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Monkey
01-29-2008, 08:45 AM
I'm not sure if this is the appropriate spot or not, but... *deep breath*

[ rant ]

My husband came home the other day with "The Simpsons Movie".

We watched it, we laughed...but I couldn't help but wonder what it was rated. My husband never rents anything for rated above PG for violence or language.

So I checked.

It was rated PG-13 for, and I quote:


FOR IRREVERENT HUMOR THROUGHOUT

What the @#$%?

Irreverent humor?

First of all, most of the good humor is irreverent. Even humor which, on the surface, would seem reverent is sort of irreverent by its very nature... I mean, have you seen the Chuck Norris jokes? Stupid stuff like:


When the boogie man goes to bed, he first checks under it for Chuck Norris.

Is that reverent or not? Who do you ask? WHY WOULD YOU CARE? It's humor, for Chuck Norris's sake.

Second, who determines which subjects may not be made light of? What must you revere if you want to stay rated PG or below?

I could have seen this movie being rated PG-13 "for cartoon violence throughout", but it being rated PG-13 for Irreverent Humor strikes me as terribly, terribly wrong.

I'm not sure how to raise a stink about this, but I'd like to.
[ /rant ]

benbradley
01-29-2008, 09:04 AM
Speaking of irreverent humor, I'm reminded of The Smothers Brothers Show on CBS in the mid-late '60's. I barely remember it myself, but now looking back on it and what I've heard/read about it since, they were very "edgy" for their time, and there were several things they wanted to do that CBS didn't let on the air.

But I understand these rating things for movies are a game the movimakers play - a movie with a G rating won't sell nearly as well as if it has just one short scene that makes the rating PG.

small axe
01-29-2008, 12:06 PM
I think that's the point, THE SIMPSONS guys know their fans WANT and EXPECT "irreverence" ... you pick up a "G" movie and you think "Where's the edge? Where's the part of the Simpsons where the kids laugh at Homer saying DO-OH! funny but the parents catch the social satire?

The Ratings folks are an evil lying lot, make no mistake about it (See the revealing THIS FILM IS NOT YET RATED to know the depths of their sickness) ... but I'm thinking THE SIMPSONS thanked them for the PG.

Shadow_Ferret
01-29-2008, 06:52 PM
Chuck Norris jokes are not irreverent, they are very reverent. If you don't think Chuck Norris is reverent, then he'll come kick your ass until you say otherwise.

HeronW
01-29-2008, 07:28 PM
Irreverent means different things to different people: originally 'against reverence' or something pertaining to theism, it can apply to scatalogical humor, ethnicity, personal hygiene, nattily dressed ferrets, etc. :}

Allegra Lunesta
01-29-2008, 08:34 PM
Morning Monkey,

I haven't seen "The Simpson's Movie," and it's not on my list, but when I've surfed my way to an episode of the series--by accident, it's not a regular destination--I usually ride the wave. I think it's funny and the writing’s great, for what it is.

The Smother's Brothers, that was before my time--cough, cough--Well, it was! Laugh In was my time. I didn't really "get it." I was too young--Well, I was!--But it was, "Very interesting ... But stupid!" (Remember that German character, the peeping Tom, he was behind a bush--no, not Chaney, and he didn't have a shotgun--[BANG! that's irreverence, times two! I didn't say it was a good joke. Just irreverent.] The character played off the little old woman character in the hair net, she'd hit him with her handbag.) Who cares ... moving on.

I think, it'd be dangerous to throw punches at Chuck Norris, or any other "name," if your punch wasn't right-on, and/or, if you didn't shine a positive light on that "name." (Public domain exceptions could/would apply if; the studio legal department accepted the liability. Not a word makes it on the big screen without quad. checks. At least, that's the word, I've heard.) And, there better be a lot riding on that joke. Did Chuck Norris do his character? I have to believe there was more than that one line. Someone took on his persona. No wasted lines Monkey, a fundemental rule.

Shadow Ferrett is so right. The boogie man being afraid of Chuck Norris pays respect to the aging urban warrior. Maybe ... I'm saying, maybe, his publicist made a call to the writers of Simpson Movie. Think about it? He has been popping up in some odd places lately. Chuck should have a reverse royalty situation going on now.

A rant about this movie will do you no good, Monkey. Ultimately, no one forced you to watch the movie. It was your choice to leave the room ... or was it? Maybe you should think about a new safe word?

(I apologize for being personally irreverent about you in my last paragraph. I don't think your husband would force you to watch the Simpson’s Movie. And I don't think you'd wear a purple leather onesie or hang upside down from a hook in the ceiling with your eyes taped open. So if I used that image, or wrote that about you it would be wrong, and you would be right to rant, I think.)


For What It's Worth,

AL

Monkey
01-29-2008, 09:17 PM
Hmm...you guys are missing the point, here.


But I understand these rating things for movies are a game the movimakers play



The Ratings folks are an evil lying lot, make no mistake about it (See the revealing THIS FILM IS NOT YET RATED to know the depths of their sickness) ... but I'm thinking THE SIMPSONS thanked them for the PG

All well and good, but the ratings don't come directly from the moviemakers. They have to DO something to earn, say PG-13 instead of PG. Why should "irreverence" bump that rating? Why is that a category? As I said, what is it that must be revered... and what can be trashed with impunity? I don't think that we should bump ratings based on the religious or other beliefs of those who rate the movies.


I think, it'd be dangerous to throw punches at Chuck Norris, or any other "name," if your punch wasn't right-on, and/or, if you didn't shine a positive light on that "name."

Actually, satire is not dead. Satire is alive and well, and in itself doesn't bump the rating of a movie or open the movie-makers up for lawsuits. But that was not my point at all. The Simpsons Movie doesn't make any references to Chuck Norris. That was an example I gave of "reverent" humor.



A rant about this movie will do you no good, Monkey. Ultimately, no one forced you to watch the movie. It was your choice to leave the room ... or was it? Maybe you should think about a new safe word?


I liked the movie. My rant is not about the content of the movie. My rant is about the fact that the rating on the back of the movie said: PG-13 for irreverent humor throughout, and I don't think that "irreverent humor" should bump a movie's rating.

I had no problem with the movie,
I had no problem with the rating,
I had a problem with the reasoning given for the rating.

Shadow_Ferret
01-29-2008, 10:06 PM
The Smother's Brothers, that was before my time--cough, cough--Well, it was! Laugh In was my time. I didn't really "get it." I was too young--Well, I was!--But it was, "Very interesting ... But stupid!" (Remember that German character, the peeping Tom, he was behind a bush--no, not Chaney, and he didn't have a shotgun--[BANG! that's irreverence, times two! I didn't say it was a good joke. Just irreverent.] The character played off the little old woman character in the hair net, she'd hit him with her handbag.) Who cares ... moving on.

The Smothers Brothers was on just a year prior to Laugh in.

And the Smothers Brothers were the epitome of irreverent. That's why they were canceled.

paprikapink
01-29-2008, 10:11 PM
The Smothers Brothers made jokes about their mother. Not only did they deserve cancellation, they deserved to spend some time in their rooms thinking about the appropriateness of their behavior.

III
01-29-2008, 10:17 PM
I think in this context, "irreverent" is more synonymous with "crass" or "crude" than actually having any religious connotations.

I actually like being able to distinguish between a humorous PG movie that might be apropriate for kids as opposed to a PG-13 one that might not. The movie Top Secret comes to mind. It was released before the PG-13 rating was invented and was rated PG, but I wouldn't want my kids watching it.

Jcomp
01-29-2008, 10:26 PM
You can't trust that explanation for the ratings that they throw out. I remember a while back seeing some action/horror flick that had an explanation something along the lines of "Rated R for non-stop action/violence..." It think it was one of the Resident Evil films.

I remembered thinking that they might as well just have said, "Rated R for all the reasons that you'd want to see a movie like this in the first place."

paprikapink
01-29-2008, 10:30 PM
What about the Simpson's movie, III? Would you be okay with that for your kids?

The ratings are close to useless for determining what my kids can watch. It's suspense or emotional tension that they just can't handle. There's no rating for that. Oh, and when Lyle shot the cow in front of the schoolbus. That was also not acceptable to them.

paprikapink
01-29-2008, 10:33 PM
Hmm...you guys are missing the point, here.

...I don't think that "irreverent humor" should bump a movie's rating.

I had no problem with the movie,
I had no problem with the rating,
I had a problem with the reasoning given for the rating.

I totally agree with you Monkey. But I haven't seen the movie and I can't think of what it is that would push Bart and Co. from PG to PG-13. Maybe it's just semantics, ultimately. What would you call it, instead of irreverence, if you were calling it?

III
01-29-2008, 10:41 PM
What about the Simpson's movie, III? Would you be okay with that for your kids?


I'm pretty much a psychotic fan when it comes to the Simpsons. My kids have seen and can quote pretty much every episode and we saw the movie on opening night and own the DVD.

chartreuse
01-29-2008, 10:49 PM
Well, what I consider to be "irreverant humor" is humor that makes fun (usually quite accurately) of people or issues that some holier-than-thou folks think are too "sacred" to be made fun of.

You know, Presidents, popes, religions, etc. In other words, the stuff that deserves to be made fun of the most.

The reason they give a "warning" about this is because those same folks tend to have aneurysms when exposed to that kind of humor.

paprikapink
01-29-2008, 11:00 PM
I'm pretty much a psychotic fan when it comes to the Simpsons. My kids have seen and can quote pretty much every episode and we saw the movie on opening night and own the DVD.

Maybe now is a good time to mention that Matt Groening's niece and I were bridesmaids in the same wedding once. And I have his autograph on the 1987 "Life in Hell Funky World of Fun" calendar that he did with Lynda Barry. :-)

III
01-29-2008, 11:17 PM
Well, what I consider to be "irreverant humor" is humor that makes fun (usually quite accurately) of people or issues that some holier-than-thou folks think are too "sacred" to be made fun of.

You know, Presidents, popes, religions, etc. In other words, the stuff that deserves to be made fun of the most.

The reason they give a "warning" about this is because those same folks tend to have aneurysms when exposed to that kind of humor.

That's a pretty glib interpretation. What about movies that make fun of mental retardation or homosexuality or racial stereotypes or pets dying or date rape? Do "those folks" tend to have aneurysms when something that's special or sensitive to them is made fun of? Are those subjects too "sacred"? Who are you to tell someone else date rape isn't funny? The straw man you're using could be applied to many more camps than the ones with which you disassociate yourself.



Maybe now is a good time to mention that Matt Groening's niece and I were bridesmaids in the same wedding once. And I have his autograph on the 1987 "Life in Hell Funky World of Fun" calendar that he did with Lynda Barry. :-)

That is so cool.

Shadow_Ferret
01-29-2008, 11:21 PM
The Smothers Brothers made jokes about their mother. Not only did they deserve cancellation, they deserved to spend some time in their rooms thinking about the appropriateness of their behavior.
Um. Yeah. Sure.

They were very political and that's what got them canceled. Not their silly jokes about their mom and who she liked best.

Monkey
01-30-2008, 12:00 AM
I've seen things rated PG-13 for "cartoon violence", and I think that would have been much more appropriate. Heck, they could have said "for crude humor", which I've seen before, and that would have been fine.

If you removed the (very silly) cartoon recklessness and violence, I don't see why this movie would have been rated any higher than G. It pokes fun at a lot of things...but my point in the OP is that humor almost always pokes fun at its subject, regardless of the light it places that subject in. Humor tends to be irreverent. In no way should they bump the rating of a movie because the humor therein is judged by someone to be "irreverent".

I object to being told what is "irreverant" and what is not.

I've seen things rated for crude humor, or sexual humor, or whatnot, and I have no problem with that explanation...but "irreverent"?

Seeing that term used in that way bothers me.

Jcomp
01-30-2008, 12:41 AM
I think you bring up an interesting argument here. Where does the MPAA determine a line is crossed when it comes to something so immeasurable as "tone" and "style"? It gets tricky.

paprikapink
01-30-2008, 01:10 AM
Um. Yeah. Sure.

They were very political and that's what got them canceled. Not their silly jokes about their mom and who she liked best.

My apologies Shadow_Ferret. I shouldn't be flip about a TV show that you revere. I'll try to be more sensitive in the future.

:tongue

Monkey
01-30-2008, 01:11 AM
I think you bring up an interesting argument here. Where does the MPAA determine a line is crossed when it comes to something so immeasurable as "tone" and "style"? It gets tricky.

Most of the ratings explanations I've seen have been pretty straightforward. Rated ____ FOR...

Language
Violence
Sexual content

or even things I find pretty laughable, like

teen partying
or
a drug reference

the only real "judgement call" one I've seen before is "crude humor", but I figure that "crude" is easier to guess the content of and less of a slippery slope than "irreverent".

The very concept that a film must show reverence to certain ideas or themes or be labeled as "parental guidance recommended" (PG) or higher seems repulsive to me.

Tiger
01-30-2008, 01:28 AM
The Smothers Brothers was on just a year prior to Laugh in.

And the Smothers Brothers were the epitome of irreverent. That's why they were canceled.

I thought they were canceled because the head of CBS was pals with President Johnson--whose administration was the butt of many jokes on the show.

MattW
01-30-2008, 01:43 AM
The movie Top Secret comes to mind. It was released before the PG-13 rating was invented and was rated PG, but I wouldn't want my kids watching it.Not yet. In a few years, it should be mandatory that they watch it.

Shadow_Ferret
01-30-2008, 01:51 AM
I thought they were canceled because the head of CBS was pals with President Johnson--whose administration was the butt of many jokes on the show.
Right. Political humor and irreverence toward that administration.

Jcomp
01-30-2008, 02:09 AM
Most of the ratings explanations I've seen have been pretty straightforward. Rated ____ FOR...

Language
Violence
Sexual content

or even things I find pretty laughable, like

teen partying
or
a drug reference

the only real "judgement call" one I've seen before is "crude humor", but I figure that "crude" is easier to guess the content of and less of a slippery slope than "irreverent".

The very concept that a film must show reverence to certain ideas or themes or be labeled as "parental guidance recommended" (PG) or higher seems repulsive to me.

Which is why, I think, the filmmakers may have some sort of influence on these things. "Irreverent humor" doesn't sound anything like what the MPAA has stated before, and they have plenty of material out there that could be slapped with "irreverent." But if you're making a movie for The Simpsons, A) you want it to be PG-13 because your fanbase expects AT LEAST that, but B) you don't want it to be "PG-13 for wacky, cartoon violence and cartoon nudity" either. So then what?

It's just a thought.

Allegra Lunesta
01-30-2008, 03:06 AM
Monkey,

Sorry about my earlier, mis-read. In all seriousness, maybe a cartoon with adults doing malicious things, like blatantly disregarding EPA directives, can be intellectualized by adults, but not children. And, it's sad to say, but those silly ratings might guide some parents who may not have the time, or, even worse, care to take the time, to tell their kids, “You can’t really do that stuff.”

Kids identify with many of the cartoons out there. Dora the Explorer, Sesame Street, et cetra. A busy parent might pick up that movie and pop it in the DVD player without thinking—if not for that rating, and I’m not sure that movie is appropriate for young children who might actually learn something from it. They’re sponges, those kids. I wouldn’t let mine watch it.

Anyway, the fact that it’s a cartoon and its premise is “environmental,” from what I've read, I believe that's what, quite simply, earned the Simpson’s Movie its rating. Dealing with the environment irreverently is a big “No, No,” right now. And you’re absolutely right, none of the other stuff matters. It’s political, I think, and maybe not such a bad system, in perspective. If, I have it right this time.

For What It’s Worth,

AL

And I still can’t believe they wasted that Chuck Norris line. Tell me Bart dressed up like Chuck to save Springfield. Throw me a bone here.

Monkey
01-30-2008, 04:42 AM
Monkey,

Sorry about my earlier, mis-read.

No sweat. :)



And, it's sad to say, but those silly ratings might guide some parents who may not have the time, or, even worse, care to take the time, to tell their kids, “You can’t really do that stuff.”

Yeah, I don't mind that it was PG-13. It really should have been. I just don't like "irreverent" as the reason.




Anyway, the fact that it’s a cartoon and its premise is “environmental,” from what I've read, I believe that's what, quite simply, earned the Simpson’s Movie its rating.

It probably had more to do with the tiny bits of comic violence and nudity. I seriously doubt that the "irreverent" part came from the movie's pro-environmental stance. It may, however, have come from the little jabs at Christianity. (Though both the pro-environmental stance and the Christians come out looking very good in the movie.)




And I still can’t believe they wasted that Chuck Norris line. Tell me Bart dressed up like Chuck to save Springfield. Throw me a bone here.

That Chuck Norris line was one I got from my teenage son, who got it from a website. Googling now....

....

hmmm....seems the fad has died down a bit. Here's a link with some good ones, though:

http://www.duckshit.com/chuck-norris-jokes/

Tiger
01-30-2008, 04:45 AM
Right. Political humor and irreverence toward that administration.

Well, maybe it was also politically administered to a reverend... Humorously, of course. :D

nonamesleft47
01-30-2008, 11:25 PM
When Chuck Norris goes to donate blood, he declines the syringe, and instead requests a handgun and a bucket.