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back to article MPs lambast BBFC over Batman

MPs Keith Vaz and Iain Duncan Smith have weighed in on the hoohah over the violent content of The Dark Knight and its controversial 12A classification. The Telegraph finds the Labour and Tory bods united in their condemnation of the film's violence and disagreement with its certificate, which allows children under 12 to see it …

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I'm delighted to hear that...

Keith Vaz wouldn't take his 11 year old daughter to see a 12A movie... seems that far from being a soundbite wielding shill, he is a responsible parent adopting a mature approach to film classification and his own children's ability to approach violent images with a sense of perspective. I'm filled with a newfound respect for the man!

only kidding Keith, you're still a dickhead.

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Go

Won't someone please think of the parents?

Seen Dark Knight, enjoyed it, but isn't it a bit silly putting any sort of Advisory cert on any film, if the parents are irresponsible enough is there anything stopping them from taking a 3 year old in? Makes me worry that the gov't are looking at putting the BBFC in charge of rating games next. They ought to get their house in order first, still, I'm hoping for a PEGI system. Addy below for video game ratings system consultation if you can be arsed filling it in...

http://www.culture.gov.uk/reference_library/consultations/5345.aspx

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Paris Hilton

Batty-man makes a stab in the Dark Night

The whole point of a 12A film is to ensure parents are aware that they may need to be the role model their kids deserve.

The BBFC exists to protect young minds from growing up too fast. I'll be damned if actions such as this prevail if only to ensure the impending nanny state is held at bay.

Blame it on the parents; they should check out the movie before allowing kids to see it.

Paris because she would have known better than Iain D.S.

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Paris Hilton

Vaz and his daughter

As the 12a certificate has replaced the PG rating then it is up to him if he wants his under 12 daughter to see the film, if he thinks that it is to violent then that is his right as a parent and not as a MP to decide! Some parents will think that their child is adult enough to appreciate the film and still understand that crime is wrong and take their child to see the film, others wont, but both will get on with life.

Paris, cos she knows the difference between right and wrong

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yawn

Of course no one ever committed any violence before those nasty films and video games started appearing in the 20th century. Repeat the previous sentence until the end of the universe.

Having said that, lower age classifications guarantee more bums-on-seats in the cinema. After all, the rather impressionable sub twenty year olds are always the first to be targetted by the marketing crews.

In other news, it rained in Britain today.

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Guy
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FFS

I wouldn't let my 11 year old see it, well captain obvious speaking, its 12A so no unaccompanied kids under 12....let me see......that encompasses 11 year olds. A responsible adult needs to authorise viewing and accompany them. You don't think it's suitable, don't let them go, comes somewhere in parenting skills I'm sure. It's not the states job to bring up your kids, you have to do it yourselves. So it's the same moral brigade saying protect our children for us, otherwise they might see what life can realy be like. Why take a child under 12 to see something that is recommended for over 12 year olds, you can see stabbings and the like for real on youtube or your local city centre and why the double standards of the previous batman movies were very cartoonlike but this actually looks real , althought the same level of violence...grip...get get....grip just add reality

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IT Angle

Who to blame?

When I went to see the film, there was a parent bringing a child in who couldn't have been more than 8 years old. Certainly shouldn't have been able to see it, but when are parents going to be made to take some responsibility for their actions?

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Paris Hilton

Well Lord Vaz...

...That's something else you have managed to be aghast over. I am aghast that you still have a job.

As for IDS, FFS stop jumping on the bandwagon.

Paris, because I bet she could make a pencil disappear twice as fast as the Joker.

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heh

loosely translated: *bwaaaaaah* I have to make an independent descision and I don't like it.. mummy.. er, government, please hold my hand and point at a choice for me.

did I miss anything?

Personally, I think they should have gone for a 15 cert so that they could explore the psychosis of the joker a lot more but a parent having to judge whether their child is mature enough for something is a non-issue and SHOULDN'T BE NEWS.

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I have to agree

I saw the film in the US (where it has a PG13 rating) this weekend, and I have to admit I agree with the MPs on this occasion. It is a very dark and terrifying movie, and it would appear that the producers have successfully bribed all the classification boards worldwide to make sure youngsters can see it. Remarkably similar to the first Batman movie if you recall which was going to be given a 15 rating in the UK until complaints from the producers ended up with the introduction of the 12 rating.

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Flame

bugger muppets the lot of em

i guess they would be even more shocked if they actually read any of the graphic novels but no they hear batman and think adam west

what next xmen banned cus wolverine has blades sticking out of his hands?

personally i blaim higher speed internet access for the youths willingness to stab one annother these days, aint got no patience give em a 36k modem and then they might learn to develop some.

that or cut off there thumbs

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12A !< 12

Part of the problem may be the way 12A has replaced 12 ... I must admit until I heard someone from the BBFC discussing this film on the radio yesterday I'd assumed that 12A was added as a new rating in additon to the pre-existing 12 so that I'd been assuming that the 12A classification lay somewhere between PG and 12 and not as BBFC were saying that they consider 12A films suitable for 12 year old and above but now allow parents the ability to ignore them. The fact that 12 is used for DVD classifications just adds to the confusion.

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wait..

oh hey.. just noticed.

Out of 4.7 million views, we get 82 complaints?

Why are we even listening to such a small number of idiots? If the number was in the tens to hundreds of thousands then maybe, yes.. but even in the hundreds out of millions of views (I'm aware that the figure of people who have seen it is lower due to return visits) and they haven't had cause to lodge a complaint.

80-odd people is a pitiful ratio of offended to entertained, lets shunt them to one corner and ignore their cries for attention, they're poisoning all that is good and worse than marketeers!!

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I'm agreeing too...

I'm going to assume that your average child these days has been exposed to theft, murder, war, rape and organised bodies of crime. This may be direct, through their peers, or indirect through news and the entertainment media.

Furthermore, I'll assume that a chunk of these children are both intelligent and imaginative. These are natural traits.

There will be a chunk of those whose parents have not imbued woth a sense of social responsibility. And you're saying that it's OK for these children to watch a film that demonstrates how to make people fear you? Act like a psychopath, threaten them with pain, put them in unbearable situations and then what?

This was not cartoon violence. This was incredibly convincing, well considered examples of mental imbalance and offering it to the viewers judgement of what is a moral action. And who can take responsibility for that action.

How can a child decide that? Particularly one who sees that the world is really in a bad state, and doesn't have the ability to fight back? What other options (on the fairly uneducated viewpoint of a child) does the film give? If you can't beat them, join them?

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I REALY hate to say this but

I agree with them ...

*shudder*

I thought the film was defently not somthing I would have liked to see befor I was 12 and maby 15 so yes I agree with kith vas and IDS

OMG SOO UNCLEAN

MUST

SHOWER

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Those blaming parents...

So, the parent is to pay to watch the movie prior to taking their kid to it? The whole point of the classification is to give parents a guideline to base their decisions on, it seems as though the BBFC got it wrong on this one big time.

A parent could well feel their 10 or 11 yr old is mature enough with their company to watch the movie which it sounds is exactly what is happening. Parents ARE parenting in this case, but the BBFC screwed up. Honestly by the sounds of it I wouldn't take my 13 or 14yr old to it given the use of knives and glorifying their use on victims (and yes I know its probably been blow up somewhat but still) let alone a 10yr old even in my company.

If I had been free this weekend I probably would have gone to see it myself, most likely with my wife and kid, by the sounds of it I too would have been vocal about its rating.

Seriously, do we want MORE kids taking a shine to knives, frankly I'm sick of reading about kids with knives as it is. Personally I think the BBFC was probably trying to play devils advocate and not upset anyone by giving it a 15 rating (such as the producers or something)

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IT Angle

I for one...

I for one have not seen this film. Do not think for one minute that it will prevent me from putting my concerns into writing. My senior advisers have told me this film contains scenes of violence and peril and not 2 hours of bunnies licking their hind quarters. As an MP I have a knack for spotting things that are bad and then saying that they are bad and then saying that it would be good if they were good instead of bad. However, as an MP I often have difficulty separating reality from fiction.

You would be right in thinking I am agast. I am agast.

In the coming days I will be spearheading a joint select committee hearing into whether films should have an onscreen warning. Our draft measure is to have "Does not contain little fluffy bunnies" occupying no less than 75% of the picture for the duration of the screening.

I am counting on you and your readers for support. Please, let's not have another Godzilla.

MP Robert Huffington-George MP B.Sc

Toddle-on-the-Weed

Berks.

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@Guy

You are a bit early - this is the stage where we have no-life pols dictating that they will protect our children from us.

The 'moral brigade saying protect our children for us' will be along in the time it takes to read a Daily Shrill headline.

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Anonymous Coward

Phew!

I've had an ongoing discussion with my kids (ages 9 and 6) as to why they're not going to see the new Batman film, but it's a 12A, their friends have been, etc, etc.

Bloody glad I stood my ground now (not that I was ever that likely to cave you understand) - sounds like it's even more unsuitable than I might've expected from seeing trailers etc!

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12A

- Likewise, Home Affairs Select Committee chairman and 42-day detention beneficiary devotee Vaz said: "The BBFC should realise there are scenes of gratuitous violence in The Dark Knight to which I would certainly not take my 11-year-old daughter. It should be a 15 classification." -

Quite right too, if he had taken his daughter to see the film he would have broken the law, or at least the cinema would have, could you imagine the scene then? "my daughter is 11 but I am an adult with her! do you know who i am? my daughter wants to see this film let me in! this is a travesty of..." etc..

I always thought 12A meant "minimum age 12, but contains adult themes, parental discretion advised". Not strong enough for a 15, but too strong for a PG.

The use of a 12 certificate allows the word "fuck" every now and then, as well as nudity... I remember when I were young, just a lil bit of flesh is all we saw, maybe a knee, and then Mary Whitehouse would get on her high horse and lambast the BBC for standards!

Jack Nicholson said it best "show a tit in sexual content, its an 18, show a tit being cut off and its PG". 12A, assume the A means "adult themes" and judge if you believe your child is mature enough to watch a film which may contain adult themes.

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Where's the Keith Vaz icon

I think we need a new Keith Vaz icon to represent "all technology is evil and I am pandering to Daily Mail readers" for all the stories of the uneducated and ill-formed views that continually spew from his mouth.

What point is he trying to make? that parents should take responsibility for what their kids watch (hence the "I wouldn't take my 11 year old daughter comment") or that the its the state's responsibility (hence his "it should be a 15" comment)?

As for gratuitous violence, maybe the film should have been 90 minutes shorter beginning with a caption saying (trust us, the Joker is a bad guy but you don't need to see it)

Keith Vaz is a tool

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Unhappy

12A the worst choice of rating ever. Please ditch it.

The 12A rating is just the BBFC bowing to commercial pressure. My Gf and I try to avoid 12A films due to the fact that they are usually not suitable for small children. We get fed up having to sit with in with all the parents and their 3-4 year olds going "whats that man doing daddy?" and the frequent toilet trips it involves.

Kids these days struggle to keep quiet/still and it turns into a nightmare.

Fine if it was Shrek, we would expect that but not during Terminator 3 or Batman.

All it's for is to allow parents who cant find a babysitter to go see a movie and it just ruins it for other cinema goers and can traumatise the young kids.

I remember when we went to see T3, loads of 5 year olds etc. came out scared witless and in tears over the nuclear armegeddon ending. Not clever.

Bring back the 12 only rating as 12A is a severe lack of judgement.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Those blaming parents...

>>Seriously, do we want MORE kids taking a shine to knives, frankly I'm sick of reading about kids with knives as it is.

Well, I haven't actually seen it myself yet but from what I've read, you should be more worried about what impressionable youth is going to start doing with the contents of its collective pencil case.

I was pretty warped by the face-melty bit in Raiders, me.

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to Quote Vaz

"The BBFC should realise there are scenes of gratuitous violence in The Dark Knight to which I would certainly not take my 11-year-old daughter. "

Well don't then... The answer's pretty simple.

STOP! Won't somebody think of the children!!!

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Anonymous Coward

essential Vaz reading

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keith_Vaz

Personally I think it gives him an easy ride, he's a rabble rouser who never saw a pitch fork wielding mob he didn't want to lead. Probably because it makes a good distraction from the corruption allegations...

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Alert

I kinda agree

I think that at 13-14-15 you're a bit young to decide to see this movie by yourself. There are some pretty disturbing scenes. So in that respect, I can see why the rating should have been 15.

BUT...

If I had a child that's 14, I would look into what he wants to go see at the theater before letting him go... it's called parenting, that's what parents are supposed to do, not the State. Not happy with a rating? Well impose your own ratings to your kid! Geez!

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Anonymous Coward

@alphaxion

your logic is not necessarily logical.

4.7 million seeing the film does not mean 4.7 million who either enjoyed it, were entertained or agreed with the rating. Unless you ask them all you can't make that assumption.

Generally speaking most people would not complain anyway and more specifically it is unlikely anyone without a youngster with them would even notice or care about the rating.

80 complaints is quite a lot in terms of complaining really.

However, more telling is the defence taken by those agreeing with the rating such as "if we gave it a 15 many people who wanted to see it couldn't" or "it is supposed to be dark, haven't you read the comic?"

Surely if you want under 15s to see it and it is a bit too "adult" then you either give it a 15 and tell the producer that he should have thought of this or you suggest ways that the film could be cut down to a 12A and possibly have two different versions.

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Bez

Is the BBFC on crack?

"Younger teenagers would not have been able to see it, and they are the very people who are going to love it. We would have ended up with far more complaints from people who wanted to see the film and couldn't."

Sorry, this is the spokeswoman for the BBFC? Have they taken their remit, rolled it up and used it as a roach in a massive bifter or what?

Of course young teenagers want to see people getting stabbed, it's exciting. (And in some parts of the country probably constitutes part of some sort of urban YTS programme.) Kids want to see all sorts of things they really ought not to, because they're exciting.

Kids love vodka and ciggies as well - is the BBFC about to campaign for a free-for-all on everything just in case the kids complain?

Will the BBFC tell us, "Well, we've given Danish Spitroast Bangfest a 12A rating because 13-year-old boys tell us they just love it, and frankly we can't be doing with all the letters from the spotty oiks telling us that mum's disconnected the Internet and in absence of an overactive imagination they need some sort of material so they can yank themselves off round the clock without fear of any worse punishment than an upholstery cleaning bill from the cinema manager."

Can we get Supernanny in to teach the BBFC a thing or two about standing their ground?

Anyway, all this media kerfuffle is fine by me - never been interested in Batman movies before but this one sounds worth seeing. But then, my mental age is probably somewhere between 15 and 12A.

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Black Helicopters

Not violent enough!

What I found frustrating about the violent scenes in the film is that most of it is brief and blurry or the camera cuts away just as it happens, It's probably been cut this way to bring it down from a 15 to a 12A so that they can sell more plastic action figures and Batmobiles to kids.

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Happy

Did I keep blinking or something???

We went to see it as a family (including 2 kids @ 12 & 13) and I didn't see any actual knifings, I must have kept blinking just at the wrong moment! Yes there was plenty of implied violence, but other than a bit of fisticuffs, the detail was left to the viewer's imagination. Even my two daughters commented that Two Face's injuries were unrealistic as there was no blood.

BTW, we saw the IMAX version, the IMAX scenes were awesome, but the fight scenes that were just scaled up were hard to watch with so much close-up action on such a big screen. They should have shot all the action scenes in IMAX really.

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Ian
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It's difficult

I'm a regular cinema goer: I see about fifty films in cinemas a year (I'm in my mid forties, my regular cinema going companion is in her mid fifties). And I have children of ten and twelve, so I'm in the zone where certification is an issue. I'm interested in certification issues to the point that I occasionally correspond with the BBFC and my r. c. g. c. is an academic who sees hundreds of films a year and has cinema as one of the strings of her publishing bow, so I/We are not naive observers.

All that said, I was surprised that Dark Knight was a 12A. The BBFC guidance claims it's clearly a mainstream 12A, which is at odds with their statement now that it's borderline. Certainly compared to Casino Royale, which was only passed at 12A with cuts, it's a different kettle of fish. Had I only read the guidance I would probably have taken my elder daughter had she expressed an interest, but having actually seen the film (opening night, natch) I wouldn't.

A few weeks ago I saw the restored digital print of Blade Runner. I muttered in advance to elder daughter that I couldn't remember why it was a 15, that it had been an AA (ie 14) on release, and if I were a bad parent I'd consider taking her (5 ' 7": they won't notice). But then I watched it, and its 15 certificate seemed justified. So, if Bladerunner retains its 15, how is Dark Knight less mature? And at the other end of the range, I took both my kids (as I say, ten and twelve) to see both ``Be Kind, Rewind'' and ``Son of Rambow'', and I just cannot see the certification parallel with Dark Knight. Short of expecting every responsible parent to see the film in advance, what can you do? Elder wants to see ``Man on Wire'' this week, which is also a 12A...

And of course there are idiots: at the first night screening I saw, a woman with hoop ear-rings and a room-temperature IQ had a three year old with her, who was petrified. Perhaps just bringing back the 12 certification, or making the ``8 minimum'' recommendation on 12A mandatory, would help.

Mind you, there's an air of ``films need to be censored to protect the poor people'' to it all. No-one turned a hair at my taking my then eleven year old to the Chichester Stewart / Goold Macbeth, which had enough blood to be going on with, she was happy enough as Martha knocked out ``Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole'' at a gig at the weekend, and it's likely you could argue that Hamlet (the Tennant / Goold thing at the RSC is next weekend's challenge) is hardly suitable for the impressionable.

But I found that child's terror spoilt the film for me, sentimental man that I am.

The thumb, because DK is pretty good. Not great. But I suspect much better than The X Files film will be tonight...

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Anonymous Coward

@David Webb

If Keith Vaz had taken his 11 year old daughter to the film he wouldn't have broken the law ... if the rating was the old 12 then he would but 12A allows children under 12 to see the film *if* accompanied by an adult (n.b. thats anyone over 18 and not just their parents).

Of course, the underlying problem that led to 12A being introduced is that BBFC classification is just a guideline and local authorities can reclassify films themselves ... BBFC gave SpiderMan a 12 but, doubtless in an attempt to appear populist, various authorities reclassified it as PG hence they introduced the cop out 12A.

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@lee

80 complaints out of several million is small.

I was kinda playing devils advocate with the "vs entertained" bit, but I do stick with the contention that 80-odd out of 4.7mill views (as I said, not 4.7mill people) is an awfully small number.

Yes, there prolly were much larger numbers of people who complained about it but didn't see fit/didn't know where to complain to the authorities yet you can be sure that they would have changed their habits of their own accord which is how it should be. Individuals making their own choices not demanding an authority do it for them!

It is telling that the makers were concerned that a lower cert would lead to lower viewings, but if a kid wants to see it, is mature enough to handle it then I don't see a problem - it's only a problem if they begin to move beyond the fantasy of pretending to be something and actually carry a real knife with them that it draws the line and the kid needs help.

Surely that's where the parent comes in, not the government!

And for the record, I saw masters of the universe as a youngster and had really bad nightmares from it (prolly cause of dolph in a loincloth.. sarah, down girl!), that was a PG iirc yet by the time I was 11/12 I was happily watching total recall and terminator movies. My cousins however had been watching chuck norris films since they were 5 and had no problems with that!

Of course, that's purely anecdotal.

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Dead Vulture

Not a 12A

This film should've been a 15.

Creative cutting and camera angles don't stop the violence from being clear. The dissapearing pencil will still with anyone who sees it. There's a scene where a guy has a knife stuck in his mouth and it's implied he's going to get a chelsea smile, you see someone's legs get broken.

This is not a kids film, it shouldn't be possible for kids to be brought to it. It has a bleak, violent theme that never really relents and it focuses heavily on the violence, even if the after effects aren't shown. There must be hundreds of thousands of 8 year olds out there with mental scarring from Two-Face.

I've never seen a 12/12A anywhere approaching this level of violence, the only reason it didn't get a 15 was the BBFC being too weak to stand up to the film companies. You can't really blame the parents who haven't been warned about how violent this film is, there's nothing comparable (even Batman Begins) that's received a 12A.

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Heart

Fascinating stuff...

Hmmm... I think I see the problem here... you went from the 'merican G,PG,R system, to some sort of numeric 1,2,3,4,5, then to 1,2a,3,4b,5c?? lol - The thing about rating systems is, even if the one you have is not that great, if it's what everyone is use to then it'll probably work. If people keep changing it up, it's just going to lead to loads of confusion - which I think was reflected in some of the comments.

I like our system in the States. We just slap PG-13 on everything because, higher than that and it's harder to sell to the young'uns, but lower than that and, well, it's just not going to be worth watching right? (we need at least of modicum of sex and violence) We don't need a whole lot of categories because the person selling the tickets is, 99% of the time, an apathetic teen that would let a toddler in to see an R movie anyway :p

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Dumb...

As ever, Mr Vaz is making a shrill, stupid point in order to appeal to the Daily Fail readers who don't know anything about modern culture.

The Dark Knight meets the requirements of the 12A certificate, the description of which clearly states that it's parents' responsibility to make the decision about their children under 12 years old. The BBFC provides comprehensive information about what the 12A rating entails on their website, and also provide a special parents' information website (www.pbbfc.co.uk) that breaks down the exact reasons for the rating assigned. They also link to trailers, and there's a massive amount of information available elsewhere on the web so you can make an informed decision.

The BBFC rating is *advice*. It's your job as a parent to not only heed that advice, but also make your own decisions based on available information. Not run to the newspapers because you couldn't be bothered and didn't like the consequences.

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Rating

For the bloke who reckoned that Keith Vaz would've been breaking the law if he took his 11 year old to see it, 12A means anyone under 12 can see it only if accompanied by an adult. So therefore Keith Vaz wouldn't have been breaking any laws.

However, personally I reckon the film should've been a 15. Not because of the content (which surely is dodgy especially for a 12A rating - it more fitted a proper 12 rating as in ban on anyone younger than 12 from seeing it) but because if it was a 15, we would've seen more blood, maybe more pencil-in-the-eye trick and more knife being pushed into people's mouths. Basically I'm saying for the style of the film, it really should've been cut/edited for a 15 rating.

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Boffin

"I BURIED MY ABORTED BABY IN THE GARDEN WITH A SPOON"

For what it's worth, after seeing the film, I'd probably side with a 15 cert. It felt a unnaturally disjointed as if it was really reining itself in so as to achieve the 12A. A 15 would have allowed for less cynical editing. But would have obviously reduce revenue. Which (we all know) is the real reason behind this whole shebang

And I agree with the general principles of the watershed and of censoring content from "minors". E.g. the principal that there's a time and a place for certificates on films. And 9pm is where we've decided to draw a line for a watershed.

And 80 complaints seems like enough to warrant a review of sorts.

BUT!... Let's look at the broader picture. There was admittedly very little actual on-screen violence in the Batman flick. It was all implied. And what was there was in context (insofar as it was part of a film, and basically, the bad guy pretty much got his comeuppance in the end).

Whereas, something like "I BURIED MY ABORTED BABY IN THE GARDEN WITH A SPOON" is OK (actual headline on the front of Bella, or whatever mag it was). On a coffee table, exposed to young kids who are unable to put the confusing, heavy duty (to a child) content it into it's proper context.

There are tens of other examples - on the same magazine shelves and living room coffee tables - every day. Rape, murder, abortion etc are cheapened and blunted in the name of reporting "Real Life True Stories". Wheras combat within a fantasy context causes uproar and alternative words for procreation, bodily functions & the like are cut/bleeped/asterisked out as if typed by giggling schoolkids.

As for The Sun (a "family paper") printing tits aplenty every day, but not being shown on the telly before 9pm....

Principle of protecting kids from "adult themes": Correct.

Consistent, across-the-board implementation: Critically flawed.

Aside: "Paki bastard" could be heard on the BBC early evening news the other month. Ostensibly in the name of reporting the news of a racist attack. Whatever. But at 6pm, I'd have said it was at inconsistent when "oral sex" or "masturbation" are invariably (and cringingly) referred to as "a sex act".

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Coat

Pah!

Aliens was my favourite movie when I was 11, and I turned out ok!

Er...

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M
Stop

Er...

So 0.0017% of the people that watched it complained?

Unbelievable! There was no swearing, no blood, some menacing dialogue, and half a cgi face?

Should have been a U in my opinion. Bambi was more traumatic for my kids.

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Alert

Re: the face-melty bit in Raiders

eek, I always remeber that scene as a bit off... until I saw it again very recently, now Im not so sure... wallace and grommit on a hot day? hardly scarey must haver been my age!

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Narnia?

Narnia (the first one) was more violent.

I remember taking my kids to this "kids movie" and seeing much more violence. The queen shanked someone prison style, by breaking off the blade in the victim.

In the batman movie has violence like the 80's tv show "the A team", just not as silly. You never see the results.

It's a pretty good film, because it gets the violence across to you, without having to show any (Al?) gore.

Is it election season over there?

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Re: Not a 12A

If 12A meant "12 or up, but an adult needs to consider it" I.e. a higher-than-12-certificate.

As it is, it's "PG-with-bells".

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Gates Horns

Keith Vaz

Kaith Vaz is so far to the left that to accuse him as a Daily Mail reader would be considered an insult to him (unless he has gone so far left it he has gone around in a circle). Much more likely to be a socialist Guardian reader.

Doesn't stop him being a publicity seeking **** who has trouble seeing a bandwagon and not jumping on it, esepcially if it is to restrict people in the entertaining themselves (films, video games etc). He was also my MP until I left the area.

The horned man because Vaz could be considered the devil in disguise.

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Alert

Err....

Couple of random things; first off, if I was thinking of taking an eleven year old to see that film (I'd be worried about getting arrested/lynched as I've got no kids =) I'd bother to take five minutes out of my lunchbreak and have a quick look at some reviews/previews... the internet is handy for this I hear.

The phrase “psychopathic, mass-murdering, schizophrenic clown with zero empathy" popping up all over the place would seem to be enough of a hint that this film might scare the snot out of the youth *shrug*

Seriously, I found clowns freaky enough as a kid without them disappearing pencils into people's heads =)

Secondly, what's all this about the film glorifying the use of knives?

The villian was a nutter, a genuinely unpleasent chap with a nasty habit of doing whatever he felt like without any thought for others (see the above psycho clown quote)... and he had a thing for knives. He seemed quite keen on explosives and petrol too...

So the thoroughly evil man likes knives and hurts people without a second thought...

How exactly does that "glorify" the use of knives?

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Number of complaints doesn't matter

People keep mentioning the number of complaints. It's important to remember that, it's not the volume of complaints that really matters. It's the validity of these complaints.

It's possible for one complaint to be upheld (most common in cases of slander or liable) but hundreds ignored (BBC screening Jerry Springer The Opera being a prime example). All that matters if that the complaint is just and shows a violation of the laws or guidelines.

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Coat

Parents....

I saw the film at a 9:15pm screening the other week which finished round midnight.

There were a significant number of children in watching it and some of them looked under 12.

So the actual rating of the film apparently is completely irrelevant because I guess the sort of parents take someone under 12 to a late night screening of a film would do it even if it was a 15 cert.

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Paris Hilton

BBFC and video games?

"Younger teenagers would not have been able to see it, and they are the very people who are going to love it. We would have ended up with far more complaints from people who wanted to see the film and couldn't."

If the BBFC end up rating video games as the government wants then I wonder if they would rate the likes of GTA IV a 12A? :D

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IT Angle

Emulating the Joker

There is so much panic about Kids emulating the Joker and his 'glorification' of knives, I watched it last night and hope it's a 50/50 reaction.

Ironically (intentional irony?, maybe...) in the film, a lot of people start emulating the Batman, trying to fight crime. So what I'd like to see on the streets of the UK now is Vaz and IDS being proved absolutely right. Hoards of youths either dressed as Batman or the Joker kicking 7 kinds of s*** out of each other.

Whilst that would be totally delightful in it's self, it brings us back to a basic question, what the hell would the parents be doing letting them go out and do that? Actually, Kids pretty much do that already, even before this film came out. Why are we in that situation? Well, I know most readers on here who are parents will take responsibility for their Kids (comments here bear that out), there is a huge level of scum who let their Kids run feral. So we change the rating of the film to 15, and so what? As soon as it's on Sky, they'll let their Kids watch and you'll be paying for it through your taxes to pay their benefits, to pay for their Sky.

The question doesn't really get answered by what rating a movie gets, it is a much bigger problem with society in general. Lets blame a film, it's a hell of a lot easier than making those actually responsible take the responsibility.

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Anonymous Coward

"I would certainly not take..."

"The BBFC should realise there are scenes of gratuitous violence in The Dark Knight to which I would certainly not take my 11-year-old daughter. "

Isn't that the whole point of 12A? Leaving it to the individual parents to decide whether it's appropriate for their children to see?

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