The MPAA's rating system is flawed and arbitrarily enforced, and the system itself is corrupt. I urge one and all to see the enlightening This Film Is Not Yet Rated for ample evidence of this -- or, if you prefer, just watch The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian and marvel at how such a violent movie magically got the kid-friendly PG rating.

I didn't know the rating before I watched it, and I didn't remember, off the top of my head, whether the first Chronicles of Narnia was PG. (It was.) As Prince Caspian unfolded, I noted that there was an awful lot of stabbing, throat-slitting, and other killing, though I also noted that it was almost entirely bloodless. I figured it was the lack of gore that had prevented the film from being rated R, and that it was instead a moderately violent PG-13.

So I was flabbergasted to discover afterward that it was rated PG. Mind you, I have nothing against wanton violence and destruction in film -- it just needs to be labeled properly. Prince Caspian has (no spoilers here) several large-scale battle scenes, akin to Lord of the Rings in size and scope, with people and magical creatures slaying one another right and left. In a scene of hand-to-hand combat, someone slices off someone else's head; in the next shot we see the head, still in its helmet, on the ground next to the body. Elsewhere, there's a massive slaughter while good guys are forced to look on, powerless to help.