Prude is the new Black in Hollywood

Posted May 06,2008 - 04:56 PM

There is a disturbing trend in Hollywood these days. I like to call it the purification of Tinsel Town. Squeaky Clean Town is more like it. Oh sure, there's still plenty of booze, drugs and Lindsay Lohans to go around. That's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the near Puritanical approach that movie studios are taking with the subject matter of their movies. The latest casualty of the war against censorship is the Terminator franchise. This past weekend, production started on Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins and with it came a new set of rules. Halcyon co-founder and co-CEO Victor Kubicek downplayed the effect of targeting a PG-13 rating for the new movie. "The ratings have changed. The PG-13 has increased in intensity." With over $1 billion in worldwide box office, Terminator is the highest grossing R rated franchise, but it wants to tap into the same successful pool of cash that Live Free or Die Hard did when it shunned the tradition R rating of its predecessors for the more family friendly PG-13. Out was John McClane's hip tagline "Yippee Kiyay Mother#*&^!%," in was a well-placed burst of gunfire and $382.1 million in worldwide receipts, the largest Die Hard haul to date. Heck, I can't even type his catch phrase in this story for fear of my editor's wrath. And now, a new Terminator set in a post-apocalyptic world in which we've already learned that machines set up death camps for the swift disposal of the human race will be treated with a certain "gee whiz" gloss where no one will cuss or be subject to bloody violence. Christian Bale has been cast as the freedom fighting leader John Connor. Perhaps his deep brooding stares will be enough to bring SkyNet to its knees. I guess my real beef is why do I, as an adult movie watcher, have to suffer because parents can't control their kids or the studios want more money? When I was growing up, I saw a boy get his hand chopped off by his dad. A group of Nazis literally melted down to their skeletons. And finally, a little girl literally being sucked into her TV. And guess what, after all that "brutality," I turned out to be a somewhat well-adjusted productive member of society. If this precedence continues, where will the line be drawn? A re-imagining of Deep Throat as a tale of challenges facing the Girl Scouts as they sell cookies? Perhaps they could cast Zac Efron and his High School Musical cronies in a remake of Midnight Cowboy. I know that Vanessa Hudgens would jump at the opportunity. The point is that somewhere along the way, we stopped caring about the quality of the end product and only if it would get a PG-13 rating. The bottom line is that if Knocked Up taught us anything it was that R rated movies can still make a pile of cash as long as they are good movies. Taking a good movie and cleansing it of all the "filth" will surely leave us wanting the adult experience that we expect when we go to see a Terminator or Die Hard movie. Now that I've given you my opinion, FEEDBACKLINK{tell us what you think}.