Denim&Venom

Movies/TV Is It Time For The Movie Ratings System To Be Overhauled?

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Watched a few vids on this topic and noticed the trend myself, but most PG-13 movies are not that great, dropping bloody violence, mature themes, nudity, and most swears to bring in teens and the family demographic. 

 

PG was a very different animal back then. Fun fact: Poltergeist, was a PG film. Temple Of Doom was PG too. But parents complained and Spielberg himself asked that a middle ground was introduced and a long chain of successful PG-13 films were released the following 20 years. 

 

But nowadays there's a marked shift in quality. PG-13 films of the 90's are very different then ones from the mid 00s on. PG-13 back then woudl be rated R now. And PG-13 films of today would probably be PG films in the early 80s. And the quality of many films has suffered for it, writers, producers & directors having to work in strict confines and alter a potentially successful work in order to bring int he teenage demographic. 

 

Babylon A.D., a film about Vin Diesel in a futuristic dystopia, was cut to be PG-13. It ended up being so bad, the director told everyone to stay away from it. The last two Die Hard films were made PG-13. After being adjusted for inflation, they actually performed the poorest at the box office.  The Kings Speech, an academy award winner, was originally rated R, but had a brief PG-13 release. A release that bombed. After Expendables 2 unperformed, Expendables 3 was made PG-13. That bombed worse, in part due to the target demographic not knowing who half the cast were, and alienating the ones that did. 

 

Another fun fact: More R rated films have been nominated and won academy wards for best picture, than all of the G, PG & PG-13 nominees and winners put together. 

 

My point? Is it time for a new ratings system to be implemented? Should there be more stratification like there is in TV programming? Would it be better to add a PG-10, a PG-15 and a PG-17? Perhaps even stratify the R rating? Cause even the R rating is starting to be treated as the modern NC-17, w/ most studios preferring to avoid it and a number of TV channels refusing to show ads for it.

 

Is it time for a change? Or do you think the old system is working just fine? 

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I don't think changing the ratings would solve the problem outright, because the same loop would happen eventually. Studios would still try to go for the middle ground rating in this case. The problem is within the studios themselves. I hate films that have their ratings be dropped just to get wider appeal, because that usually means sacrificing things in the movie itself, but that is up to the movie studio and the producers.

 

Another thing I hate is when a film is rated R but doesn't live up to that R rating. Apparently Batman The Killing Joke is a perfect example. It is all about marketing and the studios trying to exploit, the problem is with them.

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The King's Speech should not have been R-rated to begin with. That said, the PG-13 release which bombed was long after the film had already been on general release, and is not available on DVD, etc.

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(edited)
PG-13 back then woudl be rated R now. And PG-13 films of today would probably be PG films in the early 80s.

 

I would disagree with that to some extent, but that may be due to my living in the UK where the system is slightly different.  I find that a great many films now are rated lower than they would have been twenty years ago as opposed to higher.  A lot of films that were rated 18 in the 80s, if they were re-rated today would become 15 instead.  I think the general public, and by extension, the BBFC (British Board of Film Classification) has become rather more jaded towards violence and bad language than they previously were.  A lot of the 80s action films that attracted an 18 rating, like Predator and Cobra contain standard 80s consequence-free violence, where lots of people die, but nobody really gets hurt.  If they were resubmitted to the BBFC, they would surely attract a 15 rating these days, considering that films like Saving Private Ryan, which contain far more realistic depictions of violence, with real consequences, scored that lower rating.

 

The rating system (both in the UK and what I understand of the US system) is fine, there is no problem with it.  The problem is with the film industry itself.  Rather than making a film aimed at adults, the film makers themselves will all too often edit it to seek the lower rating and thus broaden the possible audience, therefore increasing the revenue from the film.

Edited by Concerned Bystander

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I would disagree with that to some extent, but that may be due to my living in the UK where the system is slightly different.  I find that a great many films now are rated lower than they would have been twenty years ago as opposed to higher.  A lot of films that were rated 18 in the 80s, if they were re-rated today would become 15 instead.  I think the general public, and by extension, the BBFC (British Board of Film Classification) has become rather more jaded towards violence and bad language than they previously were.  A lot of the 80s action films that attracted an 18 rating, like Predator and Cobra contain standard 80s consequence-free violence, where lots of people die, but nobody really gets hurt.  If they were resubmitted to the BBFC, they would surely attract a 15 rating these days, considering that films like Saving Private Ryan, which contain far more realistic depictions of violence, with real consequences, scored that lower rating.

 

The rating system (both in the UK and what I understand of the US system) is fine, there is no problem with it.  The problem is with the film industry itself.  Rather than making a film aimed at adults, the film makers themselves will all too often edit it to seek the lower rating and thus broaden the possible audience, therefore increasing the revenue from the film.

I was coming in here to say something similar, but you beat me to it.

 

I don't see any issue with the rating system other than the fact they occasionally rate LBGT themes higher, like when a Woman kisses another woman like they did with the film "The Hours" that netted the film a higher rating for "Sexual content" and "Thematic Elements" stateside.

 

Other than things like that though, the issue lies more in the industry than it does in the rating system itself. Directors will edit down films in order to get them to fit in a certain rating rather, which makes the film suffer for it as a whole.  Which is rather disappointing when you realize that you can often find a film's potential lying on the cutting room floor or during deleted scenes. Test audiences can be even worse in that regards, but I don't want to get off topic. 

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