It Really is the Holidays... Five "PG" (and Under) Movies in Two Weeks!
by Alex Billington
December 21, 2006
For some, this news may be cause for alarm. For others (families especially), this may result in much relaxation and plenty of enjoyment. But I bring up the most pressing question at least in the minds of some people - is this really good? Is it worth it pushing out so many films that have to cut back on themselves in order to fit the MPAA's rigorous demands for PG? Let's take a look at the openings.
Although this was missed from a couple weeks back, Unaccompanied Minors is also another PG film thrown into this Holiday's mix (although already gone from theaters as of this weekend).
Opening on Wednesday, December 20th:
Rocky Balboa - Rated PG
This is rare, as we usually see a mix of often PG-13 or R's opening most of the year. I've even seen more than my share of weekends that open nearly all R movies except for maybe one PG-13, but rarely so many PG's!
I think the most important question is, is this good? Or even better yet, are these movies even good? Essentially the answer is yes, and no. Yes because it draws more people to the theater to see these movies, and no because they're not all that great. It's an interesting observation because I seem to be pointing out that PG films are naturally bad, and have no chance, which is completely incorrect. Some of them are fairly good, but not great (Charlotte's Web, We Are Marshall) and some of them are bad (Eragon, Night at the Museum). However, the encompassing statement is really that these PG films are purely designed to draw audiences and make money, not at all for quality, and hardly to entertain. It's quite sad, but it's true. The studios got to make their money somehow.
The problem is that the filmmakers have to go through extra constraints in order to make a PG film. They've got to snip the script for anything offensive, they've got to cut certain scenes and happenings to stay within the bounds. It all (for the most part) hurts a film, but, for example, Rocky Balboa is a great film, the best out of every PG opening in December, and it maintains a PG level without being too problematic. So there are exceptions, and Rocky is one, as there are a few others. We Are Marshall stands out as being one of those that still delivers a compelling story and doesn't cut too much to stay PG.
Of course some of these PG films can be enjoyable popcorn flicks, and that's where they're best left. They have their moments but most of all they're purely for earnings and entertainment, and only sometimes do they really have much that can be taken from them. I'll leave this off by saying: see some of them, definitely Rocky Balboa and We Are Marshall. And I leave the comments open for discussion, as I think there is much more that can be brought to the table about the idea of PG films being worth it or just money-makers.
Reader Feedback - 2 Comments
The writer wrote: "They have their moments but most of all they're purely for earnings and entertainment" and to this I would like to reply with the following: All movies are not made for entertainment. "We Are Marshall" is not an "entertainment" movie - I am certain that each and every person directly involved in the events that "We Are Marshall" recounts would have much rather to have not had a story to tell - that that fated plane in 1970 would have, instead, landed safely and life would have gone on in it's mundane, everyday way. I am sure that all of those who lost loved ones would have preferred that the tragedies of life happen to someone else somewhere else. "We Are Marshall" is a story about a college community which lost nearly an entire football team in the blink of an eye, not to mention some of the best doctors, lawyers, and citizens a town could ask for. I know. I lived there. I remember the losses. Parents without sons and daughters. Sons and daughters without parents. Patients without doctors. The entire region was shaken. No one was untouched. I also am a two-time graduate of Marshall University - B.A. in 1981 and M.A. in 1982. I remember seeing fun poked at a struggling football team dubbed the "Blundering Herd" as if the losses of 1970 were no longer of any impact. (Try recruiting for a losing team, why don't you?) Marshall University is a small university by comparitive standards. Nonetheless, it has a heritage rich in commitment, pride, and community. "We Are Marshall" is a story about all of this, and more. Whether or not it is "entertaining" is immaterial. It is not designed to be "fun" - it is designed to inform, honor, and proclaim boldly - WE ARE MARSHALL!
Carol Cleary on Dec 23, 2006
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