In the United States the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) rates the movies before people are able to watch them. Once a movie is finished, the MPAA makes sure that the movie gets a label on it so everyone knows what to expect from that movie. An PG-13 rating for example, strongly advices that “some material may be inappropriate for children under 13”, and an R rating states that “under 17 requires an accompanying parent or adult guardian”.
Ratings can influence the amount of people that watch your movies. Normally you would say a movie would be made completely to the artistic view of the director. Sadly enough this is never the case anymore. Maybe with a couple of arthouse movies but certainly not with the big blockbusters. The Hunger Games for example. Anyone who read the books and watched the movie must realize that the blood and gore from the books are nowhere to be found in the movies. Not that I want blood and gore in movies, but the movie is missing that dark edge that the book did have. It can never be the directors choice by free will, I am absolutely sure that the decision to make the movie gore-free is based on the “what if we get an R-rating” theory. If the director decided to stay closer to the true character of the book than the movie would suffer from the rating it would have gotten and would surely lack an viewing audience as big as it had now. If you ask me the MPAA is overrated and I think from the bottom of my heart that movies need only 2 classifications.
There are only 2 audiences that movie creators need to take under concideration. On the one hand we have the intelligent you and me kind of persons that watch movies. Those persons are people who know what good movies are, think whilst whatching and ofcourse have a clear opinion about the footage they watched. We can give the movies for this group of people the smart stamp, a rational rating for rational people.
The other group of people are the people that aren’t all that intelligent. The kind of people that actually laugh at Scary Movie 5. Everybody knows this type of person. It’s the lost housewife that is sweeping the sidewalk for snow while it is still snowing. The old man that starts sweeping his porch when the first autumnleaves are falling but the tree is still full of leaves. It’s the lone walker you see at night at an empty street waiting in front of a red traffic light. Those persons that want to know the truth about what’s going on so they start to watch Fox News. The scary kind of people. And scary people deserve a scary stamp.
So the smart stamp and the scary stamp to show for which audience a movie is really made, this will say it all and will be more helpful for me to decide which movie to watch. The MPAA is a pain in the ass for the creative movie minds of the United States. And let’s be honest: do we need an Association to tell us what is best for our kids? I don’t think so. Parents know it better than the MPAA and I think that the group that knows best is the kids themselves. They would turn their heads if they don’t like what they see and they can’t be removed from the screen if they like what they see. This is how it is and how it always will be. Children don’t need a movie to damage their pure innocent soul! They just look at the news, the shootings at their high schools or the rapes in the dark alleys close to their homes. And concerning ratings on movies? I think the only thing that needs an R rating is the world those kids live in. And as long as our world doesn’t have an R rating yet, just leave the movies alone.