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Family friendly films – a rant (Aug08)

This is a rant!

Why make a Batman movie that’s not suitable for children – and show it all through the summer holidays? I have to admit that I haven’t seen it but I’ve read enough to know that I don’t want to – and I’m not very keen on my three boys watching it either. I’m getting some flak about that…. I used to enjoy Batman – the comic book ‘splats’ and ‘whallops’ were part of the charm. Surely modern film makers could update the format and still make it appeal to children and parents alike.

Actually, my rant isn’t just about the Dark Knight. I felt similarly about the most recent James Bond movie – Casino Royale – which I did watch. The opening scenes had some poor chap having his head smashed on the sinks in a public lavatory – it was far too graphic for me. And then there was the scene where Bond was having his balls flailed. It went on for ages. I much preferred it when Roger Moore was playing the role a bit more tongue in cheek, even though Pearce Brosnan was far more attractive! (Daniel Craig is not my type…)

I don’t think I’m alone in wanting to see more family friendly films. When we went to see Mamma Mia recently, the cinema was chock a block – we had to come back a second time to get in. And what a joyous film it was. Left the cinema feeling really good – although managed to restrain myself from dancing down the streets!

If film-makers want to make violent and menacing movies, they should focus on adult themes, rather than comic book characters. I’d like to enjoy taking my children to the cinema – rather than struggling to explain why I don’t want to go and see what many of their friends are watching. Down with the Dark Knight…..

2 thoughts on “Family friendly films – a rant (Aug08)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Julia, To understand this, and the problem of why so many Hollywood ‘movies’ [as they seem to insist on calling them] are so dreadful, you have to understand that in the US, a vast majority [70-80%] of the audience are in what the call the ’16-24 demographic’..

    ALL films have to be ‘marketed’ with these people in mind, sadly.. Even ‘rom-coms’ like Mamma Mia will have been ‘test marketed’ with a large population of students in ‘test screenings’.

    This leads to the asinine habit of films being vetoed for release unless and until the director changes the ending – if ‘feedback forms’ filled in by the 18-21 yr olds complain about the ‘sad ending’ [even if it is a historical event !] then a ‘thumbs down’ mean it can find it difficult or impossible to get into distribution…

    Of course, most film studios know this, which is why so much ‘colour by numbers’ formulaic $h!t comes out of the American film industry.

    If cinemas in the US catered for everyone, of all ages, this might change – but the fact is that in a country where one might have to drive for an hour to get to the cinema, it is going to be a preserve of younger people who are more geared up to going out.

    Which leads to the other bizarre side-effect; that intelligent, well written drama, with higher production values, often tends to be done on the ‘small-screen’ these days.

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