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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to His little ones through you in His name by His Word
(2007), PG-13 [HARDCORE R-13*] (1hr 44min)
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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): Warner Bros. Pictures, ImageMovers, Paramount Pictures, Shangri-La Entertainment
Distribution (US): Paramount Pictures
Director(s): Robert Zemeckis
Producer(s): Roger Avary, Steve Bing, Steven J. Boyd, Neil Gaiman, Buzz Hays, Josh McLaglen, Jack Rapke, Roger Roberts, Martin Shafer, Steve Starkey, Peter M. Tobyansen, Robert Zemeckis
Screenplay: Neil Gaiman, Roger Avary
Cinematography/Camera: Robert Presley
Music: Alan Silvestri
Film Editing: Jeremiah O'Driscoll
Casting: Ronna Kress
Production Design: Doug Chiang
Art Direction: Greg Papalia
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6
I sorely wish I could have gotten this report to you before the first showing. You'll see why within. Note before you continue that though I have tried to be as polite as possible this report may be somewhat vulgar. It speaks to the vulgarity of the film and in some ways cannot avoid the unpleasantness of the subject.
In your contemplation of whether to watch this 100% CGI game-to-screen film, remember that a bad influence does not have to be real to influence badly: that the "non-reality" of CGI as opposed to live actors and actresses does not excuse the content. Only six uses of profanity and no intercourse does not make a PG-13 of a R.
Beowulf is a HARDCORE R-13 (See R-13 for more information). It earned a final score of seven out of 100. Of the 181 PG-13 films we have analyzed so far, only one earned a score lower than Beowulf. That film earned a final score of six out of 100.
With a final score of seven out of 100, there is no fact or extrapolation of fact, no rationalization, no wishing that can make the content of this film anything but equivalent to R-rated programming. It might even be equivalent to NC-17 but I cannot tell you that since we have not analyzed and will not analyze any NC-17 (or X) films. Even the game is rated M due to "Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Partial Nudity, Sexual Themes." In the film there is nothing "partial" about the nudity.
Nudity is rampant. Full nudity. Male. Female. Frontal. Side. Rear. All angles. Though the male-specific anatomy is always kept in the shadows or behind some convenience object such as someone's head, all other tissues and anatomy associated with it are seen in amazing anatomical detail.
I will not argue the nudity in this film. That the filmmakers used what looked like metallic plating over portions of the nude witch does not excuse the nudity. The viewer can tell only her pubic hair is missing. Does the gold plating on jewelry change its form or features? And that the nudity is in CGI does nothing to lessen its influence because of the graphic attention to detail used. It is grasping for the MPAA to approve this film for younger audiences just because the nudity is CGI animation rather than live actors and actresses. If that were justifiable reasoning I guess photographs of nudity would have to be approved for yournger audiences since a photogprah is no more than a piece of paper with chemicals on it. And what about live character nudity onscoreen? It is no more than visible light photons modulated by a film strip of chemicals.
Beowulf the movie, based on the epic poem of the same name, is quite probably the most heinous culprit for stealing childhood from children ever made. It does seem rather reaching to say the parent poem (text) presents nudity. I have read lots of poems but never have I seen nudity in a poem. Even the nudity in some Bibles was not there when the inspired pen was put to paper; man put nudity in the Bible, not God. That some church approved nakedness in the Bible does not make it acceptable to God. Indeed God speaks darkly and shamefully of nakedness (the display of nudity) more than 40 times from the Old Testament to the New Testament. His Word even advised preists not to build an altar with steps lest the wind expose their nakedness to the people below [Ex. 20:26].
I am not going to spend any time trying to write a summary of the story or plot of this film. The individual investigation area discussions below and the itemized listings in the Findings/Scoring section say enough. To present anything about the story/plot might generate interest in it. And I wish I had not seen this film. In as much as I can control it, as long as I breathe it will not appear on any screen in our home.
Dr. Karen Nelson, psychology department head of a top ten university and Dr. Larry Gilliam, a practicing mental health counselor with three doctorate degrees each agree with me that it would be unusual for even a 16 year old child to be able to fully separate fantasy from reality or to be able to fully anticipate the consequences of his/her actions. By no fault of their own young teens typically do not yet possess such experiential maturity. Such skills do not typically platuea until the early 20s which is why teens are not typically permitted to hold a job of high liability, risk or consequence. Yet we feed teens (and younger) with stuff like Beowulf. [Ps. 12:8]
And the making of a film from the Beowulf poem makes me wonder whether the opportunity for all the nudity is why it was selected rather than one of the many other really fine literary works.
I will, however, offer a little subjective bandage for the scoring wounds delivered by the content of this film. Beowulf presents some of the most dazzling detailed CGI artistry by standard-setting artists I have ever seen (over 1200 films so far). Even the flames and flying ash in the mead hall fireplace were nearly as realistic as photography. But why must such great talent and genius be wasted on such content as in Beowulf? Art is not sin and sin is not art. But art becomes sin when art uses sin.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
"Intense violence" is an understatement. There is much fantasy and demon gore freckled throughout the entire film. Cruelty and brutality are the norm of one of the "Christian" characters who beats a young boy. Grendel (Crispin Glover), the grotesque demon son of King Hrothgar (Anthony Hopkins) and the witch (Angelina Jolie), slings bodies around and slams them against walls as the bodies disintegrate. Some bodies are ripped apart.
In Proverbs the Lord advises us to not let violent ones lead us down an ignoble path. [Prov. 16:29] The American Medical Association and other professional health agencies call it a "causal connection between media violence and aggressive behavior." God calls it evil communications corrupting good behavior. [1 Cor. 15:33] Any way you slice it, such violence in and as entertainment can and does embolden the viewer, especially the younger viewer, to take unwise chances, to be more aggressive, to act out more boldly and quickly with less and less restraint, etc.
While the film presents only six uses of profanity, [Col. 3:8] there is enough content such as using a woman as an exchange medium, promising vengeance and lies to strip away more than 70% of the starting 100 points in this investigation area. By the way, with an investigation area score of 29 out of 100, the content found by the Impudence/Hate investigation area made this the highest scorer of the six investigation areas. [Isa. 13:11]
Sexual Immorality (S)
Zero out of 100. Like three other investigation areas, Sexual Immorality found enough content to earn a score of zero out of 100. R-rated films earn scores of 54 and below. The Sexual Immorality content earned zero. The film is rampant with nudity. [**] Lots of nudity. Male. Female. Frontal. Side. Rear. There is no doubt watching this film will incite sexual thoughts and feelings -- lust of the eyes -- in your 13 year old kids. [Matt. 5:28, 1 John 2:16, 1 John 2:26, 1Ths. 4:1-5, Col. 3:5 and a lot more] In addition, there are offers of sex, requests for sex, a child girl knowing the sleeping habits of an adult man, admission of adulterous sex with a child, an offer of sex with an adult male by a child girl, more. [Luke 17:2]
Drunken revelry and drinking abound nearly as much as the nudity. And that is another serious danger as revealed by the American College of Physicians.
The American College of Physicians (ACP) has found that exposure to booze and drinking in and as entertainment emboldens the viewer, in particular the middle school age stratum, the PG and PG-13 age stratum, to challenge and experiment with alcohol. [Eph. 5:18, 1 Cor. 6:19]
Though the ACP study used R-rated films since it was believed R-rated films contained the most drinking, the focus is on the influence of exposure to alcohol in and as entertainment regardless of the film rating. Besides, the ACP researchers were not aware of R-13 which defeats the assumption that R-rated films present the most drinking and drunkenness. A finding by Harvard University agreed with our R-13 finding, four years after our finding. As a sidebar note, consider this, too. The MPAA is apparently going to consider all films with smoking in them as R-rated, clearly announcing without trying that smoking in and as entertainment is indeed a negative influence. If so, why not make R-rated any films which present booze and/or drinking and/or drunkenness? We incorporated smoking into a film's scoring distribution long before the MPAA. Even other film rating websites have plagiarized our methodology. Might that imply others are following our lead? That we are doing something right?
Within the ACP study population of 4544 middle school students (90% were under fourteen years old), the prevalence of having tried alcohol without parental knowledge was
Rather revealing of the influences of the entertainment industry wouldn't you say? And emboldening children to sin with drink in and as entertainment screams of violating Luke 17:2.
I can add to the ACP study that reveals films which present drinking and drunkenness contribute to underage alcohol abuse. I submit that it is not so much the presence of alcohol in films or the rating of the film(s) that embolden youth to abuse it, but is rather the attitude portrayed: the attitude of freedom from authority, freedom from accountability and freedom from consequences. PG-13 and R-rated films, even lesser rated films, are typically heavy with attitude. Our report on this, ATTITUDE: In Perspective -- Investigation Area Scoring and Trend in CAP Entertainment Industry Investigations, Special Report-001 may provide more understanding of the point.
Offense to God (O)
An unholy demon, a witch/dragon, [Eph. 4:27] praising and praying to the false god Odin [Ex. 20:3], faith in false gods [Jer. 13:25] and evil power saturate the film as well. At one point, the king's advisor, I think it was Unferth (John Malkovich), suggested they seek the assistance of the "Christian God, Jesus Christ" which the king dismissed as tripe. Unferth, the only "Christian", was attacked by a flying demon and his family incinerated as a Cross and church were destroyed, the optics suggesting that Christians are useless puppet weaklings and God no more than one among many. My how "entertainment" mocks [Gal. 6:7]. And these are not to mention Beowulf (Ray Winstone) exchanging his soul for power and riches.
In one case Grendel murders one of Beowulf's men by biting off and chewing the man's head. Chewing, crunching and slurping are heard as the demon eats the man's head. Grendel murders another man by crushing the man's head between his hands. All in all, all of Beowulf's men except one, as much as I could tell, are murdered by Grendel.
And there is a suicide. A fine element of content for the middle school age stratum. The king decides to murder himself by jumping off a high wall after passing on the kingdom ... and the curse ... to Beowulf.
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.
**"Nakedness" (display of nudity) is spoken of as dark, restricted, undesirable, shameful, etc. 47 times in the KJV from Genesis to Revelation.
***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)
|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 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: |
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