sex scenes); Zack & Mira Make a Porno (yet another turkey by the talented Kevin Smith…which had graphic sex scenes); and The Dreamers, which was a Bernardo Bertolucci film, so critics felt like they had to give it a good review. It had a great premise, but lost its way rather quickly. But geez…you think it was hardcore when Marlon Brando used butter in Bertolucci’s “Last Tango in Paris”…it has nothing on this film, which should’ve gotten an NC17.
The NC17 rating kind of bit the dust, when certain groups protested the theatres that would carry them.
Those groups should instead protest the theatres that carry garbage like “Did you Hear about the Morgans?”