Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Shutter Island and R-Ratings

Saw Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island Saturday and enjoyed it a lot.  
It’s setting is in 1954 and is the story of U.S. marshals sent to Shutter Island to investigate the disappearance of a patient on the island which is home to those housed for treatment for the criminally insane.  
The setting is wonderful, the movie is well filmed and the story goes well.  I recommend it. 
It does have an R-rating and that is because it is dark, bloody, contains some pretty harsh launguage including the F-bomb several times, but in my estimation, not excessively.  Probably not more than some PG-13 movies.  It’s language, as I remember, is not sexual in nature, crude, nor does the movie contain sexual scenes, references or pictures.  Much of what is difficult are pictures of WWII and Dachau which are germane to the story.  This is important to my blog.
Won’t say more because I don’t want to be a spoiler.  I want to discuss something else.  
A long time ago I studied up on the “R-rating” and found that it was always related to youth when it was proscribed in an LDS setting.  I’ve not seen many R-rated movies, but I have seen some, and I’ve carefully selected those I have seen, and have found many to be worth the time.  I’ve walked out on none because of this care.  I’ve seen, for example, Schindler’s List, Gladiator, Men Who Stare at Goats and others.  I’m not suggesting this for others.  Just commenting on this for myself.  
I have also noted that the LDS Strength of the Youth Pamphlet has changed it’s wording to read as follows:
“Don't attend or participate in any form of entertainment, including concerts, movies, and videocassettes, that is vulgar, immoral, inappropriate, suggestive, or pornographic in any way. Movie ratings not always accurately reflect offensive content. Don't be afraid to walk out of a movie, turn off a television set, or change a radio station if what’s being presented does not meet your Heavenly Father's standards. And do not read books or magazines or look at pictures that are pornographic or that present immorality as acceptable.”
This point of view makes far more sense to me.  I know I don’t speak for everyone, but I have indeed seen far more offensive material in PG-13 and occasionally in PG movies.  And I think that even very young children can understand that violence can be simulated with ketchup but sex certainly can’t and that some descriptions are absolutely disgusting and others are simply expletives. 

I also want to add that I am not a violent person, never use the F-bomb, never blaspheme, am trying not to use the lesser swear words and do not ever, ever enjoy the crude references that are found even in  Disney movies so I think that I stand as an anecdotal example of one standing uncorrupted by all that which is bad in movies of all ratings.


The Lemur said...

I loved Men who Stare at Goats......

Melissa said...

I like the new wording in the strength of youth booklet. That dose make more sense. Just last weekend I had to turn off a rated PG movie my boys were watching because it had too many bad words and they people even started having sex!! I was shocked! They only watched it for 20 or 30 minutes. It was suppose to be a family movie! My boys weren't very happy with me... oh well!

Linda Aukschun said...

I agree, Melissa. I think the writers of the booklet have figured out there is a real problem in movie ratings. Your boys are over it now, which is just fine with everyone at this point.