Friday, March 23, 2012

Hunger Games: Parents Need to THINK

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I am sitting on my couch with the evening news on, and just heard another lead-in for a commentary on whether the new HUNGER GAMES movie is “too violent for children.”

When did we get this freaking stupid?

As some of you may know, I was a film critic for many, many years both on the web, in print, and on a nationally syndicated radio show.  I probably wrote a column about this issue every few years.  So if you’ve read or heard it before, feel free to tune me out.

THE RATINGS SYSTEM IS PRETTY SPECIFIC AND YOU ARE A TOTAL MORON TO IGNORE IT.  YOU ARE ALSO A BAD PARENT IF YOU IGNORE IT. TAKE THE RESPONSIBILITY TO GET A DAMNED CLUE.

This is a young adult novel. YOUNG ADULT.  PG-13 doesn’t mean “G, really, but my kid is mature.” No parent who ignores the guidelines is raising a kid who is mature. Bad parents create problematic kids, unfortunately.

This was a wonderful series of books and the midnight showing last night was great.  But for the love of all that is good in the world, why would any idiot send a child to a movie about a dystopian society where tweens and teens are subjected to a lottery, those with their names drawn entering into a televised reality show in which only one will survive; all others to die dramatically on camera?  There is no discussion about whether or not your child belongs in that theater. Your child—I’ll say 10 years of age and under, being generous and allowing for the mythical “mature for his/her age” tween—does not belong at a movie like this. Period.

Your child does not belong at a movie adapted from any book they can’t read, cover to cover, without consulting a dictionary or responsible adult for information and vocabulary.  Your child does not belong at any movie in which children are killed.  Your tween and teen will enjoy Hunger Games. 

Quit expecting other people to think for you. The rating system told you to keep junior home if he was under 13.  “But she whined” is not an excuse for failing at the most important job you will ever do.

Grow a set.

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