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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
(1981), PG [Hard 13-PG*] (1hr 52min)
With Comparative to Crystal Skull
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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): Lucasfilm, Paramount Pictures
Distribution (US): Paramount Home Video
Director(s): Steven Spielberg
Producer(s): Howard G. Kazanjian, George Lucas, Frank Marshall, Robert Watts
Written by: George Lucas, Philip Kaufman
Screenplay: Lawrence Kasdan
Cinematography/Camera: Douglas Slocombe
Music: John Williams
Film Editing: George Lucas, Michael Kahn
Casting: Jane Feinberg, Mike Fenton, Mary Selway
Production Design: Norman Reynolds
Art Direction: Leslie Dilley
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6
The cinematic adventure masterpiece, Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) provides a great opportunity to delve a little into the scoring structure of the CAP analysis model to help bring out the glitter of how useful and revealing the CAP analysis model is for parents, grandparents, pastors, youth leaders and more.
Raiders was released long before the CAP analysis model was engineered (1995). No matter. The model works like a champ on any film (indeed, any communication medium) of any age and I'd like to go into that a little. So, please be patient with and, to be politically correct I'll use "tolerant of", a little technical stuff. We'll get to the film discussion soon.
Raiders of 1981 has some bad apples in its PG barrel. It earned a final score of 55 making it equivalent to "the hardest of the hardcore" PG-13 films in the CAP comparative baseline database. The final score of 55 for this PG film is due mainly to excessive violence and drinking, drunkenness, smoking and guzzling contests.
The final score of 55 earned by the PG-rated Raiders places it:
The discussion that follows centers around the scoring ranges earned by movies in the CAP analysis model's comparative baseline database of 39 randomly selected films. Films bearing the shown MPAA rating earned the indicated CAP scoring ranges consistently:
See CAP Methodology for more information. With this information in mind let us go to the issue.
If, for example, all the drinking, smoking, drunkenness and guzzling contests in Raiders were left out the film would have earned a final score of 68, placing it at the very bottom of the scoring range earned by PG films (86 to 68 out of 100), a "hardcore" PG but PG nonetheless. The alcohol/tobacco-free final score of 68 would have made Raiders one point better than the final score of 67 for the 2008 PG-13 Crystal Skull. The final score of 67 for Crystal Skull placed it at the very top of the scoring range earned by PG-13 films (67 to 55 out of 100), making it equivalent to an "ultra-lite" PG-13. The final score of 67 for Crystal Skull also placed it at one point under the PG-equivalence range (86 to 68 out of 100). If all the alcohol/tobacco content was not in Raiders it would have been, for all practical purposes, equal to Crystal Skull. But unfortunately, with a final score of 55 Raiders falls at the very lowest PG-13-equivalent score possible, one point above the R-equivalent scoring range (54 and below out of 100). The PG Raiders is overall more invasive than the PG-13 Crystal Skull. Below is a scoring data comparative of the two films.
Now to put a finer point on the issue. Compare the Drugs/Alcohol (D) investigation area score of Raiders with that of Crystal Skull. Raiders earned a 23 out of 100 while Crystal Skull earned an 81 out of 100 (the higher the score the less the drugs/alcohol content). The Drugs/Alcohol score of Raiders is equivalent to most R-rated films (54 and below out of 100) while the Crystal Skull Drugs/Alcohol score is one point out of 100 under the scores earned by most PG films (68 to 86 out of 100).
Now that I have flooded you with all this technical mumbo jumbo I'll put it in plain talk: the alcohol/tobacco content is the biggest reason the content of the 1981 PG Raiders scored worse than the 2008 PG-13 Crystal Skull. But at least with all the technical stuff it might now be less likely that you will shrug off the CAP analyses or throw at me the "Gimmie a break! Raiders a hardcore 13-PG?" And you've gotten a CAP-101 understanding of the CAP analysis model. This is not some fly-by-night, nothing-else-better-to-do effort folks. Mathematics, statistical operations and His Word really do mix well. We take His Word seriously. We all will -- on the other side of our last breath. Whether we like it or not. Whether we believe it or not.
I guess the 1981 MPAA did not consider the alcohol/tobacco content of Raiders to be a risk. Well? It was not until 2002, twenty-one years after Raiders that a study by the American College of Physicians found that drinking and smoking in and as entertainment emboldens adolescents to abuse these substances. How could the MPAA have known? Maybe by reading the Word? Maybe by using their brains? Maybe this CAP Ministry finding is reason enough for everyone to stop relying on the MPAA and rely on the CAP ministry services?
My, how content tolerance of moral and ethical assaults changes over the years! Except, of course, with the CAP analysis model which is built by and on God's Word. Our investigation standards do not change and will not change unless God changes His Word. And I suspect a sub-freezing crystalline orb of dihydrogen monoxide has better chances of surviving a trip through the subterranean location of exceeding electromagnetic radiation in the thermal band than God changing His Word. But if and when He does change His Word we will change the CAP Ministry accordingly.
I have not conducted analysis of Temple of Doom or Last Crusade yet but I am working on them to prepare a comparative of the four Indiana Jones films to see how, if at all, the above content aberration is present in the other two episodes.
On to the story ...
Dr. Henry "Indiana" Jones (Harrison Ford), a.k.a "Indy", is a university professor of archaeology educated and trained by Dr. Abner Ravenwood (not seen). But Indy is also a puddle-jumper who locates and fetches rare antiquities from all over the world for the university museum. And he is good at it.
Indy is first seen in 1936 trying to fetch a tiny golden statue from a dark cave in South America. While spiked steel bars, a collapsing floor, poison darts and other traps and dangers do not stop Indy the Hovitos, led by Frenchman Dr. Rene "Thee is nothing you can possess I cannot take away" Belloq (Paul freeman), do.
Escaping the pursuit of a horde of bare posterior Hovitos, Indy returns to the university in America with a few trinkets of artifacts. Dr. Marcus Brody (Denholm Elliott), Dean of the university has news for Indy: that some U. S. Army Intelligence men want to see him. Indy's reputation has spread even to the government. The G-men want Jones to recover the long lost Ark of the Covenant that holds the pieces of the Ten Commandment tablets.
Since the Ark has power to make invincible the army that carries it before them, Hitler has been snooping around for it. The Army G-men want Jones to locate and retrieve it before the Nazis. Well, now! Isn't that right up Indy's alley. Soon, Jones is on his way to the city of Tanis right around the corner from Cairo, Egypt but first stopping off in Nepal to visit Dr. Ravenwood.
Dr. Ravenwood, Indy's teacher and trainer has been figuring prominently in secret German communiques. Why? Because Ravenwood had the head piece to the Staff of Ra: a tool that will reveal the location of the burial place of the Ark. When sunlight shines through the headpiece just right and at the right time of day its centerpiece jewel reveals the location of the Ark by casting a beam on the burial tomb in the map room.
Arriving in Nepal Indy is told by Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen), Dr. [Abner] Ravenwood's daughter, that "Abner is dead." With a little Jones charm Indy finds that Marion has the headpiece to the Staff of Ra but that she won't give it to him unless ...
There is little use of going into any further detail about the Raiders of the Lost Ark story since just about everyone has already seen it. The main purpose of conducting CAP analysis of the Indiana Jones films before Crystal Skull is to build a comparative of the four films. However, the full weight of the CAP analysis model has been applied to Raiders so I will at least provide the findings. The findings are, as usual, briefly discussed in individual investigation area discussions below and fully in the Findings/Scoring section.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
Enough violence content was found to drain all of the 100 starting points in this investigation area, just as with Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. And largely for the same reasons: decayed corpses; man killed by spike through head; action violence of varying intensities; gunfights with deaths; abductions; gunfire to kill; human incineration; more. [Prov. 16:29]
Raiders presented half as many uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary as Crystal Skull: only six. But by His Word that is six too many. Also as with Crystal Skull the most foul of the foul words was not noted, not even mouthed. [Prov. 22:11]
Sexual Immorality (S)
Raiders presented a full tribe of Hovitos running after Indy with their bare bottoms flopping in the breeze. Whether such nudity in endemic to a culture does not excuse it. "Nakedness" (display of nudity) is spoken of as dark, restricted, undesirable, shameful, etc. 47 times in the KJV from Genesis to Revelation.
Implication of sexual violation of Marion "as a child" by Jones was noted. A transport ship captain suggested using Marion as flesh for sale "to reduce our losses." Marion strips to skin form the waist up to don a gown provided by a man though no gender-specific nudity is seen. She is also seen one morning obviously nude under a sheet after a night with Indy on a boat. [Eph 5:5]
This is where Crystal Skull shined brightly over Raiders. Raiders presented enough drinking, smoking, drunkenness and guzzling to lose 77 of the starting 100 points in this investigation area. Let me now offer to you more on the 2002 American College of Physicians (ACP) study referenced above.
The study revealed that adolescent exposure to drinking and smoking in and as entertainment leads to undeniable abuse of alcohol among kids. The study 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 believed R-rated movies typically present more drinking than movies of other classifications. With Raiders (and other alcohol/smoking-intense movies classed less severe than R) this assumption is no longer true. The researchers were not aware of the matter of "R-13" and "13-PG" proven by this ministry (see R-13 for more information) and four years after us by Harvard University scientists (see Harvard Agrees With Us). Irrespective of the MPAA classification, the focus of the study 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. Even the University of Connecticut corroborates our finding and that of the ACP. [Eph. 5:18]
Offense to God (O)
Occasionally, Jones and others would try to cast God's Word and faith in God into the fantasy realm such as "If you believe in that sort of thing." Like Raiders using the three/four letter word vocabulary half as many times as in Crystal Skull, Raiders used half as many uses of God's name in vain -- two times -- BUT one of the them with the four letter expletive. [Deut. 5:11]
Toward the end when Belloq opens the Ark, spirits led by a female spirit come out and killed all the Germans. The Ark is a holy vessel. I doubt evil-looking spirits would come from it. Since there are no female angles in the Bible these entities were treated as counterfeits. Now is suspect a lot of kids will think the Ark to have evil spirits in it and that some angels are female. [1Cor. 8:9]
Most of the deaths in Raiders were defensive killings but one was murdered by the Hovitos with poisonous darts. No one committed suicide.
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.|
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In the name of Jesus:
Lord, Master, Teacher, Savior, God.
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