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Should a movie be punished by an R rating simply because of an X number of F-bombs?

 
 
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Dec, 2010 12:00 pm
@tsarstepan,
Keep in mind Engineer that these films aren't aimed at toddlers or elementary school children. There will never be swearing like this in the likes of a Barney the Dinosaur movie or Dora the Explorer film or Barbie's great adventure flick.

These films if possible are aimed at middle school aged kids or higher.
engineer
 
  2  
Reply Sat 11 Dec, 2010 12:11 pm
@tsarstepan,
My comments really aren't aimed at the movie that started the thread. I haven't seen it, but from your description it sounds like the language is an integral part of the story. I was responding to Finn's comments about movies targeted to children adding in the occasional shocker and discussing Max's comments about whether they are gratuitous, essential or somewhere in between.
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Dec, 2010 12:14 pm
@engineer,
I know you were referring to Finn's film, The Monster Squad was a film aimed at that same audience I was speaking of. The screenwriter didn't write the curse words to shock and awe its audience. These words were used to the opposite effect. In the context of these spoken words, these are actual words the characters are expected to use during these types of situations. The usage is somewhere in between.

The King's Speech isn't a film produced and aimed for children but its a film that's suitable for an emotionally mature and inquisitive child anyway.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  2  
Reply Sat 11 Dec, 2010 12:59 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

Finn's gratuitous use of the word 'jackass' is amusing, but it raises an interested question. Why did he feel it was necessary? Did Finn say 'jackass' to increase the ratings of an otherwise great post?

Of course, there is the possibility that these words are used for effect as part of normal communication even though some people overreact in a rather ridiculous manner.




I used the term "jackass" for an effect (an expression of both irony and scorn) that is appropriate to the content of my message and my intended audience. The effect may not be grasped or appreciated by some or all of that audience, but it is far more integral to the inent of the posting, then having a four year old say "chickenshit" in movie made for kids.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Dec, 2010 01:20 pm
The following pictures include the little girl from Monster Squad

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_eIRZl6Cv0yo/ShQ0Ob2mSDI/AAAAAAAADMI/Sz7-uv5HWDU/s400/monster-

http://s3.amazonaws.com/kidzworld_photo/images/20101030/a70aa4e7-112e-4f4c-87eb-02d85ed01453/gallery_a1.jpg

She is the one holding Frankenstein's hand.

And here is the clip from the film

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oN7nKjXe20E

The little girl Phoebe was played by Ashley Bank who was about 5 when the movie was made. The character Phoebe was 5 as well.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Dec, 2010 02:13 pm
@maxdancona,
You are quibbling with the term "gratuitous" and attempting to apply it too literally.

I believe the intent of the use of "chickenshit" was to ensure that the movie received a PG-13 rating. I don't have proof of this, but haven't looked for it either. It doesn't really matter, though, whether the purpose was commercial or simply quirky self-indulgence by the film-maker, usage of the term "gratuitous", in the context of this film, is accurate and not contradictory.

You need only view the clip I've linked to form an accurate opinion (which would only be reinforced by viewing the entire film) that "chickenshit" and similar words are not part of the character Phoebe's usual vocabulary. This is the one and only time she uses profanity, and none of the other older children in the movie (her family and friends) ever use profanity. I can't be certain, but I don't recall that an adult in the movie ever uses profanity. This is in no way a case of "keeping it real," nor does the movie contain a series of non-sequitors for the sake of humor.

In the movie [url]Scent of a Woman[/url], Al Pacino's blind character dances a tango with an attractive young woman. It is the best scene in the movie, and in my opinion, one of the top 100 scenes of all movies. If during the dance the woman's dress somehow rides up and reveals that she is not wearing panties, or one of her breasts is exposed, we would rightly consider the nudity of such a scene gratuitous. Even if we learned that the director intentionally included that aspect of the scene to boost ticket sales or simply because he wanted to see the actresses breast, it would still be gratuitous.

When we were first married, my wife and I lived in a federally subsidized apartment complex. The vast majority of our neighbors were fine people, but as you might suspect, few of them had gone to finishing school or worried about the proper use of who vs whom.

One morning as I was walking to my car I approached a couple of kids who were probably no older than seven . They were engaged in what seemed to be a fairly serious conversation of which I could make out nothing. As I passed them I heard one kid in a soft and sympathetic manner say to the other "Ain't that a ******* shame."

It is not difficult to imagine a film where that line of dialogue delivered by a seven year old actor would not, at all, be considered gratuitous, and assuming artful treatment and accepting the likelihood of additional use of profanity, I might very well have brought my own young kids to see such a film.

I don't think anyone on this thread has flat-out objected to the use of profanity in films. I certainly don't. And while you are correct that profanity is often an effective and appropriate device for writers, it can also be a crutch for lazy or sloppy ones as well. It can also, as in the case of Monster Squad, be gratuitous and reflect poorly on the skills of the film's makers.

maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Dec, 2010 04:09 pm
Let me try a different tack here.

My five year old knows the word "****" as do all of her friends. She also knows (for the most part) when to use it, and when not to. And she even occasionally hears her father use the word accidentally, but living with me you for a long time you are bound to hear this.

A little while ago she called her teen aged brother "faggot". She used the word completely appropriately, her brother turned the computer off while she was in the middle of playing a game because he wanted to use it. She needed a word that was more then angry and she obviously wanted her word to pack a punch. Unfortunately this had accidental effect of making us laugh.

Of course I talked about this word being unacceptable. I spoke about how it hurt peoples feelings and was too strong to use toward anyone. We also found out and spoke with the cousin who she picked up this particular word from.

I think there is a big difference between a word like "****" being used to express upset or pain, and a word like "faggot" being used to directly attack a person. I want my kids to understand the issue is the way words are used, rather then the words themselves, that are important. If you censor words, you make this lesson impossible to grasp.

But here is the question. What is the big deal? Kids are not being hurt by vocabulary.

Kids aren't damaged by hearing the word "chickenshit" or the word "****". Kids understand that these are just words. It is the parents who are confused (and unfortunately parents often force their own confusion on the kids). Kids talk like this to each other. Adults talk like this to each other. It is a normal part of being humans (and kids are humans).

Let's focus on the important things, teaching kids to be caring and compassionate and decent rather then trying to restrict their vocabulary.


tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Dec, 2010 05:42 pm
SO... bringing the thread back to the MPAA and its inconsistent rulings....
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  2  
Reply Sat 11 Dec, 2010 06:19 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Quote:
You are quibbling with the term "gratuitous" and attempting to apply it too literally.


You are making stuff up as you go along, Finn. You simply don't understand what Max is getting at. He's caught you in a contradiction that you think you can weasel out of with a torrent of words.

Quote:
You need only view the clip I've linked to form an accurate opinion (which would only be reinforced by viewing the entire film) that "chickenshit" and similar words are not part of the character Phoebe's usual vocabulary. This is the one and only time she uses profanity, and none of the other older children in the movie (her family and friends) ever use profanity.


Swear words aren't the usual vocabulary of anybody. That's precisely why the character might have used it.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  2  
Reply Sat 11 Dec, 2010 06:29 pm
@maxdancona,
Why do think teaching a child not to use vulgar language must get in the way of teaching them to be caring, compassionate, and decent. Millions of parents have managed to do both.

There is no appropriate time for a 5 year old to use "****," and if you find it acceptable that your daughter uses the term, good luck in keeping her away from using "faggot" and other vulgarities.

The fact that she hears her mother saying the word all the time is not going to change the fact that when she is in school, church, her friends' homes are other social settings it is going to be conveyed to her that using "****" is not appropriate. Are you teaching to her tell anyone who objects to her language to go **** themselves?

There are thousands of words she can use to clearly express herself without using profanity.

Unless you assume she is going to grow up and be a truck-driver, you're not doing her any favors allowing her to curse at age five.
JTT
 
  0  
Reply Sat 11 Dec, 2010 06:41 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Should Finn get a "D" rating simply because of an unlimited number of D-bombs?
0 Replies
 
Ticomaya
 
  2  
Reply Sat 11 Dec, 2010 07:16 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Agree with Finn. I wouldn't consider the R rating a punishment, but an appropriate rating, which the film maker surely was aware he/she was flirting with when he decided to include the language he did. In answer to the question, I would let my kids watch the movie, based upon Tsar's description, but I would probably not have done so when they were 5 years younger. At this age they have certainly heard that language often enough, but not often from me. And they know they are not to use that language, and I've never heard them do so. My 5 year old would have had his mouth washed out with soap by his mother, I assure you.

I've often seen movies that I would consider appropriate for my kids to see, but for the gratuitous inclusion of some offensive (IMO) scene.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Dec, 2010 07:18 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
You are completely missing the point Finn. The way words are used is far more damaging than the vocabulary.

First of all, five year olds all know the word '****' (I don't know if you have or have ever had a five year old). Five year olds have older siblings and cousins and they live with adults who are real human beings. And they teach each other. You put a group of 25 of them in kindergarten and all of them are going to be exposed to the word and most of them will use it.

The real question is about whether grownups can cope with reality. There are two ways to deal with these so-called "bad" words.

We can teach kids that there are "bad" words that should never be used. Clearly this is a lie. Kids will understand that you are teaching them hypocrisy. And of course, when you prohibit something, even for young kids, you make it desirable (anyone who has ever had a 5 year old knows how powerful this facet of human nature is at that age).

Why not just deal with reality and focus on what is important. Prohibiting the language is useless, they will have to learn (just as we did) that sometimes swears are acceptable (i.e. with friends) and sometimes they are not (i.e. with grandma). Why shouldn't we, as adults, teach kids this?

In my family we have the term "Grandma words" which my kids understand means don't use any words that grandma might be offended by. Of course they understand that in social situations thy need to act "maturely". With my three kids, this has never been a problem.

Kids can be quite cruel without using any swears. I teach my kids not to be cruel, and when they are I react strongly

Of course, you can use swears in a way that hurts no one. When this happens, I might mention is or I might not, but really I don't give a ****.

Ticomaya
 
  2  
Reply Sat 11 Dec, 2010 07:25 pm
@maxdancona,
A five year old may know the word, but he doesn't need to be taught that it's acceptable. If I heard one of my kid's friends using that language, I wouldn't want my kid hanging out with that loser. But you raise your kids how you see fit.
JTT
 
  -1  
Reply Sat 11 Dec, 2010 07:30 pm
@Ticomaya,
Quote:
If I heard one of my kid's friends using that language, I wouldn't want my kid hanging out with that loser.


Your kid has to hang out with you, Tico. Which do you figure is worse?
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Dec, 2010 07:59 pm
@Ticomaya,
This is exactly what I am talking about Tico. Calling a five year old kid a "loser" is much worse then swearing.

boomerang
 
  3  
Reply Sat 11 Dec, 2010 09:11 pm
@Ticomaya,
Quote:
A five year old may know the word, but he doesn't need to be taught that it's acceptable. If I heard one of my kid's friends using that language, I wouldn't want my kid hanging out with that loser

This reminds me of the time Mo came home from school and used the word "nigger". I went bat-**** crazy. That is most certainly a word he never heard at home. He had no idea what the word meant, only that it was an insult. I had a thread here about it (but I can't find it now) where I asked how someone should talk to their kid about this word. I got some extraordinary advice.

I put "faggot" in that same category -- words we simply never ever use because their sole intent is to hurt and insult.

We don't cuss at home and Mo isn't allowed to cuss but cuss words don't make my head explode like some words do.

Would I let him see a movie that used the word "nigger" or "faggot"?

It depends entirely on the context.
Ticomaya
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Dec, 2010 09:39 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:
Calling a five year old kid a "loser" is much worse then swearing.

Well, naturally I think it says more about the parents than the child.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Dec, 2010 09:41 pm
@Ticomaya,
I think it is probably a good idea to keep your parents out of this, don't you?
Ticomaya
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Dec, 2010 09:53 pm
@maxdancona,
Yes ... when you're right, you're right.
0 Replies
 
 

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