You’d have to be hiding under a rock this past weekend to avoid all the chatter in the blogosphere about “Snakes on a Plane”. People recounting how much fun they had at the show, all the fan participation, etc. But I didn’t go see the movie, and I won’t be doing so, and I wanted to say why.
Several years ago, while I was dating my (now) wife Rachel, I discovered that she had made a decision to not watch any Rated R movies. Rachel has always made me want to be a better person, and I look up to her in many areas. So, after some thought, I made the same decision, and I haven’t watched any Rated R movies since (about 6 years now).
Why the thing against Rated R movies? I think there’s just too much vulgar language, and inappropriate sexuality in movies (and entertainment in general), and I’m doing my small part to “vote with my wallet”. And you know what? My life hasn’t ended. There’s plenty of worthwhile entertainment out there.
The sad thing about Snakes on a Plane is that I was really looking forward to seeing it. It was originally going to be rated PG-13, but the studio actually went back and did a 5 day reshoot to add more foul language, nudity, and who knows what else, because people were apparently asking for it (beware some foul language on that IMDB page). I don’t know what is more dismaying – the fact that they went to the expense of doing a reshoot, or the fact that people were clamoring for it.
Is there violence, vulgar language, and sexuality in PG-13 rated movies? Sure. In fact, it’s all over prime time broadcast TV, even. You’ve got to draw the line somewhere, and there have been PG-13 movies that I’ve avoided for the same reasons. Plus, there’s plenty of stuff out there that I consider to be mindless drivel (most pop music, lots of Disney TV shows targeted at kids, etc.) – I avoid that, too.
I debated for a while about even posting this, but it’s been on my mind, and I wanted to say it. I don’t know if people are going to react with flames, or criticism, or what, but if nothing else, I hope it makes a few people think about how much undesireable stuff they’re swallowing in their TV and movie viewing. I’m not perfect, and I don’t think less of people who went to see SoaP or who make any other entertainment choice. But that kind of stuff is not for me, and it’s not for my family, either.
Want to watch something funny? Go check out “Happy Middle“, the new improv comedy video podcast from my friends Jason and Anna (of the Delta Park Project). They’ve got some SoaP parodies (and lots of other good stuff – subscribe to the feed!) that are hilarious, even without having seen the movie. See? Lots of good stuff to watch out there on the internets.