Today’s strip sprang from real events in my life this weekend. Anticipating the release of The Two Towers this week, Jared and I promised to sit down and watch The Fellowship of the Ring to prime us for the next installment. Ironically, neither of us own the movie. We’re both holding out for Christmas. So off to our local Blockbuster we went.

And it’s no exaggeration about what’s written on the box. It really did say “Rated PG-13 for epic battles and some scary moments”. We joked about if the movie were just slightly less epic, they would have gotten away with a PG. This made me thinking about how the MPAA comes to these inane conclusions when they rate films.

Personally, I think the MPAA is antiquated in its practices. Their friendly “labels” end up stifling artists who are under the gun from studios to make more “family-conscious” products. And R rating these days is just as bad as an NC-17. It’s considered financial suicide. This approach is the loudest indicator that MPAA ratings are meaningless. They do nothing to indicate the content of movies when studios kowtow to the system and mold their pictures around them. The end results are films made for adults, instead replaced by dumbed down versions designed to rope in the disposable income of pubescents. Quite frankly, it’s insulting and a little sad that studios would place so much stake into such an obviously flawed system.

Now I’m not advocating sex and violence just for the sake of it, but I can’t count the number of times I walked away from a movie that was PG-13 movie disappointed that it didn’t explore more adult themes or situations. None come to mind at the moment, but I’ve had this experience too many times to recall.

:: end rant ::

I lost the battle of wills this weekend with Cami and ended up seeing Maid in Manhattan. What a steaming pile that movie is. I was going to do a strip on it, but I thought I couldn’t top how unintentionally funny this flick is and to let sleeping dogs lie.

For one thing, Ralph Finnes isn’t someone anyone would want to be with. At least, not the way he acts in this film. Chalk has more personality. I wan to unload further on the movie, but after spending most of the weekend socializing with a few different groups, I’ve exhausted my hate-tanks in my thorough dismissal of the experience. I can’t go through it again.

What really burns my gravy is that this movie beat out Nemesis by, like $200,000 dollars and came in #1 with something like $19 million. They said it’s J-Lo’s biggest opening to date. I guess we can all look forward to more watered down “You can do it, ladies!” material from the future Mrs. Affleck.

In linkable news, you may want to check out the sites of a few more friends I made. The Hardcore Empire (not as dirty as it sounds), Funny Bunny, (bunnies are cute!), and No 4th Wall To Break (classic).

Those first two have a lot of pop-up ads, but that shouldn’t dissuade you from checking them out. No 4th Wall To Break is slowly becoming one of my surrealist favorites. Play nice and tell ’em Tommy sentcha!

↓ Transcript
I figured since we're going to see The Two Towers this week, it wouldn't hurt to rent The Fellowship of The Ring as a kind of refresher.

Wait a second. I never noticed this before: "Rated PG-13 for epic battles and some scary moments." How does that work?

MPAA screening room - Summer 2001

So what do you think? Are we good for a PG rating?

I don't know, Mr. Jackson. Some of those battles were a little too epic. I won't feel comfortable giving it a PG rating until some of that epic-ness is cut out.

You've already forced me to trim the 5 hour version down to 178 minutes! I'm not changing a thing!

PG-13 it is, then.