KPop and Cinematography: The Subtle Hints and Plot of K.Will’s “Please Don’t”

It’s not surprising at all that Korean Pop (K-Pop as it’s usually called) has been sweeping across the international market in recent years.  Some say that it had started around 2009 where the beginning foreign market started swarming together into cult groups.  I remember when I had started listening to KPop, it was G-Dragon’s “Heartbreaker” and SHINee’s “RingDingDong” that pulled me through.  Comparing songs like that to the ones we have now, you could probably say that they’re among the prettiest music videos out there.  But for today, we are going to cover a video that had come out a few years ago, back in October of 2012 (yep, we’re going far) and talk about the genius about how a short music video like this can pull off twists that M.Night Shyamalan would cry over.

Just as a warning, there will be some massive amount of spoilers (for a KPop video, which is weird) that will be discussed, so if you don’t want to be spoiled then I highly recommend watching the video first.  If you don’t know Korean, don’t worry about it, for the video has English Subs in the CC button.  Click on it and watch away, and make sure you stay through to the end.

Beautiful music, don’t you think?

And now that you have seen the video, let us take in a few minutes to sit down and realize just how huge that twist in the ending was.  Now process that in your head for a few minutes.  If this music video was made in, say, Canada or the United States, this type of revelation would not be this surprising.  Heck, since sexuality is spoken of quite openly here, if a plot twist such as that had been pulled off, you wouldn’t even be that surprised about it.

Oh wait, we did make a music video with this twist.  It was called “Call Me Maybe”.

Tell me there was a difference.

Tell me there was a difference.

Well then.  For those of you who were too stubborn to not watch the music video, I just gave away the biggest twist of the music video.  But for our sake, I’m gonna show you the ending anyway in two beautiful pictures.

Bam

Bam.  Music’s over and this is what they show you.

This image screen lasts all of ten seconds.

This image screen lasts all of ten seconds. Ten whole seconds of silence.  Or maybe it’s not silent because you’re screaming at your computer.

Horrifying out of context, huh?  Probably should’ve watched the video.  But don’t worry, I’ll wait for you to watch it properly and we can talk about it later.

Now, I’m not going to talk about this video being a masterpiece in bringing up how homosexuality is still somewhat taboo in Korea (at least a lot more compared to say, America, where we can be at least a bit more open about it to the public), because everyone else had been saying that for the three years that this video had been out, and I am not talented enough to talk about it.  Instead, I’m going to talk to you about the cinematography of this music video, and how it tells a coherent plot with characters and personalities that are so rich that we are just one man away from having an entire movie running on this.

Before we start, I am going to quickly run down the plot of the story as presented in this video.  This piece stars three characters, and these three characters are all present in the featured image on top.  There is no dialogue during this video and hence they have not been given any names, so many viewers have decided to refer to them by their real actors’ names.

Starting from the Left: Seo In Guk (서인국), Dasom (다솜) [of Sistar/씨스타], Ahn Jae Hyun (안재현)

Starting from the Left: Seo In Guk (서인국), Dasom (다솜) [of Sistar/씨스타], Ahn Jae Hyun (안재현)

There are also two “plot times” in the story: the one in the car is its own plot time and the rest of the video is the past that In Guk is depressed over.  For the scene in the car, recall that there are two people in it: Dasom and In Guk.

Teasing as always.

Teasing as always.

All we are aware of is that In Guk and Dasom seem to have a strange relationship.  She constantly teases him through pinches and pushes and from the look on his face In Guk doesn’t really like it.  Dasom is also currently dating Ahn Jae Hyun, and judging by how they act in the first time they’re together on screen, In Guk is willing to tolerate her when he’s around, meaning that they must be really close friends.

Honestly, wouldn't you be annoyed too?

Honestly, wouldn’t you be annoyed too?

As the video progresses, In Guk sees Jae Hyun cuddling with Dasom and is very awkward about the whole thing, almost as if he doesn’t approve of the relationship.  Naturally, we assume that he must have been crushing on the girl the entire time and is kinda jealous that his best friend got the girl instead, since we have seen a lot of media (both in Korea and in America) where the relationship between two individuals start with a lot of tension between the two staring leads.  Heck, a similar plot line shows up in another KPop Music Video: MBLAQ’s “This is War”.  I’m only putting the video here so that you don’t have to search for it in another page, but it’s also cinematic in nature and has almost the exact same plot.

You can see that when Jae Hyun and Dasom announce their engagement to In Guk with all the smiles on their faces.  In Guk, not surprisingly, does not seem to like this news.  Going back to the car for a minute, once he starts thinking about the two of them cuddling each other before the wedding, he flat out freaks out about it, while Dasom is still in the car with him!

And it’s then that we get our first plot twist of the video.

Look at him, reaching out to her in such confusion.

Look at him, reaching out to her in such confusion.

Okay, now I'M confused.

Okay, now I’M confused.

Honestly, with the way he flipped out in the car, if he wasn’t alone in the car, she would’ve called the cops on him so quickly.

After that, we watch the wedding take place, In Guk goes off to collect his thoughts before Jae Hyun goes to get him so that the three of them can take a beautiful wedding picture.  Cue the end of the song and the second twist ending that I had spoiled above.

Okay, maybe the summary was longer than I had wanted.  But for a video that’s about three minutes long?  That is a lot of stuff to take out of it.  Compare that to MBLAQ’s video, which seems to have so many plot holes in trying to explain the same plot in five minutes.  Clearly this is the work of good directors.  So how does this music video foreshadow these two twists?

First off, when you watch the video at face value, most of the information that you’re given seems to clearly aim for you believing that In Guk is crushing on Dasom.  They are both seen in the car for a great chunk of the video, and for the most part they seem to have the most interaction.  But check out how they both act between each other.

d8S8SSh

CaptureCapture

Dasom is cheery and playful, something you typically see in videos like this, but In Guk does not look comfortable whenever he’s around her.  And this is not a “I love you but you’re dating a friend” kind of awkward either.  There’s a difference between being awkward around someone because you love them, and then there’s being awkward around someone because you’re too nice to tell someone to piss off.  Speaking of which, you know where In Guk is really awkward toward?

Capture

The camera filming this scene is weird and wonky here, so forgive me for how weird it looks.

Capture

Let me state that this is the only time in the music video where these two ever get personal interaction.

People don’t notice it at a first glance, but the annoyed face of In Guk immediately drops when Jae Hyun is in the picture.  Check those few seconds again.  In Guk straight out went to chase Dasom when Jae Hyun shows up, and he flat out stops and has that awkward face on him again.  Also, whenever he has the blow ups, it’s never in front of Jae Hyun.  Ever.  Not even in the car scene, where we still see Dasom.

And let’s not forget what he was doing right when the wedding was about to start, either.

Honestly, I don't think this is how the best man is supposed to be doing his job.

Honestly, I don’t think this is how the best man is supposed to be doing his job.

All right, there are a lot of obvious hints in the video showing that In Guk liked Jae Hyun instead of Dasom.  I could go over even more of them, to how the camera seems to lovingly linger onto Jae Hyun whenever he’s in the main focus and jump cuts through Dasom’s scenes like it’s the Transformers movie to seemingly having more Jae Hyun than Dasom on the camera whenever the two of them are in the same frame together, but then we have the million dollar question.

If In Guk was in love with Jae Hyun the entire time, and he was in his car alone freaking out about it the entire time, then why did the majority of the video seem to show Dasom instead of Jae Hyun inside the car?  He never had romantic feelings for her, of course!  So maybe he really did love her?

100% sure that is not Jae Hyun

100% sure that is not Jae Hyun.

No.  He never did.  His feelings were completely toward Jae Hyun and never Dasom.  Dasom was never the person he was hallucinating about when he started speeding through Seoul.  In Guk never saw Dasom.  We, the audience, were seeing Dasom.

Let me try and explain this.  Remember how earlier I was stating that there were two “plot times” in the MV?  Other than being horrible at names, I stressed this because each time has two different POV’s in place.  The past time (with the wedding and the house) was through In Guk’s eyes, nothing too surprising.  But the car?  That was from the audience’s point of view.  If you’re having a hard time trying to understand this, try and imagine that you are sitting in the backseat of the car that he’s driving and are listening to this entire story as he’s reiterating this to you.  He’ll be vague about it, forcing you the listener to fill in the blanks as you go along.  This works well with the actual song as well, sung beautifully by K.Will.  But look at the lyrics again.  They never say “he” or “she”, only “me” and “you”.  Vague enough for you to have some kind of understanding but not specific enough to answer questions.

Listening to the story/song, and knowing that this is a male reiterating this story, we the audience (and especially a Korean audience, who still conform to some stricter sense of heteronormativity) automatically assume that he is talking about a girl in his life, marrying a close friend so that he will never have her.  In fact, if you stop the video right when the song ends, you never get the twist ending.  The revelation that he was in love with Jae Hyun was shown after the song is over…after the story is finished being told.  When In Guk puts the two halves together, we the audience finally get what person he was talking about, and replace what we assumed with the truth, hence why we finally see Jae Hyun with him.  This is further emphasized by their clothing: Dasom and Jae Hyun seem to be wearing the same version of that long sleeved sweater, aren’t they?

100% sure that is not Jae Hyun

Capture

Let me stress that there was no lying during the entirety of this video.  The story still holds up.  The only thing that is different is who his true level of affection is aimed toward.  And the best part?  Watching the video again knowing what you know makes the bigger details stick out even more.

Kind of mind blowing, isn’t it?

Free2Play: Mobile App Game Review 01- Soccer Spirits

I have recently gotten into using a smartphone, and do sometimes wonder why I had never really gotten it before.  There are many different types of mobile games out there that are so called “free-to-play”: games that are free to play but have content that you have to pay for in order to obtain.  But this time I will review this game with one question in mind: can you play this game without being forced to pay a dime?  On top of that, can you even enjoy this game to the point where you want to spend money on it?  With that in mind, let’s look at the first game I have in mind: Soccer Spirits.

Soccer Spirits title image you see when you download it

Soccer Spirits title image you see when you download it

Soccer Spirits was developed by Korean company BigBall Co. Ltd (I am not joking) and is run by Com2us.  Like most games, everything that you need to know about the game is right in the title: you are managing a soccer team and your only goal is going straight to the top and become the greatest soccer team in the galaxy.  No, I mean it.  Galaxy.  The twist of the story is that all of your teammates come from different parts of the galaxy with their own different story lines tied into them.  You’ll have to go out of your way to read them, though, cause the game itself won’t shove it in your face.

The one holding the ball is named Uriel.  The companions on the side are androids.

The one holding the ball is named Uriel. The companions on the side are androids.

When you boot up the game, you get to choose between one of two main characters: Sam and Noa.

Samornoa

There isn’t really a difference between the two of them past who you’ll be playing so choose one to your liking.  You will be given some other party members to round off the team and on you go into the game!  Recruiting characters isn’t hard, but bear in mind that there are two kinds of characters that you can use in your game.

Screenshot_2015-01-28-08-00-25

MANAGERS – They take care of you off the field and have small effects such as giving you money or boosting your Stamina.

PLAYERS - These are the ones actually on the field.

PLAYERS – These are the ones actually on the field.  Hence they get the prettier menu designs.

Once you sort out exactly what characters you want in your team and how you want your team to be set up, it’s time to finally go onto the field.  That is found by swiping the screen to the leftmost option and getting into the many gaming options (Story and Events, though they all play very similarly).  Once you’re there, then the game really begins to be alive.  Welcome to the meat of the game.

What they Advertise to You

What they Advertise to You

What it actually is

What it actually is

The thing is, the game can be either really interesting or really boring depending on how you want to play the game.  If you really want to play deep into the game with your own strategy, the game allows you to take direct control of the players and dictate their every move, to the point where you’re proud of what you have accomplished.  If you rather wish to step back and just see if your managing skills are up to snuff, there’s a hefty little thing called the “Auto Button” right next to the Menu button on the screen.  Press it and wait.  Honestly, I do this if I’m doing others things, like writing a paper, doing homework, or making this review.  Know that you can’t put this up when you’re playing in the Story Mode, however.  No lazing out there.

So that’s game play.  Now can you do this effectively as a free-to-play title?  How do you recruit anything past 3-stars into your team?  Well, it’s easy.  All you need to do is recruit them!

Recruit with Crystals, the money you pay for

Recruit with Crystals, the money you pay for

Recruit with Friend Points, the one you're given

Recruit with Friend Points, the one you’re given

It takes 30 crystals/200 FP to summon one player.  30 crystals give you a much better player than 200 FP.  Seems like a cash sink, huh?  Well, look at the pictures again.  I was able to get 143 crystals without spending a dime.  The thing about this game is that it has something called “Achievements” where you can get small prizes if you fit a certain criteria.  Most of the prizes are FPs and 1-Star players, but sometimes you get crystals from here as well.  I tend to pop out 20 crystals each day, but most of that is used with expanding my slots to keep more players.  If anything, this game is the friendliest to anyone without any money.

CONCLUSION: Any players with an empty wallet can play through this game without any type of worry in the world, if you’re into this type of game.  If you play the entire game on Auto you might get bored very quickly, though if you’re a collectionist then you might like this game a lot.  Hey, this is free so you can take it for a demo run and see if it’s for you~

And for those of you who wonder if this is a game with boobs.

And for those of you who wonder if this is a game with boobs.

Demisexuality and the Sexual Spectrum

The Demisexual Flag

The Demisexual Flag

Well this just got a bit weird.

Well this just got a bit weird.

As a heterosexual Asian female, I will admit that trying to understand the many different sexuality that existed in the modern era was pretty easy until I entered high school.  I mean, heterosexuality made the most sense, since it basically is being sexually attracted to ones of the opposite gender.  Oppositely, homosexuality made just as much sense.  If one could like the opposite gender, there must be a term for those who like the same gender.  Granted, I was never told this word until my TV decided to show me Friends and Will and Grace, and that was as far as my understanding went with the topic of sexuality.  However, once the “fun four years” started up, I was immediately bombarded with everything under the sun.  Bisexuality?  Pan-sexuality?  Asexuality?  Trans-sexuality?  Bam, learned all of them at once, and even after them I am ashamed to admit that I do only have the most basic understanding of them.  However, I never once questioned why they needed to exist.  These titles filled a hole in my sexual understanding that just made sense to me.

Heterosexuality and homosexuality are opposite sides of the spectrum.

Bisexuality is the line right in the middle of the spectrum.

Pan sexuality is the spectrum itself.

Asexuality isn’t even on the spectrum, it’s probably the thing touching the paper holding the spectrum.

Tran-sexuality is a marking on one side of the spectrum written in the other gender’s colors.

These were all the gender identifications that I believed that I needed to know going into the world.  So what ended up happening once I left high school and into college?  Well, I just got bombarded with more, after all.  Demisexuality!  Genderqueer!  Genderfluid!  Nonbinary!  The many different sections of romanic!  People who don’t even believe in gender after all!  When I bumped into this, all I thought was that the person who started the whole LGBTQ anagram probably got nightmares in their sleep.  How in the world do you even slide that in there without getting tongue tied?????

Well, nonetheless, I decided to go in order and start with the biggest question I had: what exactly is demisexuality, and is it even a legitimate sexuality that should be properly discussed and taught?  And more important, am I perhaps a member of this newly growing demisexual group?  I will admit that seeing members of the opposite sex in real life doesn’t grab any type of reaction out of me, but I always associated that with apathy.  Plus, porn and sex scenes in movies get some thrill out of me, so I must be hetero, right?  Or was there something I was missing?

First off, let me define it in case this is the first time you have seen this word.  Demisexuality refers to an individual who does not feel any sexual attraction to another individual unless they have a close emotional bond with them.  Just by hearing the definition, I can imagine a lot of new people scratching their heads confused by this.  But it’s true.  One Google search and you will see a ton of individuals (most of them women) proclaiming their demisexuality and informing others of what exactly it means down to the definition of it.  Heck, they even have an official website for it.

So where exactly did the term ‘demisexual’ come from?  The prefix ‘demi-‘ means half, so the literal definition of the word is ‘half-sexual’. In other words, demisexuals would fall on the sexual spectrum between asexual and bisexual.  Or…asexual and pan sexual?  Actually, the term demisexual doesn’t have any indication stating what gender the person would be most likely to lean on.  I mean, say what you want about the million different sexuality groups out there, their definition clearly states what gender they would be attracted to.  Heteros have the opposite, homos have the same, bi have both, pans have all of them (heh heh…PANS…), etc.

This is 100% pansexual porn.

This is 100% pansexual porn.

However, demisexuality is a tricker egg to fry.  In fact, it’s one of the two well-known sexualities that need a “___romantic” sub tag just to classify you in the Sexual Spectrum, like “demisexual heteroromantic”.  The other one would be transsexual, but people do accept that to be a legitimate sexuality due to it dealing with someone’s sexual upcoming (that and there is evidence stating that this had lasted for as long as man existed).  In that sense, demisexuality should be considered a legitimate sexuality.  Right?  Well, maybe the origin of the word demisexuality might shed some light on the situation.

It’s…not pretty.

Well, argue whether or not demisexuality is a legitimate one, it will be agreed that having just a sketchy origin does not make the argument any better.  I mean, we of the Internet have this hidden rule stating that any new movement started by any naive sounding teenage girl must never be trusted under any means.  But hey, just because Will and Grace was heavily popular doesn’t mean that they invented the homosexual.  Maybe this origin just started the word for something that technically didn’t have words associated with it.

Or maybe demisexuality is just a blanket term for the increased use of the term ‘romantic’.

I will admit that if someone had asked me what my sexuality was, I would gladly say “heterosexual”.  It’s one word, rolls easily off the tongue.  If I had to state my romantic afflictions as well, I would have to go with “heterosexual heteromanic” and that just sounds like I’m stating a species of monkey at a scientist convention.  What did demisexuals have to say before the word came out?  “Asexual ____romantic”?  We’re still at the point of our universal sexual awakening where we associate asexual = aromantic, and hearing something like that would just get people to be like “wait, you can be romantically attracted to someone but not sexually attracted?  Ain’t that the same thing?” and the whole thing goes on yet again with no understanding met.  Honestly, up until a few months ago, I would’ve been on that same boat.  It’s hard for most people to understand the definitive difference between sexual attraction and romantic attraction, especially since the media reaaaaaallllyyyy likes to blur the lines about it a bit without actual sex involved.  Also, we’re also taught as children to like people for their personality and not by their looks, making the whole thing even more confusing (don’t you remember all those recent Disney movies like that?).  We’re practically raised to either fall into demisexual or heterosexual and from the looks of it demisexuals are just born to be the perfect image of someone who will not judge based on looks alone.

Plus, using the term ‘romantic’ to describe their love lives is something that not too many people have started to use.  I mean, if you think about it, it sounds rather stupid.

“Hey, what’s your sexuality?”

“Well, I’m homoromantic!”

“That didn’t answer my question.  So you’re asexual then?”

“No, I feel some sexual attraction, so I’m not asexual.”

“So you’re homosexual then?”

“Well, only certain people, and I really have to know them first.”

“…so just homosexual then?”

And the argument goes on.

And for those demisexuals out there who don’t think that they need a “-romantic” subtag on their sexuality, you might have to.  Otherwise, people are just going to assume that you’ll fall in love with ANYONE that you have a close relationship with, throwing you squarely into the pansexual category and not as the demisexual you categorize yourself into.  Believe me.  That was a pitfall that I fell into as well.  Unless you are panromantic, in which case, don’t listen to me.

So what is my final thought?  Does demisexuality have a legitimate say in the LGBTQ community?  Honestly, I’m 50/50 about it.  On one hand, there are more than enough people claiming demisexual status to the point that maybe we should be addressing it as a legitimate sexuality.  On the other hand, demisexuals have a good footholding in society to have about just as many rights as heterosexuals, and the worst thing that they would ever have to go through is trying to prove to people that it exists.  Worst care scenario, these people would just categorize you as asexual and treat you that way.  Comparing that to the people in the LGBTQ community that still suffer discrimination in many parts of the world (heck, even in America) just for who they are, I don’t think demisexuality should have a say in the LGBTQ community, or at the very least have as much saying as heterosexuals do.  Cause let’s face it: claiming pure demisexuality is not going to get you thrown out of your house for straying off the path of God (claiming demisexual homoromantic is a different story, but because church and homo are not a good mix).  Claiming pure demisexuality is not going to get you death threats from the assholes and homophobes (non-straightphobes?  Biphobes?  Demiphobes?  Do they exist???).  Claiming demisexuality still allows you to keep the same foothold in society as most heterosexuals do, and claiming that you’re part of this minority who has rights is basically wasting your time because you basically have them for the most part.

But what does a naive, ignorant heterosexual like me know?

The Level of Violence Between Rated PG-13 and Rated R Movies

This video is a super cut comparison of the level of violence between rated PG-13 and rated R action movies.  You see, it is a common conception stated through many web articles about the level of violence in PG-13 movies and how it is slowly reaching to the level of R movies.  After watching many action films of both ratings, I can see that there is indeed a similar level of violence between the two ratings.  Then I read a scholarly review that confirms this rising curve of violence and the showing of this to younger children, the article being cited in the beginning of the video.  This video cuts between rated PG-13 and R films in terms of similar acts of violence, from car chases to gun fights, just to show that there is no indication to differentiate between the both of them.

Project Update of 11/20/2014

Hilariously, I started the day realizing that someone had restarted the computer that I was using to edit the video for maintenance reasons, and hence I had lost all of my progress that I had in terms of editing the video.  It was fine, since the video shown before starting ended up sloppy and out of focus.  This time, I buckled down and started fixing up the edges.  For one, I actually got quotes for the beginning and end of the video so that the people watching will know exactly what I am trying to convey with my video, and secondly I even grouped the videos together to form a theme: spies with spies, Scarlet Johanson is with herself, etc.  Fortunately, it looks a lot more polished.

Project Update and the Wacky-Hacky Hijinks

For this week, I had thought about the project and what I had wanted to accomplish for the video.  I had wanted to show the amount of action and violence between PG-13 films and R films to show just how interchangeable they feel from each other.  It turns out that it was clearly obvious from the project itself, and that I didn’t need to talk over it all.  As a result, I had changed the plan from a scripted video to a supercut video.

As for editing, this is how far I was able to go.

My plan is to add/rearrange the clips so that they all follow a certain theme (car chases, one-on-one fights, etc.) as well as find better background music for the video.  The one that I got was one I had from a public Japanese library and worked at the time.  Hopefully, I don’t have that much farther to go.

Script for the Final Project

Today, I have done nothing more than ripping off movies off the Internet, worked on the script below, and sent emails to the recording booth on the 3rd floor to plan my recording sessions.  Unfortunately, I’m not quite sure if this will be the final version of the script, and will be edited in due time.  Keep in mind that all of this is subject to editing.  Things will be added and deleted as the weeks go on.  If someone is willing to help me fix this script, leave a comment.


Welcome to the movie theatre, ladies and gentlemen! Drop all your troubles of the real world and experience the world in the eyes of fictional characters! Which movie are you in for? Oh? You don’t know? Well, let me give you the laydown.

This is a PG rated film. It’s safe, clean, very child friendly. And how can they not be? PG is made for the kids, it should be kept for the entertainment of the kids.

This is an R rated film. Yes, this is the one that the adults really want to see. This got blood, this got boobs, this rating is like the drug dealer down the street offering you the real thrill of a lifetime. (And yes, I mean it in undertext too.)

This is a PG-13 film, the lovechild between PG and R. Unlike the other two ratings, this one came up rather recently, when during the 1980’s two famous PG movies came out to the masses, where…

[Temple of Doom’s heart removal scene.mp4]

[Gremlins – Kitchen Scene HQ.mp4]

This happened.

Deemed “too violent for the kids” and yet still not pushing the envelope enough to be made for adults only, the PG-13 rating was born. This would hold all the films still safe enough for kids, but had been pushing the envelope for quite some time. There were some good movies here, and let’s be very grateful that this trend is still going on toda-

[Captain America 2 – Steve-Natasha vs Winter Soldier.mp4]

[Salt Thrilling Scenes Part 3.mp4]

[Taken. Fight scene.mp4]

What the fuck happened?

{TITLE CARD: Rated BEWARE: The Body Count of PG-13}

Welcome to the violent era of PG-13, where the gore and stabbings run amok and all the kids just watch it, immune to the terror before them. How did this happen? When did all of this become acceptable for children? I mean…LOOK AT THIS. How do these people get away from it? Actually, the answer is pretty easy.

To prove my point, I want you to watch this clip from The Expendables 2, an R-rated film. Don’t worry, nothing too much is left out.

[The Expendables 2- kick ass fight.mp4]

Now compare it to The Expendables 3, rated PG-13.

[The Expendables 3 2014 Anthonio Banderas and d chic doing it.mp4]

Did you catch it?

[The Expendables 2- kick ass fight.mp4]

Actually, let me be more clear: did you not?

[The Expendables 3 2014 Anthonio Banderas and d chic doing it.mp4]

Yeah, that’s right. WHAT THE HELL IS UP WITH THE CAMERA?

{SEPARATION CARD: Drunk Guy at the Camera}

It’s a weird thing to be bringing up, but it’s a trend that I kept bumping into. For Rated PG-13 movies, you’ll notice just how nutty the camera can get. Slipping, sliding, running and jumping, it’s a complaint that I’ve heard a lot from critics alike.

For Rated R films, it looks a lot more staged and steady, allowing us to see all the action. Why is that? Well, it’s a way to hide the amount of bloodshed that is actually happening on the screen. Just look at it: with this amount of camera movement, you can’t even see the death and destruction happening!

In a way, it’s to add to the ambiguity of the situation. You see, movie raters think kids are just a tad stupid, individuals who need to have everything bluntly told to them because otherwise they’ll completely miss it. With the inclusion of the shaky camera, people would assume that perhaps they lived from the main character beat down (I mean, heck, the main character can survive being beaten around like a ragdoll). Remember, while these movies are pretty violent for kids, they are still kids’ movies. And while the shooting, running, punching and car chasing is perfectly fine the word “death” is kind of a bad word to say.

[Sleeping Beauty VS Maleficent – Aurora’s curse scene.mp4]

Actually, speaking of bad words.

{SEPARATION CARD: Clean Your Mouth!}

Sit back and consider this. Shooting fifteen people in a room is as effective as batting an eyelid but the minute someone stubs a toe and curses the world that’s an R rating for you. No film is safe from this.

Don’t believe me? Well, let me diverge the subject a bit by talking about The King’s Speech. For those of you who don’t know about this movie, let me give you some background. It’s basically a movie about King George VI and how he works on his speech impediment with his speaking coach during the Great War. It seems like a simple premise, right? There’s not even any fighting going on in the film, so from the sound of it, it could be a simple PG film, right? Well…trick question. It’s actually rated R. How?

[The King’s Speech Swearing Scene.mp4]

That’s how serious they are about this. Nowhere else in this story does someone curse out like this and yet it’s still rated R. That’s right kids, hinted bloodshed is fine and dandy, but swearing kings are not welcome at this door!

In fact, this article is a great summary of how strange the rating system is.

The Weirdness of R Rating

Only one curse word per film, and anything resembling skin in inappropriate places is automatic R status, but bloodless murder is a-okay! As a result, it becomes clear that while R-rated movies have bloodier deaths, PG-13 has a higher body count. It’s just…cleaner that way!

{SEPARATION CARD: What Does it All Mean?}

It’s been stated almost to annoyance about how violent the PG-13 movies have gone, from being movies that the kids can see as transition material into such benign film garbage. There’s just constant violence after constant violence to the point where it’s actually getting mind numbing. Don’t get me wrong: there are still plenty of PG-13 films that deserve the PG-13 rating, but those are the exception to the vast majority of action PG-13 rated films that just depress us. But why is that?

Marketing.

PG movies are typically stereotyped to aim toward kids, which many people assume will end up being lame or stupid or too boring to comprehend. They’re basically lumped in with rated G movies as being only for kids, so naturally only kids will go to this movie, boring audiences out of their minds. Meanwhile, rated R movies can only be watched by adults. Sure, they can be mind blowing or tell deep stories, but the audience is so limited that studio executives fear that no matter who watches this film, they won’t be able to make a profit out of it.

To them, PG-13 is their shining glory, the film that everyone can watch. Kids will like it, adults will enjoy it, and everyone leaves happy. The only problem is that someone up there in the system forgot to note that PG-13 is still PG. There’s a reason why PG is still in the annotation. However, someone had decided one day that PG-13 should entertain adults more than kids. Besides, the adults are the ones with the paycheck!

Because of this, PG-13 has started aiming more and more toward adults but with only minimal addressing and cleaning up for the sake of the kids. There are many films out there who were made with an R rating, but were cut back for the sake of PG-13, just to get audiences to watch them. That’s a horrifying thing to consider, isn’t it? The only thing that changes a R-rated movie to a PG-13 rated film are edits and cuts to the film after production, not things that are changes before filming even begins. At this rate, PG-13 will be a superfluous rating, becoming the mask for R moves to reach a younger audience.

Someone needs to change that. Otherwise, it’ll just be one long gunfight after another.