Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Parental Guidance?

Has anyone noticed lately that the movie posters under the Cinema Showtime section seems a little different now?

Apart from the 'Be Original, See Original' tag, there's another fine print on some of those rate 'U' movies, such as Spiderman 3, Pirates 3 and Ocean's 13.

"Reminder : Parental Guidance is advisable for children below 13 years old"


Malaysian cinemas never had a PG rating, everything else just comes under 'U'. I'm not sure since when they added the above reminder but it's good to have it, in case certain concerned parents think that the movie may not suit their children. I knew someone's kid just freaked out in the cinema when the sotong Davy Jones appeared in Pirates 2 (then it was just rated U without the reminder). Perhaps whoever is responsible is sick of parents blaming them for not having the proper movie classification.

However, even by putting up this reminder, yet there are parents who don't even bother about ratings, and just bring their kids in for movies even though it is clearly stated 18-PL/SG/SX (knowing that the cinema folks can be quite slack at times). When I was watching "The Fast & The Furious : Tokyo Drift" there was this kid around 8 years old sitting in front of me. Perhaps his mum thought it is a movie about cars, or she wanted to watch the movie as well, or she's just plain ignorant. I didn't think that movie could do any serious harm to the kid, but I won't be surprised one day he's caught drifting in his mum's car. Then again, I'm not sure why Malaysia rated this movie so strictly (it is rated PG-13 in USA and Singapore), maybe the Government wanted to discourage reckless driving in Malaysia.

Ototo-san also shared his experience, this time when he was watching - of all movies - 300. There were actually two families who brought young children into the cinema (what were they thinking?). He remembered one family left after a short while. Hey, 300 is no Hercules. This is all blood and gore.

Sometimes I think kids in Malaysia are the luckiest - they get to watch everything. Can't watch in the cinema? Buy DVD la. But is this good parenting? Where's the parental guidance? Adults think that the children won't understand what's going on, but that's not true. Just ask any parents whose kids love Barney or Disney Channel. They learn A LOT just by watching TV or movies. The children might even pick up bad habits or behaviour but just do not know it because the parents never told them this is bad.

Maybe this is why our society sucks now. No one tells these kids to differentiate what's right from wrong.


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