For those of you who have been readers of my reviews, you may remember several months ago that I reviewed Dirty Grandpa. I said that I mainly felt worse as I thought more about the movie. My general thoughts about it were it was extremely raunchy without being clever about it at all. This made Dirty Grandpa a disastrous viewing experience. It was so bad that it was the first and the only movie as of writing this, to gain a negative star rating.
I have said to friends that to get a minus star rating, you have to set my alarm bells going to an extent that goes beyond frustration and boredom. A negative star rating is only “earned” when I seriously question why people made the movie in the first place. After leaving Dirty Grandpa I was left morally defeated and felt I bathed myself in tar and filth. Mothers Day left me frustrated at how misguided the movie was, Gods of Egypt was artistically inept. Dirty Grandpa is artistically inept, wildly misguided and morally repugnant all at once.
So when I went to Blockbuster Video to rent a movie and low and behold I see Dirty Grandpa! On the front cover, the title read: “Dirty Grandpa Uncut: Dirtier Edition” featuring seven minutes of footage that was not put on screens. They advertise it like it was a good thing. How I see it, is the people responsible for editing the original footage had a sense of humility. Despite the fact the entire film is vile, those responsible for the editing said: “let’s just not put the most deplorable material in”.
What this uncut version is saying to me is this: ” You thought the sight of Robert De Nero masturbating until he climaxes were raunchy and the gags of child molestation were naughty and a policewoman taking a snapshot of her sweaty vagina was dirty. You have seen nothing yet. Dirty Grandpa is dirtier than ever before. You will laugh louder than ever before.”
Marketing that a movie is uncut is not necessarily a bad thing if the writing is smart enough to engage me in some way. That way I would be actually curious on what was left on the cutting room floor. An example of this is Bad Santa where despite the material was gross-out gags, the writing was smart enough to make most of the gags work. Dirty Grandpa was like watching someone burned alive and marketing it as uncut was like pissing on the ashes.
What I am worried about most of all is how far this mind-numbing entertainment is going to go. I make it a point that when I am watching a movie, I should have a flexible moral compass. I try and be open minded so I can find any redeeming quality in what I see. Even with my bar appropriately lowered it just gets lower still.
This leads to a bigger problem that I have seen and it is a problem that has been discussed for decades. How backward does our thinking have to be until we say “This is wrong” and more importantly when someone does push the envelope do they at least have any self-awareness pushing the envelope for the sake of pushing it is a bad thing. The answer, of course, is subjective and not absolute, but I hope that maybe one day, we as human beings may see something so horrible that we can say “this scene is wrong” but I don’t think we are getting another A Serbian Film anytime soon.
I don’t want our tolerance level for movies will be like the boiling frog trick where if you slowly boil the frog, it won’t jump out and will therefore die. I hope someone tries to quickly boil the frog so it jumps out and lives. This is my analogy for our desensitization to what we see. It is not something that I fear, but it is on the back of my mind from time to time when movies like Dirty Grandpa get made and then advertise the DVD version as uncut and a must-see because of it.