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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to His little ones through you in His name by His Word
(2005), PG-13 [R-13*]
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(This section may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)
Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Coach Carter, MTV Films, Tollin/Robbins Productions
Distribution (US): Paramount Pictures
Director(s): Thomas Carter
Producer(s): Thomas Carter, David Gale, Nan Morales, Brian Robbins, Caitlin Scanlon, Sharla Sumpter, Van Toffler, Michael Tollin
Written by: Mark Schwahn, John Gatins
Cinematography/Camera: Sharon Meir
Music: Trevor Rabin
Film Editing: Peter Berger, Peter E. Berger
Casting: Sarah Finn, Randi Hiller
Production Design: Carlos Barbosa
Art Direction: Tim Beach
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6
Wow! If this is a true "based on a true story" story, who da man this coach Kenny Ray Carter (played by Samuel L. Jackson), basketball coach of the Richmond, CA Oilers.
In one of the toughest and most bitter areas of one of the hardest towns in the Bay Area of Northern California, sporting goods store owner and basketball great from 30 years ago, Ken Carter, agreed to take on a temporary coaching job at Richmond High for a stipend of $1500. Carter's own history at Richmond earned him the attention of the regular coach.
Believing academics to be in front of sports, Carter took the bull by the horns and required all players by contract to earn at least a 2.3 grade-point average to stay on the team.
Practice started at 3:00 PM. Anyone who arrived at 2:55 was late ... and did suicides and push-ups. Hundreds of them. One street punk team member with authority issues decided to lock horns with Carter, both physical and attitudinal. Losing in both ways, the boy ended up agreeing to do 2500 push-ups to get back on the team. By Friday. That week. He made it. By some outstanding, heart-warming, tear-jerking team sacrifice, he made it. The team paid part of the price for the boy's "sins" against the rules. Much like Jesus paid all the price for our sins.
Carter initiated weekly progress reports from the teachers of all the ball players. After a few weeks the teachers finally took Carter serious. Carter found that several of the guys were not only failing but were not even showing up for class. At that point, the team was 16-0 after Richmond had won only four games in their history of basketball. The 16-0 notwithstanding, Carter chained the gym doors and shut down basketball until the team brought up their grades. And they did. [2Tim. 2:5] But they forfeited by no-show one very key game, tumbling their perfect record for the year. The parents and community were out for Carter's blood more so than the team. But Carter stood his ground.
That is the base for this film: a good message ... with bad behavior. While the team players' academic health was important, the moral health of the actors was endangered. [Luke 17:2] If you are one of the defenders of filth in film who think that kids gotta watch rebellious, arrogant, rough, angry, sin-ridden films to teach them about the real world and how to get by in it; if you are one who believes that children who are "sheltered" from such films are too easy to bully and ridicule, Coach Carter is one is for you. Strangely enough regarding the use of films to teach, demonstrating aberrant behavior to children (which includes at-home teens) in and as entertainment to teach them how not to behave will more likely teach them how to not behave. When you are not around.
By the endangering of the moral health of the actors by demonstrating sin, the moral health of the viewer was endangered. Of the 76 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary in this 123-minute film, 94% of them by teens [Col. 3:8], not a single one of them helped the plot or story of courage and strength built by hard work, dedication and submission to wise authority in any way. Any actor can spew filthfoul and foulfilth. Only a good actor can express intense emotions without them.
And there was no plot/story empowerment in any of the matters of sexual nature such as the sex talk between teens, the requests for sexual favor, the offers of sexual favor, the teens making out on a bed, the teen unwed pregnancy, the teen mother's decision to kill the baby, or the teen father's "Okay. College...yada yada" attitude about it. Read that previous sentence again and see if you can see a pattern, all in the name of entertainment. It sort of reads like a procedure or instructions. Sex talk between teens ... sexual request ... sexual offer .. teens making out ... unwed pregnancy ... abortion ... apathy. As if nothing was done wrong. [Prov. 30:20, Is. 30:1]
Though there was relatively little teen smoking in this teen film, there was teen drinking and drunkenness. And there was teen drug dealing and a drug-related murder. Facts of life, right? Facts of life that may very well be the fault of having such demonstrations in and as entertainment since it has been proven that behaviors in movies influence behaviors in the viewers. I bring this up because a recent study by the American College of Physicians (ACP) revealed that adolescent exposure to drinking and smoking in entertainment leads to an undeniable increase in alcohol and tobacco abuse among underage kids. The finding entitled Relation Between Parental Restrictions on Movies and Adolescent Use of Tobacco and Alcohol reports that of 4544 youths from grades 5 through 8 of fifteen Vermont and New Hampshire middle schools (90% were under fourteen years old) only 16% were completely restricted from viewing R-rated movies. The report further states the prevalence of having tried smoking without parental knowledge was 35% for those with no restrictions on viewing R-rated movies, 12% for those with partial restrictions, and two percent for those with complete restrictions. The prevalence of having tried alcohol without parental knowledge was 46% for those with no restrictions, 16% for those with partial restrictions and four percent for those with complete restrictions. Rather revealing of the influences of the entertainment industry wouldn't you say? The study selected R-rated movies because the study claimed R-rated movies typically present more drinking than movies of other classifications. Whether the movie is rated R or not, the focus is the influence of adolescent exposure to drinking and smoking in and as entertainment. And influencing children to sin with drink in and as entertainment screams of violating Luke 17:2.
The CAP thermometers for this film seem to reveal what Hollywood thinks the PG-13 viewer wants in his/her entertainment diet and what the MPAA thinks is acceptable for your young teens -- heavy in sex-related matters (even if only talk) and arrogance/impudence [Ps. 12:8] plus a pile of abuse of God's name [Deut. 5:11]. While we've known for quite some time that sex draws teens like road kill draws flies, even the anti-drug abuse message composers have found that a message delivered in a rebellious and arrogant "It ain't good enough, no matter what 'it' is" manner will perk more teen ears than straight facts.
I am sorry that this is somewhat choppy and piecemeal. I am lucky to find ten uninterrupted minutes with nine kids, all the doctor trips, the counseling and visitation for foster kids, the training, the maintenance, the dark-thirty feedings and breathing treatments, the ... The only way I will be able to devote fulltime to this service and ministry and give you quality and increased "product" is if my wife can quit her nursing job. And for that to happen I must be able to draw a salary at least equal to her's. Long term. Consistently.
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.
(The heart of the CAP Analysis Model)
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 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: |
Lord, Master, Teacher, Savior, God.
ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture
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