So....this past weekend David and I went to Atlanta to visit a friend and then to hang out with my family for my nephews 12th birthday. Trevor always has fun birthday parties. My brother hung a huge sheet on his massive garage door and projected the movie Avatar onto it. He's an audio/visual guy so he has tons of equipment and set up surround sound through the whole back yard. It was like watching a movie in the theatre, maybe even better! I mentioned that David and I probably wouldn't be watching Avatar because I didn't think it was appropriate for a 5 year old. Nearly every single person tried to convince me that it was fine for him. I was told it has fantastic special effects and a great story line. Uh, David couldn't care less about either of those things. He's FIVE, people, he can't follow a story line. Plus he's not much of a movie watcher as it is...he nearly fell asleep in Toy Story 3 (in 3-D) a few weekends back.
This is the kid who doesn't watch Spider Man or Power Rangers or really many cartoons. Well, he does like Tom and Jerry. One of the grandmas, who was trying to justify for me that he could watch it, said, "Well, they kill in Tom and Jerry". Ummmm, no they don't. They chase each other and hit each other over the head with a broom sick....that's a FAR FAR cry from watching someone get shot with a gun or blown up. Seriously. David doesn't watch much TV and when he does it's Monster Jam, dirt bike racing, Minute to Win it, Americas Funniest Home Videos and occasionally something on the Disney Channel. He's a bit of a sensitive child and I was afraid that everything Avatar would give him nightmares or make him again question if there were monsters in his room. I just didn't want to expose him to that. For some reason I felt like I needed to justify my decision. Why I needed to justify my decision to anyone? I'm really not sure.
So in an effort to confirm my decision that we didn't need to watch the movie I checked out http://www.pluggedin.com/. It's a website created by Focus on the Family that reviews movies, video games and music for content. The following is listed about each movie: 1) General Review of the movie, 2) Positive Elements, 3) Spiritual Content, 4) Sexual Content, 5) Crude or Profane Language, 6) Violent Content, 7) Drug or Alcohol Content, 8) Other Negative Elements and 9) Conclusion.
I find the website very helpful, but do think some it's quite humorous and a bit extreme. For example, under Other Negative Elements for the movie Despicable Me (which I want to see) it says: "The orphanage supervisor locks kids in a cardboard box (labeled the "Box of Shame") if they don't sell enough cookies to support the school. When Gru first meets this woman he tells her, in Spanish, that she has the face of a burro." Now that's actually funny, but for some parents I guess they wouldn't like that. As a parent at least it educates you on what to expect in each movie that your child might want to see.
So when I reviewed Avatar, there were many things that made me not want David to see it....but even just under the Crude or Profane Language section it said: About a dozen s-words. Also, 10 misuses of God's name (includes six or seven pairings with "d--n") and three abuses of Jesus' name. We hear roughly 20 other profanities (h---, a--, b--ch, b--tard, p---) and three crude references to the male anatomy (d--k among them).
UH, RIGHT. My 5 year old will absolutely NOT watch this movie. Ever.
With this ammunition I was able to go back to those who had asked if we were going to watch it. When I told them my reasons, luckily, they didn't question me or think I was being ridiculous.
Previously in the evening, David had asked to watch the movie with the big kids outside, but I explained to him that there were bad words in the movie and we shouldn't watch it. He questioned me...so I said, "well, they say 'butt' and 'stupid' and some other even worse words". Right now those are bad words in our house. He asked me what other worse words they said. I told him that I wasn't going to say them because they were bad. So he says, "Do they say, 'What the hell?'" Excuse me? Did my sweet 5 year old just say "What the hell"? Uh, yes, in fact he did.