Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Movie violence, some ruminations
When I got home from rehearsal last night, I saw about fifteen sheets of construction paper hung around the house, all of them with arrows. I followed the arrows and found the three boys asleep in my bed. Apparently, The Boy hung the arrows so that their Word Friends - the characters from the TV show WordWorld - could find them that night, while they were sleeping. It was very cute. They had a good night last night. Apparently, there were a few college girls hanging out in the park - it's a convenient place to go and to sit. They were sitting on the merry-go-round, which is Little Bear's current favorite. He went over and started chatting them up. He told them that he had seen the new Iron Man movie and that he liked it, which was a little strange, because >>I<< haven't seen the new Iron Man movie. He was talking about the preview on YouTube, which I have shown the kids a few times because it's FREAKING AWESOME and needs to be seen. I'm not saying that wouldn't take the kids to see Iron Man 3 - I would screen it, first, and see what it was like. I think The Boy is able to handle sci fi violence; not so much, Little Bear. There is definitely some violence that I don't really mind the kids seeing; a cartoon Batman punching a bad guy, Po the Panda having an epic kung fu battle is okay. Bugs Bunny sticking his finger in a gun barrel, causing it to explode in Elmer Fudd's face is, well, funny. Some cartoon violence is too much - the battle against Smaug the Dragon in the 1978 Hobbit was too scary for The Boy. Iron Giant was too much for The Boy - the giant was a little too scary for him at age 4. Real life violence, I'd prefer to avoid. Sci fi violence is a little different. The Boy and I watched the end of Avengers, when they were fighting the hordes of aliens, and that was fine. The scene (spoilers!) where Hulk picks up Loki and slams him around the room was just as funny to him as it was to me. Obviously, Saving Private Ryan and similar are out for a long, long time; but, I'm not sure that Iron Man getting smacked around by Iron Monger is such a big deal. And, if he's watching a movie and gets a glimpse of a boob? Not too worried. He's seen two brothers get breast fed. He knows what they're for. (Train set: meant for the kids, but Dad always winds up playing with them.) I'd really rather him get used to seeing boobs than get used to seeing someone get their throat cut. I think one is a little worse than the other. I mean, a good story is a good story. Violence that serves the story and moves the story along is acceptable, within reason. I don't think my boys are ready for Batman Begins, but I would probably show them (The Boy, at least) the 1968 Batman (Adam West) movie, and maybe the 1989 Tim Burton Batman with Jack Nicholson, and that starts with his parents getting killed. Have you ever read the actual Grimm's Fairy Tales? They're brutal, full of people getting killed, body parts ripped out/off, and other ghastly things happening to them. Little Bear is slightly different, though. He's much more sensitive than The Boy is, and that can be reflected in a few different ways. I'll probably hold off on some the above violence for him until a little later Still, I'm not one to get hung up on rating and such. They're too young for PG-13 and R, particularly because they don't have the life experience needed to understand most of those stories. I mean, Fast Times At Ridgemont High is an AWESOME movie, but there's no way the boys would understand what was happening. If I've screened a movie, I have no problems taking the kids to see them.