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Imagine letting your children watch movies such as The Matrix or Titanic without them having to see the sex, nudity, violence and language that you had to sit through originally. Now you can say “yes” to your kids when they ask if they can watch what was once a questionable film. Teachers can share great historical films such as Saving Private Ryan or The Patriot in their classroom without kids having to experience the gruesome violence. The squeamish will no longer have to cover their eyes through the gore because there won’t be any. And what about that uncomfortable feeling when a steamy love scene comes on while you’re sitting next to your mother? Obsolete. MovieMask will help to make a positive difference in your family’s life!

…and we can all live a nice bland existence without the remote possibility of offending anyone!

MovieMask is a program that people can download for use on their PC’s to take the place of their regular DVD software. Each supported DVD movie has a corresponding “Mask” file that tells your PC how to interpret and alter the movie during playback. These files are each approximately 1 megabyte in size and must be downloaded of off the MovieMask website in order for the changes to take effect. An edited movie will play much like one that has been edited for television, any harsh language will be overdubbed and violence or nudity will be erased or blocked out.

MovieMask utilizes a rating system that allows each parent to pick and choose what levels of language, violence, and adult themes they want to allow their children to see. MovieMask uses a four-tiered rating system for each category of questionable content, with the levels M8, M12, M16, and M19. At M19, nothing is cut and the original film is intact.

The MovieMask software is available for download for an annual fee of $79.95 and it allows you to view Masked DVD movies and to create your own Mask files. The sole system requirement is a 667 Mhz Pentium III processor.

Although the software is currently available only for Windows, there are ports being worked on for Macintosh and PS2. Due to difficulties with Microsoft an X-Box version will not be available.

While I am in no way against parents having control over what their children watch, the idea of them paying eighty bucks a year to have a company edit their movies for them seems a little asinine. Have people forgotten the tried and true methods of muting the volume, changing the channel, or *gasp* not watching the movies in the first place? Is Saving Private Ryan still the same film once all of the violence has been taken out? What kind of fun is Die Hard (one of the movies already supported) when you’re watching it on M8?

Maybe I’m overreacting, but I saw a demo of this product using The Princess Bride and they had taken Westley’s and Inigo’s swords and replaced them with lightsabers. It just seemed …wrong.


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