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Story on Illinois theaters accepting parental pass cards for R-rated movies

A big deal or is it just the parents trusting their kids? I don' think it's near as dire as the critics in this story think.

A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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Story on Illinois theaters accepting parental pass cards for R-rated movies

A big deal or is it just the parents trusting their kids? I don' think it's near as dire as the critics in this story think.

I remember when I worked at a movie theater (at the age of 18) and selling movie tickets to teens who would

A. Fake a parent's signature on the back to get into an "R" rated film - these I usually caught and got them kicked out of the theater.

B. Have a real parent show up and sign it.

C. Try to get in regardless of any of the above two options and usually get kicked out.

(My favorite - "what particular movie is closest to the screen that is showing insert R-Rated film here?")

I remember that when I worked that summer at the movie theater, Saving Private Ryan and Baseketball came out around the same time period. More 15-17 year olds wanted to see the latter than the former. Needless to say, we kicked a lot of teenagers out of that movie.

I don't usually agree with Valenti, but his comment "All R-rated films are not alike. It is the parents' responsibility to make specific judgments about R films - and wrong to give a blanket endorsement to all..." is one I would agree with.

I do not agree with the card at all. If I had a teenager that was mature enough to handle that card responsibly, perhaps.

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It's hard to tell how the card would be used. A parent might well for convenience get the card, but only give it out when they know what the teen would be going to. The use of the card does not imply that the parents are abrogating their responsibility.

A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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Yes it does. How does a parent know what film the kid is going to once they arrive at the theater? They're certainly not signing a card so they can walk in with them and make sure the kid doesn't end up somewhere they're not supposed to be. The kid could get the parents to sign on the basis of The Passion of the Christ and instead set a course for... heck i don't know... something their parents wouldn't like.

I don't like these cards at all, but more because of what they do to me as a viewer. We go to R-rated films expecting not to see kids alone in the theater. Do you really want a group of unsupervised teenage girls sitting in the row behind you at your next R-rated film?

-s.

Edited by stef

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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Besides, i thought the restriction meant the kid had to be "accompanied by parent or legal guardian," right? Doesn't the R-card go against the very nature of this restriction?

-s.

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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Ugh. And this:

Whitman said he came up with the idea after parents complained

that they wanted to let their kids see R-rated movies but didn't

want to sit through the films themselves.

makes me sick.

Talk about unhealthy viewing habits. Shouldn't the parents and kids be talking about what they see?

-s.

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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At issue is whether a parent trusts a kid or not. There are lots of R-rated films I wouldn't sit through, not because of whatever makes them R-rated, but because they are trash, but very appealing to teenage demographics. If you don't trust your kid, don't get a card.

A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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At issue is whether a parent trusts a kid or not. There are lots of R-rated films I wouldn't sit through, not because of whatever makes them R-rated, but because they are trash, but very appealing to teenage demographics. If you don't trust your kid, don't get a card.

But that is the whole problem. Why is Hollywood marketing R-rated movies to the demographic that is ®estricted from viewing them? If they simply edited the material to the appropriate rating for those teenage viewers there would be no problem. It does come back to capitalism and greed. They want to make it possible to make this crap for an inappropriate age (generally stated) and make money off of it. Do we really want greedy capitalism to go unchecked and set all of the standards and boundaries for us?

I need to read the article - be back later

...the kind of film criticism we do. We are talking about life, and more than that the possibility of abundant life." -M.Leary

"Dad, how does she move in mysterious ways?"" -- Jude (my 5-year-old, after listening to Mysterious Ways)

[once upon a time known here as asher]

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At issue is whether a parent trusts a kid or not. There are lots of R-rated films I wouldn't sit through, not because of whatever makes them R-rated, but because they are trash, but very appealing to teenage demographics. If you don't trust your kid, don't get a card.

There aren't any kids out there that would misuse this card whether their parents trusted them or not?

Edited by stef

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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stef:

Do you really want a group of unsupervised teenage girls sitting in the row behind you at your next R-rated film?

All things considered, I'd rather have a group of unsupervised teenage girls sitting behind me than an average group of legal age male college students -- but I suspect that's not exactly the point... tongue.gif

"It's a dangerous business going out your front door." -- J.R.R. Tolkien
"I want to believe in art-induced epiphanies." -- Josie
"I would never be dismissive of pop entertainment; it's much too serious a matter for that." -- NBooth

"If apologetics could prove God, I would lose all faith in Him." -- Josie

"What if--just what if--the very act of storytelling is itself redemptive? What if gathering up the scraps and fragments of a disordered life and binding them between the pages of a book in all of their fragmentary disorder is itself a gambit against that disorder?" -- NBooth

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Hertenstein knows what i'm talking about. We saw Osama together and there was a flock that came in twenty minutes late and talked through the rest of the show, trying to figure out what was going on. It was a disgrace.

-s.

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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Ugh. And this:

Whitman said he came up with the idea after parents complained

that they wanted to let their kids see R-rated movies but didn't

want to sit through the films themselves.

makes me sick.

Talk about unhealthy viewing habits. Shouldn't the parents and kids be talking about what they see?

-s.

Just more evidence of the casual attitude towards moral responsibility characteristic of my generation.

Further, one can blame this on greed, but I think the problem is deeper than that. So many in society expect others to police the behavior of children while away from their parents without actually "violating their rights" or severely inconveniencing anyone. Producers market this level of entertainment to adolescents to begin with. We all know they will have ample opportunity to see these films when the DVD's come out, but who wants to wait? Right there is a lot of hypocrisy to chew on.

It is also hard to keep good young employees in such customer service jobs as theater usher, yet everyone lays responsibility on the theater. That's awful tough on the business, particularly when it is constant war to get kids to work on Friday and Saturday nights when the crowds would be the most challenging to police.

"During the contest trial, the Coleman team presented evidence of a further 6500 absentees that it felt deserved to be included under the process that had produced the prior 933 [submitted by Franken, rk]. The three judges finally defined what constituted a 'legal' absentee ballot. Countable ballots, for instance, had to contain the signature of the voter, complete registration information, and proper witness credentials.

But the panel only applied the standards going forward, severely reducing the universe of additional basentees the Coleman team could hope to have included. In the end, the three judges allowed about 350 additional absentees to be counted. The panel also did nothing about the hundreds, possibly thousands, of absentees that have already been legally included, yet are now 'illegal' according to the panel's own ex-post definition."

The Wall Street Journal editorial, April 18, 2009 concerning the Franken Coleman decision in the Minnesota U.S. Senate race of 2008.

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How difficult could the theater's job be? Simply do not allow anyone under the age of 17 into a Rated-R movie.

In regard to the DVD viewing - I have been both at Blockbuster and Best Buy when underage kids were trying to rent or purchase R-rated material. Each one said, "Sorry, I cannot let you have this without parental approval."

...the kind of film criticism we do. We are talking about life, and more than that the possibility of abundant life." -M.Leary

"Dad, how does she move in mysterious ways?"" -- Jude (my 5-year-old, after listening to Mysterious Ways)

[once upon a time known here as asher]

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asher wrote:

: But that is the whole problem. Why is Hollywood marketing R-rated movies to the

: demographic that is

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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How difficult could the theater's job be? Simply do not allow anyone under the age of 17 into a Rated-R movie.

In regard to the DVD viewing - I have been both at Blockbuster and Best Buy when underage kids were trying to rent or purchase R-rated material. Each one said, "Sorry, I cannot let you have this without parental approval."

You probably have had few such jobs. I would think that the onslaught on the early weekends of a popular run would be almost unstoppable, particularly for an understaffed house. The Loekes' Star Theaters here have huge lobbies that are packed tight while waiting for films of various start times. There are plenty of ways to defeat age restrictions, such as fake ID, proxy purchase (so much easier for DVD rental), buying a "legal" ticket to an older film and slipping in when the horde for a blockbuster approaches. Most theaters here pen the customers outside a hall down which one can find a dozen entrances. Policing takes place before one gets to the hall. Once in the hall with a crowd, one can do what one wants. I confess to having floated into a new screening on the way out of another room at the end of a film. Of course, nobody expects such petty fraud of a mature man in his 40's, but there you have it.

"During the contest trial, the Coleman team presented evidence of a further 6500 absentees that it felt deserved to be included under the process that had produced the prior 933 [submitted by Franken, rk]. The three judges finally defined what constituted a 'legal' absentee ballot. Countable ballots, for instance, had to contain the signature of the voter, complete registration information, and proper witness credentials.

But the panel only applied the standards going forward, severely reducing the universe of additional basentees the Coleman team could hope to have included. In the end, the three judges allowed about 350 additional absentees to be counted. The panel also did nothing about the hundreds, possibly thousands, of absentees that have already been legally included, yet are now 'illegal' according to the panel's own ex-post definition."

The Wall Street Journal editorial, April 18, 2009 concerning the Franken Coleman decision in the Minnesota U.S. Senate race of 2008.

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Supporters say parents can sign off on movies for their kids

without the time and expense of chaperoning them with the new

R-card,

Critics argue that the cards amount to parents handing the

delicate decision about what movies are appropriate to their kids,

It sounds like the supporters are helping the critics make their defense.

This is just giving parents another way of being lazy with the interaction between themselves and their children. Unfortunately, things like this have a greater impact on the children whose parents are already a bit removed.

I don

...the kind of film criticism we do. We are talking about life, and more than that the possibility of abundant life." -M.Leary

"Dad, how does she move in mysterious ways?"" -- Jude (my 5-year-old, after listening to Mysterious Ways)

[once upon a time known here as asher]

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Peter wrote:

Just a point here, to clarify that Darrel did NOT say that these films were being MARKETED to teens, but rather, these films are APPEALING to teens. I snuck into Die Hard when I was 17 because the film appealed to me -- as, indeed, it appealed to many of my friends. But I would never say the studio marketed the film specifically to my demographic.

Thanks for pointing that out Peter but I wasn't suggesting that Darrel was, even in the slightest, suggesting that the films were being marketed to teens. I was making my own statement. This statement also was not meant to be all inclusive; however, we cannot deny that many, many R-rated films are made for teens and people in their early twenties. The subject matter, the actors, the plot, the pop culture, and the teen sexuality are all geared for the younger audience.

...the kind of film criticism we do. We are talking about life, and more than that the possibility of abundant life." -M.Leary

"Dad, how does she move in mysterious ways?"" -- Jude (my 5-year-old, after listening to Mysterious Ways)

[once upon a time known here as asher]

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I object to your broad brush approach that says if a parent were to make use of the card it amounts to laziness and abrogation of responsibility. Not all 16 year olds are alike. While most might not be ready for adult films, many might be. Who's to judge that, the MPAA or the parents?

Not all R-rated films are the same. Some get the rating for language or nudity (all of which the teen may well have experienced live by this point), some for violence. I might well have approved of my sons seeing some films that contained nudity or R-rated language before their 17th birthday. If a card had been available to make that easier for me, I'd have made use of it.

And of course, not all parents are the same. Some can't be bothered about what the kids see anyway. They don't monitor TV or much else. The age the card is appropriate for is a time for developing and testing trust. Parents and teens are doing this with cars, curfews, and other means. The teens will break that trust - it's part of the process. But to not offer the trust in fear that it will be broken is likely more damaging than whatever they do to break the trust - like misusing an R-card.

A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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I object to your broad brush approach that says if a parent were to make use of the card it amounts to laziness and abrogation of responsibility.
Edited by asher

...the kind of film criticism we do. We are talking about life, and more than that the possibility of abundant life." -M.Leary

"Dad, how does she move in mysterious ways?"" -- Jude (my 5-year-old, after listening to Mysterious Ways)

[once upon a time known here as asher]

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I'm with Asher on this one, but just to clarify: the "nature of the beast" that i refer to shouldn't necessarily be seen in a negative light. Perhaps use of the word "beast" already makes it so, so maybe it's not a great choice of words. But rather than see it as negative, i see it as natural. The natural, even necessary tendency of a teen is to press limits, to start seeking out their own way and their own ideas. In some aspect, in order to find their own way, they need to rebel. And the "nature of the beast" is that in this stage, many will go further than what is good for them because they haven't yet found the joy in placing certain restrictions on themselves. So they need guidance in this. And the card, IMO, doesn't do anything at all to guide them. If anything, it subtly shows them that mom and dad really don't care about what they see, and that they should roam freely at any time and take in whatever they want.

-s.

Edited by stef

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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I agree that

Edited by asher

...the kind of film criticism we do. We are talking about life, and more than that the possibility of abundant life." -M.Leary

"Dad, how does she move in mysterious ways?"" -- Jude (my 5-year-old, after listening to Mysterious Ways)

[once upon a time known here as asher]

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Just seeing if your were reading any of this (M). I corrected it - Thanks.

Perhaps I saw too many rated R movies before I was of age wink.gif

...the kind of film criticism we do. We are talking about life, and more than that the possibility of abundant life." -M.Leary

"Dad, how does she move in mysterious ways?"" -- Jude (my 5-year-old, after listening to Mysterious Ways)

[once upon a time known here as asher]

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I guess it depends on what you mean by "giving approval." It's just as natural for a teen to rebel as it is for a man to rebel. Romans 3:23 tells us that all have, or clearly will, at some point rebel. So, yeah, i would want to guide my kid in the best way that i possibly can. But at the same time i approve of her humanity, understanding that her failings are still a part of the beauty of who she will be.

Funny that as we continue talking about how a child should be raised, i keep thinking of my daughter and referring to "she" and "her." These subjects get a lot more personal after having a little one enter the picture.

-s.

Edited by stef

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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And the card, IMO, doesn't do anything at all to guide them. If anything, it subtly shows them that mom and dad really don't care about what they see, and that they should roam freely at any time and take in whatever they want.

Obviously we disagree on this. A perfectly good interpretation could also be that the parent trust the teen to use the card responsibly and as agreed. Another interpretation that could (not necessarily should) be made of not getting a card is, "I'm going to micro manage your life for as long as I can." Some kids need that. Some kids will flourish with the trust.

You see, I really see this as a small thing. I really don't much care if they get to see a flash of breast or hear profanity a year or so before the MPAA says they can. (My kids heard much worse any time I tried to fix plumbing.) But because it is a small thing, it is the kind of thing that can be used to allow them to build the trust toward bigger things.

As to Asher's comment about driving prior to 16, one of the differences is that law defines who can drive. The MPAA ratings are not law, they are voluntary. Theoretically, theaters can ignore them as they like.

A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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