13 February 2012

The Ratings Conflict

          For one of my classes, we had to write an essay about some form of conflict.  I chose to write it about R-rated movies.  For those of you unfamiliar with Mormon culture, it is a common practice to avoid rated R movies because of their content.

What are my favorite movies?  Well, they are Robocop, Pan’s Labyrinth, Leon: the Professional, and Let The Right One In.  What do these movies all have in common (besides being awesome)?  They are all rated “R”.  Now, in the Mormon community, that is a pretty controversial subject (if I do say so myself).

I don’t know how it started, but there is a fairly strong belief that R-rated movies should be avoided.  I have heard quite a few people say:  That looks good, too bad it’s rated R.  However, in my whole life as as a member of the LDS Church, never have I heard a person in a high position of the church counsel us against R-rated films.  But, what they do say is to avoid movies that are “vulgar, immoral, inappropriate, suggestive, or pornographic in any way.”
And what is considered inappropriate or vulgar will be different from person to person.

Movie ratings are assigned by the MPAA, which is a group of people.  Who are these people?  I don’t know.  But, what I do know is that their ratings are subjective and are not consistent.  I have read about how some movies got a specific rating but were later changed because of an appeal by the filmmakers (even though no content was changed).

I’m not saying that we should go and watch every movie made, regardless of rating.  But what I am saying is not to let some random group of people decide what you watch.  You look at the content and decide for yourself whether you should watch it or not.  There are a lot of good R-rated movies.  Example:  I watched The Road about a year ago and the whole time I was watching it, I was thinking about how grateful I was for the Plan of Salvation.  I put myself in their position and thought about what I would do.  It help me realize the hope that comes from knowing the Plan of Salvation.

Basically, what I’m trying to get at is don’t let some arbitrary rating deter you from watching a movie.  Yes, ratings do give you an idea of the content, but not of the context, which can change things.  But, use your head, look at the content and judge for yourself whether or not you should see a specific movie.

But that's just my opinion...

1 comment:

  1. Amen!

    I don't take ratings seriously anymore. There are some really good R rated movies. For instance Slum Dog Millionaire or Blood Diamond, if they were filmed any other way would be belittling to what those people had to go through.

    Also, in my mass media class, my professor said that basing our opinion just on the ratings is kinda like not using our agency.