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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to His little ones through you in His name by His Word
(2006), PG-13 ["LIte" R-13*] (2hr 1min)
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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): Columbia Pictures Industries, Original Film, Visual Arts Entertainment Inc., Stanhaven Productions Inc., Relativity Media
Distribution (US): Sony Pictures Entertainment, Columbia Pictures
Director(s): Phil Joanou
Producer(s): Amanda Cohen, Ryan Kavanaugh, Neal H. Moritz, Michael I. Rachmil, Lynwood Spinks, Lee Stanley, Shane Stanley
Written by: Jeff Maguire, Lack Flanders
Cinematography/Camera: Jeff Cutter
Music: Trevor Rabin
Film Editing: Joel Negron
Casting: Sarah Finn, Randi Hiller, Randi Lynne
Production Design: Floyd Albee
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6
Gridiron Gang is a R-13 mainly because of the saturation of it with profanity. Granted, inmates in a juvie jail are not likely to be observant of clean language but the "justification" for the language is immaterial to the CAP analysis model. There are at least 105 uses of some form of profanity in the 121 minutes of film. With the CAP analysis model we tell you what is there. In the objective sense, who cares whether there be some trumped up "justification" for all the sin of profane language?
Sean Porter (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson) of the Camp Kilpatrick juvie jail mothers a group of teen boys convicted of one crime or another into accepting teamwork and trust by drilling football into them. After convincing the administration that playing football will build positive character and togetherness in the boys which would in turn reduce the 75% return rate, Porter, an ex-high school football hero himself, had his work cut out for him. On most football teams the boys want to be there. In this one, most did not. And most public schools were not receptive of a gang of criminal kids playing football with their students.
I am sorry but since it has been two weeks since I watched Gridiron Gang I cannot remember the details well enough to give you any significant degree of a plot/story summary in commentary format. Fortunately, the heart of this service - the Findings/Scoring section - does not rely on my memory but instead relies on detailed logs of observations.
But I do remember that Gridiron Gang had a few good things to say but shrouded them with and/or embedded them within not-so-good things to say. Granted, witnessing poor behaviors which end with redemption and consequences is often thought to be a good teaching tool. But too often using demonstrations of bad behaviors as a contrast teaching tool to teach children not how to behave may instead teach them how not to behave. Put another way, demonstrating aberrant behavior or thought to children to teach them how to behave properly may teach them how to misbehave. And this film is loaded with using bad behaviors to lead into redemption. We must remember a noble destination does not excuse an ignoble path. Many folks incarcerated, for example, for murder find Salvation through Jesus Christ but it does not bring back their victims. The old Freudian quip "We all make mistakes" is sometimes comforting but it does not excuse poor choices. A poor choice is not a mistake.
Speaking of murder, one of the things I remember in detail in this film is of a teen son murdering his abusive father by gunfire. What an example to portray! Maybe it happened or happens, but that it happened or happens does not excuse creating or perpetuating such a behavior template by engineering such powerful emotions as "satisfaction" by murder in and as entertainment. Such material is the perfect example of Hollywood's apparent concept of teen coping skills! The perfect example of using aberrant behavior or thought to teach how to misbehave. An expression of life in prison is "If you are not a criminal before you go in, you will be when you get out." In the case of Gridiron Gang , think of the big screen as the prison and your viewing teen as the incarcerated. At 13 years old. And younger. Remember, some filmmakers are experts at manufacturing emotions. By the truckload. That is what they do. [Ps. 12:8] Though movies are not real, a bad influence does not have to be real to influence badly.
Most of our life skills are learned by example. This one is a bad one. And that is sad. Gridiron Gang has some good things to say, particularly about the courage of some of the boys to overcome their bitterness and apprehension and taking the automatic conflict posture.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
The Wanton Violence/Crime investigation area (W) found the majority of the violence in Gridiron Gang is or is about street crime and killing. [Prov. 3:31, Rom. 12:18] Some individualized football violence adds a little to the violence envelope.
This investigation area found the use of the three/four letter word vocabulary at an average of nearly once per minute in this 121-minute film. And throughout the film are examples of arrogance against rightful, caring authority and consequences. [Heb. 13:17, Isa. 13:11, Prov. 8:13]
Sexual Immorality (S)
This R-13 film is "PG" in sexual content with no more than some crude humor, anatomical reference and some rather exhibitionistic cheer moves. [1John 2:16, 1 John 2:26]
Though I find it hard to believe, nothing of the illegal drug, tobacco, alcohol or abuse of prescription drugs nature was noted. I must have missed something.
Offense to God (O)
Adults speak God's name in vain with the four letter expletive while a teen speaks his name in vain without it. [Deut. 5:11] Also, in one case a teen calls another "fool." [Matt. 5:22] And there was one incorrect use of the old and worn out attack of "judge not lest ye be judged." See our Judge Not Lest Ye Be Judged publication for more information about how abused and misused is that verse.
There are three murders by teens in this film with one killing by police action. [Prov. 28:17, Rev. 21:8]
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: |
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