The Reel Deal: You, Your Kids and In-Flight Movies
In case you missed it, there was an interesting piece in last Sunday's New York Times business section on in-flight movies. In a nutshell, photographer Jesse Kalisher is fed up with the flicks, contending that more violent scenes are creeping into overhead movie screens on airplanes.
"I wouldn't think twice about this stuff if I weren't a parent," he told the Times. "But I am a parent, responsible for the safety of my kids, and I am not going to sit here and do nothing."
It's good stuff. Now two North Carolina congressman have introduced the Family Friendly Flights Act, which would set aside seats that don't have a view of an overhead screen for families with kids under 13. Kalisher told the Times that on a recent flight on Continental, his 2- and 4-year-olds were watching a violent scene from an edited R-rated movie (a Continental official said it was a mistake to show the film at all).
Note that his complaints don't extend to those portable monitors on seatbacks that more and more airlines are using these days, including JetBlue. But even that can be sort of dicey: The story pointed out that "United 93," about the doomed 9/11 jet that crashed in Pennsylvania, was among the choices that Virgin Atlantic gave its passengers on its personal monitors.
I can see Kalisher's point: Even if you withhold the earphones from your kids, watching a flick is almost unavoidable. I've watched countless movies on airplanes without hearing a lick of dialogue, because I don't feel like paying more money for the headsets or the movie didn't appeal. (Why do we have to pay extra for watching a crappy movie on an overhead screen anyway?) And I'm betting there are plenty of adults who don't care to see anything violent a few feet over their heads as well.
That said, I can't recall actually witnessing blood and gore on an airplane before -- as long as you don't count ugly run-ins among passengers and flight attendants. On my last flight, USA 3000 showed "Waitress," which I watched because I'd kept my earphones from a previous flight (now, now...we were told to keep them). Loved the movie, but it featured scene after scene of someone baking pies; since it was a no-meal flight and I was hungry, the whole thing was sort of cruel.
What do you think of Kalisher's campaign? Good idea or Congress wasting paper again? And how often do you actually watch those movies anyway?
By John Deiner |
October 12, 2007; 6:55 AM ET
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