KIlling Time with IMDb

Presumably you are reading this because you are bored. I have no illusions that I have any fans that will read my posts right when I post them. I imagine they see I post one, and then bide their time until they are at work before they crack it open to hopefully burn 15 minutes or so. I have no problem with my entertainment level being only slightly higher than sitting in a cubicle staring at numbers and charts. Like my blog, you probably have many other sites you visit while listlessly scanning the internet (your “go-to sites” if you will). Facebook, ESPN, Twitter, and Wikipedia are probably 4 of the most popular go-to sites for people. None of those sites can match the greatness that is IMDb for me. You can get almost anything movie and TV related at that site. I have personally ranked every full length movie1 that I’ve seen on it. I watch trailers, read reviews, talk on the forums for individual movies and actors/actresses/directors/writers, and get the vast majority of my movie news from there. Yet this is not the greatest boredom killer on that site for me. That accolade goes to a little thing called “Parents Guide.”

You can find the help section for the guide here, but I’ll try to sum it up for you. People post facts that are located within the movie that may be deemed offensive or inappropriate for children. By “people” I mean anybody with an IMDb account. You don’t have to be a parent. You don’t have to like movies. You don’t even have to have good grammar. As long as you are a person with free time, the ability to get to a working internet connection, and an e-mail address you can contribute.

It’s self-policing. People post facts within 5 different categories, “Sex and Nudity”, “Violence and Gore”, “Profanity”, “Alcohol/Drugs/Smoking” and “Frightening/Intense Scenes”, and other users can revert a post if they are abusing the system. There is no editor that looks at the posts before they go up and you will see some bad grammatical/spelling errors2. Some pages can get locked if there is an “edit war” going on or a lot of “vandalism” on a certain film. This is basically when people are being dicks to the people actually trying to use the guide for it’s intended use because they can’t understand why close minded people would care this much about someone using the phrase “shut up” in a movie3. They basically put in a bunch of false information just to upset people who take life way too seriously. They probably think they are very funny, but nothing they say is ever funnier than what is written in all seriousness.

There’s not much else to say about it factually, except that you can see this on the website and also on the free IMDb apps for your phones4. Just go to an individual movie and click on the “Parents Guide” link and you should be taken there. Fair warning: not all movies have had things submitted to them.

I usually read them shortly after seeing the film to see what ridiculous thing they misconstrued. If I had to guess I’d say roughly 15% of the contributors are sane and reasonable people. These sane and reasonable people probably only comment on movies that people would think is suitable for a child without prior viewing (think PG-13 and less). The insane people comment on both those movies and movies like Blue Velvet and Goodfellas, two of the kid friendliest movies of all time.

I don’t know if I’ll ever be a father, but if I do I will have a hard time gauging when I should let my see some of the best movies. My favorite film is The Big Lebowski, but age will have very little to do with when I watch it with them the first time. If they aren’t going to understand the Coen’s, I’m not going to try to get them watch it because they won’t enjoy it. I’ll gauge their initial Coen appreciating with Raising Arizona and work from their. I think the age thing is kind of bunk, and it’s almost detrimental to not show your kids a few movies that “aren’t appropriate.” How many of you sat down to watch a movie with their dad and had him say, “Don’t tell your mother I let you watch this.5” These mature movies can help introduce younger people to real complex emotions in the least scarring way possible. Let them experience fear when there is no actual threat to them. Let them feel and see lust and hopefully see love along with it, albeit an exaggerated form. Let them feel grief at the death of a character they’ve grown to love in 90 minutes before a pet or family member dies. Show them that comedy isn’t all crotch shots, silly voices, and farts. I’m not saying you let them watch movies with gruesome deaths and graphic sex scenes, but there are plenty of great movies that have enough subtlety in these areas that are too harshly rated. If you have a good enough grasp on what your kids can both emotionally and maturely handle than you should gauge what you let them watch on that over an MPAA rating.

Anyway, I want to give some examples as well. I’ll do two today, but I might do more in the future if people enjoy them and my comments. My comments will be in bold to hopefully make reading easier. I’ll only do a few for each movie, so feel free to get a gander at the rest when finished here and imagine all the hilarious things I would say about them.

NOTE: I will write them letter for letter because it’s funny to me when the grammar is really bad and words are misspelled. I like to imagine that they are so flustered by the offensive things they just saw that it took all of their willpower to make it to the computer to warn the masses before they passed out.

I’ll do Aladdin first because I have been told by a friend that his parents wouldn’t let him watch it when he was a kid. I found that statement both sad and hilarious, because I loved that movie as a kid and I don’t see how it could be viewed as an inappropriate film for any age.

Sex & Nudity

  • Three Disney kisses: Two between the Princess and Aladdin and one between the Princess and evil Jafar. What the hell are disney kisses? Are those more racy than regular kisses? If so I’m willing to Disney kiss the first girl that comments on this post. This first example is great because it shows how open these categories are to interpretation. Last time I checked kissing with clothes on was not sex or nudity. By the way, was the “evil” adjective needed before Jafar’s name?
  • The princess is drawn rather seductively, with a little cleavage and an exposed midriff. And she does flaunt her curvy figure. HOW DARE YOU! I’ve had numerous conversations with people about who the sexiest Disney princess is, and I am one of the few Jasmine supporters. Are you trying to imply that I like a seductive and curvacious woman who isn’t afraid to show a little cleavage? Well you’re right. I’m sorry she’s not wearing a potato sack like you would like.

Violence & Gore

  • A huge lion head – it’s supposed to be a cave – comes alive and gobbles up a thief who goes inside. It’s not “supposed to be a cave,” it is a cave, and it’s a tiger head not a lion head. All doubters just go here and prepare to be schooled. Here’s an extra tip if you are trying to get people to realize the violence of the scene (which is minimal), you probably shouldn’t use a cutesy phrase like gobbles up. Overweight babies gobble things up, giant tiger heads feed on the unworthy.
  • Aladdin and his monkey and magic carpet are trapped in the cave of wonders when it is flooded with lava. God forbid we let our kids watch anything that might get their heartbeats over 25 beats a minute.
  • The Sultan is chained and is being tortured by being force-fed crackers by Jafar’s parrot. I think he meant evil Jafar’s evil parrot. Did anyone else have horrible night terrors from this scene as a kid?
  • Jafar tells Jasmine that “the street rat” cannot be released because he has died of “death…by beheading.” Allegedly this category also includes lying to someone about something that would be violent or gory that the audience knows didn’t happen and thus would have no reason to feel discomfort from it. God forbid we let a villain do something as wicked as lie.

Profanity

  • None, although there are some insults (“it’s not every day you see a horse with two rear ends). I think guy is trying to say that the joke would have been funnier had it said, “It’s not every day you see a horse with two asses.” Who zings someone saying “rear end”?

Frightening/Intense Scenes

  • Some may be offended by the portrayal of the good guys with Anglo-American accents, and the bad guys with arabian accents. This sounds like some comment I would make to my friends with the hopes of starting some enlightened conversation only to have them roll there eyes and yell, “Who gives a shit it’s a fucking Disney movie that I’ll never watch again in my life!” This is maybe the greatest point ever posted on the parental guides of IMDb, but I have to say it: Some might be offended that you capitalized “Anglo-American” and not “arabian” (which should be Arabic).

The second movie I’ll do is a movie that no one in their right mind would show a child, yet has a parental guide anyway, A Clockwork Orange. A movie I didn’t like because I’m not a huge fan of movies with rape in them (especially when there are numerous). This movie is so offensive that they have a scale and then a fraction at the end to tell you how bad it is. Each category can get a 10/10 for a max of 50/50. I don’t know who decided to do this scale, but I haven’t seen it on any of the other ones. I will include the fractions.

Sex & Nudity 10/10

  • The main character sees two girls in a record shop while buying something and takes them to his home and has (Consensual) sex with them. It must be emphasized this scene is fast forwarded VERY fast to fast music and there are no close-ups. The mention of consensual is relevant since the three of the four notes before this all mention some kind of raping going on. Which makes me think, who would actually keep reading after the first three all mention a gang of hoodlums attempting to rape someone. Is the person thinking, “As long as there isn’t a forth rape attempt my kid will be fine.”
  • A man with no shirt is reclining on the cushions with three topless women. I didn’t know the Dos Equis most interesting man in the world was in this movie.
  • Sex is referred to several times as “the old in and out.” I pity the next girl I talk to in a bar.
  • At the end there is a fantasized sex scene, in which a nude woman straddles a nude man (Only her breasts shown) as they frolic in snow while a crowd watches. Someone’s never had a wet dream.
  • A man shove’s a fake penis in a woman’s vagina area so hard he kill’s her. Wait…my kid’s aren’t supposed to see this movie? Fucking Puritanical American ideologies man.

Violence & Gore 10/10

  • A scene is shown in which a young man thinks about Jesus being beaten by Roman Soldiers and he is one of the soldiers. (The scene is portrayed as a dreamlike state) In the same scene a man’s throat is cut; little blood pours out. As I said above, someone’s never had a wet dream6.
  • A young man gets hit in the face with a glass milk bottle, he screams “I’m blind”. He is later shown with a nasty cut across his nose but his sight is okay. Originally the young man was blinded, but The MPAA rated this movie X so they had to change the scene. “Keep the rapes,” they said, “but so help us, that boy will see again.”

Profanity 4/10 What kind of pussy shit is that. You let me down Kubrick…I wanted a 50/50

Alcohol/Drugs/Smoking 7/10

  • When Alex ends up back at the Authors house, he drinks a glass of wine with his pasta. No one told me pasta was in this movie. Ban this shit immediately.

Frightening/Intense Scenes 10/10 WE’RE BACK!

  • The first 20 minutes or so are very frightening and disturbing. I imagine if Kubrick were alive he would read this statement and yelling at his computer screen, “Yes, but are they intense?!” Hopefully while doing his best Orson Welles impression. My imagination is weird.
  • The rape scenes will upset viewers. That’s a pretty bold assumption.

Total content: 41 (not for kids) Thanks for telling me it’s not for kids in that parenthetical. I was still on the fence after reading about the rapes and death by phallic objects.

This got really long I know. If I ever do this again (and I will because I run out of ideas of things to write about easily) it will be much shorter as I won’t have that long-winded explanation in the beginning.

—————————————————————————————–

1. By full length I mean over 45 minutes since something is considered a “short” if it’s under that time.

2. I have no idea why no one ever corrects them. You’d think that people would help each other out, but not in the cutthroat world of IMDB Parents Guide.

3. A good personification of this would be a Ryan Stuckey circa 2003.

4. At least the Droid’s IMDb app has it. I assume the iPhone’s app is nearly identical so it probably has it too.

5. Which by the way, is the most ringing endorsement you can give a movie to a young boy. So there you go dads. If you want your son to like your favorite movie just have him watch it when he’s 9-12, say that phrase right before you watch it and he’ll love it.

6. Arguably the greatest and worst joke I’ve ever made in my life.

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