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Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP Ministry)
Entertainment Media Analysis Report
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(2004), PG-13 -- Modern immorality in the e-age.
Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Revolution Studios, Blue Star Pictures
Distribution (US): Sony Pictures Entertainment, Columbia Pictures
Director(s): Nick Hurran
Producer(s): Herb Gains, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, Rachael Horovitz, Deborah Schindler, William Sherak, Jason Shuman
Story: Melissa Carter
Screenplay: Melissa Carter, Elisa Bell
Cinematography/Camera: Theo van de Sande
Music: Christophe Beck
Film Editing: John Richards
Casting: Nancy Nayor
Production Design: Bob Ziembicki
Art Direction: Peter Andrus
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6
I am so sorry it has taken me so long (two full days after viewing) to get this posted. But when providing care for seven kids, two in diapers and one in pull-ups, with mom working leaves little time for this service. If we could get donations/funding enough to provide a reasonable salary for the long-term, my wife could stay home and I could devote much more time to this ministry and its services. Indeed, I could even participate all those invitations to pre-release screenings that come to my desk (eight right now) and could get analyses to you often before a film is released to the public, But we go with what we have.
For more than half of the 100-minute show it seemed that lead performer, Brittany Murphy, could only produce cardboard performances. But after the obligatory (and useful) character and story building which ate more of the screen time than was absolutely necessary, Brittany gave a dazzling and emotionally charged, tear-jerker performance. Too bad it was steeped in and distilled from revenge. [Rom. 12:19]
TV journalist wannabe Stacy Holt (Brittany Murphy), on her way to working beside Diane Sawyer, found a job as associate producer with the daytime Kippie Kann Do TV talk show. Kippie Kann (Kathy Bates), a female "Jerry Springer", was the lead mistress of ceremony for the show. Kann drug human lives through the gutters to be thrown in vats of social acid after they were emotionally stripped and publicly skinned. Truly a satire of all the trash TV talks shows we have today complete with security guards; the shows that talk about things like "My Grandmother is prostitute", having the grandmother proudly tell the audience that she took in 5 Grand a weekend (and belittling her daughter for her disapproval of it) while the audience is prompted to cheer the grandmother on. And they do it. Gleefully.
While this film is steeped in revenge and in varying degrees of sexual immorality, at least Bates does not have lesbian things to say as I have heard her say in another film, the name of which I cannot remember. Indeed, there were no homosexual, lesbian, transgender or other such comments or portrayals noted. Ira (Kevin Sussman) may have been used to suggest stereotypical homosexuality or a slightly effeminate male, but it would be subjective to say the character was.
Stacy's new boyfriend Derek (Ron Livingston), a New Jersey Devils hockey scout, with whom she had been cohabitating for about a year [1Cor. 7:2], had all along refused to tell Stacy of his past relationships. But while Derek was out of town, under the prodding of her co-worker Barb (Holly Hunter), Stacy decided to dig into Derek's past through his "Little Black Book", a Palm hand-held computer, to learn about his past girlfriends. A little trickery and deceit but it gets the job done. [Ps. 101:7; Prov. 19:5] Modern immorality in the e-age.
Very methodically, Stacy used her position on the staff of the widely popular Kippie Kann Do TV show to arrange "interviews" with three of Derek's ex-girlfriends: restauranteur Joyce (Julianne Nicholson) whose restaurant could benefit from exposure on the Kippie Kann Do show; popular supermodel Lulu (Josie Maran) whose interests in being on the show were as obvious as was much of her anatomy; gynecologist Dr. Rachel Keyes (Rashida Jons) whose book sales would no doubt skyrocket if she were to be a guest on the show. Each of the girls was hoping the "interview" would land her as a guest on the show. And that is what Stacy wanted.
Stacy discovered that what Derek described as over-done-with-gone relationships with Joyce, LuLu and Rachel were not so over, done with or gone. All three girls showed up at the Kippie Kann Do studio ready to give their "interview." But the "interviews" were live! Then whom to our wondering eyes should appear but Derek. Then Stacy lowered the boom on Derek ... in front of all the Kippie Kann Do TV show audience and the thousands of TV viewers.
The largest loss of points in this film was due to issues of sexual immorality to some degree or another, such as using a vibrating Palm as a sexual stimulation device and a dog licking its privates with Hunter commenting "I know. It's because you can." While there was no intercourse noted, there certainly were instances of Murphy in bed with Livingston -- and Bob. Bob was Rachel's dog as a left-over from Derek and Rachel's relationship. [Gal. 5:19; Hebr. 13:4]
The investigation area to reveal the next greatest loss of points was, of course, Impudence/Hate (language). [Col. 3:8] And while there were no noted uses of God's name in vain with the four letter expletive, there were many without the four letter expletive. [Deut. 5:11]
The final score of 57 places Little Black Book in the low end of the scoring range earned by PG-13 movies (67 to 55 out of 100) in the comparative baseline database, only three points above the top of the scoring range earned R-rated movies (54 and below out of 100). The Sexual Immorality, Impudence/Hate and Offense to God investigation areas revealed programming equivalent to many R-rated films. That makes sense since, according to Jack Valenti, president of the MPAA, PG-13 is just a slice off the top of R. However, the Wanton Violence/Crime, Drugs/Alcohol and Murder Suicide investigation areas revealed scoring equivalent to the scores earned by G-rated movies (100 to 87 out of 100).
Please consider somberly the listing in the Findings/Scoring section before you decide whether to take your family to see this film or to let your children (which includes at-home teens) see it on their own.
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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)
|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.
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