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David Poland

By David Poland

But What About The Kids???

Worried about how much sex is in your violence and how much profanity you have to hear while watching people smoking?
Thank goodness (don’t take God’s name in vain, you bastards!) for The Family Media Guide.

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31 Responses to “But What About The Kids???”

  1. bicycle bob says:

    that is is the first commandment after all.

  2. palmtree says:

    Bicycle, that is not the First Commandment.
    The one condemning using God’s name in vain is number three.

  3. Nicol D says:

    Sheesh! Golly gee willickers!
    Judging films based on the values that they project is like so juvenile and ignorant! It is like so 1950’s!
    Hmmmm…what are those Oscar nominees this year?
    I sure hope George Clooney wins for his work. And definitely Ang Lee for teaching us a life lesson or too; unless of course Crash wins instead.
    As for foreign I’ll take Paradise Now. It helped me understand what we do wrong.
    Oh well, toodles, now I’m off to see a preview of V for Vendetta! I just know it will be a four star flick!

  4. bicycle bob says:

    1.. 2.. 3.. its in the top 3!
    i feel bad for anyone using george clooney for life lessons.

  5. Bruce says:

    What about the children!
    I just picture The Simpsons right now. Funny stuff.

  6. Charly Baltimore says:

    Smoking is a category?
    Not good news for GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK.

  7. jeffmcm says:

    Nicol, I think you’re working under some false premises. Tabulating the number of times somebody says a curse word or lights a cigarette as a way to determine a film’s worthiness is silly. Do you really believe that the liberals in Hollywood are applying a similar ‘formula’ to their choices for Best Picture? That Crash has x number of cases where the white upper-class elite is made to feel guilty vs. Munich’s y number of times the Palestinian cause is treated sympathetically? Or am I missing something.
    At least your above post has a different (angrier) tone than your usual (dispassionate/condescending).

  8. Angelus21 says:

    These movies are all Rated R, right?
    So why should they even be considered “family movies”?

  9. Nicol D says:

    Jeff MCM
    I’m actually feeling quite giddy right now!
    I just think it is funny that family rights groups are laughed at for judging films based on values in light of the Oscar nominees chosen this year.
    As for you saying that it is different because one group counts and the other doesn’t…c’mon.
    At least the family groups are honest. They have an agenda and say what it is. You can agree or disagree.
    At least that don’t operate under the false premises of neutrality that will be happening at the Kodak theatre on Sunday night.
    Do you really think Clooney et al are being nominated for empirical quality and not the values they represent?
    I know we have had this debate before and will again and neither of us will budge but I do get tired of the double standard and hypocrisy of the industry.
    Especially when it is the ‘family values’ crowd that gives the studios the millions upon millions they need to finance the ‘awards films’ that nobody wants to see.

  10. waterbucket says:

    My buddy Nicol needs to get laid.
    Like. Now.

  11. Mark Ziegler says:

    The industry is hypocritical. That much is known. It leans Left. You can just look at the nominees for the biggest film awards. They’re all preachy and statement oriented. Now that doesn’t make them bad films. But Hollywood insiders/voters like making themselves feel better and showing the world they know more by rewarding films like that.
    But then you’ll have people trashing a group like Family Media. I’m sure you’ll find a ton of bad movies with worse offenses than these 5 have.
    The best way a group like that can make their point or agenda known is at the box office. That’s the only way anyone will listen to them.

  12. palmtree says:

    If this group also analyzed films like Schindler’s List or The Godfather or many other classic films, it would come to a very obvious conclusion: these films are not designed for kids to enjoy. And they would be right. That is only offensive to me if these films have been targeted towards kids, which they haven’t (although it would be fun to see a Truman Capote action figure).

  13. joefitz84 says:

    Just looking at the content of all those films you have to know they’re not really for families and young kids. These ratings should be more for those PG and PG 13 movies that parents think are good for their kids. Not Munich and Capote.

  14. Yodas Right Nut Sac says:

    You see a lot of families at the Saturday matinee for BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN.
    I would have been pissed if my Dad dragged me there on a saturday afternoon. What teenager wants to see that? They’d rather see RUNNING SCARED.
    Anyway what kid watches GOOD NIGHT AND GOOD LUCK and decides he wants to become a smoker? Or watches BROKEBACK and decides that sex with cowboys is right for them?
    If you think you’re kids are those kids
    A) You got issues already
    B) Your parenting skills need work
    C) You are home schooling your kids and you shelter them. Let them live a little

  15. jeffmcm says:

    Nicol, first of all, nobody was making fun of the Family Media Guide, except for maybe David Poland. I’m sure they are useful to some people out there, but their ‘prediction’ methods are crackpot at best. So I think there’s a little bit of paranoid-persecution complex going on in your original comments.
    Second, I’d be curious to hear what your five favorite movies of the year are, because I can’t imagine that they escape your particular ideologies and prejudices, either. No human on earth is truly an ‘objective viewer’.
    Finally, I honestly do believe that 4 of the 5 best picture nominees are good movies worth some degree of recognition, and that they aren’t especially heavy-handed about their alleged message-mongering. Can someone tell me what’s so tubthumping about Capote or GNGL, seriously? Just because we all know Clooney is a big liberal doesn’t mean that his movies have been Michael Moore-esque screeds.

  16. jeffmcm says:

    Furthermore, it’s sad to see you (Nicol) parroting the same ‘movies nobody wants to see’ line that is going around. I believe film is a populist medium, but we should all agree that popularity and quality have little to do with each other. Do you really think a piece of mediocre crap like Narnia is more worthy of awards than the best picture nominees?

  17. Mark Ziegler says:

    Quality and popularity really don’t go together most of the time. But they’re are some out there who hold it against a film because it is high grossing.

  18. jeffmcm says:

    Any examples?

  19. palmtree says:

    What about nominating the family values films of Lord of the Rings and Seabiscuit in the same year? The rest Mystic River, Master and Commander, and Lost in Translation) are hardly liberal manifestos. That was two years ago. Or can Hollywood just turn on the liberalism at will?

  20. Sanchez says:

    They’re are plenty of good, quality films out in theatres and on video for families.

  21. Sanchez says:

    There are. Not They’re.

  22. jeffmcm says:

    I wish Chucky in Jersey would show up to explain why all of this year’s nominees are actually conservative or pro-war. I’d like to put him and Nicol in a room together.

  23. PandaBear says:

    Family values aren’t usually represented well in Oscar films.

  24. Nicol D says:

    “I’d like to put him and Nicol in a room together.”
    Kinky. I can hear the Gustavo Santaolalla in the background already.

  25. palmtree says:

    The Family Media Guide rating for the sexual content of this thread just went up.

  26. David Poland says:

    I think these guides actually have great value for people who prioritize these values in this blanket kind of way.
    My personal feeling is that being afraid of words and images is a terribly effective way of staying distant from complex ideas.
    Ironically, most of time when the ads are not very indicative of what you are in for, it is not for something extreme, but for something that is more thoughtful than the ads suggest.

  27. LesterFreed says:

    These should be used by parents as a tool. But you can’t hide your children forever and baby them. They may as well learn and see things with you telling them and showing them. They’re going to see these things eventually. If you decide the time is right you should show them. I don’t think any of the nominees this eyar should be avoided by anyone over 13. There is nothing gratuitous about any of them.

  28. mysteryperfecta says:

    Surely you aren’t suggesting that movies that refrain from objectionable words and images are unable to communicate complex ideas? Furthermore, I don’t think it’s a matter of “being afraid” for many people, but rather having a strong sense of what they believe is appropriate for their children (and themselves).
    And I agree with joefitz, these sites would be more useful if they focused on the fuzzy area between PG and PG-13, and “soft” and “hard” PG-13s.

  29. Cadavra says:

    Wow, MUNICH’s gonna win Best Picture! Better change all my bets!
    Funny how context goes out the window whenever it’s convenient. Those types are quick to excuse the “justifiable” violence in SCHINDLER and RYAN, and then turn around and whine about smoking in a movie set in the 1950s.
    Everything should be judged not only by context but also its intended audience. Nobody would blink if James Spader called someone a “prick” on BOSTON LEGAL, because it’s an adult show and that’s his character. But if Catherine Hicks did so on SEVENTH HEAVEN, you’d be seeing coronaries all across the land. Most such watchdog groups fail to make such allowances.

  30. Chucky in Jersey says:

    Why does the Liberal Media love the Family Media Guide? The Liberal Media has always had a soft spot for censorship and McCarthyism. In other words, the Family Media Guide is no different from the American Family Association, the Media Research Center, or the Parents Television Council.
    The AFA supports censorship of anything Donald Wildmon does not like. Wildmon is a Christian fundamentalist who hates the entertainment industry. He also is on record as saying Hollywood is run by Jews.
    The MRC blindly attacks anything critical of the US government, US military, or George W. Bush. The PTC is an auxiliary of the MRC; Shirley Jones quit as the PTC’s honorary co-chairman when Howard Stern correctly accused her of trying to blacklist him.
    The only way to fight these “family values” outfits is to expose their true agenda. If you fight the pro-censorship groups you win!

  31. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    “The industry is hypocritical. That much is known. It leans Left. You can just look at the nominees for the biggest film awards. They’re all preachy and statement oriented.”
    I thought this year’s nominees weren’t from the Hollywood industry? Wasn’t that a big argument this year?
    I think the site is where they rate films based on issues like violence, swearing, sex, cursing, themes etc. It’s actually a really great website if you have the brain to contemplate that some people don’t like to see movies with those things in it.

Quote Unquotesee all »

It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon