This Column Is Not Yet Rated
by Matthew Chase

Hello again to you all! You know, its funny how things can go awry at the last minute isn’t it? I had an article all set to be posted and wouldn’t you know it, I got all sorts of busy at MovieRatingsB.jpgwork and left with it still on the screen! So my co-worker, quite by accident, forgot to save it. I lost all the material with no time to compose my article again in order for it to be posted after the “Super Bowl”. Just insanity I tell you! I worked during that time and failed to see the commercials or the game itself. Which I heard was quite exciting. The last time I saw the “Super Bowl” was also, funny enough, the same night I saw Janet Jackson’s boobie. Wasn’t there a whole lot of attention drawn to this small infraction? It was shown at about eight thirty or so if I recall correctly. If I’m not mistaken that was about the same time in the evening that we used to be treated to a myriad of “Butt Shots” on shows like NYPD Blue, or even a racy episode of “Law and Order”. I suppose my question at this point is: “What in hell goes on in the minds of the ratings people?” It seems to me that there is a HUGE enormous problem with the ratings for some videos, movies, and television programs. For example let’s just take the video “Alien vs. Predator” and one of my personal favorites: “It’s My Party”, and compare the films and the ratings they were given.

“It’s My Party” is about the lives of a number of people in the mid-nineties, or current day. The central story is that of two gay men living together. One of the men contracts HIV and the relationship unravels shortly thereafter. Flip to a few years into the future and its_my_party.jpgour infected young man begins to deteriorate. Instead of pushing throughout the painful progression of his disease, he decides to throw a party with everyone he knows present. He wants no wake or funeral; but the opportunity to say goodbye to his loved ones and family. The Drama unfolds from there, and the movie has an absolutely incredible cast: Eric Roberts, Olivia Newton- John, Bronson Pinchot (remember “Perfect Strangers?”), Roddy McDowell, Marlee Matlin, And Margaret Cho. Among many others. There are a few drag queens and a scene where a naked male jumps into a pool in the background during a party scene, probably a few swear words, and a few scenes which might trouble those sensitive to the subject of AIDS related death. The story is sensitive and touching, and does not make the gay lifestyle a novelty for comedic purposes. This video is a recommendation for all. It is rated “R” for thematic elements and sexuality.

“Alien Vs Predator”
is a Sci-Fi/ Horror film set in 2002, based on characters that both have their own franchises. “Alien” and “Predator” respectively. This long awaited film pits the two creatures against one another in a battle set here on earth. The humans that are in this film, and our heroine, are sent to Bolvatoya Island. Located in the arctic; in order to investigate an odd heat signature under the ice. They discover a pyramid, set off a booby trap and the slaughter and mayhem ensue. The movie is a fun adventure with plenty of gore, slime, screaming, and death, a few wonderfully fantastic fight scenes avp.jpgwhich are graphic and gross. The plot, while thin, is a perfect vehicle to bring these well loved monsters together for a showdown that even I was cheering for. This gruesome and nightmare invoking film is rated “PG-13” for gore, violence, and language, adult situations and scary images/horror.

I suppose my question is which one would you rather a 13 year old watch? Personally, I think I’d rather them watch the film about life, and love, and relationships. I believe that the two ratings should have been reversed. I encountered a similar problem when I realized that the Oscar nominated “Brokeback Mountain” was also rated R for sexuality. Does this mean that if a film is gay in nature that it is inappropriate for our young adults? I understand that the two sex scenes in the film might just be enough to warrant a rating of PG-13. However the situations depicted in the film are similar to many romantic dramas that have a man and a woman as the main characters. Most of those films have severely more nudity, and more graphic sex scenes.

This means that if I was a young gay male of about 15, (which at one point, I was) I would not be able to see the films about gay lovers, however most of my friends could watch films loaded with half naked chicks screwing reasonably attractive actors onscreen.

There seems to be a great lack of consistency in the ways that many films are rated. Many horror films that I have seen lately have been rated PG-13. Are we that desensitized to violence, and yet overly sensitive about loving one another? When did menkissing.jpgwe begin thinking that it is ok to show our youngsters how to make a pipe bomb in order to defend against a giant bug, and yet attempt to shelter them from any growing feelings of attraction they may have for someone of the same sex, retarding the social growth of some young boys and girls destined to grow up gay? It seems to me that any diversity in character development on film is restricted to the adult audience over 18 years of age. A shame really. I recall growing up watching shows that had characters expressing feelings grief, love, hate, and joy. Whereas today it seems many people feel sexual attraction, violence, and never really take much time to develop any other real human characteristics. I think that when I become a parent I will be screening everything my kids want to see. And I think I will most likely allow them to see many films not recommended for them by the film ratings administration. While depriving them from some films that society deems acceptable… While it may be time consuming to screen all of the material that will enter my kids’ brain, I think it is every parent’s duty to ensure a well rounded child. If the parent does not consider the future of the child, and allows them to hate, be prejudiced, or a bigot, than it is the fault of the parent. Not the child. Though later in life, the child will be responsible for his/her own actions. (Another lesson many parents seem to fail at.)

To close this week, I just have to say that my faith in the people who rate television and film is gone. Despite all the political correctness in ratings lately, it is, and will always be, up to the parent to know that is going on. Relying on someone else to dictate your children is irresponsible, and careless.

I hope you find joy in the week to come, and happiness in the quiet times shared with loved ones. Don’t worry about me, I’m a drag queen, what do I know?

"Relying on someone else to dictate your children is irresponsible, and careless."
Matthew rules.


However the situations depicted in the film are similar to many romantic dramas that have a man and a woman as the main characters.

Very good point. Hell, there's a sex scene in one of the latest episodes of "Lost" that's more graphic than either of the ones in Brokeback.


Thank you you have helped me prove a point..hehe!


The biggest problem with the rating system is that it is based around ages rather than what the words say. Ever since Speilberg got PG-13 created, people (parents) think it is a graduated scale from G for single digit aged folks, PG for their precocious 10 year old, PG-13 until they are 15 or so, then they start taking them to R rated flicks. The "Parental Guidance suggested" part of the PG is completely ignored. PG should apply to anything that your kid may need part of it explained to it by you, its parent. Violence, romance, drug use, etc. People don't want that responsibility, so anything the moral minority may have a problem with gets an R. Apparently, they are a violent, homophic crowd.


the naked body is bad

unless it's been ripped to shreds and covered in blood.


The movie I'm guessing the column title is from, This Film Is Not Yet Rated, is a great look at the MPAA. No one knows who's on it or their criteria.


I think the last line in Richard's comment says it all. The moral minority do seem to be a violent, homophobic crowd and thus AVP is paraded around and human sexuality is stuffed in the closet.


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