It seems to me that when people on the extreme right side of the political spectrum do not want kids seeing a specific movie, they work diligently at forcing those who issue ratings to rate the movie so “high” that it will have the lowest possible number of kids seeing the movie in theaters.
For years I have been recommending that motion picture companies make movies in 4 or even 5 versions so that everyone can see the movie – the only requirement is that each person views the version that was approved for their “eyes” so to speak.
The five ratings are:
G – THE MOTION PICTURE CONTAINS NOTHING THAT WOULD OFFEND PARENTS FOR VIEWING BY THEIR CHILDREN.
PG – PARENTS ARE URGED TO USE “PARENTAL GUIDANCE”, AS THE MOTION PICTURE MAY CONTAIN SOME MATERIAL PARENTS MIGHT NOT LIKE FOR THEIR YOUNGER CHILDREN TO VIEW.
PG-13 – PARENTS ARE URGED TO BE CAUTIOUS. SOME MATERIAL MAY BE INAPPROPRIATE FOR PRE-TEENAGERS.
R – CONTAINS SOME ADULT MATERIAL. PARENTS ARE URGED TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE MOTION PICTURE BEFORE TAKING THEIR YOUNGER CHILDREN WITH THEM.
GENERALLY, IT IS NOT APPROPRIATE FOR PARENTS TO BRING THEIR YOUNG CHILDREN WITH THEM TO R-RATED MOTION PICTURES.
NC-17 – PATENTLY ADULT. CHILDREN ARE NOT ADMITTED.
Wow, making 4 – 5 versions of the same movie sounds, on the surface, like it would be expensive but in reality it would not cost that much more.
Why, because you would not be remaking the movie in it’s entirety – just those dozen scenes where there is nudity, sexuality, offensive language and violence.
It might mean taking out an entire shower scene or doing a voice over where someone is using offensive language and substituting softer language to garner a lower rating.
If a scene is going to be filmed with extremely offensive language, the person using the language could be filmed at an angle where the voice over would not even be noticed.
Lighting could even be controlled to reduce visibility of a shower scene.
Most of the work would be done on the “cutting room floor” so to speak.
The Weinstein’s are no dummy’s – they could have incorporated that logic and made two versions of Bully and requested two ratings – one for the “R” rating and the other for the PG-13 or even a PG rating.
Having another 50 million or 75 million eligible ticket holders is a good incentive to have two versions – maybe three.
Okay, the barn door is open and the cows have escaped – how can the system be tweaked to allow kids to see this important film?
It will require some work on part of parents and possibly some work by schools or even churches.
- Get parents to sign release forms.
- Have some parents agree to attend showings so that all kids seeing the film are covered by responsible adults in attendance and are in possession of release forms.
So, many kids do not want to have to go to movies with their parents and I can understand that. Well, the last two rows in the theater can be for the parent/guardian/religious leaders/youth leaders and the kids can occupy the other 80 – 90 percent of the theater.
Theater operators are generally neutral in the matter. They want to legitimately sell tickets and make money on concessions – this way they can. They can show the movie in question on multiple screens. The kids with the parental release forms can go to the higher rated film where there will be the chaperones seated at a safe distance away from the kids who want to exercise their independence.
Oh, don’t forget the jumpers – those individuals who jump from screen to screen – in this case a 13 year old trying to go from the PG version to the R version of Bully.
This can easily be solved by a rubber stamp on the front of the hand of the teen. Two stamps – different colors – one in RED with BULLY-R and the other in GREEN with BULLY-PG.
Any kids acting inappropriately can be escorted out with a chaperone or they can be relocated to the lower rated version if there is one. In this case there is not.
Everyone wins – except for those narrow minded ultra-right wing individuals who were working hard at restricting viewership.
I know, anyone can pick this apart and come up with ways that kids can work the system – nothing is perfect but doing something like this will work in 98 percent of the cases.
The theaters can even issue disclaimers saying that they are not responsible if some “creative” kids work the system and get into the “R” version of Bully.
Churches Schools, and Parents – if you feel your child would benefit from seeing Bully, do what it takes to make it happen. Bullying is a serious issue and demands that parents step up to help reduce bullying and to reduce suicides.
In closing, any church that does not care enough about the increase in teen suicides and bullying is not worthy of having members in attendance.