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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
(2007), PG-13 [PG(13)*] (1hr 59min)
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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): Lucky You Pictures Inc., Warner Bros. Pictures, DiNovi Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures, Deuce Three Productions
Distribution (US): Warner Bros. Pictures
Director(s): Curtis Hanson
Producer(s): Bruce Berman, Denise Di Novi, Carol Fenelon, Curtis Hanson, John Kirby, Mari-Jo Winkler
Written by: Eric Roth (screenplay), Curtis Hanson (screenplay), Eric Roth (story)
Cinematography/Camera: Peter Deming
Music: Christopher Young
Film Editing: William Kerr, Craig Kitson
Casting: Mali Finn, Latrell Manuel
Production Design: Clay A. Griffith
Art Direction: Beat FrutigerViewed At: Driftwood Theater 6
Again an analysis is late making it about as useful as a dead house plant to the new release, still-playing moviegoers. but it is still useful to folks who wait until a film comes out on video and for our overseas users who typically get new US releases a few weeks after release in the US. And it is useful as another datapoint in our continuing research into the popular standards of acceptability, especially since it provides a datapoint at 3 standard deviations from the mean and helps fortify Gaussian probability distribution. These late analyses are getting more and more frequent which sometimes makes me feel about as useful as that dead house plant but sometimes such is the lot for the Seed-planter who depends on public support. Someday through someone Jesus will provide the funding adequate to operate this ministry as a dedicated fulltime ministry.
Graduate of the nickel-n-dime kitchen table daddy-school of gambling, professional gambler Huckleberry "Huck" Cheever (Eric Bana) is one hungry opportunist, preying on the gullible and the ill-experienced opportunist. Huck, making his living as a Las Vegas gambler as did his father, L. C. (Robert Duvall), seeks gambling cash wherever he can find it. Huck even pawned almost all of his possessions and furniture for gambling cash. Huck even found $1000 in lounge singer wannabe Billie Offer (Drew Barrymore), sister of one of Huck's long-time friends, Susanne (Debra Messing).
The story opens with Huck hocking his mother's wedding band for $350. Though it was worth about $500 and much more to L. C., Huck hocked it to get cash for gambling.
Huck even bet he could finish a "decathlon" of sporting events in three hours for $40,000. But the one holding the stopwatch is Billie. Huck finished the course in the agreed three hours ... plus two seconds. Just two seconds! Why couldn't she lie about the two seconds? "Anybody would have done that!" according to Huck. Alas, Huck does not have $80,000. He now has none. Again.
Huck's goal is to win the World Series of Professional Poker as did his father two times. It takes lots of money to do that. A $10,000 dollar buy-in fee. Huck has had enough cash in his hand a number of times but, as it seems with the stereotype of "gambler", he doesn't know when to quit. Billie's $1000 helped. Stoic and esoteric L. C. tried to help but due to the long-standing animosity Huck has against his father, Huck wouldn't have anything to do with it.
There is not much more that needs to be said about the plot and story. This show comes in the wake of what seems to be the successful gambling shows on TV, maybe trying to capitalize on their evident popularity. Indeed, if you watch any of the TV gambling shows, you'll see the same thing you see in this film. A lot of it.
Though the film is rated PG-13, it earned a CAP final score of 68 which places it at the very bottom of the range of scores earned by PG films (68 to 86 out of 100) in the comparative baseline database. Thus it is a "hardcore PG" or an "ultra-lite PG-13": a PG(13) which means a PG-13 film which earned a CAP score equivalent to PG films in the comparative baseline database.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
The only matter of violence noted was a "leg breaker" assault of Huck being thrown into his empty swimming pool. Fraud added "spice" to the violence/crime envelope. [Hab. 2:9]
This film, oddly enough for a PG-13, presents only six uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary. But a lie and encouraging to lie, a son's ever-present animosity toward his father and "Anybody would have done that [cheat]!" were rather expensive to the Impudence/Hate investigation area score. [Isa. 13:11]
Sexual Immorality (S)
Sexually oriented programming included an adult male with female breasts in a revealing T-shrit. Though this matter was in response to a bet that the man wouldn't have his breasts enlarged, it is still a sexual issue. A vulgar anatomical reference, excessive cleavage, open mouth kissing and a man and a woman in bed for the night capped off the loss of about 30% of the starting 100 points in this Sexual Immorality investigation area. [Mark 7:21]
Booze, drinking and bar scenes repeatedly plus a cigarette in a man's mouth were quite expensive to the Drugs/Alcohol investigation area. And, since this film is, whether intentional, targeted at the most morally vulnerable age stratum, I am going to let you in on a little secret about alcoholic beverages in films suggested by the MPAA as being fit for the middle school age stratum.
A study by the American College of Physicians (ACP) revealed that adolescent exposure to drinking and smoking in and as entertainment leads to undeniable abuse of alcohol among underage kids. The finding entitled Relation Between Parental Restrictions on Movies and Adolescent Use of Tobacco and Alcohol reports that of 4544 youths from grades 5 through 8 of fifteen Vermont and New Hampshire middle schools (90% were under fourteen years old) only 16% were completely restricted from viewing R-rated movies.
The researchers selected R-rated movies because they assumed R-rated movies typically present more drinking than movies of other classifications. This assumption is no longer true. The researchers were not aware of the matter of "R-13" proven by this ministry (see R-13) and four years later by Harvard University scientists (see Harvard Agrees With Us). The bottom line? The focus is the influence of adolescent exposure to drinking (and smoking) in and as entertainment is undeniable regardless of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) classification.
Within the ACP study population, the prevalence of having tried alcohol without parental knowledge was
Rather revealing of the influences of the entertainment industry wouldn't you say? And emboldening children to sin with drink in and as entertainment screams of violating Luke 17:2.
I can add to the ACP study that reveals films which present drinking and drunkenness contribute to underage substance abuse. I submit that it is not so much the presence of alcohol in films or the rating of the film(s) that embolden youth to abuse it, but is rather the attitude portrayed: the attitude of freedom from authority, freedom from accountability and freedom from consequences. PG-13 and R-rated films, sometimes lesser rated films, are typically heavy with attitude. Our report on this, ATTITUDE: In Perspective -- Investigation Area Scoring and Trend in CAP Entertainment Industry Investigations, Special Report-001 may provide more understanding of the point.
Maybe since the MPAA is apparently going to add any movies showing smoking to the R stratum, they should add drinking? Well!? Food packagers have to put ingredients on the container label! Why not do what the CAP Movie Ministry has been doing for years and put an "ingredients" label on films?
Offense to God (O)
In addition to two uses of God's name in vain without the four letter expletive [Deut. 5:11] and a comment "You're nothing but a fool" [Matt. 5:22], the loss of half of the starting 100 points in this investigation area is due to gambling.
There were no murders or suicides found.
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.
***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.
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 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: |
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