Notes from the Manager
Although The Dark Knight's record-setting debut weekend has been making the most headlines, the film's level of violence has been getting a little attention, as well. (Note: there are a few spoilers in the linked article.)
I don't know how many parents I've got reading this juvenile little strip of mine, so I don't really know how much anybody else out there will particularly care about this subject, but the violence in The Dark Knight kind of bothered me. The film was absolutely spectacular, mind you, and, in some ways, it was refreshing to see the Joker be able to cut loose with an appropriate amount of fucked-up insanity for the character, unlike the candy-coated Nicholson version or the relatively family-friendly Batman: The Animated Series version.
The level of violence bothered me not in the context of the film, but in how the film was being marketed. Toys are a hard one to gauge ages for, because adults collect action figures. (I do think MacFarlane Toys' products — while often disturbing — are generally and plainly aimed at older collectors/hobbyists, not children.) But I saw children's picturebooks unquestionably aimed at grade school aged kids at a Borders the other day — not just generic Batman picture books, mind you, but Dark Knight-specific picture books, with a sanitized version of Heath Ledger's Joker — and my soul died a little.
Marketing a film like Dark Knight to kids that young is simply inappropriate. Even though it is (of course) the parents' responsibility to decide if their child is ready for a PG-13 or even R-rated movie, little-kid merchandise gives parents the impression that the movie is appropriate for younger kids, whether that is the case (as in Iron Man) or not (as in DK, in my opinion, anyway).
Of course, you could tell from just the trailers that the Joker was going to be one messed up puppy but you couldn't (SPOILERS) tell that he was going to shove a pencil into a guy's skull or how fucked up Two-Face was going to look… (END SPOILERS).
I don't think Dark Knight should have gotten an R; to say sixteen year olds shouldn't be able to go to Dark Knight without a parent is absurd. But I do think a non-superhero movie from a studio without Warner Brothers' leverage with the MPAA with the exact same level of violence would have been given an R without hesitation. (Most people who have seen This Film Is Not Yet Rated would suspect the same thing.)
But because the studios aren't doing parents any favors by marketing movies like Dark Knight towards kids, they need to be better prepared when they take younger children to the movies — even (shudder) at the expense of spoiling movies for themselves, and so to that end, Parent Previews and Kids in Mind are two of many options to read up on the content of the movies at your local multiplex. (Note: Both links take you to The Dark Knight page at each site, so be ready for spoilers. Very detailed ones.)
Neither of these sites' Dark Knight reviews are quite on the mark, in my opinion (Kids in Mind's rating system has Iron Man's violence/gore rating equal to Dark Knight's which is ridiculous), so I'm not necessarily endorsing them; I'm just saying that they exist, and that parents should find resources they trust to rely upon.
Multiplex News & Updates
Bonus comics, drawings, and
other awesome stuff
Friday, January 5, 2018
Thanks to 130 backers at the Indiegogo Second Chance campaign, we’ve raised a healthy budget for the Multiplex 10 animated short’s release, film festival submission fees, and other promotional expenses — including all-new animated videos featuring some of the staff of the Multiplex 10 Cinemas. In other words: Multiplex 10 is going to be a web series.
Now, the web series will be a little different from the animated short. Because the budget is much tighter, they’ll feature a limited cast (only Jason and Kurt at first) and only be a minute or two long. At least one of them will run between 2–3 minutes, because that’s what the second Indiegogo stretch goal was for, but not necessarily the first one. In other words, a little like the thank you video above.
Over time, and with enough funding, we’ll hopefully be able to bring back some of the other cast members from the short, as well. But this is also uncharted territory for me, so I need to start small. This all feels very much like the early days of the comic strip, which is really exciting to me.
You can help support the production of the web series (as well as the production of Multiplex bonus comics for the collected editions) by joining my Patreon, buying stuff from the Multiplex 10 Store, or renting or buying the Multiplex 10 short through Vimeo On Demand!
Other Recent Posts
- Multiplex 10 Indiegogo Second Chance campaign launches TOMORROW at 11am
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- Multiplex: The Revenge is now available!
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- Come meet me at Wizard World Philadelphia (June 2–4 only)
- Multiplex 10: the animated short is now (officially) in pre-production
- Multiplex 10: the comic book?! (addition to the $20k stretch goal)
- The Multiplex 10 Kickstarter project ends in THREE DAYS
- The Multiplex 10 Kickstarter has SIX DAYS TO GO
- Multiplex 10: Good Talk