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A ministry of the ChildCare Action Project:
Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP Ministry)
A 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Christian Ministry. www.capalert.com/
Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to His little ones through you in His name by His Word
(2006), PG-13 [R-13*] (1hr 31min)
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(While the Scriptural references are certainly not subjective, my commentary may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)
Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Universal Pictures, Shady Acres Entertainment
Distribution (US): Universal Pictures
Director(s): Steve Pink
Producer(s): Michael Bostick, Louis G. Friedman, Brian Lutz, Amanda Morgan Palmer, Mark Perez, Tom Shadyac, Scott Stuber
Story by: Mark Perez
Screenplay: Adam Cooper, Bill Collage, Mark Perez
Cinematography/Camera: Matthew F. Leonetti
Music: David Schommer
Film Editing: Scott Hill
Casting: Joseph Middleton
Production Design: Rusty Smith
Art Direction: Denise Hudson
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6
This is a bad way to welcome our newest members but I again must apologize for the lateness of this analysis report. I viewed the film on August 17 and it is now late August 21. A report four days after opening of the subject movie and after the first weekend a film plays has passed is about as useful as last week's newspaper except to those who wait for a film to come out on video. But, as with the other times reports were late, until we can find 501(c)(3) nonprofit funding for dedicated operation such delays are inevitable.
Next, some ministry background and other information for the benefit of our new members. For the folks who have been part of the CAP family for years, feel free to skip down to "On to the report..." unless you would like a refresher. But I would like to invite our new members to take the time to read through the next few paragraphs. Note also that this report is about twice as long as the typical report due to the added information and references for the convenience of our new members.
It is important for you to know that we tell you as parents, grandparents, pastors, youth leaders and more the unadvertised truth about the content of films; truth the advertisers and promoters cannot or will not tell, truth about the assaults on morality and decency in films. We do this so you might be in a better position to make an informed moral decision on your own whether an unseen film is fit. We focus on telling you of the content that is bad in accordance with God's Word.
While we may, from time to time, mention some of the "good stuff" in a film (which many films present) in this Summary/Commentary section of these reports, the "good stuff" is up to your discovery. Whether the "good stuff" is beneficial for your family/audience is up to you. Besides, if we told you of all the "good stuff" as well as the ignominious content we would spoil the whole film for you. And we give you some Rock-solid comparative scoring tools ("Rock-solid" since our tools are based on the teachings and expectations of Jesus) to hopefully help you make your own objective determination as to the moral fitness of a film.
Except in extreme cases such as Dogma, South Park and 8MM, we make no recommendations whether you should or should not watch a film. We tell you what God's Word has to say about a film's content but whether you watch it or let your kids watch it is up to you. The filmmakers, the theater owners and this ministry are not the moral police for your kids. You are.
The CAP Analysis Model (the Findings/Scoring section) is 100% objective to His Word (see CAP Methodology). If God's Word says a behavior or image is sinful, it is annotated as such. We will not situationally redefine, counterfeit or conditionally apply His Word to suit an agenda, political correctness, social preferences or artistic license. Our opinions about a film are meaningless to the CAP Analysis Model.
The CAP Analysis Model cannot compensate the scoring for context. A film's CAP scoring is 100% dependent on the content of the film. Context does not excuse sin, either the taking pleasure in its display, the demonstration of it or the use of it to "justify" presentation of immoral behavior or imagery. Put another way, a noble destination does not excuse an ignoble path. We learn by example. In what God calls the "evil desires of youth", all too often bad examples become behavioral templates. And yet we feed our youth with those "evil desires" in and as entertainment. [Titus 2:6 - 7, Prov. 22:15, 2Tim. 2:22]
Some feel cinematic behaviors will teach their children about the "real world", thinking children might incorporate the influences of a film properly and wholesomely not realizing the isolationistic and autonomous propensities of the youthful mind which tend to set the child off to him/herself. [Prov. 29:15], the "too much autonomy too soon" syndrome.
Some feel that explaining about the bad behaviors seen in a film will help their children learn good moral standards. All too often, using films to teach children not how to behave ends up teaching them how not to behave. Others think "It's just a movie, it ain't real", not realizing that a bad influence does not have to be real to influence badly.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) agrees with me that because children have such high levels of exposure to entertainment (up to eight hours per day), entertainment media have greater access and time to shape children's minds and attitudes and thus behavioral decision-making than do parents or teachers, replacing them as role models, educators and the primary sources of world information and acceptable behavior. Indeed, outside the family the only entity that more deeply saturates our youth than the entertainment industry is air.
And please read the "BEFORE" You Read On..." link above for more information.
There is so much that has been shared over the 12 years of this ministry that to try to condense any significant portion of it herein would be futile. I have tried to tweak your interest with what I have shared above and thank you for your patience with wading through all the piecemeal information above.
On to the report.
Bartleby Gaines (Justin Long) of Harmon, Ohio has been rejected by every college and university to which he has applied. It is no wonder why, but the fact remains that his parents insist that he is going to go to college.
One day, a dark blotch hit Bartleby's brain ... start his own college and base it on accepting anyone who applies. That is the beginning of South Harmon Institute of Technology from the remains of an abandoned psychiatric institution. Never mind that South Harmon is built on fraud and lies [Prov. 20:17]. Together with his pal Sherman Schrader (Jonah Hill) and fellow rejection sufferers, Rory (Maria Thayer), Glen (Adam Herschman) and Hands (Columbus Short) and the help of Sherman's Uncle Ben (Lewis Black) the nefarious crew spruce up the surface of the old psychiatric institute and make it look like a college.
Also with the help of a website Sherman built, hundreds of kids who were each rejected from college appeared at the hallowed halls to begin their "open campus" curriculum. "Open campus?" That is one where the students decide which classes to take and decide on the content of each course.
I am not going to spend any more time discussing the story. Now to summarizing the content.
Often, such as with Accepted , the truth about the unadvertised content of a film is morally ugly. Know that in this report we will be telling you of the assaults on morality and decency in the film as politely and factual as possible. But sometimes even telling the truth politely sounds almost as vulgar as it is in the film. If you do not like to even read about the moral filth in film being fed to your children, feel free to leave this report.
If you expect this, yet another R-13 film to splatter you with ignominy such as foul language, drinking and sexually immoral behavior/talk by teens in PG-13 movies, Accepted will fulfill your expectations ... in spades.
Two of the six CAP investigation areas -- Impudence/Hate (I) and Sexual Immorality (S) -- found enough examples of assault on morality and decency to each earn the worst possible area score, zero out of 100. These and lesser point losses in three of the four other CAP investigation areas gave this film a final score of 41 out of 100. That final score places it squarely into the R-13 realm. Well!? Since all R-rated films in the comparative baseline database of films earned scores of 54 and below out of 100 and the PG-13 Accepted earned 41, I would say that certainly qualifies it as R-13. Quite an example it is, or rather behavioral template, for our youth. [1 Cor. 15:33] What the adult group that made this film encourages by example is not good. [Matt. 25:40]
Accepted. A cussfest. If you let your little ones (which includes at-home teens) watch this film they will hear 89.7 examples per hour of foul language including one use of the most foul of the foul words. And, if you let them watch it, they will see and/or hear at least 34.9 examples of sexually immoral behavior and/or talk. That is if you let them watch Accepted. Remember. There are no laws that say you must, but there are plenty of Laws that say you shouldn't. Luke 17:2 is only one. Matthew 25:40 is but one more. Maybe knowing that each of our youth has an angel who reports directly to God might help put the issue into perspective. [Matt. 18:10]
The Wanton Violence/Crime (W) investigation area did not find much in the way of violence but there was enough criminal activity such as breaking and entering and fraud to cause loss of more than one quarter of the starting 100 points in Wanton Violence/Crime.
The Impudence/Hate (I) investigation area found enough material to cause loss of all of the starting 100 points in this area. This was due mainly to the thick use of the three/four letter word vocabulary. As noted above, Accepted is a "cussfest." In addition to foul language, the Impudence/Hate investigation area found deceit and lying throughout the film plus a couple other issues of impudence. Impudence is arrogance, a proud look [Prov. 6:17 - 19]. The NIV Bible calls it haughty eyes. Strange as it may seem, while "a proud look/haughty eyes" is the first in the list of seven things our Lord hates, it is the strongest presence in the movies analyzed for the comparative baseline database. All the other matters of assault on morality are spinoffs or daughter products of "a proud look/haughty eyes" -- of the attitude. For more information on this, please visit our ATTITUDE: In Perspective -- Investigation Area Scoring and Trend... report.
If "cussfest" is a one-word term that adequately conveys to you the depth of the verbal depravity of Accepted, "sexfest" should convey the depth of the Sexual Immorality (S) content of this film. Dressing to maximize the female form and/or skin exposure, repeatedly. Vulgar innuendo, repeatedly. Anatomical references, repeatedly. Homosexual/lesbian inferences, mannerisms and comments. Vulgar "art." An offer to strip. Teens making out in underwear. More. The Sexual Immorality investigation area also found enough material to cause the loss of all the starting 100 points in this area. Not so much due to the boldness or extreme nature of any individual examples of sexually immoral behavior/imagery but due to the sheer numbers of "lesser" examples of immorality. See our CAP Rule of 1000 for more information about the relatively new technique of filmmakers using tons of the "lesser" kinds of immorality to get the same effects as using fewer but much more bold examples such as in R-rated films.
The Drugs/Alcohol (D) investigation area found enough programming to cause the loss of about two-thirds of the starting 100 points for Drugs/Alcohol. Teens in possession of controlled substances, repeatedly Teen drinking, repeatedly. Teen drunkenness. Yes it's just a movie but a study by the American College of Physicians (ACP) has found an undeniable link between the presentation of alcoholic beverages and tobacco in and as entertainment and abuse of them and arrogance/defiance with them by adolescents. And teaching/causing youth to abuse alcohol/tobacco (or drugs) by emboldening youth with them in and as entertainment invokes Luke 17:2. If alcoholic beverages in entertainment were not a problem for our young, why is there and why has there been such a push to get and keep booze commercials off prime time broadcast TV? Even the University of Connecticut corroborates the ACP finding. [Eph. 5:18]
The Offense to God (O) investigation area found a number of uses of God's name in vain both with and without the four letter expletive [Deut. 5:11] plus a couple other matters worthy of your attention.
The Murder/Suicide (M) investigation area found nothing.
Please consider inspecting closely the listing of direct observations provided in the Findings/Scoring section before you decide whether this film is fit for your "little ones" (which includes at-home teens) OR for yourself.
To all our new members and visitors, thank you for your trust in this ministry.
If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ] or bold. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.
***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
Sexual Immorality (S)
Offense to God (O)
Christian Educators Association International
|There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our more than eight years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.|
|In the name of Jesus: |
Thank you for visiting us and may God bless you. Prayerfully, we will provide you with some of the most revealing commentary and investigative reporting you have ever read.
Lord, Master, Teacher, Savior, God.
ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture
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