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Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP Ministry)
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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to His little ones through you in His name by His Word
(2005), PG [PG*] (1hr 42min)
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(This section may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)
Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Touchstone Pictures, Walt Disney Pictures, Spyglass Entertainment, Everyman Pictures
Distribution (US): Buena Vista Pictures, Touchstone Pictures
Director(s): Garth Jennings
Producer(s): Douglas Adams, Todd Arnow, Gary Barber, Roger Birnbaum, Derek Evans, Jonathan Glickman, Nick Goldsmith, Caroline Hewitt, Jay Roach, Robbie Stamp Book: Douglas Adams
Screenplay: Douglas Adams, Karey Kirkpatrick
Cinematography/Camera: Igor Jadue-Lillo
Music: Joby Talbot
Film Editing: Niven Howie
Casting: Susie Figgis, Marcia Ross
Production Design: Joel Collins
Art Direction: Alan Cassie, Daniel May, Phil Simms, Andy Thomson, Frank Walsh
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was rated (PG) due to "thematic elements, action, mild language." "Thematic elements?" What on earth are thematic elements? I don't know. I can look up "thematic" as well as the next guy but of what use to parents is "'pertaining to a theme' elements?" Maybe we are not supposed to know.
This film was, in a subjective sense, what I think about the most ridiculous film I have ever seen. But I think it was supposed to be a ridiculous light-hearted frolic into escape, sometimes rather crude escape, from the rigidity of reality. Some apparently expert talents at making alien creatures (some of which strangely reminded me of Orcs of Lord of the Rings) and depicting space travel gave some escapism power to the evidently intentional cinematic lunacy. Bright. Creative. Colorful. Somewhat fun in a ridiculous sense. And the film did earn a "PG-equivalent" final score of 68 but at the very bottom of the scoring range earned by PG-rated films (86 to 68 out of 100) in the comparative baseline database. But...
"Mild language" was certainly part of the "theme" as evidenced by a number of uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary. [Prov. 22:11] And there certainly were action sequences.
There were also an inordinately large number of instances of booze, guzzling, drinking and drunkenness. All in positive and desirable sense, of course. In view of the recent study by the American College of Physicians (ACP) regarding an undeniable link between the influence of the use of alcoholic beverages in and as entertainment and adolescent abuse of it, I wonder why filmmakers put such an influence in a film undoubtedly for the target age of elementary school kids, the very population of the ACP finding. Why do you think you see no more booze commercials during the "family hours" (prime time) on broadcast television entertainment? [Eph. 5:18] Hollywood does seem to get away with anything.
And there certainly were "thematic" instances of dressing to maximize the human form and/or skin exposure (male) and inappropriate touch. Also part of the "theme" was a woman in a shower, ostensibly nude but no gender-specifics were seen except enough to make it obvious she was female. Then she was seen in a towel only, handed to her by a man who apologized for walking in on her ... but he stayed. [Gal. 5:19]
Maybe this is not a "kids show" but the PG rating is going to draw the kids. I rather suspect the filmmakers knew that. So why the shower scene? Why the woman in a towel only? I'll give you three guess and the last two don't count. Quite enough would have been said if the woman had simply said "I am going to take a shower" then left the scene. All the dialogue that happened while she was standing in the shower would have had just as much "thematic" power if it happened before or after she showered. I would bet we could find out how inappropriate such a scene is if the same actress took a shower on the sheriff's lawn.
Journeyman Arthur Dent (Martin Freeman), fretting over the demolition of his house by the right of eminent domain, is confronted by his pal Ford Prefect (Mos Def) with some wild story of 12 minutes to live. Some alien critters had to remove the Earth to make way for a super-galactic highway. An alien demolition crew is on its way to blow up the Earth.
To while away the final 12 minutes of life on Earth, 12 minutes before the scheduled galactic right-of-eminent-domain end of the world, Arthur is invited by Ford, who turns out not to be an earthling at all, to join him and do his best to get drunk for the final few minutes of life on Earth. Dear friend Ford is actually an alien researching for a new edition of "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy."
While sipping suds, Arthur reminisced about Tricia Marie "Trillian" McMillan (Zooey Deschanel) inviting him to go to Madagascar with her. Several cinematic minutes are spent with Arthur and Tricia wooing each other. But soon Arthur is back fretting over the demolition of his house which is now underway.
Now Ford gathered his pal Arthur and signaled into space with his hitchhiking thumb ring and the pair end up in maybe a worse predicament. Shortly after being picked up, Arthur saw the destruction of the Earth. Now, he is not just a man without a country, he is a man without a planet. Tricia had been picked up by two-faced (literally), blond galactic President Zaphod Beeblebrox (Sam Rockwell) who has the personality of a game-show host.
Aided by robot with a bulbous head, Arthur (still in his pajamas and bathrobe plus one towel), Ford, Tricia and Zaphod travel the galaxy in search of an answer, er, rather a question for super-computer Deep Thought (voice of Helen Mirren) to ponder the mysteries of the universe.
Along the way, the quartet encounter many critters such as the self-demeaning, insecure robot Marvin (voice of Alan Rickman) and the Vogons who are huge pig-faced, bureaucratic gluttons who lust after all manner of bureaucratic frustration who torture their victims by reading tasteless poetry to them. Humma Kavula (John Malkovich) is a half human, half robot dictator who rules with religion, portraying the people just like the adversaries want people of faith to be portrayed -- regimented, unthinking multitudes in mechanical servitude.
At one point the quartet end up being transformed into various objects and items. One of the changes left the quartet as yarn puppets with Arthur vomiting strands of yarn.
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***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)
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: |
Lord, Master, Teacher, Savior, God.
ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture
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