Why bleep?


Okiedoke wonders why people would use a service like Clean Flicks to edit the bad stuff out of the movies they rent for home viewing:

A company called CleanFlicks is taking movies and editing out all graphic violence, nudity, profanity, and sexual content.

What I donít get is why folks who are offended by immorality in certain movies want to rent those movies in the first place.

I think I can offer an example. Last night, my wife and I went to see "The Terminal", which stars Tom Hanks as an eastern European tourist who gets stuck for nine months in the international lounge at Kennedy Airport because of a coup in his home country and an inflexible bureaucrat here. It was the kind of movie my wife and I seem to gravitate toward -- a quiet little movie about a fish out of water, and the comedy inherent in cross-cultural encounters. Afterwards we both agreed it was a great choice.

Thinking back on the movie, it occurred to me that there were only two reasons to rate the film PG-13. The flight attendant, played by Catherine Zeta Jones, talks about her long-term affair with a married man (art imitates life!); you don't see anything untoward on screen, but I guess that would count as an adult theme. She also makes use of some barnyard epithets which aren't integral to the plot -- you could have easily substituted minced oaths without losing anything. It was pretty close to being a film the whole family could enjoy together, but I certainly don't want to expose my kids to bad language anymore than necessary. I don't want them growing up thinking this is the way grownups normally speak to one another.

I sometimes think they throw in a little garbage to prevent a film from being rated G, for fear of losing at the box office. I give David Lynch, of all directors, credit for letting "The Straight Story" (another film we enjoyed) keep its G rating, and not dirtying it up to get the PG.

That's the point of CleanFlicks: There are movies that come pretty close in their original form to being something that the whole family could enjoy together, and with a little editing they are. It would be better if modern filmmakers learned to exercise the kind of creativity that their predecessors of 50 years ago did -- getting the point across without resorting to foul language and gratuitous sex and violence.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on July 26, 2004 12:18 AM.

Meeting on Vision 2025 money for neighborhoods was the previous entry in this blog.

The airport investigation: approved is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.



Subscribe to feed Subscribe to this blog's feed:
[What is this?]