You might have caught a movie this summer by the name of The Dark Knight—a little film that featured [SPOILER ALERT] pencils through skulls, long-winded monologues about surgical disfigurement, and one incinerated Maggie Gyllenhaal—and at times thought to yourselves, "Perhaps this wasn't the best choice for my daughter's Girl Scouts troop monthly Fun Night outing." But it was precisely its PG-13 rating that helped catapult the Chris Nolan film to its current record-breaking box office take of over five hundred gazillion dollars. Other directors are now wondering who at the MPAA they have to fuck to get a similar hall pass on their own darkly violent visions (and please, please God let it not be the notoriously scissor-happy Joan "The Snipper" Graves). But according to Max Payne director John Moore, it was the reverse scenario of the MPAA handing out the sexual favors to the filmmakers:
"We’re suffering from what I call Batman blowback. The Motion Picture Association of America gave The Dark Knight a PG-13 rating and basically sucked Warner Bros. cock…"
The MPAA changes their rules willy-nilly and it depends on who’s seeing your actual movie at the time. It’s very difficult to get a hold on what’s acceptable. The only thing you can use is current standards. So I go and see The Dark Knight and I say, “Gee, that’s pretty gnarly for PG-13,” but I felt good about Max Payne after coming out of the theater. I thought Max wasn’t going to have a problem. And that’s not the case. They’re coming down on us pretty hard. [...] [The MPAA] really hung themselves with The Dark Knight. Every other filmmaker in town is knocking on their door saying, “Please sir, may I have my PG-13 rating and be as fair to my movie as you were to The Dark Knight.”
Indeed, we suspect the MPAA will find they've opened a Pandora's Box by being so dazzled by shiny Bat Gadgetry as to let their stringent decency standards fall by the wayside. There's no turning back once the board develops what the industry deems a slutty reputation, and you start finding the kinds of unseemly graffiti defacing their venerated ratings cards as the one we've mocked up for you above.