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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
(2000), PG-13 [PG(13)*]
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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): Cloud Ten Picutres, Namesake Entertainment
Distribution (US): Cloud Ten Pictures, Cloumbia TriStar Home Video
Director(s): Vic Sarin
Producer(s): Ron Booth, Joe Goodman, Paul Lalonde, Peter Lalonde, Peter Lalonde, Bobby Neutz, Nicholas Tabarrok, Ralph Winter, André van Heerden
Written by: Rev. Tim LaHaye, Jerry B. Jenkins, Alan B. McElroy, Paul LaLonde, Joe Goodman
Cinematography/Camera: George Jiri Tirl
Music: James Covell
Film Editing: Michael Pacek
Casting: Cathy Henderson, Lisa Parasyn, Dori Zuckerman
Production Design: Arthur W. Herriott)
Art Direction: Jim Phillips
PLEASE NOTE: In October, 2000 when I conducted pre-release analysis of Left Behind: The Movie, Cloud Ten Pictures (the owner/producer) told me the movie was rated PG, NOT PG-13. Left Behind: The Movie indeed earned a CAP Final Score equivalent to PG movies in the CAP comparative baseline database of movies, making is a PG film rated "13" by the MPAA, thus a PG(-13). Unless the movie has changed, it is NOT (mathematically) severe enough to warrant a PG-13 rating.
LEFT BEHIND: The Movie is a one-of-a-kind Christian movie that does NOT counterfeit the Truth with situational redefinition or conditional application of the Scriptures. It does NOT pabulum-feed the audience with watered-down Scriptures to avoid making folks uncomfortable. It is the truth. Plain and simple. As plain and simple as the Truth itself. And it requires an open mind. It is not another Dogma and Stigmata which capitalize on gratuitous violence and gore with sensual eye candy and verbal alum thrown in to draw the masses. It is the Truth. I am proud of Peter and Paul LaLonde et al for making this movie. It left me wanting and waiting for the next film to tell us the 'rest of the story'--the next seven years of a covenant with many.
Before I get into some of the particulars of LEFT BEHIND: The Movie, I feel it is appropriate to remind our readers that though this Summary/Commentary may sound somewhat subjective and opinionated--indeed sometimes it may be--the heart of the CAP analysis model, the Findings/Scoring section, the section which generates the scoring distribution, is completely and brutally mathematically objective. The CAP Analysis Model makes no scoring allowances for "messages", for "justification" of aberrant behavior or imagery, or for camouflaging with "redeeming" programming. Whether a movie is acceptable to you and your family is not my call to make. That is YOUR call. The CAP analysis model just tells you what is there and gives you some unexpectedly reliable comparative numbers as tools to use to make your OWN decision whether a movie is acceptable for yourself and your family.
"What does it matter what we think we know? In the end, there's no denying the Truth." This monologue opens the show and most efficiently sets the stage for what is to come.
After panning a series of peaceful and calm scenes in Jerusalem as folks go about their day-to-day affairs, the viewer is abruptly taken to scenes of an approaching massive strike force of aircraft and ground assault vehicles. Just before the assault forces arrive, Buck Williams (Kirk Cameron) of GNN world news service is interviewing Dr. Chaim Rosenzweig (Colin Fox) about his astounding horticultural breakthrough called the Eden Formula which will make fertile crop land from barren, useless land including frozen land. In the middle of the interview the assault force arrives. But after a few strikes with bombs the aircraft start exploding in midair for no apparent reason. And the Israeli forces cannot launch a counterstrike since their forces are paralyzed by inexplicable failures of systems. And the sun is gone! As Buck is video taping the aircraft exploding to provide documentation of the unbelievable event, an old man with a long staff dressed in Moses garb appears out of nowhere to announce to Buck a warning about the next seven years and a covenant with many.
The movie switches to Chicago to meet Captain Rayford Steele (Brad Johnson), an airline pilot victimized by a last minute change in flight plans. He has to pilot a flight from NYC to London flight in spite of his son's birthday. Steele's family is not at all happy with this abrupt change in their plans. And they let Ray know of their dissatisfaction in no uncertain terms. As Ray defends his role as provider his wife, Irene tosses a few verbal darts at him by arguing that he could have said "No." But after the darts were thrown, she hugs and kisses him and tells him she loves him as he walks out the door. Ray's preteen son, Raymie reacts with sullen nihilism but accepts the change as long as daddy brings him a helmet from London. But his 20 year old college-bound daughter, Chloe (Janaya Stephens) is particularly disrespectful, probably because of his disapproval of her "nose ring club."
At GNN studios in New York City, Buck receives an ominous phone call from an ex-Pentagon friend, Dirk Burton saying he knows why the planes fell from the sky in Israel. Waving his cigarette around, Dirk starts to outline the massive conspiracy and teases Buck with evidence of it--evidence Dirk does not yet want to share with Buck for reasons of personal safety, Buck's personal safety. Dirk explains how unimaginable global disruption is coming, how Dr. Rosenzweig's Eden Formula and bankers Jonathan Stonagal (Daniel Pilon) and Joshua Cothran (Tony De Santis) are all connected in a plot of global domination through manipulation of the world's food supply. How convenient that Stonagal and Cothran have the United Nations on their pocket by holding the "mortgage" over the UN's heads. And how convenient that Stonagal and Cothran use rebuilding of Solomon's Temple as a carrot on a stick. To give perspective of Stonagal, he uses his riches to reroute food shipments to cause Arabian children to die as a manipulation of their government. Won't it be exciting to find out who are the puppets here and who is the puppet master? And how? And what the puppet master does with the puppets?
In a subplot back at the GNN studios we are introduced to the humble and charismatic, well respected Rumanian UN Ambassador, Nicholae Carpathia (Gordon Currie) with a "natural presence." Carpathia is a sensitive and child-loving man of impeccable honor who has built a voice of reason and trust amid seemingly impossible conditions. The one with all the answers. The "chosen one" to lead the UN in movement to world peace through one-world government with ten nations. If you are fortunate enough to be able to watch this dynamic film of Truth and Consequences, note how many world leaders sit at the UN council table as Carpathia discusses world domination. Then connect that with the number of useless tracts of land. It all fits together as neatly as Revelation, but that is for you to find out.
Aboard the flight to London, Captain Steele reveals to us his adulterous past with Flight Attendant Hattie Durham (Chelsea Noble - Kirk Cameron's real life wife). A kiss at 37,000 feet initiates the disappearance of millions of people. All that remains of their presence are their clothes and jewelry.
This is a nutshell of the first 25 minutes of the show with a sliver or two of connective text with the rest of the show. It gets better ... a lot better as the movie continues to connect subplot to subplot to build an intricate revealing of God's Truth and Consequences.
Some really great answers were presented to typical arguments of unbelievers such as:
plus several other more common arguments. After more than 10,000 hate mails since our scathing analysis of South Park: BLU (including death threats and threats of sexual invasion of my family), I've heard them all and a myriad of variations of them. The vast majority of the hate mails are ostensibly from adolescents, many authors admitted being adolescents. And there is something good to come of all the hate mail. I will use it to build my next book, THE UNITED STATES of Corinth.
Some quite intelligent use of reason typical of Peter and Paul LaLonde and their writers and advisors was presented, e.g.:
Have you ever wondered where pets will go during the Rapture? Watch LEFT BEHIND: The Movie and find out.
Maybe in a way "visible" only to me, LEFT BEHIND: The Movie shows ever-so-faintly that Salvation is NOT dependent on behavior, good or bad: that good works will not get you Salvation and bad will not keep it from you; that a change in heart comes with Salvation and is not needed to get it. Thus we find fortification of the hymn phrase "Come as you are." Truly, Jesus will receive you "as you are." You do not need to prepare for Him. Just ask Him and He will answer. Jesus spent time in Hell so you and I would not have to--ever. Try it. Ask Him to come into your heart. He will not ignore you. He WILL hear you. And if your heart is sincere, He will come--you won't have to ask twice. Don't be LEFT BEHIND.
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.
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.
In a effort to bolster the interactive feature of this ministry, this time instead of inserting Scripture references where they apply and displaying the verse text here, I am going to invite our readers to do that. Anyone who is interested is welcome to copy this and insert Scripture references where they apply and send it back to me. Chapter and Verse only, text is not needed. Let me know in your submission whether you wish to be noted as a contributor. Sorry, there can be no monetary compensation.
***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 objective heart of the CAP Analysis Model, independent of and insulated from the Summary/
Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
Offense to God (O):
|NOTE: The CAP Analysis Model makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse or for manufacturing of justification for aberrant behavior or imagery, or for camouflaging such ignominy 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 from the sinful display or the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. 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.|
|"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 nearly seven 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.|
Thank you for visiting us and may God bless you. Prayerfully, we will provide you with some of the most revealing commentary and investigative reporting you have ever read. |
In the name of Jesus:
Lord, Master, Teacher, Savior, God.
ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture
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