The Silver Chair... PG-13?

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Re: The Silver Chair... PG-13?

Postby Narnian_Badger » Jul 01, 2014 5:07 pm

So this is a question I've been pondering for a bit now.

When I first heard of the idea of making SC PG-13, my first reaction was please yes. You have a lot more freedom with that kind of rating, and to be honest, it pulls in the 16-25 age group a lot easier.

But then the more I think about it, I can't imagine what they'd have to do to make it PG-13. Most of the time, the difference between toeing the line of PG vs. PG-13 has to do with language, not violence. (actually a lot of PG-13 movies will deliberately toss in a couple of words to avoid the PG rating. PG movies do this too, to avoid G ratings. It's complicated.) The last thing I want is the addition of language, and not even necessarily because I don't think there's a place for that in film, but rather because I think there is a place and it's just not used in Narnia.

Quick clarification: ratings are based roughly on language, violence, drug, and sexual content. All language in the books falls under PG levels, even if LotGK's magic fell under the drug category it would still pass PG, and the last category shouldn't be an issue. So that leaves violence as the only possible factor.

And... well, SC doesn't have a lot of violence. In fact, offhand I might even argue that it has the least amount in the series, on screen or otherwise. There are no large-scale battles, the giants throwing rocks is comedic at best (it could be made dramatic, though now I'm thinking Rock Giants from The Hobbit: AUJ and... no), and most everything with the carnivorous giants is done through reference. Such things wouldn't even have to hide to stay PG; they are PG.

As for the tone, yeah it's dark, but dark doesn't preclude PG--after all, movies like The Poltergeist and Jaws were PG (note that I sincerely doubt they would be now, but nonetheless, PG gets away with a lot more than you'd think). "Dark" is kind of hard to assign a rating to, which is why it can toe the line pretty easily. It all depends on how much clout the studio has and how forgiving the Radars are feeling (let's be honest; Toy Story 3 had no business being G, but it got it anyway).

So all that to say... yeah. I don't think SC needs a PG-13 rating at all, or at least it shouldn't aim to be. If by happenstance the PTB decide to assign it to the film, I won't complain necessarily, but I also don't think it's... necessary. :P
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Re: The Silver Chair... PG-13?

Postby Amat » Jul 27, 2014 7:11 pm

I honestly believe that the PG-13 rating would benefit the film, not only financially, but I would also give the screenwriters much more freedom. With that freedom they could do wonders. That doesn't mean that they will use such to curse, or etc. A PG rating does NOT wipe a movie squeaky clean. I once rented a PG movie assuming that it would be pretty decent...I had never heard so many f bombs, gds, and all other sorts of filth.

And as far a violence goes, the book is violent. The Silver Chair is the only book I've ever had the patience to read to start from finish, because the images my mind created were spellbinding. The witch in my imagination wasn't some pretty woman with a siren like voice. She was a viper, with ugly eyes framed behind a beautiful face. The underworld wasn't a dark little cave, it was a black bottomless pit with shrill screams and flashes of fire. That's what I imagined anyway.

Movies are not designed to satisfy book purists, only to honor the spirit of said book, and above all to make a profit. I've never understood why people rely on ratings, why not let a movie do what only movies can do...take us to magical and sometimes dark worlds, show both the beauty and the ugliness of man, and basically entertain the heck out of us for a while.

As far as being child friendly..I know I sound horrible for what I'm about to say but that version of the Silver Chair already exists via the BBC company. Kids are not nearly as fragile and dumb as people think they are. I lived on the Hunchback of Notre Dame when I was seven and never went around singing "Hellfire."

I am ready to see an adult friendly version and by that I don't mean cursing/sex/etc. I just mean something that treats real life situations seriously, with the tone and drama that they deserve. I really believe that if they go the child friendly route (yall know what I mean by now) the Silver Chair will not succeed.
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Re: The Silver Chair... PG-13?

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Jul 29, 2014 3:40 am

Amat wrote:As far as being child friendly..I know I sound horrible for what I'm about to say but that version of the Silver Chair already exists via the BBC company. Kids are not nearly as fragile and dumb as people think they are. I lived on the Hunchback of Notre Dame when I was seven and never went around singing "Hellfire."

No, Amat, I agree Silver Chair could be violent to the point where PG13 is quite valid. Even the BBC version still retained a bit of violence. The bloke who played Rilian in that movie seemed quite moody and temperamental, although he didn't actually skewer anyone, even Puddleglum. Besides the death of the snake could get a bit messy.
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Re: The Silver Chair... PG-13?

Postby aileth » Jul 29, 2014 9:59 pm

While not knowing much about movie ratings, it seems strange that the ratings would have gotten more strict. From what the kids talk about nowadays, I would think that they were getting laxer all the time. But perhaps that's only what parents are allowing them to see, not the ratings.

And the things that bother me are not the same as the rating commission (or whatever they might be) A moderate amount of violence and destruction, such as the beheading of the serpent, does not seem to be the sort of material that would give modern children nightmares. Whereas swearing is highly annoying and innuendos of a certain type are even worse.

I can't even begin to guess how the rating will affect the box office. I just hope they know what they are doing.
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Re: The Silver Chair... PG-13?

Postby The Rose-Tree Dryad » Jul 30, 2014 1:23 pm

Amat wrote:Kids are not nearly as fragile and dumb as people think they are. I lived on the Hunchback of Notre Dame when I was seven and never went around singing "Hellfire."

Wasn't The Hunchback of Notre Dame rated G, though? (I'm honestly not sure how they got away with that. :|) And that film is quite dark and adult. Being rated G or PG doesn't mean that it's going to be kidsy, it just means that there are going to be limitations on how content is presented. I've seen a lot of movies from the 30s, 40s and 50s when Hollywood was still under the Hays Code, and they were able to make a lot of dark, adult films under those restrictions.

Still, I understand that nowadays PG-13 films automatically have a "dark and cool" connotation, whereas PG tends to evoke an impression of kidsy, fun-for-the-whole-family popcorn flicks. The filmmakers may consider trying to get a PG-13 rating if they think it will help the film be more successful. However, I'd really like for them to just rise above all of this and make the best and most faithful adaptation of the book as possible, and then release trailers that are faithful to the tone. If they do that, then The Silver Chair will give an impression of being "dark and cool" regardless of its rating.
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Re: The Silver Chair... PG-13?

Postby twinimage » Aug 11, 2014 7:01 am

The Rose-Tree Dryad wrote:Being rated G or PG doesn't mean that it's going to be kidsy, it just means that there are going to be limitations on how content is presented.

I love that statement. That is so true.

And it works the other way as well. For instance, I just saw the new Ninja Turtles movie. It's PG-13, but it's obviously made for kids, in spite of the "darker" visuals.
Ratings can often be a sham to make you think it's going to be one thing, when actually it's another. When studios make a new movie, they already have a certain rating, tone and demographic in mind. Let's just hope the studio is thinking of what best fits the book, rather than what they can manipulate the story to fit into.
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Re: The Silver Chair... PG-13?

Postby PhelanVelvel » Aug 13, 2014 1:55 pm

Maybe they should just make the film first, then see what rating they end up at, lol. If they're told "Uh...yeah pretty much the whole thing is too dark for kids" but they honestly feel that they've captured the spirit of the book, make it PG-13. If they're told "Uh...yeah that part with the blood, can you just get rid of the blood?" and that's all they have to change, I'm sure they can find a clever way to alter that scene and get the PG rating. Is that allowed? Can you finish a movie, get the rating, then change it if you need to?
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Re: The Silver Chair... PG-13?

Postby wolfloversk » Aug 22, 2014 10:50 pm

Would it benefit from being PG-13? No :P Would it benefit from not having to be G or PG by policy? Absolutely.

Here's what I mean. I don't necessarily think it's important in terms of an audience draw... and it could probably get away with a PG rating as PC, Watership Down (seriously- I was in shock), and Tron: Legacy all have and its about that level violence wise. However, with the former two at least, a lot of people thought they should have rated it higher. I think this is why they changed a few things in VDT... they were afraid. Afraid of not being able to film a scene like in the book and maintain that rating (undragoning anyone?). That fear is, I think, what could really detriment a film. If you hold back from the story telling to get a particular rating whether its PG or R I think there's potential to lose a lot of the flow that you'd have from the book. It'd basically be pigeonholing the scriptwriters and having someone from the outside say no you can't do that cuz we can't have it be PG-13. You can do Silver Chair without being PG-13, but if you do it in fear of being so you risk losing some of the original story and some of the realism. Some scenes I can think of off the top of my head: killing the snake, Ramandu's Daughter's death, the blood from Aslan's paw that brings Caspian to his country- those would probably face the possibility of alteration if the crew was in fear of receiving a PG-13 rating. Also there are some psychologically intense that may be questioned as well... Rilian talking to them on the chair, them forgetting Narnia... I'd rather give the filmmakers freedom to follow the book and make it look real than to say "we have to change this scene because it's too intense." If you're going to change something at least do it for a good reason... I personally don't think ratings qualify as good reasons :P
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Re: The Silver Chair... PG-13?

Postby Future Narnian » Sep 06, 2014 1:24 am

The one thing I like with changing for the ratings is not making the battle scenes too graphic. (Not really a factor for SC) I listened to the VDT commentary and they said they did that intentionally and I want to see them keep that up. In particular, please NO dismembered body parts! I don't mind the green serpent, but doing it to people...UGH! Besides, these did used to be children's books and parents are going to bring kids no matter what they see on the previews. You can still have the fear and danger without that.
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Re: The Silver Chair... PG-13?

Postby Kazuya-Mishima » Oct 06, 2014 9:55 am

Yes, a PG-13 rating would be good. I liked about Prince Caspian, that it was darker and more serious and mature than LWW and it was a pitty, that they made Dawn Treader a pure Children's Film.
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Re: The Silver Chair... PG-13?

Postby Anhun » Oct 19, 2014 11:02 am

Earlier in this thread I mentioned that there are two question here:

1. Would a PG-13 help market SC to a wider fan base?

2. Would freedom from PG constraints allow a more faithful adaptation?

I would like to tackle question 2. The overwhelming majority of the book could be portrayed as written without going into PG-13 territory. The only exception would be the scene where they kill the snake. If I had an 8-year-old, I would not want them to see a snake as big as a man getting hacked to bloody bits on a large screen. x_x

Lewis himself was against his films being translated to live action for fear that they would be "nightmare." I think the film-makers should respect his wishes and either alter the events of the scene so that her death is less gory, or take a page from Alfred Hitchcock, and use suggestive cinematography to convey what's going on. In Psycho, we didn't see Janet Leigh getting slashed to pieces. It was still an effective movie.
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Re: The Silver Chair... PG-13?

Postby Josh » Dec 20, 2014 12:49 am

They should just film the movie in the best way possible and see what rating they end up with.
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