Mason is six years old and Penelope is only three years old. Both are well under the recommended age limit for the film, which is 13.
The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) established the rating system to provide guidance on a film’s suitability for certain audiences, according to the group’s Web site.
The PG-13 rating says parents should be “strongly cautioned,” because “some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.”
The movie’s sexual content is limited and mostly suggestive. The most explicit scene involves an “alien woman” who lounges seductively in the arms of a brutish alien.
But the movie goes off the scale on graphic violence, which has been labeled “frightening” and “intense” by parents who have seen the movie.
Controversial scenes include a village wiped out by Stormtroopers and a defenseless old man being mercilessly struck down and murdered, according to the Internet Movie Data Base (IMDB).
But it doesn’t end there. Several characters are held against their will and tortured to the point of extreme pain or exhaustion. Numerous Stormtroopers are gunned down and killed. Several characters are eaten by multi-tentacled beasts.
On an even larger scale, planets are destroyed by a Star Killer Base. The inhabitants are filmed watching in horror before they are annihilated.
The film is only the second in the “Star Wars” franchise to receive a PG-13 rating. The other was “Revenge of the Sith,” according to deadline.com. Other films were rated PG, one notch below PG-13.
Critics have given the film a strong thumb’s up, but some child psychologists have raised red flags.
“When something is presented on a large screen, there is in one sense a reality to it and in another sense it makes it seem OK in a way fairy stories don’t,” child psychologist Sally Goddard Blythe told London’s Daily Mail.
“I have 2 nine year olds who really want to see this, and they should be okay with a little prep. I have a 7 year old who I will not be taking,” said one parent on an online message board.
“I took my 10 year old son and he really enjoyed it,” wrote another parent. “I have three other kids ages 4, 6, and 8 and I don’t think I will take them.”
Scott and Kourtney’s parenting skills are sketchy at best.
They have never married. Their off-again, on-again relationship of 10 years has been stormy. Scott has repeatedly left the house and gone on highly publicized benders before landing in rehab.
Whether their relationship upheavals are real or put on for the sake of their reality show, “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” is unknown. But all the dysfunction can’t be healthy for the kids. Neither can exposing them to so much graphic violence.
When it comes to parental judgment, it’s hard to give them the benefit of the doubt.
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