Rated P for Peril

15 October, 2002 at 1:38 pm (film)

Sometime in the vicinity of the V-Chip Ratings Flap, after which television shows started broadcasting small boxes indicating the potential danger of their subsequent content, I began reading film reviews that listed the reviewers’ thoughts on the reasons why a film received a certain rating. Some of these comments seem to be taking the piss, as it were — at least, I sincerely hope so. If one of the reasons why, for example, CROSSROADS received a PG-13 rating is because the three main characters drove without seatbelts, then I will have to seriously reconsider my already critical opinions of the MPAA and the CARA.

More recently, though, I have noticed that movie posters and film trailers have a box that lists the reasons why a rating has been merited. Some of these are worded flagrantly enough, and revealing of enough puritanical conservatism as to give their potential audience the wrong idea; can the “sexuality/sensuality” that appears in TUCK EVERLASTING really be so salacious as to bear mention if the film is only PG-13? Then again, I’ve noticed that casual drug use can be the sole listed reason why a film is rated R, and that a positive portrayal of a homosexual relationship will brand a film not only with an R-rating, but also the Red Preview Screen Of Death, indicating that it is not acceptable for all audiences and is not likely to even be shown at the majority of most commercial cinemas across the United States. Far be it from children to watch uncensored trailers that show men kissing with absent familiarity.

Still, the content preview boxes have provided me with entertainment, and have provided thousands of semi-observant teenaged boys with the ability to, um, pique their interests while searching for salacious content, much in the way that any television show rated TVMA will be worth their second glance. But by far the best rating reason I have seen is that of the upcoming Disney film TREASURE PLANET. Disney prefers to have their animated films judged as appropriate for General audiences, going so far as to release the PG-rated NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS under the Touchstone banner, in case it’s macabre trappings impugn upon the popular perception of the Disney family imprint. Still, the animated TREASURE PLANET will be rated PG.

Oh, no!  Peril!And the MPAA stated reason? “Peril.”

Bwah-ha-ha ha haa ha ha haaaaa….
Oh my…


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