Monday, April 07, 2008

spare the children! oh, spare them!

Eight and a half year-old Iris Uber Alles is on spring break this week, and I am in the mood to take in a matinee with her. Currently the only G rated film playing, "Horton Hears A Who", is one I can't contemplate attending (I do love Dr. Seuss, but in book form, please). There are two movies I dearly wish to see, "Juno" (yes, I'm virtually the last adult woman in North American who hasn't already seen it) and "The Band's Visit" (an obscure Egyptian film about a marching band stranded in a small Israeli town). However, they are both rated PG-13. Should I take Iris?

I decided to try out some of the special reviews for parents, which elaborate upon questionable and age-inappropriate material, to help me make my decision. First up, kids-in-mind.com.

Soon I reached my conclusion: the Kids-in-mind.com people are clearly idiots.

Under "Violence/Gore", they write, among other things, "We see a fetus on a sonogram screen and a teenage girl makes a remark about the size of the baby's head." Oooh, how gory! How utterly violent! Those black and white sonogram blobs are just so scary. They also list as Violence/Gore "a teenage girl talks about ripping off all her clothes and jumping into a shopping mall fountain." How is that gory? Are they imagining she'd slip and skin her knee?

The Kids-in-mind reviewer was also up in arms over a scene where a pregnant person vomits. The violence! Oh, the violence! My own children have not only seen me vomit (my still remembered salmonella bout provided many, many opportunities to see this), but they have also vomited themselves. I hope they aren't unduly traumatized by that "Violence/Gore."

These people are not only unclear upon what gore and violence are, they're a bit fuzzy on profanity. Under Profanity, they include "name-calling (jock, jerk, stupid, nerds, squares, stink eye)." I hear worse than those epithets every time I do a workday at Lucy's pre-k (not to mention that five year-old Lucy utters more profane insults than those, what with her proclivity, in her self-proclaimed role as "the God Lucy", of threatening her father with eternal hellfire and damnation).

Next, I turned to parentpreviews.com. Interestingly enough the Parent Previews people were able to sum up the questionable content of "Juno" in three sentences, while the Kids-in-mind idiots went on for pages. With their admirable succinctness, the Parent Previews folks said: "A teen pregnancy results from a one-night stand (depicted with near nudity) between Juno and Paulie. The ongoing crass and casual discussion of male body parts and sexual activity are included along with repeated profanities and strong sexual expletives. A brief comment on the abuse of prescription drugs and a bloody impaling scene from a horror movie are also contained in the film."

I still can't decide whether to take Iris or not, but I'm more fascinated by how the Kids-in-mind morons missed that "bloody impaling scene from a horror movie." I guess they were so stunned by the sonogram image that their scarred retinas were unable to register anything else for a while.

30 comments:

Silliyak said...

Juno paints an unflattering picture of a Planned Parenthood type place, which one might worry, would deter IUA from frequenting a similar facility should the need arise at some very future date. That, and the idea that "the fetus" has fingernails is kind of the tipping point for Juno's decision to keep the kid.

snowqueen said...

The Band's Visit is supposed to be brilliant according to a reliable friend - unfortunately I missed it. However, when I asked if my children would enjoy it (they are teenagers) she thought they wouldn't get the subtleties. My two loved Juno though.

Carol Ann said...

The Washington Post's capsule reviews are often quite good at capturing information about nudity, violence, objectionable content, and so forth. My favorite, for the movie Waking Ned Devine, was "includes naked senior citizens."

emily said...

And here I was thinking that I was the only woman who hasn't seen Juno yet...

hokgardner said...

I haven't seen Juno either. Why don't you fly on down to Austin and we'll go together.

hughman said...

i've actually read that Horton isn't that bad. i have to admit that movies about pregnancy and stuff even make me a little hesitant.

Ben said...

is waterhorse playing at your dollar theatre? we liked that.

patrick said...

Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who is classic, i forgot how much that guy packed into such simple storylines... they didn't add much to the original story either except for the usual Jim Carreyisms.

hughman said...

what about Nim's Island? jodie foster! talking animals! weee!

the Drunken Housewife said...

I actually did end up taking Iris to "Nim's Island." It was an adorable movie, with a good turn by Jodie Foster and also some really lovely bits of art and animation added in. I wasn't thrilled by some of the acting, but overall it was a good movie. I do love a film where the women and girls are brave and able to save themselves.

the Drunken Housewife said...

Hokgardner, I never quite realized you were in Austin. So is commenter Epiphany! I hereby command you two to introduce yerselves one to the other.

hughman said...

yay! i won the movie contest (that i just made up)! what's my prize? yay!

Thi said...

What? Austin? Who? Me, too?

Thi said...

Mrs. Thi and I, early in our married life, debating the suitability of a movie for our eldest (now 14):

Me: Oh, that movie's OK, there's no skin.

She: No way, that's too violent.

Me: But there's no sex.

----
Don't worry, I'm better trained now.

the Drunken Housewife said...

Thi, I thought you guys were in SoCal! That shows how good my memory is.

Dang, there sure are a lot of fun people in Austin, including my old friends Tammy & Nettie, who moved down there last year.

I've never been to Austin but would like to visit. My parents live a couple of hours outside of El Paso in the middle of nowhere & lived in Amarillo for two years (everyone hates Amarillo but me; I liked it). My ex was from Texas, so I went to Dallas-Fort Worth, Victoria, Cuero, San Antonio, and various other points with him to see in-laws. But never Austin. Of course, the coolest city in Texas is the one where I never had family.

the Drunken Housewife said...

Hughman, the tipping point was that I called my friend Joyce, who knows Iris well & had seen "Juno", and asked her whether it would be okay to take I. She hesitated and had trouble making a ruling, and then said, "Why don't you just take her to 'Nim's Island'? I hear that's good."

Pallas said...

Actually, I LOVE kids-in-mind because it lists every single thing that could possible offend ANYONE, making no judgments about the degree of offense. Camera pan to derriere? Decapitation? It's all in there.

I have found that the things I would want to shelter my younglings from (cruelty being glorified, mocking gender roles) seldom ping the ratings radar, while things that don't bother us at all (Using Naughty Words, smooching) earn a PG-13.

Point being, I don't trust ratings. Lay every trivial bit before me, and *I'll* make the decision.

Epiphany said...

DH, I actually offered to lend Hokgardner my copy of "The Tipping Point" a while back, because I sensed that she has a great reverence and respect for books, especially when they belong to others. She had already gotten it from someone else.

Wan' Drunken Housewife visit to Austin! That would so rock my world! You can even have a whole house to yourself, and it's possible you could drive one of our Mercedes! (And we can cook on our awesome propane grill!)

And I'm sure Tami and Nettie would love to see you as well. Their kids are about the same age as yours, no?

Epiphany said...

And of course, DH, we won't make you travel to El Paso to visit your parents. It will be our li'l secret that you are in the Lone Star State!

To further entice you, JetBlue and Southwest just started direct flights to Austin from SFO and OAK, respectively. It's easier than ever to visit!

Speaking of which, I'm visiting at the end of May, but I will be camping in Mendo with our friends. Might I see you and the family then?

the Drunken Housewife said...

But Pallas, Kids in Mind missed the decapitation scene!!!

I so hear you about mocking gender roles, cruelty, etc...

the Drunken Housewife said...

'Piph, I'm out of the loop about the Mendo trip. I'm currently not on any lists and have fallen off the radar. Fill me in... although I doubt the husband could be stirred. We are committed to a week in the Sierras (the return to Camp Mather) and a trip to the East Coast, and it's hard to rip him away from his job more than that.

Thi said...

Me? In So Cal? I wish!

Austin for 11 years. Feels like a week.

hokgardner said...

Well howdy to the Austin folks. Feel free to contact me out of the comments at hokgardner@grandecom.net.

And DH, you so need to visit Austin. We'll work together to show you the best stuff!

hughman said...

even if "joyce" recommended Nim's Island, i still win the contest because :

1. I made up the contest and
2. I was the first commenter to mention the chosen movie.

SO i still deserve a prize.

also, just out of curiosity, how did God Lucy respond to hearing you went to the movies? i bet it wasn't taken lightly.

Silliyak said...

I agree H should win something, how about permanent judge status for all future contests?

I propose a contest for a blog name for Lucy.
My entry is LucyDei

hughman said...

ILordLucy.

Silliyak said...

Sorry H, as judge, you're disqualified. Check and Mate, nice try though! (hopefully no hard feelings?)

hughman said...

wwwHHHaaa???

i was just playing along!

poor poor me.

Vodalus said...

PrincessGod

Trouble said...

Regarding Juno, my 14-year-old daughter and I LOVED it, it is so well-written. Iris and Lola would probably love Horton, too, though it just about killed me.

It might be slightly too mature for I/L unless you want to have "the penis and the vagina make a baby" storytelling session.

For instance, I'd let my 10-year-old go, he already knows where babies come from and how. If he were five though, I'm not sure.