Thursday, October 16, 2008

"Edited" Movies - a pop culture alternative...

I love movies... Action movies, thriller movies, scary movies, romance movies, cartoon movies, science movies, whatever... I just LOVE movies!

I also love to share some of my favorites with my kids (ages 7 and 4). We've been fortunate that our oldest son is not afraid of movies - he's got a good sense of "real" vs "not real" so we've been able to see a lot of fantasy/sci-fi stuff that make other kids fearful. We saw The Dark Crystal together when he was around 4 years old - watching first the "making of it" to show how the characters were all puppets and then the movie. He loved it! And we have fun talking about how they made the characters move and work. Star Wars is a HUGE part of our kids' lives. We all seen all 6 episodes... even Episode III... because there used to be a local video store called "Family Flix" that rented "edited" versions of popular movies - with all of the bad language, adult situations, and bloody gore removed. When the video store went out of business, we were able to purchase Star Wars III in edited form... cropping out most of Anakin burning alive in the lava pit, cutting the beheading of Count Dooku to just him falling to the floor, and limiting the slaying of the Jedi children to just the hint of it. Those small omissions enabled both of our kids to see the last movie without scaring them or compromising the storyline.

This weekend, I rented Transformers just for me... yes, I'm an adult female - and it's probably not the typical movie that 36-year old Moms usually rent. But I remember the hey-day of Transformers in the 80's; my brother LOVED them, and the trailer for the movie looked amazing. I was so disappointed when it received a PG-13 rating because I just knew that my sons would love it...

Sure enough - the visual effects were fabulous, and the sound effects even better. The voice of Optimus Prime was just as I remembered it from the old cartoons - and the grinding sounds of the robots actually transforming was SO neat! But there were a few completely inappropriate scenes - scenes that could have been completely cut out without messing up the storyline. There was NO need for this movie to have scenes in it that required a PG-13 rating... especially not when boys as young as 6 or 7 could have just loved this movie.

I started surfing around the Internet for some Family Flix alternatives and found a great site: sells original movies WITH an edited version! You can choose among new releases, classics, actions, suspense, comedy, etc. - AND choose whether you want your version edited to a PG or PG-13 level! Best of all, they had Transformers! So I ordered the edited movie and will save it for my son's birthday in February. As soon as it comes, I'll watch it and be able to tell you about the quality of the editing - but for now, I'm just thrilled to find an edited alternative to some really fun action movies!!
Autobots... ROLL OUT!

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1 comment:

Heather S. said...

That is awesome, Maggie. It is nice to have an alternative and not have to miss out on cool movies but not have to see a bunch of crap either. There were a number of edited video stores here in Utah (or regular video stores with an edited section), but they have met quite a bit of legal resistance from the movie makers. I think the latest decision was movies could be edited if they were sold but not for rental. I could be wrong though.