OK. Here's one I've been thinking about that I thought I would put to you guys.
I have a step-son who is nearly 21. He's my wife's from a previous relationship (my wife and I have since had two daughters of our own). Before my lady and I got married and I was courting her (so to speak) my step son was 11. She had mentioned to me that she rented the DVD of Die Another Day out for him and he LOVED it (heh, wonder if his opinion is different now? I'll have to ask him...)
Anyway he wanted her to rent out all the other movies for him but I told her not to bother - revealed I was huge fan - and already had all the movies on VHS and DVD. I said every time I come over I'll bring one for him.
Started at the beginning with Dr. No and over the course of a few weeks (or maybe months, this is a decade ago so bear with me) we got to The Living Daylights.
Now my lad (who incidentally - is called James!) really, REALLY enjoyed the movies and was running around his house and pretending to be the main man! Didn't get bored during the old Connery ones, LOVED (and I mean LOVED) Roger Moore - but the next one on the agenda was Licence To Kill.
So I took my wife aside and said "Look there may be a problem with the next one". I explained to her that it had a 15 rating, that it was considerably more violent than previous entries. I was concerned about it... but even though he was only 11 I didn't want him to have to miss one out - I wanted him to have the full experience.
I was round a friend's (who was a good few years older than me and had kids of James' age) and I told him of the predicament. He said "Not sure if I remember that one" so I ran home and grabbed it and bought it back. We watched it together.
When the film finished we talked it through and he said "Well, really there's nothing in there that hasn't been in one of these movies before. Sharks, people on fire, bit of blood and guts - the only difference here is that it's a bit more full on. If this was the first one you were going to show him then that would be a NO - but he understands the world of these movies so I think he's probably in a good mental space to watch it".
I then watched it with my missus. She was unsure but like me didn't want to be mean and leave one out. So we agreed to allow him to watch it - but take a specific pre-planned approach. Our approach was to not let him see the DVD cover, and not mention to him at all the violence or the 15 rating and just make out that is was "simply the next one on the list". Just play it down and not make a deal of it.
Luckily it worked. He watched it and the only bit that upset him was where Our Man found Della Leiter dead. Not cause of it's horribleness simply because he figured out that it would have reminded Our Man of when his own wife died.
He didn't really seem to notice that it was more violent than usual. After the film finished I gave him a pat on the back. He was a bit confused and I told him that "Dude, that one caused major problems cause of it's violence and it made some adults feel a bit queasy. But you sat there and didn't let it phase you". His response "Yeah cool Stu, is Brosnan the next one?"
All he cared about was getting to Brosnan's, lol.
Interestingly I noticed that the violence in the story went over his head. He was just interested in the STORY. So afterwards I tentatively showed him The Matrix movies and a few years later when he was 14 I showed him Robocop. With the latter - the UNCUT version with the most gore. The gamble paid off. In the execution scene of Murphy he was a bit like "Ugh, that was gross. Why did they do that to him? What was the point of it?" And I was just like "James... don't you get it? HE'S ROBOCOP!" and James just smiled and went "Ahhh, I get this now".
I know not every kid is like James. I'm showing the Bond films to my daughters who are 5 and 8. And no. I am not showing them Licence To Kill. But having said that, I don't think I'm going to wait until they are 15 when I finally do. Maybe 11, 12 something like that.
Where do you guys stand on issues like this?
Edited by ChickenStu, 14 July 2014 - 07:44 PM.