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


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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
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Here On Earth (2000), (PG-13)
CAP Score: 60
CAP Influence Density: 0.73
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ALERT: To fully understand this report you should first visit the topics suggested by the CAP Table of Contents.

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NOTE: We make no scoring allowances for Hollywood's trumped-up "messages" to excuse, or its manufacturing of justification for aberrant behavior or imagery. This is NOT a movie review service. It is a movie analysis service to parents and grandparents to tell them the truth about movies using the Truth. 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 purely objectuve and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.


*Here On Earth* (PG-13) -- an odd PG-13.

Some really fine family values presentation in this one. Some courage. Some sincerity. And even some respect, even for parents!!! And why it is PG-13 I can't really say. It did receive a CAP Final Score of 60 and the range of CAP scores for PG-13 movies of 1995 and earlier is 55 - 67 (average = 61.5 with a standard deviation of 3.9). But I have a hard time really putting my finger on why it was a PG-13, which is typically a "sanitized" version of R. There were none of the most foul of the foul words. There were three uses of God's name in vain without the four letter expletive but none with it. There was no gore, mutillation, nor killings. The only reasons this movie earned Investigation Area (Thermometer) scores less than PG of 1995 and earlier were sexual material (the scoring envelope was equivalent to R) and the three/four letter word vocabulary (this scoring envelope was also equivalent to R). Though [objectively] the magnitude of the plethora of sexual matters was equivalent to R, the individual sexual matters were [subjectively] "Charlie Brown" in comparison to other PG-13s such as *Titanic* (1997) and *Cider House Rules* (1999). An unmarried heterosexual pair were seen in bed after a night together and were obviously nude but partially covered, implying intercourse. And another time the same pair were seen on a hillside, him on her, clothed. Additional loss of points in Sex/Homosexuality were due to ghosting of female anatomy through clothing, sex talk, and offering of sex to soothe sorrows. All other Investigation Areas revealed scores equivalent to 1995 and earlier PGs and Gs. Oh, well. I cannot manipulate the calculations, so this movie is mathematically equivalent to a PG-13 of 1995 and earlier. Read the listing in the Findings/Scoring section to (as usual and as intended) determine for yourself whether *Here On Earth* is or is not tolerable for yourself and your family.

Kelley (Chris Klein), an elite snob school valedictorian, as snobby as the school and as rich as Richie Rich, is given a Mercedes convertible as an appeasement gift from his father who cannot be at Kelley's graduation because of a financial deal that can double the family fortune. The rule: no driving on campus. So, Kelley and two of his friends steal the key to the impoundment and go for a ride. And what a ride! After rattling the cage of some local boys by showing up in the local town and by trying to snuggle up to a local girl, the action begins. Y'see, the girl, Samantha (Leelee Sobieski) is the girlfriend of one of the rattled cages, Jasper (Josh Hartnett). In two cars, Jasper & company and the Kelley entourage blaze the countryside in devil-may-care, double-dog-dare-ya driving and end up destroying a filling station/restaurant combo, Mable's Table. Mable's Table happens to be owned by Samantha's parents. Kelley gets kicked out of the school and "sentenced" to helping rebuild Mable's table by a delightfully and matronly stern judge. Kelley is not too keen with this sentence -- it is better than jail but not much. When invited to join the local folks in a outdoor meal during the rebuild, Kelley reacts with "My probation doesn't say anything about sitting around and spitting watermelon seeds with you people." And, of course, Chris Klein was very good in this role.

Eventually, Samantha gets twitterpated by Kelley and the pair become an item, much to the chagrin of Jasper. But if you recall I mentioned this movie has some courage in it, Jasper is the courage. He is so in love with Samantha that he is willing to give her up to Kelley just to make her happy. Further, Jasper demonstrates the raw courage needed to obey his father and to politely honor his commitment to help rebuild Mable's Table -- a really honorable young man who made some poor behavior choices and accepts it with humility and *without an attitude* toward righteous and fair authority. Also, Josh Hartnett is very good for this role. The projection of quiet strength, humble authority, above typical age-appropriate personal control, and not easily provoked earthen power needed by this part was well performed by Hartnett.

And much to the chagrin of Samantha, to her parents, t the town's people who love her, and to Jasper and even to Kelley is Samantha's secret -- cancer of the knee which spreads to the liver -- a fatal condition. She tries her best to hide it and even keep the severity of it from her parents Earl (Bruce Greenwood) and Jo (Annette O'Toole). As Samantha "lay dying", Kelley announces he has a life to get back to and leaves. But Samantha catches him at the bus stop ... and goes with him to cohabitate for the weekend in his father's house. After a night of unseen frolicking, Samantha volunteers to make Kelley breakfast. As she is making it she hears some commotion behind her. Without looking to see what the commotion was, she make the preview statement "I thought I told you to stay in bed" but it is heard -- and she is only a shirt -- not by Kelley but by his father and a female guest. Then Kelley seems to feel he has some justification for barking at his father for showing up with a woman in his mother's house, as if to say that parental sexual immorality is unacceptable but teen sexual immorality is acceptable, expected, desirable, morally relative, gratifying.......

There's more, but I gotta wrap this up.

I am not using this somewhat positive assessment of this movie to give any kind of redeeming property to it -- that is yours to decide. I am just giving you a commentary housing the summary of the movie. There is indeed unacceptable behavior in it that may influence your kids. There is no good justification for the "Go ahead and do the wrong thing as long as you are sorry for it afterward" syndrome [Is. 30:1]. There is no good reason for teens to drink alcoholic beverages let alone get drunk [Rom. 13:13]. There is no good reason to freely engage in sexual contact before marriage or to spend the weekend together alone before marriage [Hebr. 13:4]. There is no good reason to flaunt the female form or anatomy [Eph. 5:3]. And there is no good reason to show arrogance against fair and righteous authority [Is. 30:1], especially parental [Mark 7:10; Eph. 6:2].

In an effort to improve the chances of the continuation of these reports, this Summary/Commentary section will be progressively minimized and may eventually have to be discontinued. Please see the Findings/Scoring section below for a full accounting of the findings and scoring: for the best representation of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.

FINDINGS / SCORING: Here On Earth (2000) CAP Thermometers

NOTE: Multiple occurrences of each item described below may be likely.

Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
  • theft of a key to break the rules
  • reckless driving resulting in heavy property damage and risk to life
  • fights
  • story of a son finding his mother dead from

    Impudence/Hate (I)(1):
  • 11 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • arrogance against legal and parental authority
  • vulgar gesture by an early adolescent
  • lie to mother
  • poor fathering

    Sex/Homosexuality (S):
  • dress to maximize the female form or skin exposure
  • sex talk
  • inappropriate touch
  • suggestive eye movement
  • ghosting of female anatomy through clothing
  • camera angle to force viewer on private parts
  • wide mouth kissing
  • suggested intercourse
  • offer of cohabitation and cohabitation
  • offer of sex to soothe sorrows
  • intercourse (not seen)
  • teens in bed together nude (full nudity not seen)

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • smoking
  • teen drinking
  • teen drunkenness

    Offense to God (O)(2):
  • 3 uses of God's name in vain but without the four letter expletive
  • "She's in her Heaven."

    Murder/Suicide (M)(3):
  • none noted

  • (1) As noted in CAP Special Report-001, "Investigation Area and Scoring Trend," of the six CAP Investigation Areas, Impudence/Hate was the strongest presence in all four movie classifications. It has a strong revelation about the entertainment media.

    (2) The use of the three/four letter word vocabulary without God's name in vain is incorporated into the Impudence/Hate Investigation Area. The use of God's name with or without the four letter expletive is incorporated into the Offense to God Investigation Area. There is no duplication.

    (3) Only portrayal of successful murder or suicide are incorporated into Murder/Suicide. Portrayal of attempts to commit murder or suicide and deaths by police action or war are incorporated into Wanton Violence/Crime.

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    Thomas A. Carder
    ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)

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