Thursday, May 17, 2012

Boobage in Michael J. Fox Movies? No...

I think I'm getting old. Or, even worse than that, I think I'm becoming a mom... a real mom, who allows my kids to only watch good, wholesome G rated movies.

Or, the movie industry is making me think I'm going crazy.

I'm going to go ahead and go with the 3rd option (because screw the 'old' thing, and I don't know if I'm ready to be a real mom yet; I haven't been visited by a fairy godmother and a cricket that can talk).

Has the movie industry changed the ratings on older movies, or am I going crazy?

There's no need to argue the fact that what was acceptable in an R rated movie 20 years ago is now acceptable in a PG-13 movie, but have the people that assign the ratings actually gone back and changed ratings of older movies?

Easy enough to google, I guess, but I'm choosing not to at this moment, in lieu of my own personal research.

I allow my kids to watch PG-13 movies. Yes, they are 10 and 7, and no, I do not just let them watch any movie, regardless of rating. I look up the movie on IMDb first, and check out the parental guide before allowing my kids to watch it. What is allowed to be viewed in our house? Minimal cussing, drinking, some violence and gore. What is not allowed to be viewed in our house (or must wait until the kids go to bed)? Nudity, sex, extreme cussing (Pulp Fiction style), drug use, extreme violence, nasty gore, horror movies and thrillers (could cause bad dreams). Generally speaking, I do not have to check the parental guide on PG movies and PG-13 movies made in the early 90s or before. We don't even attempt R rated movies, and PG-13 movies made in the 90s or later I need to check, especially recent PG-13 movies (they show nudity, drug use, extreme cussing, sex and all kinds of other crap nowadays).

Imagine my surprise when browsing on Netflix one night to find our family movie of the evening, I see that
'Doc Hollywood' is rated PG-13. Hmmm... I could have sworn that movie was rated R back in the day, because I didn't get to see it until I was a teenager. I must be mistaken, and the kids would probably find it hilarious. Michael J. Fox, small South Carolina town, pet pig... perfectly harmless.

Until 10 minutes into the movie, a woman gets out of the lake and proceeds to have an entire conversation, butt ass naked, with Michael J. Fox's character, and yes, there is full-on boobage. The kids giggled, hid their eyes, yelled out, 'Ewwww, gross' and my daughter looks at me and says, 'Mom, what are you letting us watch?'

I'm letting them watch what I thought was a harmless PG-13 80s/early 90s movie. There was no boobage in PG-13 80s/early 90s movies, thank you. If so, I would have definitely remembered; I grew up on them. So, I paused the movie (not on the boobage part, don't worry), looked it up on IMDb, and sure enough, right there, it says there's frontal boobage in the first 10 minutes. Thank goodness that's all of the inappropriateness in the movie, so, considering there was nothing else to catch me off guard, the kids and I finished the movie... which they loved.

That led me on a hunt for more movies that I believe the movie industry has changed the ratings.

I found 'The Breakfast Club'. It was rated R back in the 80s because of the drug use, language and subject matter. I remember when I was a kid, thinking how stupid it was that the movie was rated R. But here was 'The Breakfast Club' listed on Netflix, as PG-13. IMDb still has it as R, but Netflix and my cable's 'on demand' section both have it labeled as PG-13.

So, I'm not crazy, right? Some part of the ratings or movie industry is changing the ratings on older movies now that we (as a society) accept boobage, sex, cussing and drug use in PG-13 movies, right?

Holy crap, are you serious? Changing the freaking ratings on older movies to allow my kids to see more crap? We watch 80s/early 90s movies to escape the crap, because I trust those movies; I grew up on those movies, and look at me- I turned out just fine. (Stop your snickering, I hear it.) Now they're making R rated movies into PG-13 movies? I can't trust them anymore! What the hell?

I know that I can't trust PG-13 movies of today; I have to look all of those up on IMDb before the kids and I watch them. Hell, some PG movies are on the edge of questionable nowadays. But, to go back and change the ratings on movies made 20 years ago... that's just downright wrong. What's the purpose? To try and get a bigger audience if an anniversary edition is released? To expose younger kids to things they shouldn't be exposed to? To make moms like me think we're crazy?

I know what some of you are thinking right now: if I have such a problem with it, then how about I just don't let my 10 and 7 year old kids watch PG-13 movies? Valid point. But, I veto it. Because I can. Many great movies are being given a PG-13 rating instead of a PG rating nowadays because there's one too many uses of the word 'shit' in the script. My kids hear that on a regular basis, so in my house, a movie that has 'shit' 3 times in it instead of 2 is perfectly okay.

The ratings standards, ironically enough, allow more crap to be viewed by a younger crowd, but also have stricter guidelines nowadays (tell me how that makes sense). If the 'F' bomb is dropped a certain number of times, the rating goes from PG-13 to R. But, as we learned from the whole 'Black Swan' vs. 'Blue Valentine' debate, a woman going down on a woman in a dream sequence is definitely acceptable and thus given an R rating, but a man going down on a woman as an act of sex is borderline unacceptable and may have to carry an NC-17 rating (they still have those?). So, you can see from this paragraph alone that the ratings industry is completely cracked out.

But, they need to keep their hands off of my tried-and-true 80s/early 90s wholesome movies. Seriously. I base a great deal of my parenting on those; if I could watch it when I was a kid, then my kids can watch it. Easy enough, right?

Has anyone else noticed this new phenomenon, or am I seriously going crazy? Have you noticed a different rating on one of your tried-and-true favorite movies from when you were growing up? Or, has anyone actually googled it (I still refuse to for this article; makes it too easy) to see what the movie ratings' system has to say about it?

Or am I going to continue to be shocked by boobage in Michael J. Fox movies? Good grief.

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  1. Wow! I had never paid it any attention. Travis is 17 now, and much to his dismay, I still won't let him watch 'R' movies. Hehehe. Sometimes motherhood has its perks...

    1. What??? Let that boy watch some R rated movies.

      Hahahaha, who am I kidding? I'll be the same way with The Ginger...