Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Those wacky MPAA explainers

GASP! It's creature terror!!!

Last night while I was watching Glee, a trailer for the new werewolf movie Red Riding Hood came on. I'm looking forward to the film. I'm a fan of Amanda Seyfried, and I like the director, Catherine Hardwicke.

However, I couldn't help but laugh at the MPAA advisory at the end. We all know that the association's rating system is a nebulous mess, to put it mildly. But seen along with their misplaced ratings are often hilarious explainers of why a movie earned its rating. 

Red Riding Hood: Rated PG-13 for violence, creature terror and some sensuality. 

"Creature terror?" What the hell is THAT? Sounds like a vague description of any of the Twilight movies. And for the record, none of them got saddled with that:

Twilight: Rated PG-13 for some violence and a scene of sensuality.
New Moon: Rated PG-13 for some violence and action
Eclipse; Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence

Nope, no "creature terror" to be found there. How bout Van Helsing? That had creatures in it.

PG-13 for nonstop creature action violence and frightening images and sensuality. 

So what's the difference between "creature action violence" and "creature terror?" Did Red Riding Hood make one of the raters nearly pee their pants? I'll give them one thing about Van Helsing, it certainly did have frightening images. Just not the kind they had in mind. 

How bout the Transformers movies? 

Transformers: PG-13 for intense sequences of of sci-fi action violence, brief sexual humor and language.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen: PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action violence, some crude and sexual material and brief drug material.

Hm. No "giant robot terror" to be found anywhere. But I have to give the MPAA props for coming up with different wording to describe those movies' lame attempts at humor.

Were any of the Jurassic Park movies rated PG-13 for "dinosaur terror?" Come to think of it, that kind of counts as creature terror. Had these explainers been around in 1975, Jaws might have been labeled with "Carnivorous fish terror." 

But no. All we get for all three of those movies are variations of "science fiction terror." Maybe the raters were getting bored, because in 1997, things started gettting silly with their explainer for Twister

PG-13 for intense depiciton of very bad weather. 

I swear I'm not making that up. That is the MPAA's official rationale for the Twister rating. Look it up

Hey, why don't we have some real truth in the ratings. Let's try these on for size:

Your Highness: Rated R for strong crude and sexual content, pervasive language, some drug use and Natalie Portman overexposure.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon: Rated PG-13 for instellar giant robot combat, sensuality due to lack of clothing for Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, and drug references via the homage to a classic Pink Floyd album title. 

Friends with Benefits (actual Mlia Kunis rom-com about friends who start having sex): Same reasons as No Strings Attached, except with the Black Swan instead of the White Swan. 

The King's Speech: Rated R for some language. Because we all know hearing a king say "fuck" a lot is just as harmful as seeing Sharon Stone stab somebody to death with an icepick after sex.

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