Back in May, our Eric D. Snider made clear a common complaint regarding the latest Narnia offering, in that it was far too violent -- with or without blood -- for its given PG rating. The film went on to under-perform at the box office, for a litany of other reasons, but it was hard to ignore the potentially dominating influence of family-friendly Disney and their little Christian parable/looming blockbuster sequel on the decision.
Now, after stateside concerns along the same lines, come reports from the UK that box office behemoth The Dark Knight has merited a record number of seventy complaints in its first week of opening regarding the 12A equivalent from the British Board of Film Classification, which itself admitted to facing a modicum of pressure from studios who want lower ratings that in turn draw younger and wider audiences.
As someone who has seen that film more than once, in audiences that more than once had a parent shielding their child's eyes from the very badly burnt likes of Two-Face (um, spoiler?), it's obvious that the caution of a PG-13 (and the relative intensity of predecessor Batman Begins) failed to steer them away from the draw of the Caped Crusader.
So let's play the old-fashioned game of Point the Finger:
- Are we to blame the MPAA and BBFC for their lenient judgments?
- How about the parents who so willingly dismiss the ratings that actually are appropriate?
- For our more responsible readers, what measures do you take before allowing your children to see certain films? Do you see a film before they do and determine what's A-OK? Do you rely on reviews or websites tailored to providing custom criteria regarding a film's content?
- Sex, violence, or language: which of these factors will most likely send your child and the world at large on a moral decline from which we may never recover?