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"Bully" and the R/PG-13 controversy

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by LongTimeListener, Mar 14, 2012.

  1. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    MPAA gave the new documentary about school bullying an R rating, which of course means teenagers aren't likely to see it and it can't be shown at middle schools and high schools. Taking reviewers' word for it, it's pretty powerful stuff.

    A teenage girl in Michigan started a change.org petition to get the rating downgraded. It has gotten almost 300,000 signatures, including from 26 members of Congress, and has drawn celebrity endorsements including one from Drew Brees.



    The MPAA is holding firm, saying the language is over the top. All I can say is, it would be impossible to come up with a movie that is more corrosive to the mind than The Green Hornet, and that sailed through at PG-13.
  2. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    You think teenagers aren't likely to see R movies?
  3. Here's the trailer:
    . It broke my heart when I saw it.

    NPR ran a story on it yesterday: http://www.npr.org/2012/03/13/148540633/new-film-takes-an-intimate-look-at-school-bullying. I found it interesting that the bullies didn't seem to care that the cameras were there. And the reactions of the administrators was sad ... you really understand how powerless a bullied child can feel when even the adults who are supposed to watch out for you don't.
  4. HC

    HC Well-Known Member

    In Grade 3 I was sent to a pilot program for gifted kids. I was bullied so badly as a child that I had to change schools and go back to the regular elementary school. Nothing was ever even said to the kids that bullied me. I was the only one punished.

    You can say 'kids will be kids' but I believe it's possible to make change and this movie could make a difference for some kids if they get a chance to see it.
  5. Bob Cook

    Bob Cook Active Member

    Ace -- if it's R-rated, it'll never be shown in schools.
  6. waterytart

    waterytart Active Member

    Our reaction to a 7-year-old eating macaroni-and-cheese with his fingers is not "Kids will be kids."

    Our reaction to a 9-year-old not wanting to go to bed before midnight is not "Kids will be kids."

    Why did adults pick this area to abdicate responsibility?
  7. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Because you have to admit that your kid is either a bully or being bullied, two uncomfortable truths to face up to.

    That age is terrible. Total "Lord of the Flies" free-for-all. I remember how absolutely ashamed I was about being good at school. There was one day, in seventh or eighth grade, when I was waiting for my mom to come pick me up. I had a trophy in my hand from the end-of-year academic awards. A kid who was a year or two older than me - kind of a nice guy meathead type, struck up a conversation with me and asked what the trophy was for.

    "Just a stupid academic award," I told him, trying to downplay it.

    The kid was like, "'Stupid'? Stupid?! You should be damned proud of that! I would love to be smart enough to win one of those. Don't ever say it's 'stupid.'"

    I can't remember the guy's full name now, though I can picture him like it was yesterday. But the moment still stands out to me because it was this unanticipated gesture of kindness and respect in the midst of this time of terror and turmoil and self-doubt.

    And, regarding bullying: Sorry, but adults do it, too. They just take it to the Internet. There are enough gang-ups that go on here, in our little corner of the Web, to demonstrate that. And this place is probably among the more civil patches of cyberland.
  8. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    Schindler's List is R-rated, and it's been shown in schools. Although I would think they show it to the older grades, rather than the younger grades, because of the violence. This movie needs to be seen by all kids.

    And I think it's ridiculous that a movie is rated R because of foul language when you have PG-13 movies that practically have sex scenes in it.
  9. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    I remember we watched a PG-13-rated version of "Glory" in junior high.

    I watched "Take Shelter" the other day and just couldn't imagine why it was R-rated. Because they say "fuck" a few times? What the hell?

    Nowadays, if you are using the rating system as a guide to what movies you expose your children to, you are not really doing your job. There is so much information out there that explains exactly what is potentially objectionable in each film. Use it.
  10. bigpern23

    bigpern23 Well-Known Member

    We were shown the theatrical version of Glory in junior high or maybe freshman year of high school. I don't think the R rating will really hurt the flick.

    I'm actually surprised they bothered to get an MPAA rating. Why not just release it unrated? Problem solved.
  11. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    Isn't a rating mandatory for any movie released in theaters?

    You guys are missing a big portion of the population by assuming kids are going to see an R-rated movie anyway. High school, yes; middle school, where much of the bullying seems to occur, there are many (I would guess even a majority) of parents who see the "R" and automatically prohibit their kids from seeing it.
  12. bigpern23

    bigpern23 Well-Known Member

    According to Wiki (and this was my understanding), "The MPAA rating system is a voluntary scheme not enforced by law; and films can be exhibited without a rating, though many theaters refuse to exhibit non-rated or X-rated films."

    So I suppose theaters might have refused to show the film without a rating, but they could have shown it if they chose.

    Screw it, they should just just add a bunch of gratuitous nudity and release the unrated version on Blu-ray and DVD! :D
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