MOTION PICTURE ratings simply don't give enough specific information about what we want to see at the multiplex. The DGA has formed an exploratory committee to create new categories beyond the old G, PG, PG-13, R, and NC-17. In the spirit of participation, I've come up with a few of my own. If approved by the MPAA, my suggested ratings below would be included in all movie previews, TV commercials, and print ads—and be stamped on stars' foreheads during talk show appearances:
BB (Body/Bullet Count): The exact ratio of fatalities to rounds fired. Wesley Snipes' The Art of War would be given a BB rating of 78/410, Get Carter 10/110, and Bambi 1/1.
PH (Pot Head): Intended for viewers looking to experience a movie in an altered state, e.g. visual spectaculars (2001, Koyaanisqatsi, Hollow Man, or IMAX films), rockumentaries, cartoons, and all comedies featuring Cheech Marin.
SS (Sex Scale): Indicates the number of nude scenes. Subcategories enumerate butts (B), breasts (T), and glimpses of penises and/or prosthetic devices (P). Surprisingly, Woman on Top rates a lackluster SS-3 (2B, 1T, 1P); whereas The Devil in Miss Jones delivers with a SS-8 (17B, 84T, 12P).
TFQR (Trailer-to-Feature-Quality-Ratio, 100-point scale): An inverse law—the better the trailer, the worse the film. For example: Batman Returns, 85/12; The Cable Guy, 60/7; Ishtar, 49/3; What Planet Are You From?, 37/0.
BAD: This rarely awarded rating requires the unanimous vote of the entire MPAA membership. Take Duets, for example. Please.
SFPQ (Suspiciously Favorable Pull Quote): A red flag for discerning moviegoers. For example: "Two thumbs up!" is often condensed from "There's no way in hell we'd give this crap two thumbs up!" SFPQ also denotes films reviewed by Rex Reed or anyone from Internet or radio sources.
RC-17 (Reality Check, 17-point scale): Signals how close to reality a particular film is. I'll allow for Winona Ryder dating Richard Gere in Autumn in New York, and even two people switching skin in Face/Off. But Woody Allen hooking up with the women in his movies? Please! An RC-1 signifies that only a one-year-old would believe the story; the scale increases with each maturing age level of incredulity.
SBF (Stupid But Funny): Self-explanatory. Examples: Scary Movie, Farrelly brothers movies, and The Watcher.
AGF (Actor Greed Factor, 10-point scale): Indicates the degree to which actors take roles for the money. Lower AGF ratings—as for Ford and Pfeiffer in What Lies Beneath—denote good acting in mediocre films. Higher AGF ratings are reserved for Marlon Brando cameos.
These suggested ratings will serve as a valuable marketing tool, to help match each movie with its ideal viewer. For example, I'm an R, PH, BB 47/9, SS-10+ (T/B), SBF kind of a guy, which is why I love The Wizard of Oz. But that's just me.