Click on CAPCon Alert image for explanation
Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP Ministry)
Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to His little ones (which includes at-home teens) through you, their parents and grandparents, in His name by His Word
Give your visitors access to more than 700 CAP movie analyses while your page stays open. Put the link above on your web page. FREE! Test it! Click it!
|E M E R G E N C Y
H E L P
N E E D E D!!!
Make your tax-deductible donations to the CAP Ministry through the
CAP Ministry, PO Box 177, Granbury, TX 76048-0177
To subscribe to or unsubscribe from our FREE text-only versions of our Entertainment Media Analysis Reports as they are calculated, visit our Mailman. If you experience difficulty with Mailman, send us your request. Your email address will NOT be given or sold to other parties.
|ALERT: To fully understand this report you should first visit the topics suggested by the CAP Site Map (Table of Contents). Further, if you do not want the plot, ending, or "secrets" of a movie spoiled for you, skip the Summary/Commentary. In any case, be sure to visit the Findings/Scoring section -- it is completely objective to His Word and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.|
(2003), R -- ... the strongest impression most folks get of "most folks."
Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Warner Bros., Village Roadshow Pictures, NPV Entertainment, Malpaso Productions
Distribution (US): Warner Bros.
Director(s): Clint Eastwood
Producer(s): Bruce Berman, Clint Eastwood, Judie Hoyt, Robert Lorenz
Novel: Dennis Lehane
Screenplay: Brian Helgeland
Cinematography/Camera: Tom Stern
Music: Clint Eastwood, Lennie Niehaus
Film Editing: Joel Cox
Casting: Phyllis Huffman
Production Design: Henry Bumstead
Art Direction: Jack G. Taylor Jr.
Viewed At: Loews Cineplex Park 16, Dallas, Texas
My goodness! I wonder if this character-based film is an example of director Clint Eastwood's favorite word? Apparently it is of the writer, Dennis LeBane. The most foul of the foul words outnumbered all others by more than two to one! No wonder most folks think that is the way most folks talk. The movies seem to nowadays be the strongest impression most folks get of "most folks." Especially youth, who were well represented in the special screening, of course. Well? More than half of all moviegoers each week are non-adults (from a Loews movie trivia slide) and more than half of all movies made are rated R (our study Where's the G?). You do the math.
Eleven year old Jimmy Marcum (Sean Penn), Dave Doyle (Tim Robbins) and Sean (Kevin Bacon) of Buckingham Flats, Boston are playing street hockey and lose their "puck" to the sewer. Setting on the curb most disappointed since that sewer has eaten just about every play ball they've had, the boys wander off to mischief land by writing their names in a freshly poured concrete sidewalk panel. They are approached by a "cop" with handcuffs and a badge hanging off his belt for defacing public property. The "cop" asked Jimmy and Sean where they lived. "Right there", pointing to two locations within eyesight. Dave told the "cop" he lived over on another street around the corner. The "cop" told Jimmy and Sean he would be talking to their parents later and forced Dave into his car to go talk to his mother. Dave was not seen again for four days until he escaped the clutches of the pedophile pretending to be a cop. The other man in the "cop's" unmarked car, ostensibly the "cop's partner", had all the appearances of a Catholic priest. Of course.
Over the next 30 years, the boys go their separate ways. After a stint in prison for robbery 16 years ago, Jimmy became a convenience/grocery store owner and has three daughters by two wives. Nineteen year old daughter Katie (Emmy Rossum) by his first wife is his heart of hearts, Jimmy's two other daughters are by Annabeth (Laura Linney), his second wife. Sean became a State Police detective whose wife left him with their child. Dave never recovered from the horrors of the homosexual abuse he suffered as a child but was able to build a loving family with his wife, Celeste (Marcia Gay Harden) and a young son.
The separate worlds of the boys' lives again intertwine as Sean is called to investigate the murder of Jimmy's daughter, Katie. Dave is brought back into the mix since on the same night Katie was murdered he came home covered in blood -- most of which was not his own. Type O blood. Katie's type. But was it her blood? Jimmy thought so and launched his own "investigation" Godfather style to find the killer of his favorite daughter hopefully before the police. [Rom. 12:19]
While I won't spoil the plot details any further, I will tell you that the reason Dave is covered in blood which is not his own the night Katie was murdered is bitter sweetly related to his past, bitterly regarding good moral standards and sweetly regrading our thankfully forgivable sinful nature [Rom. 8:3], forgivable IF we humble ourselves and repent and ask forgiveness. Given the same circumstances, you or I may have done the same sinful thing. I probably would have. The story will tell whether the blood on Dave was Katie's blood if you find the listing of assaults on decency and morality in the Findings/Scoring section somehow acceptable.
The show is engrossingly absorbing and consumes well its 2 hours and 12 minutes of runtime (first scene to last, credits not included). It shows masterful attention to detail, almost flawless flow and dynamic connectivity across its many subplots. Sean Penn, Kevin Bacon and Tim Robbins (with the help of a likewise talented supporting cast) were quite probably in their most challenging roles in this deeply textured psychological story. The anguish and pain Penn portrayed at discovery of his daughter's murder and when identifying her body was delivered (with the help of Rossum's talents in building the base) with such power and authority it would have been believable if seen in real life. Mystic River will likely be a strong contender for the Oscars because of its dynamic quality and outstanding performances. But then almost all Oscar winners are rated R, aren't they? What does that say about our entertainment diet? At least, of those who decide which film wins an Oscar ... and why.
While I won't spoil any more of the movie, I will provide that for which most of you come to our website. The movie is quite vulgar and offensive, befitting an R rating. But that it is rated R does not excuse those who demonstrate the sinful behaviors nor of those who draw pleasure or example of deed or thought pulled up from the shadowy recesses of our hearts by such display. Nor does the R rating excuse the planting of such examples for behavior or thought in our hearts and minds. [1 Cor 15:33]
The flippant and arrogant use of the most foul of the foul words is pathetic. About one utterance per each two minutes of film. Foul language of all brands ooze out of the speakers at nearly one per minute [Col. 3:8]. Drinking and drunkenness are shown as both a relief and a flippant beverage, abuse of which is shown as acceptable when "things" get bad enough. I emphasize the use of alcohol in this movie due to a recent study conducted by the American College of Physicians (a synopsis of the report follows this Summary/Commentary in a textbox). In the report, the APC revealed not just that only 16% of middle school kids are completely restricted from viewing R-rated movies but that of the R-saturated survey population 46% of the kids (90% under 14 years old) had tried alcohol without parental knowledge. It is a serious concern, mom/dad. Think about it if you decide to take you kids to this or any other R-rated movie. It may be your business if you take your underage kids to see R-rated films, but it is God's business, too. And it becomes my business and everyone else's business if your child grows to be a social liability because of the freedoms you gave the child in the name of your entertainment. The issue of emboldening adolescent abuse of alcohol reminds me of the song, I think it was "Okie (Oklahoman) from Muskogie (OK)", that has its characters saying "Where white lightning is still the biggest thrill of all." The song tries to roast the drug culture. Well, which are they, the pot of the kettle? And if the recreational viewing of alcohol abuse emboldens youth to do likewise, what makes you think the same does not happen with other aberrant behavior templates demonstrated in and as entertainment? There is a whole lot more to that "story" (here and here if you want to know) but I do not want to make any more of a tome of this analysis report than I already have. Think of it this way. If we teach and/or cause our kids to sample or experiment with abuse of alcohol because of our entertainment diets, we invoke Luke 17:2. And since each of our children has an angel who beholds the face of God, what do you the angels for your children to say to God? [Matt. 18:10, Gal. 5:21]
In addition to the above issues of moral and ethical assaults, there are a few scenes of incredibly cold and murderous brutality, one on a child, and two scenes of homosexual pedophilia [again 1 Cor. 15:33].
After you've read this Summary/Commentary section, please read the listing in the findings/Scoring section before you decide not only whether to see this film yourself but whether to take your kids with you as many parents apparently have done regarding other R-rated films. Even I, a long time ago, have regrettably taken our eldest son to see R-rated movies when "R" was more like "PG-13" ... err ... R-13 of today. Now I don't let them watch a PG unless I or my wife see it first and then only through a curse filter.
NOTE: While the Findings/Scoring section gives you the objective facts and the Summary/Commentary section uses words to try to describe many things, nothing in words can describe the horrors of brutal murder or homosexual abuse of young boys and what they must go through as the perpetrators have their way with the boys. This film directly addresses the writer's perception of homosexual pedophilia, not only their immediate atrocities but the probably lasting effects of such abuse. Realizing that much of modern entertainment has been proven to have an undeniable negative effect on some viewers, please take great care in deciding whether to watch this film. While it is a cinematic masterpiece, such grandeur may serve undesirable things as well as entertainment recreation.
If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ]. 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)
Single Christian Network
|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.|