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July 16th, 2000

We need NC-17!

Scary Movie, in case you haven’t seen it, is an R-rated film. R ratings generally mean that, well, the content isn’t appropriate for kids; officially "children under 18" aren’t allowed to see R films without an adult.

It makes me wonder why, then, the theater I saw the movie in had lots of kids. Lots. A number of them were 16-18 year olds, but I saw at least 4 babies and half a dozen kids… between, say, 4 and 10. The movie is wholly inappropriate for kids. It’s very crude and very raunchy. Apparently I’m not alone in seeing kids at this show, either.

So why were they there? Most likely, their parents wanted to see the film and brought their kids along because they couldn’t find a sitter. But exposing a young kid to jokes about things such as the male genitalia… that’s just wrong. Not when the kid’s 6 and sees it on a movie screen, you know?

The solution is a lot easier than some might think: bring back NC-17. The rating isn’t dead, but it might as well be with the way the movie industry works. NC-17 is essentially a deathbed for a movie, since theaters shy away from showing NC-17 films. It’s just because NC-17 has earned an incorrect stereotype: NC-17 films are the closest thing to porn this side of X. American Pie almost had an NC-17 rating, but was toned down to R. Then there’s Showgirls. Yeah.

Some movie has to come out that is adult-oriented, but breaks through the porn image of NC-17. Will it happen? Probably not; I imagine that the movie studios would rather spend money on toning down movies than educating people that movies can be for adults and adults only. Losing market share that way, y’know. -pm

Posted in Television, Movies, and Music

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Sunday July 16, 2000 -- 12:11:32AM
The problem is that NC-17 = ticket sales death for a movie, unfortunately. And until a movie *does* take the chance and break that stigma, it will have that "softcore porn" quality (a la Showgirls) attached to it.

FROM: Robert
DATE: Sunday July 16, 2000 -- 1:03:54PM
The NC-17 rating was started when "Henry and June" came out and the MPAA finally realized that movies too explicit for an R can be of artistic merit. It died when "Showgirls" becames its champion. Unlike most of the world, I kinda liked "Showgirls" for the campy and puzzlingly moral tale it is. However, the marketing campaign tried to parallel that of "Emmanuelle" in the 70's (that ran with the slogan "X was never like this") but it is not in the same league of erotic class.

Any discussion of ratings ignore the fact that America seems to be an immature country for allowing the MPAA to dictate what is an is not appropriate. Hell, R used to mean that you'd never see naked men. Now you see them all the time! Where is the consistency? It ain't there. The real power to decide who should and should not have access to certain movies to should lay in the hands of individual theater owners. If this 22 year old can get carded going in to see "Scary Movie" than the ID system can work. But if you leave that kind of thing up to the MPAA you get inconsistent garbage.

Here are some of my favorite NC-17 flicks that are more than just "softcore porn":

"Beyond the Valley of the Dolls"--Very funny and campy tale of an all-girl acid rock band. It scored the rating more for drugs than sex. Actually, the only "naughty" parts you ever see are breasts.

"Bad Lieutenant"--Great morality tale about a cop who falls deep into drugs and sex. It also scored its rating mostly for drugs but it also came out before penises were allowed an R. So, Harvey Keitel's wiener was to be saved for "The Piano".

"Orgazmo"--One of the funnest and funniest movies I've ever seen. It's a very gentle story of a Mormon boy who finds himself in porno. It does not have the rough tone of most NC-17 but the nonstop parade of dildos and industry talk makes it not-so-good for the wee ones.

"Evil Dead"--Oh, you didn't know? When it was re-released in 1994 it was an NC-17. Check it out at

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Sunday July 16, 2000 -- 2:30:10PM
Evil Dead... wow... didn't know that, Robert!

I think that while a rating system of some sort isn't inherently evil, the fact that studios will edit their film because the MPAA won't give them an R rating for it is the worst by-product of the current rating system. I take great offense when someone else decides that I'm not allowed to see something. Tell me it's there -- if I don't want to see it, I won't watch it.

FROM: Robert
DATE: Sunday July 16, 2000 -- 10:09:23PM
You've got it exactly right, Ryan--why, in this free country, is someone deciding what we can see? At least the MPAA is not the government. The government already has the FCC to kill depictions of the real world in radio and TV.

FROM: Matt
DATE: Monday July 17, 2000 -- 1:09:04AM
I don't believe there was any moral tale in showgirls. Yes and it is quite disturbing when people bring children to a film that shows a dick get shoved through a guys head!

FROM: Robert
DATE: Monday July 17, 2000 -- 5:08:25PM

FROM: Robert
DATE: Monday July 17, 2000 -- 5:09:51PM
Now that I actually think about it, "Showgirls" is more amoral. Naomia gets ahead by cheating. But maybe the message is that values are relative. That's a lesson, though not an especially good one.

FROM: pistol jack
DATE: Monday July 17, 2000 -- 5:18:08PM
who cares what kind of morals showgirls has or doesn't have....It's got Jessie freakin' Spano....NAKED!
I know I'm not the only one who feels this way.

FROM: Matt
DATE: Monday July 17, 2000 -- 7:14:56PM
In my case you may be alone pistol jack. I would pay alot more to see Tiffani Amber Theissen anyhow

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Monday July 17, 2000 -- 11:24:21PM
I admit, I watched Showgirls. It was watchable (not as bad as everyone said), but I never thought I'd become desensitized to nudity, but that movie did it. :)

BTW -- welcome back Pistol Jack. ;)

DATE: Tuesday July 18, 2000 -- 9:45:40AM
Desensitized to nudity? What's WRONG with you, man? Granted I've never seen Showgirls, but if one movie can do it to you, you've got a pretty low threshold. :P And I came THIS close to respecting you, Ryan... ;)

FROM: pistol jack
DATE: Tuesday July 18, 2000 -- 3:31:00PM
you are right matt, i too would have rather seen tiffani amber theissen in the movie, but you gotta take what you can get, ya know!
also, thanks for welcoming me back, Ryan, i recently made a move and was dying to get on to see what you guys have been talking about.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Tuesday July 18, 2000 -- 5:22:04PM
This is kind of steering the conversation in the wrong direction, but apparently Jennifer Love-Hewitt has finally decided to bare it all in the 2001 movie, Breakers. People might care if they actually remember who she is. ;)

DATE: Tuesday July 18, 2000 -- 8:00:56PM
Uh oh, she better not do any more horror movies, then. By the rules outlined in Scream, nudity is the kiss of death.

FROM: Robert
DATE: Tuesday July 18, 2000 -- 8:06:34PM
I hope she's naked and headless. That's my fantasy.

DATE: Wednesday July 19, 2000 -- 7:47:22AM
I guess since her little pet TV show got cancelled before it even made it through one season, she figures she has to finally get all nude 'n' stuff to keep her career, such as it is. Or whatever. :P

FROM: Old Fezziwig
DATE: Wednesday July 19, 2000 -- 8:49:20AM
Note to self: Go see Breakers next year.
-Old Fezz

FROM: Robert
DATE: Wednesday July 19, 2000 -- 11:03:06AM
Yeah, this is a really great step toward maintaining her virginity. Wonderful.

FROM: pistol jack
DATE: Thursday July 20, 2000 -- 5:18:51PM
does anybody remeber her in that TV show "Birds of Paradise" which took place in Hawaii? I remeber that Seth Greene and Arlo Guthrie were in that show.

FROM: John
DATE: Friday August 18, 2000 -- 11:45:06PM
I think Parents should chose what type of content they want theit children to see. They should read a summary of the movie and decide if they will let ther kids see it. I don't think that Kids in R rated movies is a problem

FROM: Robert
DATE: Saturday August 19, 2000 -- 11:18:58AM
John--You have the right spirit, but isn't it kinda derelict parenting to rely on a *summary* of a movie in the place of actually seeing it and then deciding if it's OK for the totds?

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Saturday August 19, 2000 -- 4:54:00PM
Right... because then you're relying on someone ELSE's description of the movie to decide if it's appropriate (the same problem with movie ratings we have now)... I think the best idea is to either pre-screen a movie, or simply watch it WITH your child.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Sunday August 20, 2000 -- 12:29:14AM
I realized after I posted the previous message how it sounds like the above message sounds in direct contradiction to Paul's original Ping, so let me qualify my statement about watching a movie WITH your kid -- I'm referring to a child that may be more mature than his biological age, and any viewing would of course have to be followed by an appropriate dialogue.

FROM: Vegeta
DATE: Monday January 15, 2001 -- 9:20:09PM
Alright now. I am 17, and I have a big problem with a few R rated movies. Scary movie being the main one. An R used to mean no naked men, I know that, but yes that law was clearly broken in this movie wasn't it? I have girlfriends(not literally)who are 12-15 calling me while they're watching it makes me very mad at movies these days. The ONLY thing I can think of is that a society's standards WILL change over time. Apparently, full frontal nudity and gorey violence, will ultimately be free to watch, like Napster's music. lol.

FROM: Matt
DATE: Monday January 15, 2001 -- 9:36:33PM
My mom and I have observed the standards for ratings slipping over the last ten years. We have been saying for years that a PG-13 movie now is what used to be an R rated movie in the 80's, and so forth. Anyway, its better just not to spend to much money on movies or whatnot since they are trashy and usually have no redeeming social value.

FROM: Robert
DATE: Monday January 15, 2001 -- 10:33:38PM
Why there is any societal difference between a naked man in a movie and a naked woman is beyond me. Bruce Willis was right.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Monday January 15, 2001 -- 11:34:45PM
Vegata -- It's not really a "law" about male frontal nudity in movies... there have been a few in recent years that have featured that (Wild Things did so about four years ago, as one example). Since there really are no guidelines set in stone about movie ratings, it's left up to the MPAA and their open pockets to decide what kind of movie gets what rating.

As a side observation -- ever notice there are a lot fewer PG movies in the theatres now? Strange.

FROM: Paul
DATE: Tuesday January 16, 2001 -- 10:12:49PM
PG is dead. I can't exactly figure out why.

FROM: Vegeta
DATE: Saturday January 20, 2001 -- 12:31:38AM
Well, I guess I'm not as mad as I could be. Because if you'll notice in Scary Movie, all those "penises" are fake or computer altered.(the poloroid has GOT to be computerly altered)If you think about it, if it's not a real body part, then it probably shouldn't be nc-17. Of course, there will be plenty of discussion about this with many movies. If I were to be giving adviceto parents, my best is to watch the movie first then decide if it's acceptable for your kids.

FROM: Old Fezziwig
DATE: Thursday March 8, 2001 -- 4:58:03PM
This is kind of steering the conversation in the wrong direction, but apparently Jennifer Love-Hewitt has finally decided to bare it all in the 2001 movie, Breakers. People might care if they actually remember who she is.
Ever since Ryan mentioned this movie, I've been keeping my eyes open for it. The time has come! HeartBreakers will be released on March 23rd. Since I'm obsessed with Jennifer Love Hewitt, I managed to get advance screening tickets via a radio station promo for March 14th. Sadly, the rating on the movie is PG-13 so there may be no "baring it all" as Ryan mentioned.
OK, just had to get that off my chest.

DATE: Thursday March 8, 2001 -- 5:42:36PM
That'd really suck if she didn't bare it all. I mean... Katie Holmes did it, why can't she? She seems proud of her breasts and all, too. Hrmph. PG-13...

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Thursday March 8, 2001 -- 5:44:05PM
Oh, she better do it. Or someone better sue the company for false hype generation.


FROM: Robert
DATE: Thursday March 8, 2001 -- 11:50:35PM
PG-13 used to mean you might get breasts, but usually in a non-sexual context. Damn.

FROM: Old Fezziwig
DATE: Friday March 9, 2001 -- 9:03:50AM
It is my duty as a Daily Pinger to report back on the quality of this movie before you all go and spend your hard earned money. After the advance screening, I'll let you know what is actually shown and if it's worth it!

FROM: Robert
DATE: Friday March 9, 2001 -- 9:05:06AM
Fezz--If it has Jennifer Love Hewitt it's say to say that it already sucks. And given that she probably ain't nekkid it ain't gonna get much better.

FROM: Robert
DATE: Friday March 9, 2001 -- 9:05:43AM
It's "safe" to say, that is.

Damn these fingers!

FROM: Old Fezziwig
DATE: Thursday March 15, 2001 -- 9:11:21AM
Here's my report on Heartbreakers starring Jennifer Love Hewitt:
The storyline & dialogue pretty much sucked as expected, although there were some funny moments where I laughed out loud.
As far as "baring it all", nobody did (hence the PG-13). However, there was PLENTY of cleavage and tight clothes to be seen - several times my eyes popped out of my head. I'm glad I didn't pay for this movie but I would still give it a B- (only because I love Jennifer Love Hewitt).

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Thursday March 15, 2001 -- 9:26:41AM
I wonder what's up with her nude scene being dropped. I bet it shows up on a bootleg somewhere...

DATE: Thursday March 15, 2001 -- 9:33:37AM
Hrmph. She'd better do it some time or I'll be all upset. And I just know she wouldn't want THAT.

FROM: Robert
DATE: Thursday March 15, 2001 -- 1:05:56PM
As far as "baring it all", nobody did (hence the PG-13). However, there was PLENTY of cleavage and tight clothes to be seen - several times my eyes popped out of my head.

Fezz--That sounds great, but is it really any reason for those of us over 18 years old to see a movie? It's like buying Stuff or Maxim when you could be getting Penthouse; or, like drinking O'Douls or Sharps when you can get the real stuff in the cooler in the just don't make too much sense.

FROM: Old Fezziwig
DATE: Thursday March 15, 2001 -- 2:54:01PM
I see your point Robert but we only have one choice when it comes to Jennifer Love Hewitt, and that's fully clothed (albeit, in this movie she is sometimes barely clothed.) With your examples of beer and magazines, we have a choice to get something else that is more effective. And yes, you can go see movies with total nudity but my point is: it's not Jennifer! Sometimes it's better not to see everything and to leave some of it to your imagination/fantasy. I would agree that she's not the most beautiful girl in the world, but she has this girl-next-door thing going on that attracts me.

FROM: Robert
DATE: Thursday March 15, 2001 -- 4:01:10PM
Fezz--If JLH qualifies as having a "girl-next-door" look I obviously am not spending enough time in my neighborhood.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Friday March 16, 2001 -- 12:11:33AM
Yeah, I'd classify JLH more like "that girl in high school that there was no way in hell she'd ever talk to you"...

FROM: Terry M.
DATE: Friday March 16, 2001 -- 2:11:20AM
Is it just me, or does Love look really weird in Heartbreakers? I was really attracted to her in about '99, but in this new thing she doesn't seem to be nearly as cute as back then.

FROM: Old Fezziwig
DATE: Friday March 16, 2001 -- 9:46:25AM

DATE: Friday March 16, 2001 -- 1:23:34PM
Oh... well... Terry... if you don't want her any more, I'll take her.

FROM: Vegeta
DATE: Monday April 2, 2001 -- 2:00:55AM
Do you smell fish? :)

FROM: Robert
DATE: Monday April 2, 2001 -- 11:40:06AM
I smell a rat called the MPAA.

FROM: Vegeta
DATE: Wednesday April 25, 2001 -- 8:05:23PM
But it's something that can't be helped you know? I mean, the MPAA is basically in charge isn't it? I mean, they're being like a god allowing what can be admitted and so on. America's standards are just getting way out of hand, heck I don't even think we have any anymore. I think America is around too much crap anyway, it can handle human nudity/violence/truth. In Japan, they aren't the least bit offended by nudity or violence, and they're in better shape than our country. I say let the movie industry be strong...

FROM: Vegeta
DATE: Sunday May 6, 2001 -- 8:30:18PM
And one more guys are talking about nudity and stuff in PG-13 movies and whatever...well, remember Airplane 1? It was rated PG and it shows a woman's bare chest when the passengers start freaking out. It was funny, but I guess it was ok since it wasn't in a sexual manner. Any thoughts?

FROM: Vegeta
DATE: Wednesday June 27, 2001 -- 1:24:54AM
Goodness...a 2nd scary movie? Wonder how it's gonna be. How many people will be offended this time?

FROM: bill
DATE: Wednesday June 27, 2001 -- 3:02:26AM
who dat? ME! check it - 1, 2, 3

busted - like a lyrical pirate; hold a rhyme in my hand like a gun and i fire it

haha jiggity just playin

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Tuesday July 24, 2001 -- 9:33:05AM
Fezziwig -- I just read that the DVD version of Heartbreakers will contain 22 deleted scenes... will one of those be... ?

FROM: Old Fezziwig
DATE: Thursday July 26, 2001 -- 10:08:26AM


FROM: Jake
DATE: Wednesday August 8, 2001 -- 7:42:26PM
Okay, that's great!

FROM: Mightydein
DATE: Wednesday November 13, 2002 -- 3:30:49 pm
Nc-17 is a rite of passage and we need more of these kind of movies in the theartes.

FROM: Mightydein
DATE: Monday January 20, 2003 -- 11:36:52 am
Hey it's me again!

Did you know that X is just a mere rating above R without being porn.

The X rating was never copyrighted and pepole making dirty movies stole the rating as a marketing gimick.

FROM: Ratings Frenzy
DATE: Sunday January 25, 2004 -- 9:59:02 am
NC-17 is LESS offensive than R, not the other way around, and X is WAY more offensive than R, in case you're wondering. (Of course, XXX is even worse than X!)

FROM: Ryan [E-Mail]
DATE: Sunday January 25, 2004 -- 11:18:37 am
How is NC-17 "less offensive" than R? I don't find either terrible offensive, but NC-17 is considered more "adult" than R (no one under the age of 17 is admitted to NC-17, but they are allowed into an R movie with an adult).

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