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February 04, 2004

Rated "R"

I've always been a fan of big, loud, obnoxious blockbuster movies. I guess they were the perfect escape from reality: movies that didn't require you to think.

Tomi and I have always had our differences there. She would watch A Room With a View and I would watch A View to a Kill. Tomi? Whale Rider. Go-Daddy-O? Orca. Heavenly Creatures vs. The Creature. You get the idea.

But don't get me wrong. There has been some common movie-going ground where we've both enjoyed the films (not just each other's company). Memento, the Matrix, Chicago, and Amelie, just to name a few.

Something has happened, though, since Ella's arrival.

Aside from the fact that I no longer average two matinees per week, we seem to find certain films particularly disturbing. We saw Kill Bill: Volume I last week and--even though we both really enjoyed Pulp Fiction--we each found the level of violence to be rather disquieting. And for me to find ANY level of violence in a film disquieting is.....well, disquieting in and of itself. Upon leaving the theatre after Kill Bill, Tomi commented rather emphatically: "Ella is NOT seeing that movie until she's 21." Keep in mind that MY nickname at times is "censor-boy." Tomi is the liberal one.

Most particularly disturbing for me, though, are films that have a mix of violence and kids. I always found it rather gratuitous and just generally unsettling before, but now it really bothers me. On a fundamental level.

Two films in recent memory that I still feel anger about? The first is Narc. There is a horrible scene in which Jason Patric's character is holding a real infant and he and the character of his spouse are having a very graphic, very loud argument. The baby--this real baby--is screaming, the actors are screaming over it. I just couldn't help feeling terrible that at that particular moment that very real baby was probably feeling very real fear. Just inexcusable. I felt guilty that I'd paid $7 to pay for a movie that would place a baby in that position. I still feel sick about it when I remember that scene.

The other film was one I saw today: the Butterfly Effect. If you don't want any spoilers, stop reading now. The scene that disturbed me was one in which a mother and her baby are killed by a firecracker left lit in a mailbox as a prank. Unknown to the pranksters, the firecracker is actually a stick of dynamite. You can imagine what happens.

I think I'm starting to concede that life is rated "R" for extreme violence enough on its own. We don't really need films to reinforce (or exploit) this. I certainly will avoid movies with violence directed at kids whenever I can. I have nightmares often enough. I don't need any help in that department.

Having Ella has changed me in so many different ways. I'm learning new things about her and about myself every day. A little bit at a time.

Posted by go-Daddy-O at 11:52 PM in Reflections | Permalink


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I found this too! But it's scarry movies that I can no longer watch

Posted by: Helene | Feb 5, 2004 9:55:57 AM

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