Quality Films Few and Far Between These Days

A blog article by Bonniejean Alford (Educator, Activist, World Citizen)

When the movie industry sprung to life during the early 1900s, there was excitement and quality content.  Sure they pushed the limits of the time with the slap stick comedy of the non-talkies, but generally speaking the films of those long ago days were such that the entire family could partake without fear of psychological damage.

But sadly, the world had drastically changed!

In the near hundred or so years since the dawn of movie making, the limits of quality content have continued to push to a point in which it is scary to even consider going to the movies much of the time.  What I mean to say, is that there are more disturbing and inappropriate movies being made than good quality films.  And often, they are not even worth the price you pay in the second run theaters.

The last two movies I went to see clearly fit this category.  One in particular, Kick Ass, left both my husband and I numb.  Not only were we, as adults, psychologically scarred and left to question what the heck is wrong in the world, but the knowledge that various sets of friends took their children (under 15) to see this movie scares me to no end.

The film was billed as a comedy.  The preview was in fact hilarious (containing the only three comedic scenes in the near two hour film, mind you).  And if done right, this concept had the potential to be a hilarious and entertaining film; one that could provide a teachable and appropriate message.

But it by far was not made right!

And the message, well not so good.  It ended up being all violence and sending a negative message regarding behavior that kids should NOT be partaking in, even though the film appears to make it acceptable.  In essence, the film implied that it is okay to put on a costume and go beat people up or kill them, as if a video game instead of real life.

After seeing this film, it is not a wonder why violence in society has gone up.  Much of the “entertainment” out there is filled with violence, sex, and inappropriate situations.  And parents are allowing their kids to engage in such “entertainment,” without any intervention or guidance.

Now I am not a prude, and I surely am not saying I don’t enjoy a good action film packed with some violence and romantic interludes.  I do.  But most of the films I watch with that kind of content are centered around adults, not kids as in Kick Ass, and I am an adult that can reason and understand the fact that the film is purely fiction, however believable it may be.

While kids today may be more aware of things in the world than the average kid when I was young, they still do not have the same capacity for understanding as adults and should not be exposed to the same content that adults may watch.

But should parents be completely to blame?  The experts have told them that these films won’t harm their kids.  Specifically, there were several studies conducted in the 1980s and 1990s that looked at the impact of violence on children.  Many, if not most, concluded that generally there was no lasting impact, especially when parents talk to their kids about the real-ness of a film after they watch it.

But today, parents are not talking to their kids, and they seem to miss that key point about the studies.  And in fact, parents are watching these films with their kids as if friends rather than parents and not helping them cope with the disturbing messages portrayed.  Consequently, we have a generation of kids that just simply are not quite right, viewing violence as a natural part of existence with no consequences.

But there are consequences!  Violence is up, sex among teens and pre-teens is back up, and nothing is being done to stop this senseless and irresponsible filmmaking.

Don’t get me wrong, as an author and educator, I am all for freedom of speech and the amazing other rights protected by the constitution, but I don’t think our founding fathers had films like Kick Ass in mind when offering such a blanket right.  Furthermore, even with the rights in place, there are limits set.  I mean, you can’t let a curse word air on television, but you can make a film essentially about a dad teaching his kid how to be a killer, so long as it is for a good cause.

Come one, who really thinks this kind of thing is a comedic family movie appropriate for children to watch?


66 thoughts on “Quality Films Few and Far Between These Days

  1. First of all Kickass is actually based on a comic series that was released starting in 2008. If you simply google kick ass comics some of the first images that you’ll see are of blood pools. For ex. http://mimg.ugo.com/201003/38434/ugo-ka101-hitgirl.jpg
    In an industry that’s running through movie ideas quickly they have started to turn to more out of the box options. It may have been that the studio felt as though breaking a norm of society such as a child killer/superhero would translate to big box office success.
    It is in no way shape or form a children’s movie except it has superheros. The main audience for the movie is teenagers, and people in their early 20s.
    Simply put an R rating is there for a reason.
    Comparing this to a kids movie is like saying watchmen is for kids just because it has superheroes.
    Parents should know better then to take their kids to see movies that are above their rating level.

    I completely agree with you though. It was not a good movie and very disappointing.

    1. I agree with you in that movies are given certain ratings for a reason. This movie wasn’t rated “R” because it was about butterflies and rainbows. It was dark and violent. The parents would be held responsible in this case because children under the age of 17 wouldn’t have otherwise been able to get in to see it without their parents there to purchase the tickets. Hollywood didn’t help with glamorizing the idea and almost portraying it as a kid movie but it is ultimately the parents decision.

      1. It’s not that they no longer ID people at theaters to get into R-rated movies. I still get carded almost every time I go into see an R-rated movie. Therefore, unless the kids are pulling a we’re going to see Toy story and hop into the Nightmare before Elm street theater instead it is the parents buying their tickets.

        I used to work at a movie theater though, and it wasn’t uncommon for us to see dozens of children in R-rated movies. I wonder if the violence on tv has maybe desensitized us to the violence in movies and video games.

    2. I agree, the MPAA puts a rating on a movie for a reason. If the movie is rated R, the parent should not be taking a child under 17 to see it. Kids absorb everything like a sponge. If they see a movie that portrays kids dressing up as super heroes and killing bad guys, they might think this sort of behavior is acceptable. On the other hand, I saw rated R movies years before I was seventeen. Seeing these movies never caused me to be violent. I think when it comes down to it, you can’t put everyone in the same category, everyone is different.

      1. I agree that children idolize people they see on televison. My 5 year old cousin loves the Transformers and he actually does pretend to be one and pretends to kill people, which is partly parents fault, but they sell toys for kids to play with so maybe the parents don’t see it as such a threat for their child. Also, movie theatres are not carding for rated R movies as much as they used to, at least not when I would go when I was under 17. I would always go when I was 16 and a view times when I was 15 and I was never carded. Blockbuster was another easy way. I was only sometimes carded there, but not always. I guess it depends on who is working and how they feel about letting a younger person watch an older movie.

    3. I agree, the movie was clearly for an older age group and kids shouldn’t be seeing that movie in the first place. It is the parents fault for thinking that just because it has superheros in it doesn’t mean their can’t be anything bad in it. But yes, I do agree that the quality of most movies has gone down drastically and we are just shelling out movie after movie to make a quick buck. For example, Friends with Benefits came out not long after No Strings Attached. These two movies are basically the same having the same concept in them. I saw no point in making the Friends With Benefits movie except for the fact that there was a new cast of people. We also keep making movies raunchier and more violent. Don’t get me wrong though, I do enjoy my raunchiness. I think some of it can be really funny but some of it just goes to far and isn’t even funny anymore. The violence is also an issue especially in kid movies. I don’t think there is one movie really where there isn’t any type of violence or suggestible themes in them. Yet many kids get away with seeing movies that are suppose to be for an older age group, I know I did many times when I was younger. It made me feel “cool”. But I think when seeing violent films you really need to be careful with kids because they themselves can become more violent and then you just have a whole new mess of problems.

    4. This seems like an appropriate time to bring up the MPAA’s inconsistent rating system. Namely, the system is far harsher on movies with sexual content and language than violence. The MPAA also is more concerned with the quantitative amount of adult material in a movie than whether it is handled maturely and realistically. This results in not only lots of brutally violent PG-13 movies but also movies suitable for teenagers that get an R for a few cuss words or moments of nudity.

    5. I totally agree that they make movies rated R for a reason. I remember back when I was around the age of 13, my friends and I snuck into an R rated movie and we were scared to death. I believe that some children are just not prepared for the violence and blood that goes on within some of the R rated movies these days. Hollywood creates movies like its actually real life, and that is what makes them have to put the R for the rating.

  2. Children are becoming desensitized to violence and sexual conduct, and it is a factor in the increase in violence and sexual misconduct among children. As everyone should have freedom of speech, it is the parents’ responsibility to parent and decide what is appropriate for their children to watch. Parents should take a active role in what their children watch, but some parents use television and movies as “baby-sitters”. Children are unable to deal with those situations, yet they are routinely faced with them on supposed family networks such as ABC Family and the Disney channel. Even I miss the good, wholesome entertainment like “Leave it to Beaver” and “Mary Poppins”!

  3. I think the parents are partly to blame. Now a days there are t.v. settings that can block certain channels or inappropriate shows under a parental control setting. The internet has a parental control setting as well I believe. Either way kids are going to do what they want to do now a days. Even if their parents say no there are still ways online that they can watch violent movies or going to a friends house who’s parents will allow them to watch more violent movies. I agree that today’s movies have definitely changed even from when I was younger. A cartoon Disney movie is now replaced with adults who fight crimes and occasionally swear but kids still pick up on things like that.

    1. Parents use television as a babysitter. If there child or children are watching television nothing can go wrong right? Yes, some parents set passwords and block certain channels, but some children know how to crack the code. When i was babysitting MTV was blocked, however the 9 year old boy knew the password to unblock it so why even bother having it blocked if it’s not preventing your child form watching it? The age of watching violent movies and tv shows are decreasing and I do blame the parents as well as the producers of the shows because parents should care about their child’s future and take an active role in talking and playing with their children instead of stickig them in front of the tv everyday. However, TV should not be playing these types of violent shows during the day when children are home. This violence will start to become a normal part of their lives and when they see it in real life they will think nothing is wrong with it.

      1. Perhaps the real question is: why are children watching so much television? Childhood obesity and diabetes rates have increased drastically. Shouldn’t children be playing and interacting with other children and their parents instead of in front of the television during the day? When I was a child, we hardley watched television. Now children are somewhat obsessed with television and movies. It seems as if not playing the questionable content during the day isn’t enough. Families should focus on other forms of entertainment.

      2. That is true. I also know kids that have a password that their parents had set for them but they know the password anyways. I also agree that shows with strong amounts of violence shouldn’t be on during the day when children are likely to be home and watching but producers have the right to show whatever they want to. My younger cousins are filled with activities and play dates during the day thanks to their mother. They are rarely home during the day and out doing other things so they don’t watch as much t.v. as other children who’s parents may both be at work during the day. So yes, the parents are partially at fault.

      3. While it is true that kids these days are watching too much television, we’ve mentioned that a TV lockout is unlikely to work. I think the answer is to have an array of engaging alternative activities for your children. Since it’s inevitable that they’ll watch some TV, the best thing you can do is keep track of what the watch and for how long. Just ask them what they watched today—they’ll usually tell you the truth. If it’s something inappropriate, talk with them about why you want them to watch something else. It’ll be more effective than simply forbidding them to watch it.

  4. I agree. Parents need to step up and take care of their children and put a control on how much television they are watching a day. However, more families have both parents working and therefore it is hard for them to be with their children outside playing all the time. Maybe families should control the number of TVs in the home. I know that many kids have a TV in their bedroom, which is only exposing them to this violence whenever they want to watch it. Parents should have one TV in the family room and maybe one somewhere else, but control how often they can watch it, however there always the internet where they can watch movies and TV shows.

    1. I completely agree with what you’re saying. My sister and I both have TVs in our rooms and have had one since I can remember. Allowing kids to have a TV in their individual rooms lets them watch anything that want and at any time they want. The internet does play a huge role now that there are so many websites devoted to watching movies online as soon as they come out. Kids can get copies of movies anywhere. They can download them from websites like Limewire or Frostwire and their parents may never know. When it comes down to it in the end it is all about the parents taking control and action to protect their kids and keeping them safe.

  5. I completely agree about the number of televisions. There is no reason for a child to have a televsion in his or her room. First the parents cannot properly assess what the child is watching. Second, the child should be socializing with family and friends instead of sitting in front of the television. There is also no reason for a child to have a computer in his or her room. With all of the misconduct on the internet parents should monitor internet use also. People argue that children need computers in their rooms for homework, but what about using the family computer and doing homework together as a family? It seems with the introduction of technology, the family unit is breaking down even more as society moves towards less interaction due to technology.

    1. I couldn’t agree more. I personally didn’t have a computer in my room until my Junior year of high school. I had to share a desktop with my entire family when I needed to write a paper. We used to have family game night and play games and just laugh with each other. Now we just come home and relax in front of the television. If more families were hands on when interacting with their children and had more family time activities the American household may not be the way it is today. We don’t even think twice about it. It just comes natural to us. Maybe it’s because my sister and I are older so we are doing more things with friends than being at home but I know that when I have children they are going to be more involved in family activities and family time.

    2. Exactly, family is breaking apart due to less interaction with technology. I never had my own computer growing up; I always had to share the family computer and my parents would always check in on me, which I think was a good idea and it made sure I didn’t get into any trouble. Kids have it to easy now to watch violent shows on the internet and TV with all the sites swags13 was talking about. They can just download a movie without their parents knowing and watch it and then delete it. When I babysit, the kids are constantly in their rooms on the computer and when I try to get them off, they don’t listen. They would rather be playing Sims than talking with me and their brothers and sister. Technology is taking away from sports and other socializing activities with family and friends, therefore parents need to step up and get their children involved in things outside the home.

      1. I agree. When I was growing up, the only time I watched TV was in the morning when I first woke up and was eating breakfast. After that, I was usually outside all day, or reading. I was always a very active kid. I didn’t care for television much, because I was too busy doing other things. Today, television is a huge part in kids lives. Even with all of the “learning” videos that are being released. Kids are plopped in front of the television, and parents think they will learn from this. In reality, it’s better to have the kids learn hands on, rather than sitting in front of a TV for hours on end.

      2. Our children don’t have to go to the movies to watch R-rated movies; with the technology R-rated movies are just a click away. Technology made it easier for children to watch those movies through their video gaming system or You Tube. Today children can watch R- rated movies in the privacy of their home. They can download films on their cell phones or over the Internet.

  6. I agree that part of the reason that the American family is breaking apart is because of less interaction with each other and more interaction with technology. I also feel that that is why society is changing so rapidly. I think that if there was more interaction with the family stronger morals and values would be taught and there may be less crime and violent behavior. Children need to learn social interaction from their parents and not from a television. Television is not reality, however, the fancy cars, fights, sex and drugs that are on television is what is starting to become a norm for our society.

  7. I couldn’t agree with you more BonnieJean. Movies and music have become huge corporate entities built only to make money. The art of music and movies has been defiled. Now they just exploit the talent into making money for themselves. They’ve marketed movies and music into merchandise, fast food, and video games–and it seems they won’t produce anything else unless it can be accessible in all of those categories. It really sickens me. Parents today don’t want to practice good parenting. They act as children themselves. They are brought up in this society of bad movies and are paralyzed to think critically and responsibly. It’s okay to make bad movies but I agree parents shouldn’t allow their children to view something their children couldn’t understand until they’re probably about 17 years old.

    1. People have been in the movie business to make money practically since the invention of motion pictures. That’s why the studios popped up in the first place, why, for example, Thomas Edison promoted the slightly impractical kinetoscope (a cabinet-like device through which a person could view a short movie for a nickel; he reportedly couldn’t stand the idea of a movie playing in a theater, where someone could sneak in without paying). If Edison had thought about merchandising, he probably would’ve done it.

      As for the good old times of cinema, there was sex and violence in the early talkies, there was sex and violence in the silent era— there’s been sex and violence in theater and literature since time immemorial. We like to think our time is worse than all those that have come before, but the truth is the media is just keeping pace with the people— as our technology gets faster and more widespread, so does our entertainment. There was a time when nudity, sex, and gore were present in everyday life— people hunted their own food, went to see hangings for entertainment (sometimes with their children), saw lewd graffiti, were exposed on a regular basis to what we consider horribly taboo. And humanity survived, even made it out with some great works of literature (Chaucer, anyone?).

  8. The message of “Kick-Ass” wasn’t that violence is ok. The message of “Kick-Ass” was most definitely that not everybody can be a superhero, that vigilantism cannot be THE chosen method of justice, and that nobody can be as cool as Hit Girl. Now remember, Hit Girl was the only person in that movie who could really hold her own against just about anybody, and she could do that, why? Because her father had emotionally and physically scarred her into becoming a highly trained, socially removed combatant. Nobody can be as cool as Hit Girl because nobody can be that damaged— the movie’s lesson: violence can create damaged people.

    Kick-Ass isn’t a highly trained military operative or a genetically altered superhuman or some rich gadget guy. He’s simply a boy like any other boy who saw a video game or a movie and thought it would be cool to run around in spandex and set the world right. And he spends the whole film constantly getting beat-up— he’s near death several times as a result of his vigilante antics. And here the movie says again: violence damages people. Now maybe a higher caliber drama film would have been a better carrier of this lesson, but the lesson is still there. Sure, I had the obligatory moments of “Wow, that was some cool looking violence!”, but I also got that committing that violence was in no way easy for the characters in that movie. Now I’m not sure if a kid would see it this way, but the movie wasn’t made for kids.

  9. Movies are given the ratings for the content that is involved in them. There is a large chance that parents will take kids to see “R” movies because the kids kick and scream until the parents just give up and allow them to go. Personally, my mother never let me see things that she saw would be too harsh for me to see. A lot of the things now a days are just becoming more sickening and might have the idea/plot of an excellent film but with the media being so focused on the idea of selling sex, that is how the movies come out. Like the movie Black Swan was actually a movie about a person suffering from schizophrenia, but it was not marketed that way. All my friends who saw it couldn’t stop talking about the lesbian scene that went on the film that actually went on in the mind of Natalie Portman.

  10. You have a great point here. Parents should review the movies before allowing their kids to watch them. Parents also have to keep their children from watching R-rated movies. Movies today are not about creativity anymore. It is about making money. Good films are not made to make the most money but made to tell a story. Meanwhile, I have to state that some motion pictures do provide a venue of magic such as Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings series, where the technologies in those films were so extraordinaire that helped them reach millions of children and adults as well.

    1. Ironically, the same CG technology that captivates us in the movies you mentioned is also responsible for increased movie violence. With CG, violence is easier to make and easy to embellish, resulting in violence that is both more common and more gruesome. Before the advent of computerized special effects, moviemakers needed to be creative in their depictions of violence. In some of the greatest movie moments, like in Psycho, violence is only implied. As our ability to create dreams becomes more vivid, so too does our ability to create nightmares.

  11. We have all fallen into the same trap of going to a movie based on the preview and having our expectation demolished but nonetheless there are many good movies that are released each year that caters to various tastes and are appropriately categorized and offer decent level of entertainment. You can always count on certain film makers that they will produce something of good quality. The key issue is how you select between quality and rubbish and how can we monitor what kids watch. While growing up, my parents used to supervise all movies, TV series that we used to watch. Nowadays there are too many media sources for them to keep track. It all comes down in my opinion to building good communication channels between parents and kids, and installing some basic values that hopefully will provide them with a decent sense of what right and what’s wrong.

    1. You’re right! It’s up to the parents, not the MPAA or the movie makers or the theater attendants— it’s up to the parents when it comes to what kids go to see. If the parents truly have a problem with the content of the film, this problem shouldn’t come up when they have their kids in the theater watching the questionable content. There are plenty of resources that allow people to know a little about the movies they plan on seeing before they go to see them— rottentomatoes.com is one option. If you read a few reviews and the movie you want to see is described as having gratuitous violence or sex, and you don’t want you or your kid seeing that, don’t go to the movie.

      1. I agree that it’s up to the parents. The MPAA rating system exists to inform the parents about the content of the films. How many times you went to see a movie that was rated R. But just in front of you were kids that were around the age of ten. It is shocking how parents didn’t care about what their children were hearing and seeing. It made me sick because that was not appropriate for children to watch. Parents have to set clear rules about what media their kid watch so they would not damage the innocent children.

  12. I completely agree that children shouldn’t be allowed to watch the same movies as adults mainly because their mind doesn’t allow them to know the complete different between fiction and the real world. It seem as if the parents don’t care about what they children are watching even watching the same shows with them. For instance the cartoon network has a series of cartoons that comes on after dark named Adult Swim. The cartoons that come on should never be watched by children but they are made in the cartoon form. Who would have known that cartoons would be used in such a way, and providing an assess to the adult world through cartoons sometime that should be preserved with time, or until their parents are ready to discuss those issues.

    1. I can’t agree more with you. Some of the cartoons are not for the children to watch. There are many examples such as the two well known cartoon series Family Guy and American Dad. Parents in this case have to watch it with the children, and to talk to them about the issues that come up. Parents have to make sure that if something comes up is against their values as a family, they must talk with their children about it.

    2. Cartoons can affect children in both positive and negative ways. The majority of the cartoons choose to use violence and inappropriate subjects to entertain the children. They can have a great negative impact on children. However there are cartoons that have little or no violence and concern about values that important to children to learn, these cartoons have positive effect on the children.

  13. I too have noticed a decline is movies with actual substances that are appropriate for the age level they are labeled as. It’s appalling to think that movies that are designed for kids, have more adult humor in them than some of the movies that are rated for higher age groups. I know that I went with my cousin and friend of his to see the movie Rango and was astonished to find out how much adult humor is scattered about the movie. While I still thought it was an okay movie, I though it should have had a higher rating to it. There are only some things that parents can talk to their kids about at such young ages because they don’t understand everything in their world yet.

    But I also agree that if a parent is going to allow their children to watch something that is widely inappropriate for them, they should explain everything in it to the children using the most simplest of terms for them to understand.

  14. Parents have to be a good part of the blame because the ratings are on movies for a reason. I used to work at a movie theater, and the number of parents that took their young children to see R movies was astonishing. The movies they were going to were filled with violence, sex, vulgar language and everything else seen in a rated R movie. When kids are exposed to this constantly at a young age, they are going to be less sensitive to them. This is another example where money is everything. Companies keep producing low level movies just to make quick cash. It’s easy to see this trend. Almost every movie is being made in 3D these days which turns a bigger profit for the company. Unfortunately we have to deal with the products of these greedy film companies.

  15. I completely agree with your comment Kevin and the topic of this blog in general. Movies today are not that great anymore. The last few movies I’ve seen have been disappointments…except for Harry Potter, which I thought was wonderful. But I feel that many movie companies/directors/producers have just run out of ideas. For example, Zookeeper. Really? A movie about a zookeeper? Parents hold part of the blame because they are the people providing the money in most cases. Allowing their children to see vulgar and violent films is a mistake. It’s like letting your kid watch South Park…I think the show is wonderful, but it is NOT for kids. There are so many movies like that thatkids get into because their parents allow it. But, we are partly to blame too. I have to be honest I did go see that stupid movie…and I’m sorry if anyone loved it…The Green Hornet. I love Seth Rogen, but that was such a horrible movie! My point being that I fed the box office that night. I was one of the many(?) that went to see it…unfortunately. We are all to blame for these horrible movies. Cowboys and Aliens? REALLY?

    1. For all its flaws, Cowboys and Aliens (which I enjoyed) was at least an original concept. It feels like every other movie these days is “Marginally Popular Intellectual Property: The Film – IN 3D.” It’s gotten to the point where screenwriters are looking to one-joke comics (“Marmaduke”) and board games (“Battleship”) to make a quick buck. Hollywood used to be a breeding ground—now it is a dumping ground. What has humanity done to deserve not one but three “Alvin and the Chipmunks” movies?

  16. I was17 years old when I went to see the movie “Kick Ass”. I was mature enough to see the movie without being influenced from the violence and mature subject matter. But I agree that most kids under 17 are really not mature enough to see these types of films. But trying to change Hollywood by hoping producers and movie companies will get a conscience and make less violent films will never happen. Hollywood is all about making money, and sex and violence sell. I’m afraid parents are going to have to take all the responsibility here.

  17. A lot of the comments above I agree with. I think parents should hold a lot of the blame. Most teenagers and kids under 17 arent at the right maturity level to watch alot of these movies. A lot of these kids get into movies television shows because their parents allow them to watch them. There are ratings on movies for a reason. When something is rated R, it probably isnt a good idea for someone under 17 to see the film based off the reasons for it being rated R. That is the parents responsibility to find out the reasons why its rated R and if they think its appropriate their kids to watch. Most of the time, the answer should be no if the movie is rated R.

  18. This blog made me think about all the movies I’ve watched and own. I have to say some of the movies out there are just made to be as disgusting as possible because someone who sees it is going to talk about it and then make someone want to see what all the fuss is about and the chain continues.

    Unfortunately, in today’s world sex, drugs, and violence sells. It’s what the people want to see. What is the movie industry going to do? They have to give the people what they want or they won’t sell movies. I feel it’s not just the movie industry that is making the changes but society as a whole.

    Back in the day, a movie like Jurassic Park was rated PG-13 because of the violence and some language. If Jurassic Park was to come out today, I feel the rating of the movie would be PG because Jurassic Park wasn’t too violent and had minimum amount of language. The amount of violence and language on a movie like Jurassic Park, is now able to be watch on regular television. Society has become a lot more excepting of language, violence, and sexual situation and kids have more access to being able to see them.

    I have mixed feeling about blaming the parents on this one. Some parents are strict and won’t let their kids watch movies that are rated R or rated PG-13 but what’s to stop the kids for seeing it on their own? When I was growing up my parents were very strict on what I was allowed to watch. But most of my friends were able to watch movies that were of high ratings and at sleepover parties I would watch the movie with my friends anyways knowing I shouldn’t have been watching it. Yes, I guess the parents that gave of the movie could be to blame but if kids want something, they will find a way to get it.

  19. If you had looked up the rating of Kick-Ass online, you would have learned that its R rating was assigned for “strong brutal violence throughout, pervasive language, sexual content, nudity and some drug use – some involving children.” Definitely not a family movie! Unfortunately, Holly wood wants to make money, and will use misleading trailers and other promotional materials to get you to focus on the children in brightly colored costumes. I believe that anyone thinking about seeing a movie should do a little research via reviews to find out what other moviegoers think about the movie’s content and quality.

  20. Personally, I have been brought up in a household where I was able to watch R rated movies from a very young age. However, my parents always processed the movie with me after. On top of that, it was never a senseless movie. They always watched movies that had meaningful messages that depicted a part of society in real way. Rather, they didn’t show me movies that idolized violence, they should me movies that gave a real life account of it. However, nowadays it is all about generating income. People are so used to seeing violence, sex, and drugs, that it has become what they crave. Recent releases in the movie industry such as “project X” are a perfect example of this. This movie pretty much tells teenagers to have no responsibility, party, destroy property, riot, take drugs, and drink. The moral of the movie in the end is that eventually your parents will forgive you for destroying their house and their lives. This kind of senseless message actually does influence teens.

  21. I too was always able to watch all kinds of movies when I was young… I still love watching Leprechaun to this day… but as a young adult now and even then I know that it was not a real movie. I do not believe that it’s the childs fault for what they watch and what games they play. I remember the very first game I played was the original Resident Evil and it was my grandfather who showed me how to play it. I do not know if it was how i was raised to perceive fact from fiction or if I just realized it on my own but in todays generation teens are trying to live the movie lives because they think that what they see in a movie is how their lives should really be and that they are living a boring life, which I find ridiculous.

  22. I firmly agree that in our society today our youth is Brian washed by what they see, hear, and are exposed to through movies and television shows. Nowadays even in children movies with the rating “PG13” have little subliminal messages in them that are meant for adults. Like for instance in the movie that is know for being a Fairy-tail for kids to view teaches the kids about true love. I am considered as a adult and I still don’t know exactly what true love is, why are they teaching young kids about it? I also think that people are literally programed by television. I say this because in our society parents often put on movies for children to watch while they eat instead of conversing like a normal family should instead of being in front of a T.V. . So I blame the parents for not stepping up and monitor what their children is getting influenced by, and for allowing their kids to watch to much T.V.

  23. I totally agree with this entry. Movies today are not as family friendly or even as good of quality as they used to be. You can’t see a movie today without shooting or a million sex scenes in it. I think this is sending a bad message to our younger generation. It is like the new norm for young people to see the things only adults could see just a decade ago. Teenagers and young kids idol those they see on the movie screen, and if they see their favorite character shooting people or having sex, they will want to do the same.

  24. I do agree there are few movie titles out today that are worth viewing, but I think the problem lies not in the excessive violence, but in the lack of intelligent plot lines and true quality acting. It seems to me that the films out today are primarily push towards Americans who want a fast paced “in your face” movie, with a plot line that ties everything up at the end for you. Nothing is left to the imagination. But, what this article seems to be talking more about is violence in films. Yes, parents need to be more mindful of what children view, and yes I do agree that violent material is desensitizing the average American. This issue can easily be paralleled to the videogame industry which already has a bad reputation because of violence in videogames. Many lobbyists, like Jack Thompson, feel the need to ban videogames because kids are able to get their hands on excessively violent videogame titles, due to parental negligence.

  25. This article is spot on. I can remember back when I was a kid how my mother had to be so cautious in what me and my brother watched on television. I think it’s preposterous with what they get away with showing on television shows these days. How are you supposed to sit down as a family and watch what is supposed to be a family show, with the amount of violence and sex references that appear in just about every one of them now a days. Sadly it is our generation that has made these movies/shows popular, thus causing more to be made. The movie that comes to mind off the top of my head is the movie Saw. This movie shows some of the most gruesome and torching things being done to people, and we as a society enjoy watching this? The results don’t lie because they ended up coming out with about five or six of them. All kids see on TV and at the box office are people being killed and having sex. Even in video games today, that’s the theme of so many of them. The game Grand Theft Auto is a perfect example of that. Kids are being surrounded with violence through these things and it’s making it hard for even parents to monitor all of it.

  26. When it comes to this topic, I have many mixed feelings. On the one side, sometimes I think it is completely ridiculous some of the garbage that these filmmakers will put out. I am also a true believer on remembering the classic movies because it can make you appreciate the film industry and all the key elements that are taken and put in to making a great film. People sometimes don’t realize all the different aspects that have to go into making a film.

    However, when it comes to this topic I would have to agree with the idea that sometimes I spend my money and then come out of certain movie and wonder “what the hell was that?” Sometimes I believe it’s all about the money, just like it is with a lot of the stuff in the world. I sometimes think where are some people pride when they put out something that has such a bad pot line or message.

    But on the other side I think people in this society are getting way too sensitive. Whenever something goes wrong the people of society point the finger at movies, music, and TV. All of these thing are there to entertain us and being able to live in this country you have the right to choose if you want to participate or not. I will tell you right now I love movies and I would be very upset if they started to hold back because they are afraid of the repercussions. Like this post said, the parent needs to also get involved and teach young people the rights and wrongs of the world. BUT I feel that it’s the person in the mirror that you should be pointing at and not use everything else as your scapegoat.

    1. I completely understand the author’s point, but we have to consider how the world is always changing. While I can respect the classics in the film industry, I don’t think I would ever choose “Gone With the Wind” over “Gone in 60 Seconds.” Film making is considered an art form, and artists are always trying to capture the viewers attention by creating something new and improved. Movies were so successful when they first came out because it was such a new idea. Film makers always need to find new ways to capture their audience. Sometimes blood, gore, sex, drug use, and explicit language are the only way to sell your movie. A silent film wont be as successful now as it would have been in the early years of film making. Our society has become numb to many of these things we see in movies. It also bothers me when I see parents bring their 10 year old to see a movie like “Superbad” and I really wish I could say something or ask them why they brought their kid. It all really comes down to how times are changing, and everyone is looking for the next biggest thrill.

  27. I feel like this article is entirely based on your opinion, Bonniejean. I saw Kick Ass, and thankfully didn’t pay $10 to see it in theaters. I wasn’t a fan of it, specifically because Nicholas Cage (yeck!) was in it. It wasn’t the violence in it either, I simply wasn’t a fan of the premise of the movie. It actually received rave reviews from viewers and critics though, and even a sequel is coming out next year. Like “hatersgonnarotate” stated in 2010, it was a particularly gory comic series so if they left that out (much like Sweeney Todd) it would remove a important aspect in the story line. Adding on to what you stated about violent movies in general, yes it is effecting our children. It’s more appalling to you then an eighteen year old because the teenager grew up believing violence isn’t something to be scared about. I see it in a positive light, because we aren’t as fearful, as lets just say, our parents who grew up watching leave it to beaver. It’s considered normal for it to be portrayed in our media today.

  28. I don’t like movies nowadays at all. They have no meaning and no actual relation to the “real” world at all. Comedies are all just making fun of someone, superhero movies are completely unreal, and “love” movies aren’t realistic. It seems that movie makers make these movies to cover up the sad lives that they once lived. Start off a movie with someone who’s life is horrible and by the end they are 1,000 times better/richer/cooler. Nothing, and I mean nothing, means anything anymore. The only movies I watch and actually feel some sort of emotion are the black and white movies from the 1930’s. Now that is some “Kick Ass” quality and feeling put into a movie, not like the rip off action/comedy/love stories told today through a movies.

  29. I agree that movies are very disappointing nowadays. They most likely involve some kind of drug usage, underage drinking, or just overall irrelevant plots. They are not really realistic either, But, I do understand where movie producers are coming from. They have to consider who there fan base consists of. Most of the people in the audience at movie theaters nowadays consist mostly of teenagers. What do some teenagers like? Sex, drugs, alcohol, and “comedy”. It is sad how movies have changed throughout the years. I remember over the summer I went to the movies at least twice a month, but now, only a few months later, there are no movies that grasp my interest. Why should I spend $10 on a film that is going to leave me unsatisfied? It just doesn’t make any sense. Another thing that really angers me about today’s movies is how the movie producers are making remakes of classic films. For example, Red Dawn. That film was outstanding when it first came out, why make a remake? Are producers lacking in creativity so they have to resort to remakes? I don’t understand. I wish I grew up when movies still played at the drive in, those movies seemed much more insightful.

  30. I think that in society today, movies have definitely become too focused on violence and inappropriate messages that can greatly affect children. I feel that, to an extent, the violence is acceptable if it is in the context of a war movie that accurately portrays our country’s history, but the well directed and produced films such as Saving Private Ryan are slowly diminishing. We have gotten to a point where the “realistically accurate” has become much too exaggerated and misguiding- especially to young kids. Action scenes in movies such as Wanted have become way too over the top, and if a child were to watch these movies, they would not understand that the actions in the movie are not the norm in society, that they are highly dangerous, and that some of these actions are very unlikely or impossible. Consequently, I feel that the MPAA ratings are an extremely crucial aspect in society’s entertainment and media presently, and I believe that these guidelines need to be followed more strictly due to this violent shift in movie culture.

  31. I completely agree with this article, what constitutes as a movie these days is appalling. I absolutely love film and it holds a large place in my life, but what can be passed off as a movie these days doesn’t hold a candle to old movies. Movies were invented as a tool for entertainment and to reflect the society in which they were based. It makes me very sad that movies, like Kickass, are how we want to represent who we are as a society. Furthermore, I saw Kickass, and children should not be allowed to see a movie like that. When a younger kid sees a violent movie and doesnt have a proper talk with an adult about how it is fake, thats when those kids get into trouble. I grew up watching movies that were meant for people much older than me, but I also had a mother who made me well know that they were fake and that people should not act that way. I believe that the parents who allow their children to watch these kinds of films have a huge responsibility to let their child no what is right and what is wrong.

  32. I do feel that parents who bring their kids to movies like Kick-Ass do not understand appropriate movies for kids. Today’s movies have changed from the old time movies that had substance for viewers. Sometimes I have seen parents bring their kids to movies that are clearly not for kids with sex scenes and nudity. I have a strong feeling that these parents don’t talk to their kids after it’s over whether to clarify their fears or to say sorry for bringing them. America has told the movie industry what they want and that’s movies that are just appealing to the eye with explosions and car chases.

  33. This problem definitely exists in more then just the movie industry. Many parents buy whatever video game their kids want and then just leave them to it without even considering the consequences of their actions. Some parents, like mine, did get it right. If you’re going to get your kid watching something violent, be sure to explain the context and ensure they understand the separation between the virtual and reality. I myself got a copy of Grand Theft Auto: San Andres (the Ao rated version) back when I was in the 6th grade. How you ask? My parents bought it for me. Not only were they confident I could handle it, but they also were sure to explain the context and ensure that I knew what I was partaking in was just a fantasy. Although my dad didn’t really like the idea of me playing the game, he was much more comfortable me playing it in our own house instead of a friend’s house where he couldn’t explain anything to me.

  34. I agree with you completely.Movies just aren’t how they used to be like you said. I also think a lot of chick flicks and romantic comedies give a lot of people (young girls specifically) false hope. They fill our brains with nonsense like we will our soul mate by having a one night stand in vegas and end up marrying them on accident and having it end happily ever after and work out perfectly. That also makes it harder for men because a lot of men are trying to live up to these artificial and almost impossible standards that a lot of young women have due to these movies. Relationships aren’t like how movies portray them to be. Arguments and disagreements are normal..if anything that proves you’re in a somewhat functional relationship.

  35. I agree that movies and shows today have broken boundaries that should have never been touched. I feel as though media is shaping us as a society. I enjoy watching documentaries and one documentary I watch was called Zeitgist. They had a clip from a movie in the 1970’s named “Network” or “The Network” I forgot the exact name but in the clip the main character was a TV news anchor and he stated we watch TV and the news and see so much violence and crime and say ok to it as long as it doesn’t happen to us we are all fine. Later on in his rant he stated that TV goes for an illusion of the people they try to play but now it has been flipped and people are trying to imitate the people they see on TV. Consequently his show was cancelled by his execs for all of what he said but this was a movie in the 1970’s trying to tell people something we still haven’t learned today. I was near sick when I was in high school and I heard the report about girls trying to be on teen mom. I was in high school we had a few people pregnant in high school it is not bad but those girls were purposely trying to get pregnant for a show. Society has seeped into a waste land and I just don’t see a return. People want to stay ignorant to the real reality because ignorance is bliss.

  36. I believe that parents are at the root of this issue. There are plenty of sights that list details of how many violent acts, sex scenes, and swear words are used in each movie. A lot of parents want to believe that their child is mature enough to understand that the movies are fictional and because of that, behavior should not be mirrored off of the characters in that film. The problem is that youth, as a whole, are proving that they are not mature enough. This is something that needs to be taken very seriously. Although it paints them as the bad guys, parents need to monitor what their children watch. It is not good for children to be too sheltered from reality, but at the same time, there are certain things that children do not need to experience at too young of an age.

  37. I that this movie is clearly for a more mature audience and that is why it’s rated “R”. With a movie being rated “R” you should not expect the movie to have such a clear and positive message. However in today’s modern world with shows like “Game of Thrones” we see violent acts, sex, and swearing all the time and is becoming a new norm as of the past few years. Parents are bringing their children to movies that are very inappropriate for them at such a young age and it’s awful to walk into a movie like Django Unchained and see 13 year olds there with their friends and a single parent. Being a filmmaker myself I understand that there are certain audience the movie is made for in theaters and Kick Ass is definitely meant for a mature audience with its gruesome action and use of language.

  38. I somewhat agree with this. Some of the new movies are starting to have the same story line which is making the movies not very interesting. But with the movie like kickass or deadpool where they were originally comic books. Movies like this everyone grew up reading the comic books so if people are taking younger kids to these kinds of movies they already know what to expect because even kids today still read those same comic books.

  39. I agree in the fact that a regular young kid should not watch this but I would not blame the filmmakers for the explicit content. Since the beginnings of films, there have always been movies only for adults such as old gangster films in the 20s to bloody horror flicks in the 70s. The movie is rated R, so parents have an idea what they are taking their children to see. Growing up, I watched a lot of intense films: Goodfellas, Kill Bill, and Scarface. I turned out alright. I never behaved violently or was an aggressive kid. Children are smart. They understand that films are not real life. With violence rising and teen pregnancy rising, I wouldn’t blame films or media. I would blame the parenting of the children.

    1. I would have to disagree in a way,because I think that films could influence a young child’s mind as well as the influence from the parent. The film makers aren’t at fault for letting children watch graphic films/ media that is on the parent,but the content of violence is so real with what is going on in the world. It affects life daily many people getting killed, pregnant into fights etc, this has to do with the media, parents and the community these children live in.

      1. Violence in movies is just violence. If violent affects violence, then billions of people would be committing murder or aggressive crimes. Violent behavior is caused by lack of values, morals, and ethics kids are raised with today. Saying movie violence causes violence is like saying forks and food cause obesity.Its like saying beer or liquor cause drunk driving. Its the easier thing to do blame violent media instead of examining the background and history behind violent people.

  40. Well true but maybe it’s whether or not people have the right mindset. Some people are easily manipulated or influenced. So I am guessing that it has to do with the individual itself.

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