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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Terror in the Skies

I copied this article, so the links may not work. Sorry! If you'd like to sign the petition mentioned, just type the address directly into your browser. I have signed the petition and urge as many of you as possible to do so. The more awareness that is brought to this issue the better.

Biblical perspectives on contemporary cinema
Friday, September 07, 2007

Terror in the Skies!

Imagine this: You and your family—including your wide-eyed preschoolers—are strapped into seats. You're not allowed to get up and move. You're not allowed to leave the room. You're stuck, and you have no choice about what's soon to come your way.A screen appears right before your eyes. Before long, you—and your wide-eyed preschoolers—see a man shoot his wife in the face, then drag her body from a pool of blood. Or you see a 12-year-old boy crushed against a fence by a car. Or a teenager zipping up her jeans after having sex.And there's absolutely nothing you can do about it. You're literally a captive audience.Sounds like something out of a scary movie, doesn't it? Unfortunately, it happens every day—at about 30,000 feet.Commercial airlines regularly show R-rated films and other mature programming, some of it only barely edited from its original form. Sure, you can refuse to wear the headphones, but the images are still there, projected on all those nearby screens for you—and your wide-eyed preschoolers—to see.Cover their eyes? Ha. Ever traveled with a squirrelly, inquisitive 5-year-old? Good luck.The New York Times recently reported on this issue in a must-read story that should get any reasonable-thinking person upset—especially when you read such comments as this one from Eric Kleiman, a spokesman for Continental Airlines: "Parents have to be responsible for the actions of their kids—whether they shouldn't look at the screen or look away." What a dumb statement; I'd bet the clueless Kleiman doesn't have any kids. Kleiman further put his foot in his mouth by saying that airline entertainment is just keeping pace with what's happening on TV and in movie theaters: "Our approach is consistent with where society is going with this."Uhh, that's Dumb Remark Number Two from Kleiman. We have choices with TV and movies: With the former, we can change the channel, turn it off, or send the kids into another room; and with the latter, we can leave the kids at home, or not to go at all.Last time I checked, parents didn't have such choices while strapped in their seats in a long narrow tube zooming along at 30,000 feet. I suggest Mr. Kleiman should zip it.One couple said they spent two hours on a recent flight trying to distract their 6-year-old son from seeing scenes from Shooter, which depicts multiple gory killings. The sounds of gunshots from nearby headphones alerted the kid to look up at just the "wrong" moments. Anecdotal evidence suggests that airlines are showing more and more R-rated and graphic fare. Delta started showing R movies in December, while United and US Airways are showing R movies more frequently than ever. Timothy Winter, president of the Parents Television Council, said, "You don't have to have 'Leave It to Beaver' on, but for Pete's sake, you don't have to have Eva Longoria seducing the high school kid on the dining room table, either."Are you ticked off yet? Me too. So I went online and signed a petition at KidSafeFilms.org, which is gathering support for restrictions on airline films. Jesse Kalisher, who founded the site, is beginning to lobby federal legislators to act.Go, Jesse, go. With that story setting the stage, three new reviews this week, including a couple you'll certainly want to keep the kids far away from. 3:10 to Yuma, starring the terrific Christian Bale and Russell Crowe, is a well-done remake of a 1957 classic Western, but it can get pretty violent. Still, it's loaded with discussion fodder about right and wrong, and might be fitting for older, mature teens. That certainly can't be said for Shoot 'Em Up, with two more great actors, Clive Owen and Paul Giamatti, whose characters are pure scum in this non-stop exhibition of vulgarity and bad taste.But you can take the whole family to see In the Shadow of the Moon—that is, if it's playing in your town. It's in limited release right now, but we hope it'll go wider. Our first four-star review in a while, the documentary is an enthralling look at the Apollo missions to the moon—and the bravery and resourcefulness that got us there.Now that's one flight we can highly recommend—even with wide-eyed preschoolers.

See you at the movies,
Mark MoringOnline Editor/Music & Film

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Angela said...

I was horrified by this article.
I can't believe there is no restriction on exposing children to these violent, gory or sexual images!!! I would be furious to have to try to shield my child from being traumatized in this way while essentially being held captive. My husband and I don't even watch R rated movies, let alone force our innocent little child to watch them. I think this is a form of child abuse. I agree with the article - with TV or movies you can leave or change it. What choice do you have in an airplane? Jump out the window?!?! I am defintiely signing this petition, and I urge any concerned parents (or anyone who doesn't want to be force-fed smut while flying) to sign it. One airline will kick off an indecently dressed woman until she covers herself, but then another will play a sex scene complete with sound effects... What hypocrisy!

Anonymous said...

The last time I checked ..."R" means it's Illegal to expose a child under 17yrs. to a movie with this rating.
Some movie houses require AGE ID to even purchase such tickets , and even do spot checks in R movies to be sure everyone is LEGAL!!!!!!
Now, what about sexual harassment...Bet that would win in court!

Angela said...

That's true! So it should be illegal for any airline to show these movies at least if there are any unaccompanied minors on the flight.

By the way, if you haven't checked out this website referenced in the post, PLEASE DO - it is very informative (and infuriating!!!).


Sissy said...

I too, was totally shocked by this. I especially like Klienman's answer for it... it's the parents responsibility. Yeah, okay, You can only bring one bag with you on the plane and everything in that bag is restricted because all of the terrorist actions. So I would like to know how I am going to distract my children from seeing these movies. It certainly wouldn't be easy. Anyway thanks for posting this Angela, I have already signed the petition!