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Remember the Titans (2000), (PG)
CAP Score: 87
CAP Influence Density: 0.24
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SUMMARY / COMMENTARY:
REMEMBER THE TITANS (PG) -- a really, really, really _____ movie.
I rarely make recommendations and I won't with Remember the Titans because it would not be good for me to recommend you to watch sin as entertainment or expose your kids to it. That is not my decision to make. And there were sins in it, not many but there were some. But this was a really, really, really good movie, PG notwithstanding. This moive even earned a CAP score of 87 which is equivalent to a "hardcore" G in the comparative baseline databse of movies. Arrrgh! Well, we tell you what is inarguably there and give you some truly reliable and consistent tools to help you make an informed decision for yourself.
Denzel Washington was at his finest as Coach Boone. But without the contrasting semi-submissive performance of Will Patton as Coach Yoast, Washington's presence would have been a little hollow.
Based on a 1971 true story in Alexandria, VA two schools, an all black school and an all white school were integrated. And the fur flies ... and fists. But the extent of bitterness and the depth of hatred and treachery actually experienced during the race wars of the seventies were thankfully absent. It is YOUR job, not the movie writer's job to teach your kids the reality of reality. One of the reasons for the perpetuation and amplification of aberrant behavior and bitterness is constant reminders of them, with each new reminder being a little more vicious than the last to keep the people coming back for more -- just like a drug [1 John 2:15-17; Phil. 4:8]: "We have been so drugged by vulgar extremes that what once was morally unacceptable has become morally invisible." (I am the author of that if you want to know.)
In a thoroughly enlightened and progressively fashionable move of the school board, black Coach Boone was brought in to replace the winning white Coach Yoast as head coach. In a thoroughly unselfish moment, head Coach Boone invites Coach Yoast to stay on as defensive coach: as assistant coach. But to keep things in perspective, a school board member tells Boone that if he loses one game he's fired. Sounds all too manipulative to achieve racial harmony under affirmative action, doesn't it. Not happy with the developments, Coach Yoast threatens to resign and go elsewhere. And, in keeping with his obvious leadership, so does most of the team. Not wanting the boys to lose their scholarships, Yoast agrees to stay on as defensive coach.
Boone becomes the drill sergeant in football camp. The boys learn many things, few of the things learned had much to do with football, though. Or did they? Boone forced the boys to get to know each other, to spend "quality" time together. Not caring whether they liked each other, he taught them to respect each other. Boone also taught the boys to learn courage and integrity. All with a heavy dose of personal accountability.
Even the cheer leading routines in this movie, though sparse, were not at all vulgar as in Bring It On. I was dismayed a little, though, that the routines of the white cheerleaders were chokingly "prim and proper" while the routines of the black cheerleaders were in stark contrast much more animated bordering vulgar. Talk about unfair stereotyping, just like Bring It On.
The only sexual matters in Remember the Titans were homosexual. Two football jocks; one the quarterback, the other the team captain, did a liplock in the locker room. The hippie quarterback wanted it. The "redneck" team captain did not. Without supporting or connective programming to make smooth the integration of the homosexual matters, a white military colonel brought his blond long-haired son to Alexandria to play football because the school the boy was going to attend would not allow blacks to play. Now that is really stretching it to introduce homosexuality into a movie, clearly making the homosexual presence a token. For any sense to be made of this, maybe the writers depended on everyone having seen American Beauty and its closet homosexual colonel and his teenage son. Homosexual innuendo freckled much of the show, but nothing particularly vulgar. While the movie was effective at presenting the truth that practicing homosexuality does not affect one's ability to perform great works (either intellectual OR physical), the movie failed miserably to present the Truth that practicing homosexuality is a sin. Maybe the quarterback was homosexual in Alexandria, VA in 1971, but that does not excuse ignoring the Truth of homosexuality being a sin. If every individual who has ever drawn a breath practiced homosexuality it would still be a sin to do so, not becuase I say so but because God says so. [Rom. 1:24-28] My say-so is completely insignificant to the Truth of it. As any pastor, minister, or priest, I just repeat Him.
The programming of addtional concern to parents and grandparents was the imagery and behaviors of racial unrest, hatred, and insults. Many various methods of expressing hatred based on race were portrayed, even by a nine year old girl. Matters of concern to parents and grandparents may include the five uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary, the single mouthed but not heard most foul of the foul words [Col. 3:8], and the three uses of God's name in vain, though each was without the four letter expletive [Exod. 20:7]. A sequence of "you(r) mamma" coarse joking [Eph. 5:4] might cause the mothers and grandmothers to squirm in their seats a little. While there was no noted vulgarities or foul language noted in the "you mamma" sequence and though it was intended as jesting, it was indeed disrespectful of the mother position in His Eyes [Eph. 6:2].
Rarely can a movie be used as a teaching tool by parents and grandparents, but this one might be. There is no teaching in exposing your kids to the foul language in this movie, but you may be able to glean wisdom for your kids through the portrayal of the lunacy of racial hatred and the inner peace in overcoming it. There may be merit in the portrayal of one man, properly driven using proper ethics, can change an entire community. You might find developmental fortification in the presentation of vehicular stupidity leading to permanent changes, specifically the team captain becoming paralyzed after burning rubber to show off during post-win frenzy. Kids may be able to see yet another aspect of the value teamwork based on personal accountability. There may be advantage in the portrayal of such courage as that expressed by the paralyzed team captain who said "They got Olympics" when speaking of people bound to wheelchairs.
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.
FINDINGS / SCORING:
NOTE: Multiple occurrences of each item described below may be likely, definitely when plural.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
Offense to God (O)(2):