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PG-13

C.R.E.A.M. "Cash Rules Everything Around Me" There's something very sad about SCARY MOVIE 3 being rated PG-13.

And now even Scary Movie is following suit.  It's a shame, for the first two were downright hilarious, particularly due to their extremely foul sense of humor.  The jock getting impaled by a penis; the girl getting plastered to the ceiling with her boyfriend's backed-up Juices.  Forgive me if I forget examples from the Sequel, but the morning is young, and my memory simply does not function at hours like these...

 

Look back a few years, to when the remake of Gone in 60 Seconds was released.  The ads had Angelina Jolie and Nicholas Cage pondering which was more exciting- stealing cars, or hard-core sex.  An interesting debate this could be (although it turned out not to be the point of the movie), but how could it be examined in a context where nudity and profanity are practically forbidden?  Granted, it wouldn't be impossible, but it would take some serious mastery.  Of course, this film was NOT that taste of genius, but it did rake in a decent profit.

 

My point is that what was portrayed as the theme of Gone in 60 Seconds simply could not have been explored in a PG-13 movie, nor could the humor of the first two installments of Scary Movie been as it were.  The rating system set forth by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has rigid guidelines...and up until recently, I actually supported them.  By establishing a private scale for movies to fall in, they prevented the Government from intervening, leaving the task a shade closer to those who actually create movies.

 

However, we are in the Age of Loopholes, where folks often try to circumvent regulations by exploiting the Letter of the Law.  So, as long as certain four-letter words are left out, pink flesh is kept to minimum levels, and violence is not graphic, you can mainstream a film into a PG-13 class.

 

And what does it all mean?

 

"Dolla dolla bill, y'all"

(Wu-Tang Clan)

 

Movies that are PG-13 gain the largest audiences, and thus generate the largest profits.  As long as you're 13, you can see a PG-13 movie on your own...but most States don't let people drive until they're 16.  On top of that, this section of the Ratings falls in the perfect middleground- not too "adult" for Junior, yet not too "childish" for Mommy and Daddy- making it oh so convenient to take the family to a movie.

 

Don't get me wrong; not all movies rated PG-13 are crummy, nor are the best movies only rated R.  The Abyss is a good example, for it was smart and compelling, and it was rated PG-13.  Then there's The Truman Show, which remains one of the most brilliant and outstanding films of all time, and it was only PG.  It's just that there's a growing trend of making movies that should be rated R lessened to a PG-13, depleting the original Message just to make a bigger Buck.  And that's where my qualm is: Curtailing Expression for Cash.

 

Assuredly, if the artist(s) making the movie can produce what they envision without an R rating, then right on.    However, watering down the original Idea simply to cater to the Masses is a filthy thing.    Furthermore, this new Scary Movie comes not from the original creators (the Wayans brothers), but from a fella named David Zucker.            

 

On the other hand, Scary Movie 3 did rake in $49.7 million in its first week at the box office, opening at #1.  So, I guess it all depends on what's more important: money, or integrity.

 

For the record, I will state that I have faith in Zucker, for he did direct great (and funny as hell) movies like BASEketball, Airplane!, and The Naked Gun series, and therefore I'm not saying that I suspect Scary Movie 3 will not be funny.  It's just that it won't be the same, that great crude and foul raunchiness that made the first two so great.

 

Then again, I'm also beginning to have serious suspicions about the MPAA, so I could very well be completely wrong here.  But that's a whole nother ding job, one I'll just leave for this moment with pointing out that Secretary was rated R, "For strong sexuality, some nudity, depiction of behavioral disorders, and language."  Not "adult content," not "mature subject matter," but they cite "depiction of behavioral disorders."  And then there's the issue about this new Screener Ban...

 

©Jake McGee - Get Underground

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