Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Twister: An MPAA Guide

Disaster movies fascinate me, especially weather-related ones. Perhaps that fascination comes from growing up in Arkansas and being glued to the weather broadcasts out of Little Rock, watching that little green or red (and never blue) band creep slowly toward my hometown wondering what the sky would dump on us that night. Whatever the cause, watching the world ice over in The Day After Tomorrow is great fun, even if the movie itself is a little plodding and forgettable. I've even gone so far as to prominently include discussion of one of the grandfathers of disaster movies, When Worlds Collide, in an article I wrote because Harry Partch was approached to work on it.

In any case, the movie Twister held a particular fascination for me when it came out because it featured a weather disaster that I had experienced first hand (and would again the following year in even greater detail). I knew that tornadoes were deadly, which made the thrill a little bit deeper. Still, I never realized how scary those images were until I discovered why the MPAA had given it the rating of PG-13:

Rated PG-13 for intense depiction of very bad weather

That's right, not only did it depict weather, but very bad weather. That little qualifier put it over the edge. A movie called "Thunderstorm" would probably only rate a PG.

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