ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture


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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to His little ones (which includes at-home teens) through you, their parents and grandparents, in His name by His Word

(2003), PG-13
Analysis Date: March 28, 2003
CAP Score: 54
CAP Influence Density: 0.84

MinMax: -100

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ALERT: To fully understand this report you should first visit the topics suggested by the CAP Site Map (Table of Contents). Further, if you do not want the plot, ending, or "secrets" of a movie spoiled for you, skip the Summary/Commentary. In any case, be sure to visit the Findings/Scoring section -- it is completely objective to His Word and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.

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If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary likely using a mix of KJV and NIV.

(2003), PG-13 -- a "lite" R-13.

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Core Prods. Inc.
Distribution (US): Paramount Pictures
Director(s): Jon Amiel
Producer(s): Sean Bailey, David Foster, David B. Householter, David B. Householter, Cooper Layne
Written by/Screenplay: Cooper Layne, John Rogers
Cinematography/Camera: John Lindley
Music: Christopher Young
Film Editing: Terry Rawlings
Casting: Deborah Aquila, Lynne Carrow, Mary Tricia Wood
Production Design: Philip Harrison
Art Direction: Andrew Neskoromny, Sandi Tanaka
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6, Granbury, Texas

The Earth's molten iron core has stopped spinning. The electromagnetic field set up by the Earth's rotating molten iron core has collapsed. Weird things begin to happen. The first of the weird things is thirty Boston residents inexplicably die. The common thread between them all is that they each wore a pacemaker.

Enters electromagnetic expert Dr..Joshua Keys (Aaron Eckhart). Bewildered but with a possible focus, Josh directs his team of Ph. D. wannabes to investigate any and all electromagnetic disturbances over the world. While this is going on, the pigeons in Trafalgar Square go nuts, slamming into everything, breaking windows, causing traffic disasters. The Colosseum in Rome also explodes. The guy cables of the Golden Gate Bridge in California melt and the bridge collapses. Electrical storms wreak havoc.

Even a space shuttle is led off the proper approach beacon by electromagnetic disturbances. the shuttle is now a projectile on its way to the heart of Los Angeles. But the shuttle pilot, Major Rebecca (Beck) Childs (Hilary Swank) manages to convince the flight commander, Col. Robert Iverson (Bruce Greenwood) to take her innovative suggestion on saving the Space Shuttle and Los Angeles from disaster. And it works. She lands the shuttle in the storm drain canals of Los Angeles.

Interesting is the application of the theory behind the movie to physics. Let's see if my year of college physics will serve. Heat, light, radio waves, non-particulate nuclear radiation (e.g., gamma radiation) are all forms of electromagnetic radiation. X-radiation, Cosmic radiation and electrical charges are also forms of electromagnetic radiation. So far, so good. And electrical charges flowing in a conductor set up an electromagnetic radiation field about the conductor. And a conductor of electricity, iron for example, moving in a magnetic field sets up an electrical flow in the conductor. But the mass of molten iron moving inside the Earth's magnetic field setting up an electromagnetic field about the core? Sounds feasible. Also sounding feasible is the core's electromagnetic field contributing to the total Earth's electromagnetism. Well done, writers.

Pacemakers are indeed adversely affected by electromagnetic radiation in the microwave band. Birds are expected to use electromagnetic fields for direction. And a long conductor of electricity can certainly heat up and melt if enough electricity flows through it. And electrical storms, being generated by friction between clouds and the Earth, can be, I suppose, aggravated by disruption of the Earth's electromagnetic field.

For whatever reason, it is clear that rotation of the Earth's molten iron core must be restarted. Magna-brains decide the only way to do that is to go down to the core and set off a nuclear explosion in the molten iron shell. I'll not attempt to examine the physics of an explosion in a three dimensional shell of fluid will start it rotating. Nonetheless, this story, exciting at times, depends on us accepting that the Earth's molten iron core rotates and generates a vital electromagnetic field around the Earth and that the stationary core must be restarted.

Dr. Joshua Keys is the lead. He meets with a panel of experts to discuss how it is to be done. One of the experts is Dr. Conrad Zimsky (Stanley Tucci) who is aware of a special project an embittered cohort of his has been working on for twenty years. Dr. Edward Brazleton (Delroy Lindo) has developed a super boring machine prototype that promises to be the vehicle needed to deliver nuclear bombs to the core. But it is year a prototype. Demonstrations of its capabilities convince the military to spend megabucks to get it operational in three months. Dr. Brazleton reels in astonishment at the idea of reducing years of further work into thee months and claims it would take millions of dollars to do it. The General (Terry O'Quinn) then says to Dr. Brazleton "Would you take a check?" The prototype becomes an operational vehicle named Virgil to carry the core team to its mission.

The core team: Dr. Joshua Keys (lead); Dr. Zimsky, Dr. Brazelton; Maj. Childs (pilot); Col. Iverson; Sergei Leveque (Tchéky Karyo); Dr. Ziminsky. The teams embarks on their mission and the journey begins.

Some innovative cgi displays and ingenious concepts are presented in this science fiction thriller. And thriller it is. But as with all PG-13 movies, there are some matters that may be of concern for mom/dad, matters not typically revealed by trailers, advertisements nor the MPAA.

The Core earned a CAP final score of 54, placing it directly at the topmost score for the range of scores earned by R-rated movies (54 and below out of 100). This places The Core one point under the scoring range earned by PG-13 movies (55 to 67 out of 100), making it a "lite" R-13, mainly due to violence and language. There was no nudity or sexual intercourse typical of PG-13 movies noted. The only nudity noted was in a trailer for X-Men 2.

The script presents 24 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary [Prov. 22:11] plus one use of the most foul of the foul words [Col. 3:8]. God's name in vain is used 12 times but none with the four letter expletive [Deut. 5:11]. Sexual assaults on morality are limited to sexual suggestions, sexual humor, crude comments and talk [Eph. 5:4]. Drinking and smoking are observed repeatedly [**]. But the main loss of points was due to violence [Phil. 4:8]. Please refer to the listing in the Findings/Scoring section, the heart of the CAP analysis model, before you decide whether this film is fit for your children. It is the best tool available for you to make an informed decision on your own whether this film is appropriate.


If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ]. 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.

  • Prov. 22:11 He who loves a pure heart and whose speech is gracious will have the king for his friend.
  • Col. 3:8 But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.
  • Deut. 5:11 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain [shav' {shawv}: emptiness, nothingness, vanity]: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. [With or without the four letter expletive, the use of God's name in any way other than respect, reverence or thoughtful discussion is in vain. That includes the popular three syllable sentence with His name trailing it.]
  • Eph. 5:4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.
    ** A recent study revealed that adolescent exposure to drinking and smoking in entertainment leads to an undeniable increase in alcohol and tobacco abuse. 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? Whether the movie is rated R or not, the focus is adolescent exposure to drinking and smoking in entertainment.
  • Phil. 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

    ***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about [e.g., create progressively vile/offensive entertainment with impunity and no consequences to younger and younger audiences every year] when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to defend it, embrace it, pay for it, enjoy it, want it]. [I call attention to Ps. 12:8 to warn of the creeping desensitizing power of "entertainment."]
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.
  • Jude 4 For certain men* whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change [warp, distort, falsely represent] the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto [or for] one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto [or for] me.
  • Luke 17:2 It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. [cause by teaching or example]
  • Ps. 119:133 Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • 1 Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.


    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 Core (2003) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
  • mayhem with injuries and deaths, repeatedly
  • room full of dead bodies (covered)
  • long action peril and violence sequences, repeatedly
  • death by incineration in lava, repeatedly (some unseen)
  • crushing death and crushing injury
  • mass destruction

    Impudence/Hate (I)
  • 24 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • one use of the most foul of the foul words
  • lies
  • adult tantrum
  • assault
  • punk dress

    Sex/Homosexuality (S)
  • sexual suggestion
  • camera angle to force viewer on private parts
  • sexual humor
  • sexual comment
  • homosexual touch

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • smoking, repeatedly
  • drinking, repeatedly
  • drunkenness

    Offense to God (O)
  • 12 uses of God's name in vain without the four letter expletive

    Murder/Suicide (M)
  • none noted (sacrificial deaths were incorporated into Wanton Violence/ Crime)

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    NOTE: While the Summary/Commentary section of these reports is precisely that -- a summary in commentary format which can be and sometimes is subjective, the actual CAP Analysis Model (the Findings/Scoring section) makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse, for manufacture of justification for, or camouflaging of ignominious content or aberrant behavior or imagery with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme/plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure or example of behavior or thought from the sinful display or of the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. We make no attempt to quantify the "artistic" or "entertainment" value of a movie -- whether a movie has any positive value or "entertainment" value is up to mom/dad. The CAP analysis model is the only known set of tools available to parents and grandparents which give *them* the control they need, bypassing the opinion-based assessment of movies by others and defeating the deceit of those who would say anything to convince their parents otherwise. The model is completely objective to His Word. Our investigation standards are founded in the teachings and expectations of Jesus Christ. If a sinful behavior is portrayed, it is called sinful whether Hollywood tries to make it otherwise. That the sinful behavior is "justified" by some manufactured conditions does not soften nor erase the price of sin. Whether there is application of fantasy "justification" or "redemption" is up to mom/dad.

    "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.

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