Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Motion Picture Association of America film rating system’

Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WOW – 2 hours and 55 minutes and it just flew by!  This movie is so fast-paced and never lags is clearly one of the reasons you don’t realize just how long it is.  Fact: It took 7 years to make!

Based on a true story, it sheds some light on why the economy tanked.  DiCaprio spent months working with Belfort in an effort to bring the author’s experiences which led him from “pond scum” to the Wolf of Wall Street, to life on the screen. The film is all about sex, drugs and greed and barely missed receiving a NC-17 rating.  Scorcese frantically cut some of the more salacious scenes and just squeaked by not having the movie rated NC-17.  One might wonder why such a fuss might be made about sex and naked people when these very people committed despicable acts and ruined other people’s lives, like that wasn’t offensive enough?  

The Wolf of Wall Street is a funny movie, the audience at the SAG screening I attended laughed all the way though it.  Yes, it was funny, because the dialogue is witty, clever and oh so natural, enhanced by superlative performances by all especially DiCaprio and Hill.  However, now a couple of hours later as I mull over this post, I think the movie probably glamorizes extra-marital and unsafe sex, STDs, excessive substance abuse as well as dishonesty and greed.   Yes, there is a comeuppance at the end of the film, but perhaps not as much in comparison to havoc the players wrecked on the lives of others during that 5 year run.  

Scorcese, at age 71, is at the top of his directorial powers, seemingly invigorated by the energy of the material and the fact that his ultimate financiers, Red Granite, gave him the green light to go all out and push the envelope with no holds barred.  And that’s exactly what he and his actors did which just might be why given the freedom to go all out, the acting and dialogue is absolutely believable.  And as I type that line, I want to add in parenthesis, disgusting and despicable as it was!  

I have never been a huge DiCaprio fan, however, I’m happy to say he was AMAZING!  What an exhausting and physical role!  His looks are maturing and again let me say, his role as Jordan Belfort is surely going to put him in the final 5 for Best Actor.  

As a final observation, I thought his wardrobe was impeccable, particularly loved his ties and definitely did not like the dye job on his hair, a very unnatural black.

Read Full Post »

Life keeps evolving, there’s just no stopping it.  Technology leaps ahead at the speed of sound.  You’ve just upgraded your phone and realize two months later it’s practically obsolete;  Not just because Verizon no longer carries the appropriate battery but because wow  wee your phone doesn’t have an app that turns on the crock pot or makes hair appointments for you – Geez! 

Well among the many sayings, slogans, ideas, things, customs and such that have gone by the wayside as we rush into yet another “Future Shock”, you can add these ten things to your list.

1. “THE CAPTAIN HAS TURNED OFF THE ‘NO SMOKING’ SIGN.”

This announcement was heard less frequently beginning in 1988, when smoking was banned on all domestic flights of two hours or less. Ten years later smoking was verboten on all domestic flights, and by 2000 smoking on any U.S. airline was banned by federal law. 

Ready For Take Off

Ready For Take Off

2. THIS FILM IS RATED GP 

The MPAA started issuing ratings for films in 1968, and the Original Four ratings were G (for general audiences; all ages admitted), M (mature audiences), R (restricted; children under 17 must be accompanied by an adult) and X (no one under 18 admitted). The M rating confused a lot of patrons who equated “mature” with “nudity” or “sex scenes”, so in 1969 M was changed to GP (general audiences, parental guidance suggested). The MPAA officially changed GP to PG in 1970s so that the “parental guidance” angle was more obvious, but a lot of studios stuck with GP long afterward. The 1980 Olivia Newton-John bomb Xanadu was the last commercially released movie with a GP rating.

3. BROUGHT TO YOU IN LIVING COLOR

The MPAA started issuing ratings for films in 1968, and the Original Four ratings were G (for general audiences; all ages admitted), M (mature audiences), R (restricted; children under 17 must be accompanied by an adult) and X (no one under 18 admitted). The M rating confused a lot of patrons who equated “mature” with “nudity” or “sex scenes”, so in 1969 M was changed to GP (general audiences, parental guidance suggested). The MPAA officially changed GP to PG in 1970s so that the “parental guidance” angle was more obvious, but a lot of studios stuck with GP long afterward. The 1980 Olivia Newton-John bomb Xanadu was the last commercially released movie with a GP rating.  

Do You Remember The Peacock?

Do You Remember The Peacock?

4. QUADROPHONIC

f the two channels/two speakers used for stereo sound were good, then quadraphonic sound, which required four channels/speakers, was better, right? Quad sound was originally available only on reel-to-reel tapes until 1971, when Columbia and Sony started marketing quadraphonic vinyl LPs. In order to enjoy the full effect of four channels, however, one needed to buy a compatible (very expensive) quadraphonic audio system. Some quad albums were “stereo compatible,” meaning they could be played on standard stereo equipment, but they didn’t provide the full “surround sound” experience that was intended. A few radio stations experimented with broadcasting in quadraphonic, including Detroit’s WWWW.FM (W4).

5. NO DEPOSIT NO RETURN

During the Great Depression, most stores in every state charged a two cent deposit on every glass soda pop bottle, which was refunded when you returned the empty. Glass bottles were heavy, so folks returning huge sacks full of them wasn’t a problem for merchants at the time and the nuisance factor was minimal. When the 1960s rolled around, soft drink bottlers started using plastic instead of glass, and they weren’t going to re-use the empties, so consumers were free to just toss them (and save 12 cents per six-pack to boot). “No Deposit, No Return” was printed or embossed on pop bottles until the late 1970s when so-called “Bottle Bills” started passing through various state legislatures. Too many folks were littering the landscape with their discarded containers, so deposits on not only bottles but also cans were once again implemented. Even if your state doesn’t have a return law, your soda labels still have the various requisite deposit amounts printed on them.  

7 UP

7 UP

6. PLEASE BE KIND AND REWIND

You’re not going to believe this, but people used to actually drive to the video store and rent VHS tapes. (Just so we’re all on the same page, a VHS tape is that oversized cassette shown here.) A lot of renters had a habit of returning a movie after watching only half of it, or worse, after watching the whole thing but without rewinding it. Special rewinding machines were a common component of home entertainment systems back then, because using your VCR to rewind tapes tended to wear out the video heads. But it was darned frustrating and inconvenient to come home from Blockbuster, pop The Crying Game into the VCR and have it start right at the shocking reveal. At first, stores tried using these types of gentle reminder stickers to nudge their customers; eventually many of them would charge a rewind fee for violators.

7. UNLEADED FUEL ONLY

Lead was added to gasoline beginning in the 1920s when it was discovered that the chemical reduced engine “knock.” But in the 1970s, the federal government admitted that lead was a poison and started taking steps to remove it from our fuel. Catalytic converters were added to new vehicles, which required a new (and more expensive) unleaded gasoline. For many years gas stations offered both leaded and unleaded gas. Since unleaded was more expensive, a lot of owners of newer vehicles purchased a special gadget that allowed the leaded nozzle to fit in their unleaded gas tanks. The government intervened and made “Unleaded Only” warnings standard equipment on new vehicles. Leaded gasoline was banned completely in the U.S. in 1986.

unleaded

8.  HOME QUARANTINE SIGNS

These are actually even before my time, and I’m fairly ancient. But both my parents remember seeing similar signs in their neighborhoods when they were kids. In the pre-antibiotic days, scarlet fever was highly contagious and frequently caused damage to the heart valves. The U.S. achieved measles eradication in 2000, and cases since then have mostly been imported by unvaccinated folks returning from overseas. Other conditions that were cause for quarantine by local health departments at one time include whooping cough, influenza and diphtheria. 

STAY AWAY

STAY AWAY

9. FREE TV! TELEPHONES IN EVERY ROOM!

Today’s travelers look for lodgings that provide free Internet access. But at one time free TV was a selling point for Mom & Pop motels. And we’re not talking free cable – we mean an actual television set. At one time TVs were such a luxury item that many motels and hotels only had a limited number available for rent from the office. And in-room telephones? Forgetaboutit. They were another luxury that usually added a dollar or two to the price of the room. Unless you were a businessman who lived and died by the phone, most folks saved their money and used the payphone outside.

10. NO CYCLAMATES

Sodium cyclamate, usually abbreviated to simply “cyclamate,” was an artificial sweetener that was approved by the FDA in 1958. It was sweeter than sugar and had much less of the bitter aftertaste of saccharin. For diabetics, dieters, and kids prone to cavities, cyclamate was nothing short of a miracle. Sugar-laden products were able to offer sugar-free varieties that tasted the same. But then a study published in 1967 announced that cyclamate caused bladder cancer in laboratory mice, and manufacturers started voluntarily pulling their products from shelves before the FDA officially banned the additive in 1970. Research done since that initial study found that the mice in question were of a certain genetic strain that might have been prone to cancer in the first place, and the amount of cyclamate given to them was equal to 350 cans of diet soda pop per day. Cyclamate is still legal and used in many countries around the world, including Canada and the UK.

SUGAR is good for you

SUGAR is good for you

Thanks Gail for sending me the link and thanks to Mental Floss for these very funny memories.

Read Full Post »