So, I was on the interweb, checking out the DOW futures to see how the I.P.O in Singapore will affect my portfolio (and watching McFly videos) when I decided to check out some trailers for upcoming feature films.
I like to think of myself as a film buff, always eager to find out about the latest films and then read the IMDB Trivia for it (that is surely the definition of 'buff'). I came across the trailer for Titanic 3D, which as you may assume is a re-release of the monster hit film by James Cameron about the eponymous vessel in, you guessed it, 3D. Not being a massive fan of the film, well mainly not being a fan of Celine Dion, I wouldn't have been interested in it if it was re-released in boring 2D, but 3D is a different kettle of kettles (surely the plural of kettle!).
James Cameron seems to me to be a huge technology geek, as his wonderful 3D work on Avatar showed (*tips hat in his direction*), so I decided to have a look at the trailer to see what he's been up to. Within a second of the trailer my jaw was ajar, and not due to anything Jim had done, but the caution before the trailer, which is as follows.
WARNING: CONTAINS DISASTER RELATED PERIL AND VIOLENCE, NUDITY, SENSUALITY AND BRIEF LANGUAGE.
Now I'm all for warnings and PC behaviour, if we all play by the same rules then we can all be outraged together when someone crosses the line. But this warning is a step to far. Back in my day (and that wasn't too long ago, in 'snapper' terms I am still firmly in the 'wipper' category) we used to have three warnings - violence, strong language and scenes of a sexual nature. If you got the holy trinity then you knew you were in for a cracking film.
The warning for Titanic 3D takes things too far, and here is why.
The original film was one of the biggest films ever, earning 11 Oscars and over a billion squadillion dollars at the box-office. It was a smash hit, so all the people who saw this film the first time will be clearly aware that it is in essence a disaster movie.
The Titanic is probably the most famous ship/vessel/boat in history (with maybe the exception of the Love Boat) and the reason it is so famous is because it CRASHED! They were never going to make a film about an apparently unsinkable ship completing its journey without a hiccup.
Brief language suggests to me a Jason Statham-esque meat-head action film, with zippy one-liners such as "eat fist" and "I'm going to kick you . . . HARD!" If I remember correctly, Titanic had sentences and the occasional monologue, so brief language makes no sense.
And sensuality? Maybe that could describe the relationship of WALL:E and EVE in, erm, WALL:E, but as far as I'm concerned sketching a picture of some trollop you have just met is more sexual than sensual.
This is not just concerning movies. I was once walking past an advert for a Beatles tribute band which came with the warning "This is a fantasy performance that does not feature any actual Beatles". I'm sure the production company had sleepless nights thinking a patron may storm their offices threatening to sue them for not having the reanimated corpse of John Lennon singing Strawberry Fields Forever.
If these elaborative warnings are going to become common-place then its only fair that I make you aware of a few films that may have slipped through the net:
Up - Contains questionable physics.
Rocky IV - Contains excessive montages.
The Shawshank Redemption - Contains faecal-based escapes.
Juno - Contains obnoxious teen-babble.
Oceans 12 - Contains excessive smuggery.
Top Gun - Contains homoerotic volleyball in jean-shorts.
Ghost Rider/Season of the Witch/The Wicker Man - Contains Nicolas Cage.
I'm sure with the rise in ambulance chasing and no-win-no-soul compensation claims every company has to keep an eagle-eyed* view on what they are stating on their products. Art should be exempt from these strict guidelines, a simple age rating to warn people of the upsetting/offensive content should be enough.
* apologies to PETA, WWE and any signatories of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act or the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act for any harm or offence caused by my association with eagles and improper conduct. They are wise and fine birds, and their meat is delicious and should be enjoyed by everyone...D'oh!
Follow Philip Hepple on Twitter: www.twitter.com/DoctorMysterio