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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-13*] (1hr 29min)
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(This section may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)
Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Universal Pictures, Mosaic Media Group
Distribution (US): Universal Pictures
Director(s): Jesse Dylan
Producer(s): Judd Apatow, Mia Apatow, Daniel Lupi, Jim Miller, Jimmy Miller, Mary Parent, Charles Roven, Lata Ryan
Written by: Leo Benvenuti, Steve Rudnick
Cinematography/Camera: Lloyd Ahern II, Donald E. Thorin
Music: Mark Isham, David Newman, Pinar Toprak
Film Editing: William Kerr, Stuart H. Pappé, Peter Teschner
Casting: Juel Bestrop, Jeanne McCarthy
Production Design: Clayton Hartley
Art Direction: Virginia L. Randolph
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6
Without crunching all the numbers, I suspect this PG film will NOT earn a score in the range of scores earned by PG films in the comparative baseline database. We'll see.
Sure enough, my suspicions were correct. With a final score of 58, Kicking and Screaming fell deeply in the scoring range earned by PG-13 movies in the comparative baseline database (55 to 67 out of 100) and only four points out of 12 away from the top of the scoring range earned by R-rated movies (54 and below). This film is one of the very few so far 13-PG films. When the CAP analysis model was built this film would, with high confidence, have earned a PG-13 MPAA rating. This film is yet more evidence of how Harvard University agrees with our R-13 finding.
Apparently the MPAA feels it is okay to expose your kids to lesbianism. God and the CAP analysis model do not. When a pair of women speak of the same boy as "our son" there is no doubt as to the portrayal of lesbianism akin to the elementary school book, Heather Has Two Mommies. In this case, the little bespeckled Byong Sun (Elliott Cho) has two mommies. By His own Word in both the Old Testament [Lev. 20:13] and the New Testament [1Cor. 6:9-10, Jude 1:7, Rom. 1:24 - 27], God speaks darkly of homosexuality and lesbianism. And these are just a few of many admonitions against the practice of homosexuality/lesbianism. It was largely due to frequent exposure to the lesbian pair that dragged the Sexual Immorality (S) investigation area score to 25, which is in the range of scores earned by many R-rated movies (54 and below out of 100).
There is more competition than just on the soccer field. Viscous competition.
Phil Weston (Will Ferrell) owns and operates Phil's Pills vitamin store and has no driving interest in sports. His father, Buck (Robert Duvall) is divorced from Phil's mother, has a new "plaything" wife and another son, Bucky (Josh Hutcherson), Phil's ten year old brother.
Buck is a legendary coach. In his retirement from sports to operate a chain of sporting goods stores, Buck coaches the top ranked youth soccer team, the Gladiators. Phil was never athletically inclined. Buck never let Phil forget he was a klutz at sports. Klutz? Buck made sure that is what Phil thought of himself. Buck even took a soccer ball from Phil that Phil caught when Pele kicked it off the soccer field into the stands. That Pele ball became Buck's prized possession.
As Phil grew up Buck handled him with much the same finesse as he handled a team -- as a gruff, demanding, whipmaster without a whip. As a lifelong victim of his father's ultra-competative nature, Phil carries a mountain of rage that has built up over the years. And that mountain has emotional magma at is core which threatens to erupt.
Apparently according to Freudian Hollywood, never is anyone accountable for his/her own choices. Any poor choice an adult makes or trouble s/he causes is the fault of his/her parent(s), of his/her relatives, of his her peers, of something other than him/herself. While this may at times be true, it is not always. At one point or another, we must each accept the accountability for our choices. One of the first words kids learn is "No." More adults should speak that word into the mirror when deciding whether to look to others for blame. At least Buck did not try to blame his parents for his bristling harshness with Phil.
The coach of the bottom-ranked Tigers has disappeared. With some goads and dares, Phil took it upon himself to coach the Tigers. As formula plots go, there seemed to be no hope for the Tigers of ever climbing up from the bottom since Weston had no experience at coaching and was quite inept at sports in general.
Buck's prized possession, the Pele ball, also became the object of a high-stakes bet between Phil and his father. If the Gladiators won the season, Phil would come to work for his father at his sporting goods stores. If the Tigers won, Phil would take possession of the Pele ball.
Any hopes of the Tigers winning the season (and of Phil taking possession of the Pele ball) were gossamer ... until Phil found two adolescent Italian soccer experts, Massimo (Alessandro Ruggiero) and Gian (Francesco Liotti). While visiting their "meat comes first" uncle Umberto (Joseph R. Sicari), the local butcher, Phil noted the boys were dazzling as they treated a wad of trash as a soccer ball and performed with it what might best be called a sports ballet. The Tigers were rescued! Massimo and Gian took the Tigers from last place to tied for first place. Assistance from Mike Ditka, neighbor of and adversary to Buck, didn't hurt the growing success of the Tigers. Ditka being of the same compassion caliber of Buck didn't help, either.
One of the nice things portrayed in this film was the acceptance into the team the two Italian boys who could not even speak English. With the examples Massimo and Gian set, the other boys slowly became a lot better. Confidence grew and became the rightful mainstay of their self respect.
This film could have been an enjoyable experience, and was in many aspects, but the writers included, in my opinion, far too much bitterness and aggression toward a bunch of little boys by a coach angered by things totally unrelated to the boys or their lack of abilities. Weston was indeed abusive to the boys at times, even the boys on opposing teams. [Matt. 18:10]
There was redemption, regret and reconciliation at the end. However, we must always try to keep in mind that a noble destination does not excuse an ignoble path. It is indeed a wonderful thing that, for example, a murderer becomes deeply sorry and truly regrets his/her heinous deed, but all the sorrow and regret in the world will not bring back the victim.
There are a number of uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary which would likely get most youth coaches fired. [Col. 3:8] Many lies to the boys, a few adult tantrums, a father belittling his son [Eph. 6:4] and a string of episodes of poor sportsmanship [2Tim. 2:5] including an adult calling a child names [Matt. 25:40] dragged the Impudence/Hate score to zero, which is the only investigation area score of zero.
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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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