Minor Mystery: Thematic Elements

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So my 7 month pregnant wife and I are getting a rare chance to get out tonight without our one year old and my wife is kindly going along with seeing Batman Begins with me. So I dutifully check the rating and see “(PG-13), for intense action violence, disturbing images and some thematic elements.” I can’t stand it anymore, seeing “thematic elements” and not knowing what the heck they are talking about. So I look it up and find this helpful dictionary of Film Rating Terms. Here is the definition. (Are you ready for enlightenment?)

Thematic Elements: the attitude, tone, and intention of the film

So let’s imagine that I was a film reviewer, say, and I wanted to know when I should note that a film has “thematic elements”. That is, evidently, attitude, tone and intention. Or when a film does not have thematic elements. That is, the film is somehow bereft of attitude, tone and intention. Could you suggest how I can tell the difference? Could you give me a list of films that lack “thematic elements”? And, furthermore, since ratings are intended to steer me away from possibly objectionable material, could you explain just how it would be objectionable for a film to have attitude, tone and intention?

1:30 pm on July 9, 2005
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