Amy Wallace's article on PG-13 marketing strategems ("The Coming PG-13 Juggernaut," Calendar, Oct. 7) was jampacked with questionable assertions and stunningly obvious "insights":
* The potential audience for a PG-13 movie is larger than that for an R? (Simple math, kids.)
* The final rating for a film is of concern to a studio even during pre-production? (This dance has been going on for many years and is frequently embodied in a filmmaker's contract.)
* There's suddenly a "coolness factor" attached to PG-13 releases? (Surely this has been the case at least since "Jurassic Park," four years ago, or even "Batman," four years before that.)
* The PG-13 rating is "the Good Housekeeping seal for parents"? (Not to responsible parents, in the wake of the tasteless sexual innuendo of "Ace Ventura," the scatological crudeness of "The Nutty Professor" or the dark and intense violence of "Spawn," to cite just a few recent examples.)
And to top it all off, these revelations seem to hit the fan after the summer movie season--throughout which my 13-year-old daughter, with plenty of time on her hands, was constantly wailing about the dearth of non-R product. (News flash: Kids go back to school in September, each and every year.)
On the other hand, I guess if this were all so obvious to the marketing geniuses, we wouldn't have such idiocy as the current case of "Starship Troopers." After flooding theaters for months with a slam-bang trailer that earned a "cool!" from awed sub-adolescents all across America--and with that title, a guaranteed turnoff for most self-respecting grown-ups--this film's makers have now inexplicably loosed their creation on the world bearing an R rating!
What were they thinking? Or were they?
HOWARD H. PROUTY
I can only say hooray. I rarely go to R-rated movies. At the moment, out of 10 movies at our local theater, only two are not rated R.
A recent Times guideline detailed an R rating for "graphic violence, nudity, body dismemberment, strong profanity. . . ." Do people really call this entertainment?