Media Effects

Positive and Negative Effects

Positive Media Effects:

  • Social Media – youy get to hear about news stories that we wouldn’t normally be able to hear about. Whether this was not reported on to shape our opinions.
  • Building peoples awareness about world issues that we can change.
  • Health issues

Negative Media Effects:

  • Fake news
  • social networking bringing out peoples insecurities.
  • Online grooming and stalking.

How Has Regulation Changed?

“The principles and practice of cersorship have continued to vary with the social, political and the cultural conduct of the time”

Accessibility and Technology


  • We are desensitised in film and games because we know they are not real, however if they were occuring in real life we would still end up being shocked.
  • I think a massive part to play is the camera work. In games and film we are constantly viewing in a third person. In Harry Brown we are handed an assult in first person on a woman and it was far more impacting becuase of this camera shot. GTA on the next generation of consoles and PC was handed a first person view, but this still didnt impact me becuase I still knew I was in a game.
  • Catharsis – A Films emotional release

What Is Morally/Culturally/Socially Acceptable

Censhorship Debate

  • A rising tide of violence in the UK – They say that the BBFC should censor films harsher.
  • MP’s should be allowed to chose who are the sensors, and also that the government can overhaul any decision that the board takes.
  • The people of bad background will do bad things when watching the films, reffering towards the lower class background. Similar opinion towards James Ferman.
  • When this argument comes along about the lower class we never hear from the lower class, the higher class people speak for them and change their opinions.
  • Are MP’s in touch with the public opinion? Many would say no
  • People higher up are needing to use examples of suggested violence from films from stories in America, not the UK. This is from a country that has weapons as legal.

Are Films or Society to Blame? – I believe that society is to blame for all of these instances as its peoples bring ups as children that will most influence them on how they live the rest of their life. If someone has had a horrid upbringing becuase of their enviroment then they most often than not will act the same way as they were treated, wanting to make the world ‘even’ in their eyes.

John Beyer: “The BBFC has become far too lax in what it permits for public exhibition and there has been a gradual shift in what they reguard as acceptable so that what would have been rated 18 a few years ago is now thought to be suitable for a 15.

My Conclusion:

To a certain extent I do believe what Beyer is arguing against. From my recent studies I have become very aware of the controverial 12A rating and how it is being used to certify films more recently than ever before. The most controversial of these being The Dark Knight, the second installment in the Christopher Nolan triligy. This film was said to glamourise violence, but especially knife crime as soon after the release we saw the highest level of knife crime in the UK for decades, and the film is thought to have heavily influenced these actions. However on all occasions it isnt actually the BBFC’s fault, they are being approched by distributors and demanding the 12A rating; such an occurance with the Hunger Games. The BBFC told them what to remove in order to achieve this rating, removing all the violence and them making it applicable for a lower rating. The BBFC are now also in a battle to the emerging dominance of distributors when it comes to censoring as the money available is greatly increased when lowering a rating. I think that now with online viewing and illegal downloads it’s making the parental responsibility irrelevant and now up to viewers of all ages on what they see. This is why we are becoming desensitised.

Discuss and Evaluate

Malcom X – “The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.”


  • Raises awareness of unkowown topics.


  • The media can control what we see and hear about as we can’t be everywhere and see everything, therfore we are so relaint on the media and what we see. This is why social media is beoming such a threat towards the mainstream news, we can hear about new and undiscovered stories, but they are often hidden online and are not focused upon.
  • Not all medias are connected such as our nations, all media in different countries are sharing different stories and thereofore all around the world we are having varied opinions becuase of different covergaes of events.
  • The media is controlled by a small minority and is shown to the majority.
  • It treats the public in a classist manner.

Newspaper Regulation



Article Notes:

  • Amazingly, given the onslaught of digital media that is replacing them, UK newspapers will actually see advertising revenue growth next year (by 1% to £1.42 billion), only the second newspapers annual increase since 2007, according to a report from the Advertising Association and advertising analysts Warc.
  • That’s nice, but 1% is less than GDP growth (which is 3%) — so it’s still fairly feeble. The turnaround is being fueled by digital ad spend. The MailOnline and Guardian are the two biggest digital English language newspapers in the world. But not all of London’s publishers have been as quick to ease their reliance on print and really shift to digital. Some of them are obviously struggling.

1. The Guardian: in fantastic health

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  • The search is currently underway for a new editor in chief of The Guardian, after Alan Rusbridger announced earlier this month he was stepping down after more than 20 years in the role.
  • He presided over some jubilant periods for paper which was once Britain’s 11th most-read newspaper and is now the second biggest English language newspaper site in the world.
  • The Guardian has been a pioneer in online media, having first launched a mobile app way back in 2009 and becoming one of the first publishers to launch a news service on Google Glass. It has a formidable digital studio in which it tests new products on readers.
  • Being a first-mover in digital has paid dividends: Guardian News & Media narrowed its lossesto just over £30 million in the year to the end of March as digital revenues grew by almost a quarter (24%) to £69.5 million. That means the Guardian’s digital revenue is growing faster than the New York Times’ (11% year over year,) although from a much lower base.
  • it is looking to increase revenues via subscriptions in the form of its Membership scheme, where it is asking readers to pay anything between £15 to £60 a month for access to live events and entry into a new Guardian Space venue.
  • Print revenues remained flat year on year at £140 million in the 12 months to the end of March — a strong performance in a market suffering some terminal declines.
  • There is only one negative aspect at The Guardian: It has a massive employee headcount, many of who are overpaid but under-perform. The company can’t get rid of them because of the union, so is buttressing its efforts with younger “casual” contract workers. That situation is slowing down the pace of change at The Guardian, we hear. Nonetheless, everyone wants to work here and no one wants to leave.

2. The Daily Mail: firing on all cylinders

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  • The Daily Mail’s online version MailOnline is far and away the biggest UK newspaper website, attracting a record 193 million worldwide monthly unique users in October, according to ABC.
  • MailOnline is forecast to make £60 million in digital revenues this year. That’s less than The Guardian, but this is being propelled primarily through digital advertising, according to Media Week, (while the majority of The Guardian’s digital revenue is through subscriptions to platforms like its Guardian Soulmates dating service).

6. The Sun: the incredible shrinking audience

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  • The Sun is in a period of transition on many fronts: Publisher News UK (formerly News International) is still reeling (and paying the legal bills) from the News of the World phone hacking scandal that forced the closure of the Sunday tabloid in 2011; daily print sales of The Sun dipped below 2 million for the first time in its modern history in October (according to ABC); and staff and readers are currently adjusting to its recent paid-for digital strategy.
  • You’d think with its penchant for popular celebrity gossip stories, investigative stings and photo-heavy reportage The Sun would have sussed how to create a solid online offering — but it’s still a work in progress.
  • It currently has 225,000 digital subscribers, the majority of which are billed at £7.99 per month, down on the 30 million uniques it was reporting when the site was free to access, according to comScore.
  • However, it insists that the paying subscribers are more loyal, read more content and that by subscribing, the newspaper gets access to more data about its readers to be able to offer advertisers more sophisticated targeting.

1 Page Article – Regulatory Systems in Place in The UK

UK Press Regulation is under review in the UK following on from the Leveson Inquiry. A series of public hearings were held throughout 2011 and 2012, looking at recommendations for a new, independent, body to replace the Press Complaints Commission (PCC).

A new body was set up, called The Press Recognition Panel It is an independent body set up to judge whether press regulators meet the Royal Charter Criteria, as recommended in the findings of the Leveson Inquiry. Also the UK Government has a new law that has not yet been activated. This rule is under Section 40, Crime and Courts Act 2013, which says that non Royal Charter regulated publishers must pay both sides’ costs even if they win libel and privacy cases.

In 2016 UK had 2 new regulatory bodies, Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) and IMPRESS. IMPRESS is the only 1 of the 2 formally backed by Press Recognition Panel.

The lead to IMPRESS, becoming the UK’s 1st state approved press regulator after its application for Royal Charter recognition was granted, in October 2016. That means all members of Impress will now be immune from exemplary damages in libel and privacy cases and from the cost shifting element of the Crime and Courts Act if it ever comes into force.

Media Effects Video and Notes:

  • The media is believed to have been genuinely created to influence people.
  • Its hardly controversial to say that media effects our world and our opinions on it
  • Priming – media messages may allow us to rembember, recall old ideas from our knowledge. For Example: Campaign for a new French Prime Minister may make us question their economy, a childhood memory we have of France or buying French food.
  • Agenda Setting/Gate Keeping – the media control what we see and theretofore control what we think about
  • Framing – a particular message tied into a story, such as setting it upwho the bad guy is in the story, who has done wrong. Ends up shaping our own opinion of the news depending on who we follow.
  • Cultivation – change our attitudes of behavior. Thinking we are heroes by watching police programs or having lots of sales on in stores, making us want to but items.
  • In today’s world its impossible to avoid media persuasion, but understanding the different types can keep us having our own opinions over the matter.
  • Image result for media influence

Hugh Grant Interview and Notes:

  • Hugh Grant calls himself and other celebrities “Victims” towards the new freedom of press in the UK.
  • Those who understand the limits of the press don’t understand the consequences of breaching these limits. Are there even any?
  • Grant compares it towards football “If you’re a premier league footballer and you breach your contract then you are chucked out of the league; with newspapers there is no league, nothing really happens”.
  • It’s believed by many that you either have no regulation or have the Government control the newspapers, and we already abolished that idea. There are only two extremes and there is no in between.
  • PCC (Press Complaints Commission) – was a voluntary regulatory body for British printed newspapers and magazines, consisting of representatives of the major publishers. The PCC closed on Monday 8 September 2014, and was replaced by the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO), chaired by Sir Alan Moses.
  • “In an ideal world of course the press should be self regulating”.

The 12A Certificate

Pros and Cons Towards The 12A Certificate

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Pros towards the 12A:

  • Allows more viewings for a wider audience. This produeces more viewings and this therefore produes more money for the creators of the film.
  • Creates more interest towards the film, a talking point for a greater audience.
  • The BBFC have an INSIGHT section that allows parents to see what the film contains.

Cons towards the 12A:

  • When distributors make the cut for cinema release, you are ending up with a diluted experience, a worse film. This is when the cinema viewing should be the greater and more enjoyable. Yet the home release Extended cuts are handed the copy of the better film.
  • Is the 12A ruining the cinema industry? Is there a point in viewing it when you know that you could wait, save your money and end up watching a better film?
  • Distributors have the power over the film that we see, not the original creators. If the creators submitted the films would we end up with a better cinema viewing.
  • Can still contain scenes that are actually inapropiate for some children under 12. The rating guidelines are too lenient and not specific enough on who it’s suitable for.

Who Is The 12A Certificate Benefiting?

Featuring quotes from Mark Kermode:

I think that the 12A certificate is benefiting distributors more than anyone else. “Taken 2 made a staggering amount of money when it was trimmed down towards a 12A by the distributors”. “Then when it came out on DVD andImage result for media moneyBlu-ray, Then you could see the harder version” that was more reminiscent of Taken 1. “They are going to release on 12A knowing that everyone is pretty much going to be disappointed by it, then put the harder, extended 15 cut on home release”. “This is the future of regulation and classification in the UK”. “The sensors are not doing the damage anymore, nowadays it’s the distributors trying to maximize profit in the cinema.

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Do I Agree With Mark Kermode?

Yes, I do agree with Mark Kemode. I think that his knowledge of the media industry is important for us all to hear as it appears some of us are still pointing the finger at the BBFC are their legislation; yet it isn’t down to the censors. It’s the distributors that we need to point the blame at for critically ruining their own film.

  • In 2012, 321 films were given this classification, up a third from 234 the previous year.
  • Jack Reacher prompted the most complaints from the BBFC over its violent, dark and sadistic content which was felt unsuitable for  young children. 26 Complaints.
  • Wolverine also saw many complaints in 2013 as it was also handed a 12A certificate.
  • Survey said that 27% of consumers were unable to justify what the 12A rating actually meant.

Moral Panic

A moral panic is the intensity of feeling expressed in a population about an issue that seems to threaten social order.

Marxism sees the media in society as acting in the interests of the ruling classes by promoting the ideal values that best serve them.

In 1975 when James Ferman made the famous statement about how The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was only suitable for viewing by middle class intellectuals, he revealed a classist regime in the BBFC that directly supported the Marxist Ideology.



His banning of the film shows us how the media can be policed and controlled by the middle and upper classes in order to maintain social equilibrium and prevent the lower classes from being encouraged to behave in deviant ways.

Ferman believed that if uneducated people were to watch the film it might encourage them to commit similar crimes!

The media in conjunction with the bourgeoisie (the middle class) create moral panics in order to perpetuate fear and maintain control over the whole society – Stuart Hall

Moral panics are used to perpetuate fear which enables greater control over the proletariat. Such fear makes us, the public, want more policing of media in society, which Marxists argue would allow everyone greater control over their lives.

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The Joker threatens the middle class in the clip by burning all the money, he makes it clear that he doesn’t want to relate towards the rich by doing this. He could have had all of the money that most would be attracted to. He shows that money isn’t he reasoning, he just enjoys causing chaos which is even more frightening and intimidating. The Joker’s business partner is angry that he is burning his half thinking he could have had it, this scares him, he feels like he doesn’t relate towards the Joker anymore.


BBFC Complaints

The Dark Knight – 364 Complaints

The Women In Black – 143 Complaints

Black Swan – 40 Complaints

The Woman In Black

The producers have targeted an audience of young children who want to view more films in the horror genre. The target age would be teenagers; part of this assumption is down towards the USP, Daniel Radclife. He attracts the majority of the Harry Potter audience which imo was fairly young children.

Image result for the woman in black

The 12A Certificate: I think that the BBFC were wrong to grant a 12A rating for The Women In Black. If there was still a 12 certificate I think that this would have been fine. But the fact that children way under 12 can go and see it with their parents is wrong. We don’t know how supportive the parents are and how they would behave with the children after the film; would they talk to them about the issues in the film or would they just leave them be. Would children be encouraged to hang themselves after seeing this film. Therefore I would have given it a 15 certificate as the older audience would understand the circumstances. The violence is suggested, not explicit. And lastly the context of the film, it’s about children finding many ways to commit suicide.

Future Of The BBFC

  • David Cooke “We have an exciting part to play in the film and video industrys digital future”.
  • The BBFC claim that they are adapting towards the demands of the online world.
  • Since 2008 they have been making an attempt to provide a content labeling system for film and video contnent supplied via the interent.
  • As part of the initiative, they created a new ‘Watch an Rate’ system specifically for straight-to-online content where content can be vuluntary submitted by individuals ratings.
  • At least 15 online platforms and e-trailers already use the system and they pay a licensing fee to the BBFC so that all of their content has a BBFC certificate.
  • BBFC Claim that 90% of parents wish to see the BBFC symbol attatched to a film or dvd.
  • The only selling point of the BBFC is their “Peace of mind” for viewers to watch what’s suitable for them.

Media Convergence

The merging together of previously destinct media technologies and media forms resulting in digitzation and computer networking.

An economic strategy in which media properties owned by communications companies employ digitization and computer networking to work togther. Example: Amazon Prime

Image result for media convergence

What are the implications of new technologies and the way we consume films over the internet? The new technologies and streaming of films, tv and video online mean that in most circumstances it’s easier than ever to watch what you want, when you want. With creating fake accounts on sites such as YouTube, you can submit a false age and therefore view content outside of your recommended viewing.

Is regulation still needed given the accessibility of films on the interent? I think that regualtion is still needed for safety of the viewers.

Destination and Media Effects Debates

  • Regulation as a classed base issue – the idea that censorship enables higher classes to control what lower classes view.
  • The Texas Chainsaw Massacre at the British Film Institute at the London Film Festival.
  • James Ferman said that “it’s all right you middle-class cineastes to see this film, but what would happen if a factory worker in Manchester happened to see it?”
  • Only James Ferman was against the TTCM, nobody else. Ferman therefore banned the film but the organisation as a whole decided to release it, against what Ferman thought.
  • Ferman was a feminist, did this impact his opinions on films?

The Dark Knight (2008)

  • Came towards the BBFC with the distributor requesting a 12A rating, even before the BBFC having a viewing.
  • Several high profile figures condemned the BBFC for passing material at a category which allowed young children to see the film. Former Conservative Party leader lain Duncan Smith complained publically. “Astonished that the board could have seen fit to allow anyone under the age of 15 to watch the film”.
  • 450 complaints in total, and The Dark Knight had 42% of the complaints in the whole year amied at it.
  • D.Smith added that “Unlike previous batman films, where the villans where somewhat surreal and commic figures, Heath Ledgers joker is brilliantly acted but very credible phychopathic killer, who extols the use of knifes to kill and disfigure his victims during a reign of terrorism and torture”.
  • The number of fatal stambings in the capital in 2015 reached its highest level in 7 years. In 2008, 23 teenagers died after being stabbed, while in 2012, 2013 and 2014 there were only six victims.

Image result for the dark knight

Were the BBFC too leniant to award a 12A rating towards The Dark Kight? I think that the debate over this certificate is tough and always will be. The joker is the main appeal towards towards the film, not batman who is supposed to be the hero. When leaving the cinema or after watching the film, I feel that the joker and his dialogue is what you will remember most, wanting to re-create him and his querky and almost creepy style. The BBFC have to take into account previous films in the series that were awarded certain certificates, they feel that they should match the previous ratings. The film is based on a comic book and that is another factor to look at, superheroes don’t emerge in reality, if we had a villan like this who would we have to prevent the charcter as the police are portrayed as useless.

Other Notes

CARTHARSIS – Films as an emotional release.

“Horror films don’t create fear, they releade it” – Wes Craven

The Nanny State

Definition: term of British origin that converys a view that government or its policies are over protective or interfering unduly with personal choice. The term “Nanny State” likens government to role that a nanny has in child rearing

There is no doubt that in many films there are cases of ‘Nanny State’, preventing us from viewing certain media due to what there opinion is on the matter, not our personal views.

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Contemporary vs Previous Practices 2nd

Question 1 – How many films were cut or banned between 1970 and 1984: 31 films were cut and banned between these years. Examples:

  • Straw Dogs (1971-2002)
  • Deep Throat (1972 – 2000)
  • A Clockwork Orange (1973-1999)
  • The Dirty Mind of Young Sally (1975-1986)

Question 2 – How many films were cut or banned between 2000 and 2015: 15 films were cut and banned between these years. Examples:

  • Bumfights (2003-Present)
  • The Texas Vibrator Massacre (2008-Present)
  • Lost in The Hood (2010-Present)
  • Hate Crime (2015-Present)

Question 3 – What do my results tell myslef about the nature of contemporary practices at the BBFC compared to past practices: The results say that the BBFC have become more aware towards want we want to view and film and how we will react when viewing it. As a nation we are more up towards viewing new formes or creative art. The horror from years ago isnt frieghtening towards us like they would have been at the time, we have been made unsensetive towards these films which is why the BBFC are there, so there are barriers.

BBFC Legislation:

  • Human Rights Act (1998)
  • Criminal Justice Act (2008)
  • Race Relations Act (1976)
  • Video Recordings Act (1984)
  • Obscene Publications Act (1964)
  • KEYWORD – Indecency
  • The Animal Welfare Act (2006)

Who are they protecting?

  • Children
  • Animals
  • Minority Groups

BBFC Insight:

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) – This episode of Star Wars, being the 7th in the series. BBFC Insight state that the film included the following to get the 12 certificate for home release, and 12A for cinema release.

Image result for star wars the force awakens official movie poster

  • VIOLENCE – There are frequent scenes of moderate violence, including use of blasters and lightsabers, and dogfights between spaceships. Sight of blood and injury detail is limited and brief.
  • THREAT – Occasional scenes of moderate threat include characters being interrogated using ‘the Force’, which it is implied causes them pain, and characters being held at lightsaber-point. There is infrequent use of very mild bad language (‘hell’, ‘damn’).

Focus (2015) – This was a one of film starring Will Smith, a con-man; and Margot Robbie, as a young aspiring con-woman. BBFC Insight state that the film contained the following to receive a 15 rating for home and cinema release.

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  • LANGUAGE – There are over sixty uses of strong language (‘f**k’). There is also moderate and mild bad language, including uses of ‘ass’, ‘asshole’, ‘crap’, ‘dick’, ‘prick’, ‘shit’ and ‘son of a bitch’.
  • VIOLENCE – In one scene a man is shot in the chest with a revolver. Blood is seen to pour from the entry wound.
  • SEX – In a brief sex scene a man thrusts vigorously into the rear of a kneeling woman. Strong verbal sex references include the dialogue lines, “Every time you speak I smell vagina” and “I think we should start with oral”.

Edge Of Tomorrow (Live.Die.Repeat) (2014) – is a sci-fi action drama about an officer who is ordered to lead the front line defense against an advancing alien invasion. The film achieved a 12 on video and a 12A in cinema.

  • VIOLENCE – There is sight of tentacled aliens being shot, hacked or blown up. Occasional streaks of blood are seen on faces, and a man is seen bleeding after being attacked. However, there is no focus on detail of blood or injury. A man’s face is seen briefly starting to melt after an alien attack but he survives without injury.
  • THREAT – There is plenty of moderate threat, as soldiers face alien attacks, but the focus of the film is on the action and on overcoming the threat.
  • LANGUAGE – There is one use of strong language (‘f**k’) and milder terms including ‘bitch’, ‘bastard’ and ‘son of a bitch’. The film also contains mild sex references and comic buttock nudity.

Grand Theft Auto IV (2008) 

  • VIOLENCE – is a central theme of the game, with the featured characters able to carry out missions that invariably involve killing in return for money and other in-game rewards. The characters have access to a variety of weapons, including knives, baseball bats, snooker cues, a variety of handguns and long-barrelled weapons (assault rifles, machine-guns, shotguns and the ubiquitous sniper rifle), explosive charges, pipe bombs and rocket-propelled grenades. The player can also mow down pedestrians whilst driving any of the vast selection of motor vehicles or motor bikes that are available to him or her. There are blood spurts as people are shot and stabbed and pools of blood form on the ground. However, there is never any discernible injury detail and it is not possible to inflict post-mortem injuries, although there is considerable ragdolling as dead bodies are shot. The characters controlled by the player are able to attack and kill any other character in the game, including innocent bystanders.

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  •  LANGUAGE – The Guidelines at ’15’ state that ‘There may be frequent use of strong language (for example, ‘fuck’). The strongest terms (for example, ‘cunt’) may be acceptable if justified by the context’. Although the frequent use of strong language in the game would have been acceptable at ‘15’, the (at least) four uses of very strong language that crop up in some of the cut scenes are better placed at the adult category.
  •  SEX – The game includes some sex scenes. The sex is quite strong, but always masked and the characters concerned are invariably fully clothed (no nudity). In cut scenes the Luis Lopez character is seen to be on the receiving end of oral sex (slumped on a chair with a woman’s head buried in his lap). The same character engages in sexual intercourse on at least two different occasions. For example he stands between a woman’s raised legs and thrusts into her and he also bends a woman over a desk and thrusts into her from the rear. The game also contains strong verbal sex references throughout and there is one scene of full frontal male nudity (without a sexual context).

Taxi Driver (1976) – is a about a Vietnam war veteran who becomes increasingly alienated by the sights he sees whilst driving around the streets of New York City.

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  • SEX – A man makes a verbal reference to shooting his adulterous wife in the vagina, and there are also references to having sex with a child. A character visits an adult cinema and a couple are seen having sex on the screen, but this is relatively discreet, with only a brief sight of buttock nudity and no strong detail.
  • THEME – The main character attempts to form a friendship with a child prostitute. There are detailed verbal and visual references to prostitution, as well as a scene in which she attempts to seduce an adult.
  • There are scenes of strong violence which include: sight of a man being beaten; a prolonged gun fight in which people are shot, and large blood spurts are visible upon impact; a man has a knife stabbed through his hand; and a man’s brains are seen sprayed across a wall after he has been shot. There is a single use of very strong language (‘c**t’), as well as frequent uses of strong language (‘f**k’). There are uses of racist language such as the terms ‘nigger’ and ‘jungle bunny’.