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Birth of the PG 13 Rating

I have four children, ages 4, 5, 9 and 12 (the older three all about to move up one year). We have been watching more grown up movies with the older two lately. By "grown up", I mean Sleepless in Seattle, Mrs. Doubtfire, etc. My wife and I Netflix'd some movies we grew up with, and decided to watch Sixteen Candles, with the always adorable Molly Ringwald, with the older two girls.

All was fine, until roughly five minutes in, when there had been roughly 5 "assholes", "shit"s and a variety of other swear words thrown around at a dizzying pace. Emily and I looked at each other, but decided to keep going, figuring it had to slow down. I mean, Sixteen Candles was rated PG. They were just getting it out of the way early, right?

Yeah... no. Maybe could have fooled ourselves into thinking that until the lingering shot on a cheerleader's naked breast and butt. I remember watching The Day of the Jackal with Mom and Dad growing up, and there was a scene with female nudity in it; the recollection of intense mortification is still so strong with me that I haven't even seen the Bruce Willis update. Yikes.

OK, gonna go talk to my shrink now, be back in a bit...

Anyway, all that to say that the way they rate movies today is vastly different from how they did it 20 years ago. A big part is the start of the PG-13 rating, which did not exist before 1984's Red Dawn (Wolverines!). But that was not the movie that precipitated the change.

No, that movie was The Temple of Doom.

Fascinating stuff, James. But this is a Redskins blog, no?

I'm getting there. Movie trilogies are fun, though with few exceptions, there is one weak movie in the three. Godfather III anyone? Star Wars is an obvious exception (preemptive strike).

Consider the Preseason as a trilogy for a moment. If you figure it as such, it makes sense, sort of. The first game is mostly about character development, getting to know who's on the team, where they play, new faces, etc. The second game gives you some meat to chew on and should leave you hanging a little, waiting to see how things will resolve. The third game then resolves things, and should leave you feeling better about going into the season. The fourth game doesn't count, and technically messes up my theory, so we're ignoring it.

Back to Indiana Jones. Out of the three, I always like the third one the best growing up. It was funny, action packed, sexy and wrapped up things nicely at the end. As an adult, I probably like the first one best. Nice mix of grit and humor, and some over the top action sequences to boot (Indiana sliding under the moving truck using his belt comes to mind here for some reason).

Either way, I never liked the Temple of Doom. Too serious. Too scary. Too violent. Not light hearted enough. Still isn't. Doesn't seem to fit with the other two. I mean, one guy has his heart ripped out on screen for crying out loud. That scene alone probably brought about the PG 13 rating system.

The game last night against the Ravens was definitely PG 13. Ugly and violent. Discouraging. So which team was real, against the Bills? Or against the Ravens?

Or is it something in between? Could it be that our team is not as good as they looked against the Bills, but not as bad as we looked last night? There are plenty of flaws in Raiders of the Lost Ark - are we supposed to believe Indy just floated while attached to a submarine's periscope? The captain never felt like submerging? - if you want to look hard enough. And there were plenty of flaws last week against the Bills - Carter in space at LB comes to mind - if you felt like looking.

And if you look at the Temple of Doom, while completely improbable at best, parachuting out of a crashing plane in a rubber dinghy that slides you down a mountain, off a cliff and into a river is really pretty cool. Also, the rides through the mines in the carts was the best roller coaster ride ever, I would imagine. Not all was awful against the Bills either. Armstrong is looking to make a serious bid to make the team. McNabb showed us that yes, he will fire off some worm burners, but there are few QBs under pressure in the NFL today with his poise. Even if our line doesn't give him all the time he wants, he can still make plays.

All that to say that it was ugly last night. First PG 13 movie ugly. But it's not the end of the world. Speilberg redeemed himself with the Last Crusade, and our beloved Skins can too, against the Jets. We have experienced two extremes in the last two weeks. The Jets game may very well provide us with something more in the middle, which may be exactly what we should be expecting as we move into the regular season.

Though if we moved back to what we saw in the Bills game, I wouldn't complain.
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