Edited Movies Now Available for General Public

By: Dr. Ted Baehr; ©2001
New partnerships are releasing “edited” “family-friendly” versions of popular Hollywood movies. While this sounds like a wonderful service, Dr. Baehr’s staff warns that these edited versions are often still very unpalatable fare!

EDITED MOVIES NOW AVAILABLE FOR GENERAL PUBLIC FROM SLEAZY DISTRIBUTOR— MEDIA WISDOM REQUIRED

The Dove Foundation has formed a partnership with New Line Cinema to produce family-friendly versions of New Line’s movies. Dick Rolfe, president of the Dove Foundation said, “They’ve taken out all objectionable content. Any nudity, explicit sexual references, all profanity—any profane references to God or Jesus.” Furthermore, he said viewers should not even notice that the negative content has been removed because the edits are usually directed by the movie’s director. Of course, cleaned-up versions of studio movies are nothing new; people see them on television and Airlines featuring in-flight movies. What’s new is that now these edited versions are being offered for sale to the general public. Each will carry the Dove “family edited” seal of approval on its spine and face.

An edited version of The Mask, staring Jim Carrey, was released last year as a test and did remarkably well with virtually no publicity. New releases include The Bachelor, Blast From the Past and Lost in Space.

Regrettably, most of New Line’s movies are not just objectionable because of the se­mantic elements (foul language, sex and violence), but because of their subject matter. In fact, New Line, reviled even by Hollywood insiders, has consistently released and produced anti-Christian, immoral movies over the years, with a few exceptions. For instance, New Line has distributed such movies as the Nightmare on Elm Street series, Pleasantville (a movie preaching strong moral relativism), the Austin Powers movies, the pornographic Boogie Nights, The Cell (about a gruesome, sexually disturbed serial killer), and Little Nicky, the anti-Christian Adam Sandler movie. Of course, New Line also distributed more wholesome movies like last year’s Frequency, and is distributing J.R.R. Tolkein’s Christian classic The Lord of the Rings starting this December.

MOVIEGUIDE® reviewed the edited Mask last year and found it still was not accept­able for family viewing for several reasons. First, it still contains three profanities and nine obscenities. Second, although it has redemptive moments and a positive ending, its plot is powered by one immoral ingredient—lust; and, in the service of lust, even the nicest char­acter lies, cheats and steals. Third, for Christians, it is even more family unfriendly since it involves ontological nominalism, which undermines and opposes the Christian doctrine of ontological realism, and a false Norse god, which gives it a definite pagan worldview.

It would be highly regrettable if parents were confused by this repackaging of some theologically and morally objectionable movies which could undermine the spiritual and cognitive development of their children. The good news is that edited movies are being made available to families. The bad news is that most of New Line’s titles are abhorrent even when edited. Therefore, know before you buy or rent by reading MOVIEGUIDE®’s reviews of these movies.

On a final note, Dr. Ted Baehr, MOVIEGUIDE®’s publisher, notes that, with this devel­opment, it is more important than ever for parents to teach their children to be media wise.

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