Monday, June 30, 2008

Kid Vid

Now that Daughter is nearly a tween (a sign of this appeared on her bedroom door this week; it says "Please Knock" on one side and "Keep Out" on the other) I am having a hard time vetting movies for her to watch. My general policy is that anything rated PG-13 needs at best a pre-screening, but in practice it usually ends up being a co-viewing followed by discussion.

I tend to be more lenient about sex than violence (and a combination of the two is strictly prohibited) because, well, I don't think sex is bad, and I do think violence is. Of course, she'd rather die than watch any sex--any hint, suggestion, implication of sex--so it pretty much works out.

But the rating system is so weird. Last night I watched I Am Legend, which was rated PG-13 but showed scary zombies, the end of the world, and an exploding helicopter. But over the winter we watched R-rated Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, and heard the f-word and a mild homosexual joke ("Those aren't pillows!"). So weird.

Anyway, so I've been using this site (via I can't remember who) to check out the movies in advance. Warning: their summaries are full of spoilers. However, it does list every single thing that any parent could find objectionable.

For Shrek, for example (a movie that I can't imagine anyone who wants to see has not seen), it warns:

SEX/NUDITY 3 - A man is seen in bed with bare shoulders and chest. There are a handful of kisses. There are a couple of attempted kisses, in two scenes characters pucker up in anticipation of being kissed, and a woman asks for a kiss. There are some mild sexual references during a scene describing three princesses. Two characters flirt in several scenes; one includes references to physical relationships. A dragon kisses an ogre's bottom (by mistake). A man kisses a woman's hand. A woman exposes some cleavage in a tight fitting gown. Some wooden puppets wear plumber's pants exposing painted bottom cleavage. A donkey urinates on a camp fire. A female dragon falls in love with a donkey. We see a shirtless green ogre.

So if you're worried about what your kid might see, well now you know.

I was thinking about going to see Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull--rated PG-13--last month, and saw this rating:

So I thought, mmm, maybe a little too much. Maybe she'd like Prince Caspian--rated PG--better (we're Narnia geeks, subliminal christian messages notwithstanding), and got this rating for it:

We skipped the movies altogether. We've been playing Clue instead, which probably gets a rating for implied violence somehow.

"Multiple suggestions of murder. Multiple murder weapons listed: candlestick, rope, lead pipe, wrench, etc. People make accusations of murder. People laugh hysterically and mime murders with tiny murder weapons."

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