But I am not here to discuss my opinion of that film (has its moments, but won’t set the world on fire). I’m here to tell you a little something about Bolivia’s film rating system. And also how it works.
There are four categories:
Todo Publico – Which means “General Audiences.” As in: anyone is admitted to the theater.
Mayores de 14 Años – Which is the equivalent of PG13 (Though, specifically it means “Older than 14.”) and is enforced just as half-assed here as it is in the US and England with their 12 Certificate or whatever the fuck they do over there.
Mayores de 18 Años – The equivalent of an R. I remember being on vacation here in the fall of 1991 and they wouldn’t let me in to see The Silence of the Lambs. Even though I had already seen it when it played months earlier in the US.
Mayores de 21 Años – The equivalent of an X. Only movies with strong sexual content get this.
Occasionally, the 14 one will have “Estrictos” added to it. Kind of like saying: “This is a HARD PG13.” And supposedly it means they will enforce it, but they never do.
Now, up until a few years ago, this was all pretty regular and, arguably, appropriate within a cultural context. My father was on the board that screens the movies and decides what they are. I got to sit in a bunch of screening rooms and see movies before they came out. Those were good times. But I’m still pissed about that time I thought we would be seeing Batman Returns and it turned out to be Son in Law.
Anyway, that board no longer exists and I’m not sure how they do things now. I think they just look at the poster or just plain don’t give a fuck anymore.
Here are some recent films and their ratings.
Zodiac – Todo Publico
The Brave One – Todo Publico
Saw III – Todo Publico
Pan’s Labyrinth – Todo Publico
Hostal Part II – Todo Publico
Thank you Evo Morales – You Flaming Cunthole Of Colossally Putrid Proportions.
Now, back in the day, they were already becoming more lenient. I think Natural Born Killers got a Mayores de 14 Años. They really are more sensitive about sex than they are about violence. So many films that are rated R in the US get (got) a 14 over here for that reason.
But now? Free for all.
Now then, for a movie like Tonight, He Comes, I expect to see kids and douchebag teenagers and even babies. Couple that to the fact that I went to a 3:30 show during Winter Break.
So, I’m not complaining about that. Besides, the screening was surprisingly tolerable all things considered. Though… (SPOILER ALERT FOR THOSE WHO HAVE NOT YET SEEN Tonight, He Comes)….
One asshole got up to take a piss while Will Smith was having dinner in a fancy restaurant with Jason Bateman and Charlize Theron, and the Big Gulp Coke must have been quite hefty indeed because he didn’t come back until the scene that takes place the next morning. And he was puzzled as to why there was a huge hole in the wall of Jason Bateman’s house. So I had to listen to his girlfriend recap the very important event he had missed. But that was about the only thing that really made me want to punch someone in the tits.
What does bother me is moronic parents taking their kids to see Zodiac. Or 16-year-old TWERPS sitting behind me during The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and complaining about how boring it is.
(“This is worse than Elizabeth dude! Did you see Elizabeth? Man! That was a boring fucking movie. But not as boring as this one. This one is pretty fucking boring. Is it ever going to end? Oh good. He killed him. I guess it’s over. Shit! It’s still not over. Jesus!”)
They were not alone. The people I saw it with didn’t like it either. One guy said it should have been called The Assassination of Jesse James by the Boring Robert Ford. I was the only human being in that theater who appreciated the movie it seems… But I digress.
Or what about that 10-year-old who started crying when Sergi Lopez bashes that guy’s face in with a wine bottle 20 minutes into Pan’s Labyrinth?
And it isn’t just the Rs. A guy sat next to me with his cretin of a son during Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End and they left an hour before the movie was over.
And, recently, for my second (a friend wanted to see it) viewing of Louis Leterrier’s very mediocre motion picture The Incredible Hulk, starring Edward Norton and a semi-comatose daughter of a washed-up rock star, I sat next to an obnoxious kid who kept asking his brother the most incredible questions I’ve ever heard during a movie.
(“Is he showering with hot water or cold? What’s he eating? Is that old guy as old as my grandfather? Is he older? What kind of juice is that? Do they have that juice here? What color is his t-shirt? Do you have a t-shirt like that? Can you get me a t-shirt like that? What’s his mother’s name? Is she pretty? Where are we going to eat lunch?)
I don’t know if he liked the movie. I think he did.
And that is why I am going to see The Dark Knight (which will be rated Todo Publico) at 9pm next Thursday. Because I’m terrified of some 8-year-old dickwad asking his father what Aaron Eckhardt’s favorite color is.
Oh wait… That reminds me. A fairly recent movie got Mayores de 21 Años.
It was called Brokeback Mountain.
I wonder why.