Idol Chatter

Idol Chatter


“This Film” Rates Some Discussion

posted by kris rasmussen

While the general public is familiar with the MPAA ratings that accompany the movies they watch–G, PG, PG-13, R–and what the ratings mean, it is safe to say that most moviegoers don’t really know, or care, what the Motion Picture Association of America is or how its members decide what film gets what rating. But documentary filmmaker Kirby Dick thinks that consumers should be aware of the intricate politics and enormous hypocrisy of the MPAA. With satirical humor–not to mention two female detectives who hunt MPAA board members down and make them confess everything–he unravels the mystery of the MPAA’s secretive ways in “This Film Is Not Rated,” which opens in limited release this weekend before airing on the Independent Film Channel this fall.

In theory, the MPAA is simply a voluntary ratings system in which movie executives from different studios serve for a predetermined length of time on the ratings board that hands out a rating based on a film’s content. No filmmaker is required to submit his or her film to the MPAA ratings board for approval. However, the MPAA works closely with the National Association of Theater Owners, and they like the ratings system. So if a film is not rated, or has the dreaded NC-17 rating, the chance of a film having commercial success is slim.

However, the MPAA system becomes even more complicated in light of the fact that the members of the board are from conflicting studios, so there’s just a teeny bit of sabotage going on in the ratings decision making process. For example, if you think a fellow studio has a potential blockbuster on its hands, maybe you want it to get an “R” rating instead of a “PG-13″ rating, so its audience will be smaller. On the other hand, all studio execs want to reach that target demographic of young white males, so violence and women’s breasts don’t receive the same kind of rating as male nudity or other controversial elements.

Dick supports these claims by interviewing numerous directors, including Kevin Smith (“Clerks”) and Matt Stone ( “South Park”), who have attempted to do battle with the MPAA and have often lost those battles. With both humor and anger the directors recount the notes they have been given by the MPAA instructing them on how to achieve a different rating by editing the film differently–even though the MPAA is not supposed to give such suggestions.

I don’t agree with some of the conclusions “This Film Is Not Yet Rated” comes to when exploring how to solve the problem of the MPAA , but I still think this movie is important viewing for anyone who has bought a movie ticket based on a movie’s MPAA rating. The MPAA does not exist to be a friendly moral gatekeeper to guide or protect you or your family but is a corrupted system that is arbitrarily legislating morality and censoring content. And it’s the degree of corruption that makes “This Film” so shocking.

Oh, and just in case you are wondering, “This Film Is Not Yet Rated” received an NC-17 rating for its objectionable content.



  • Martece Rankin

    I do believe that ALL movies be rated. I do not always agre with the ratings. I have went to see movies that were rated PG , that I thought they should have been PG13. I realise that is up to the parents to control the viewing,and sometimes it is not always that clear in the previews that the movie should have been rated different. I feel there is enough violance in the news ,we do not need to pay for it at the movies. I am a 58 yr.old mom of two grown kids, plus and adopted grandma of a 11 yr.old that thinks she is 18. I would like to see more movies that any age can ,sit down and enjoy them. So to the people that rate the movies I say get down to bussiness and watch what ratings you use and to the filmmakers ,don’t always think of the almighty doolar. For you sure can’t take it with you,I know it makes life nice as I am a widow with a limted pocket book. Thanks>

Previous Posts

Jennifer Garner Discusses Film, Dirty Diapers, and Husband’s Secret Talent
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_dideF5qvk   Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is based on the children’s book of the same title, follows Alexander and his family’s crazy and brutal day. Whether it is baby Trevor eating a dark green highlighter since his p

posted 9:57:51am Oct. 17, 2014 | read full post »

The Rise of ISIS
“It’s past time for American to hear this truth. By minimizing the challenge,” Jay Sekulow (American Center Law Justice) wrote in his September opinion piece on FoxNews.com. The world is facing a serious threat in the Middle East with ISIS, a group of terrorists dedicated to mass executions

posted 10:16:20am Oct. 14, 2014 | read full post »

OWN and Rob Bell Partner for eCourse
As part of an ongoing program to expand its online learning platform on Oprah.com, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network announced today an all-new eCourse, taught by renowned pastor and author Rob Bell. Bell was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World by Time magazine in 2011 and a New York

posted 12:12:25pm Oct. 13, 2014 | read full post »

Exclusive Video: Hillary Swank’s Gripping Film on ALS
You’re Not You is based on the novel of the same name stars Hillary Swank as a beautiful pianist stricken with ALS in her 30s. Kate’s condition deteriorates and she hires an off-beat college student Bec with no background in healthcare or work ethic. Gripping and with emotional compl

posted 10:22:56am Oct. 10, 2014 | read full post »

Switchfoot Releases Fading West Documentary on DVD
Grammy and Dove award-winning alt-rock group Switchfoot releases Fading West, an intimate documentary of their lives and music. “Fading West is one of the most inside looks of the band that we’ve ever put out,” says guitarist Drew Shirley. In conjunction with their ninth album, of the sa

posted 9:15:34am Oct. 10, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.