Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Movie and DVD Reviews: The best and not-so-best movies available on DVD, and whatever else catches my eye.

This Review is Not Yet Rated

Jerry Stratton, September 25, 2006

If you haven’t seen it yet, I recommend This Film is Not Yet Rated. It has some problems, the main one that the director takes a shotgun approach, throwing up every argument he can think of instead of developing a coherent narrative. At one point they even start complaining that the military doesn’t give filmmakers access to military hardware without agreeing to pro-military terms. It’s an interesting issue, but as far as I can tell had nothing to do with the MPAA ratings system. The movie could have done with less of that and more about how the rating system works in real life.

It’s still a very interesting movie. They added a bit of excitement by hiring a private detective to track down the highly secretive ratings board and then filming some of the case. However, the highlights were the interviews with directors who have run afoul of the system, especially John Waters, Matt Stone, and Kevin Smith. Stone’s story was especially interesting. He’d been through the process both as an independent and as part of Paramount with Team America, so he saw the vastly different treatment the two kinds of movies receive. John Waters seemed almost heart-broken describing the process he’d been through with A Dirty Shame.

I was very surprised to see the director of But I’m a Cheerleader come on-screen, though. I’m sure everyone who sees even slightly edgy movies has realized that the same sex act can mean a different rating depending on whether it’s in a “straight” movie or a “gay” movie. But Cheerleader was about as wholesome as a satire could get. It’s a fairly standard, funny, teen comedy. Why would it be teetering between R and NC-17?

Turns out she had the same problem that both Waters and Smith (with Jersey Girl) did: the implication of female pleasure. Compare the cut scene from the NC-17 version of Cheerleader—in which a fully-clothed woman masturbates—to what remained in American Pie, for example.

I saw it at the Ken Cinema, one of the local Landmark theaters, where it’ll be playing for the rest of the week.

  1. <- Happy Birthday, WKRP
  2. Take the Ride ->