(Contains a single use of strong language, and mild tirading.)
I despair, dear reader, at what the British Board for Film Classification is coming to these days. It seems that it wants to appear both liberal and conservative at the same time, which perplexes this cinema-goer.
I couldn't care less about pornography creeping in under as 18's; nor the corruption of youth by acid trips in the latest Thomas the Tank Engine film. No, far worse than either is the new 12A certificate. My qualms are threefold.
Firstly, blatantly young children are taken into films that aren't suitable for them, at an age when they aren't suitable for the cinema. Just the other day, I watched Signs (God and baseball save the world pap) with a hyperactive five year-old bouncing up and down in front of me. Parents are abusing the new guidelines to save money on childminding.
Secondly, I am amazed at the sheer pointlessness of the guidance they offer about these films. "Contains a single use of strong language"? "Contains a suggestion of strong language"? "Contains menace"?! I hope we aren't going down the American route, where the number of swear words is counted and that decides the certificate. "Contains tomfoolery"?
Finally, it irks me that films are being watered down to fit into the 12A category. Let's face it, 12, 13 and 14 year-olds know jack shit about films, so aiming films at them is obviously going to affect the quality. The first Austin Powers was hilarious. The second was funny. The third was dreadful. OK, so it's not a watertight case, but it'll do.
So I hope the studios take note that they should make films with more obscenities, more nudity, and more casual drug-taking. It'll make this cinema-goer a happy boy.