Thursday, July 4, 2013

Now vs. then: film critics/reviewers/watchdogs on the far edge of PG-13 violence.

"Even allowing that TLR's weirdness is "interesting" -- and I think it's just an overstuffed train wreck of multiple agendas, myself -- there is such a thing as a movie's implied compact with its audience, particularly when it's a supposed kiddie flick. I've read about droves of parents exiting with their tykes as soon as [SPOILER ALERT] one character cuts out and eats another one's heart. I'm with them, and remember: that's one hefty chunk of change for parents to burn off at the multiplex all of 1/2 hour in."--Tom Carson, veteran of publications such as L.A. WEEKLY and ESQUIRE, commenting on Glenn Kenny's review of THE LONE RANGER.

"The film betrays no human impulse higher than that of a ten-year-old boy trying to gross out his baby sister by dangling a dead worm in her face."--Dave Kehr on INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM, which had a heart-removal scene and caused the creation of the PG-13 rating midway through the summer of 1984.

And here's Ed Grant of Common Sense Media doing a years-after-the-fact assessment of Tim Burton's 1992 BATMAN RETURNS:

Critical tut-tuts, audience squeamishness in certain cases--and more broad-audience-friendly sequels with the latter two films.  Given the response to THE LONE RANGER (though the film has its critical defenders), it's not likely to get that far.

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