One of my favorite movies is Rain Man. It is brilliant—the writing, the acting, the directing, the message. I wish I could watch it with my kids without my index finger nervously poised on the Fast Forward button. The strong language and mild sexual content of the movie just aren't appropriate for the younger members of my family. Same with Jerry McGuire, a fantastic flick with a "family first" message—but too many F-bombs for me to put it in the family viewing drawer.
That's why I like these new "anti-smut" DVD players. I like the idea of a filtering device that allows parents to edit content they may deem inappropriate for certain family members.
I understand the argument that indiscriminately slashing out words, phrases and even entire scenes (such as the famous "I'll have what she's having" scene from When Harry Met Sally) tampers with the overall artistic expression intended by the creators of the movie. As the person selecting the filter options (nudity, language, etc.), I appreciate the artistic value of the movie or I wouldn't want my kids to see it in the first place. As for the younger beneficiaries of the editing, they are, as my 12-year-old put it, "Just happy to be able to watch more movies!"
When I asked my 16-year-old son (a musician staunchly supportive of artistic freedom of expression) what he thought of this whole DVD editing issue, he replied, "Wow, I think that's a great idea!" After pulling myself off the floor, I urged him to expound. He reasoned, "No matter how profound the message, an offensive part can overshadow the artistic value for a particular age group or according to a person's individual moral boundaries."
Now we all have our moral high horses, even if it's bagging on the other folks ...1
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Why This Is a Good Idea
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