Sunday, August 03, 2008

Weekend Parenting

Having the kids around the house hasn't really helped our home-sale preparation effort, so one of us will take the kids out for a few hours while the other gets things done at home. Today was my turn to babysit, although my secretary strenuously objects to the use of the word "babysitting." "It's called parenting, Matt," she says with disgust. Anyway, I had the kids, and we went to George's Pancake House for breakfast. Then we visited the playground at Taylor Park while browsing the local movie selection on the phone. We decided on the 12:40 showing of Space Chimps, the only G-rated movie that we hadn't seen.

A word on Space Chimps. I didn't expect much, and got pretty much what I expected in terms of movie quality. It had the feel of a story written, filmed (or animated, as was the case), and edited without pause for reflection. Things that "seemed like a good idea at the time" made it into the movie. But the quality of the film did not trouble me. The problem was that despite the G-rating, characters in this cartoon film made four or five penis jokes.

I am aware of two general categories of penis jokes. The first, in which some male is kicked or struck in the crotch and falls down, is acceptable in children's films. The other relies on some knowledge of or reference to sexuality, and does not belong in a kids' movie -- at least not in a film supposedly approved for General Audiences without Parental Guidance. I'm really not sure what the MPAA reviewers were thinking on this one.

On that note, for a very interesting documentary on the MPAA reviewing and rating system, check out This Film Is Not Yet Rated. It focuses mainly on the weird border between the NC-17 and R ratings, and the odd prejudices seemingly held by the rating committee. Don't watch this movie if you think you might be offended by candid reference to scenes on the NC-17 side of the boundary.

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