If it's crap ... We'll tell you
I realize that 13 year olds, nowadays are too jaded to care much about F-Bombs and Topless Girls. But it seems that movies like Hannah, Source Code, Limitless, Inception, Dark Night, etc are intentionally decafinated to hit a broader demographic. I seems these movies would have more edge and more staying power if they were willing to cross over into more mature subject matter and were less censored.
For example, can you imagine if they tried to make a movie like Fight Club PG-13. It would've been a nuetered version that people would've forgotten about within a year. I understand cinema is a business, but at what point does profit motive destroy artistic integrity? I for one do not like this trend. What do you think?
Snyder figured he needed all the help he could get to sell it to more people. But I'm sure half the guys in American if they were a bit drunk around 10 o' clock at night would be far more likely to see it if they saw it had an R-rating, titties and violence booyah!!!
I don't think that we can deny that PG-13 movies have also gotten more adult (content wise, maybe not maturity wise) over time.
Regarding Source Code, Limitless, Inception, and the Dark Knight, I don't think the level of violence in those films warranted anything higher than a PG-13. PG-13 violence tends to be bloodless, or keeps the blood to a minimum. However, I do see where you are coming from when toning down the violence undermines the quality of a film (Live Free or Die Hard, Alien Vs. Predator).
Personally, I think the whole MPAA rating system is outdated and unfair. The main problem with the current rating system is it really only makes a suggestion for what should be the appropriate age of a movie's audience without saying much about its content, and only the R and NC-17 ratings are enforced. I made another thread a few months ago about what I think would make for a better rating system. Comment would be much appreciated.
Nobody is afraid of the R rating, it's just that the studios think they could maximize their profits if kids could come see a movie without any adult supervision. And kids (for the most part) don't listen to critics and will go see a movie that has a cool trailer/TV spot regardless if it sucks.
I know to a lot of people it might seem crazy as to why Americans are so permissive with violent content in movies, but not sex and language. I have a theory about that, though. I think people have finally realized that violence in art does not influence people to commit violence in real life. By and large, few people commit acts of violence, and the ones that do are typically criminals who would have likely committed a violent act regardless if they saw it in a film. On the other hand, just about everybody has sex and uses profanity. Parents don't want their kids having sex because they think they won't do it responsibly, resulting in an unwanted pregnancy or STD infection. And profanity is frowned upon because it tends to refer to things in a sexual or scatological context. Then there's also depictions of drug use in films. It seems that if drug use is depicted in a negative fashion (such as addiction), a film can skirt by with a PG-13 rating. If it glorifies or depicts recreational drug use of any kind (as in a stoner comedy), it gets an R. Again, it's because parents don't want their kids to use drugs, and portraying drug use in a positive light might influence kids into using them.
I will give that to you. Nolan's films, except Memento, don't need the R rated content. I was just using those as examples of exremely violent films. Dark Night for 1, could never have an R rating because it is after all a Batman movie, despite it being a masterpiece. It is however debatable that if the Joker was allowed to perform Truly gruesome, make the audiance's stomach turn type shit, it would've truly put that character in the class of Hannibal Lector of Anton Sigur (No Country). If they showed his murders graphically, I think that film may have been even more profound. But a Batman movie cannot be R, I understand.
Foul language in that film is unneccessary though.