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Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP Ministry)
Entertainment Media Analysis Report
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UPDATED September 28, 2003
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|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), PG-13 -- ...it seems recess is the only education the kids get.
Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Paramount Pictures, Scott Rudin Productions
Distribution (US): Paramount Pictures
Director(s): Richard Linklater
Producer(s): Scott Aversano, Steve N
icolaides, Scott Rudin
Written by/Screenplay: Mike White Cinematography/Camera: Rogier Stoffers
Music: Craig Wedren
Film Editing: Sandra Adair
Casting: Ilene Starger
Production Design: Jeremy Conway
Art Direction: Adam Scher
Before I get into discussing the film, let me speak a little scoring techtalk for three paragraphs. School of Rock presents a somewhat unique distribution of scoring which deserves discussion. And after more than 750 of these analyses, I suspect there is credibility herein. If scoring techtalk does not interest you, skip these next three paragraphs.
Mathematically speaking, unless I fell asleep during the viewing of School of Rock and missed some issues of severe assault on decency and morality, it was not equivalent to PG-13. While the Impudence/Hate Investigation Area score could not get any worse (zero), the final score was equivalent to a PG movie in our comparative baseline database. This was due to a heavy concentration of assaults on morality and decency that fit into the Impudence/Hate Investigation Area with steeply fewer that fit into other Investigation Areas.
First, consider the concept of the CAP Rule of 1000 which states that a movie which presents 100 examples of bad behaviors of lesser severity, each worth only 10 "bads" (such as in PG movies infrequently but almost all PG-13 movies) is just as bad as a movie that presents only 10 examples of bad behaviors but of extreme severity, each worth 100 "bads" (such as R-rated movies). Both movies are worth 1000 "bads." Both have the same "feeling" but the movie which presents "100 examples of bad behaviors of lesser severity" is permitted a less severe rating by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) while the movie which presents "10 examples of bad behaviors but of extreme severity" forces an R rating.
That the Impudence/Hate investigation Area for School of Rock is laden with issues of assault on morality and decency while the final score seems to not be reflective of it is related to the CAP Rule of 1000 concept but only for Impudence/Hate. Typically, filmmakers include issues of assault on morality and decency that distribute more evenly over more than one Investigation Areas. But with School of Rock, most of them fell neatly into Impudence/Hate. The loading of School of Rock with tons of examples of bad behaviors of lesser severity which fit specifically into the Impudence/Hate Investigation Area is why the Impudence/Hate score was zero while the other Investigation Areas revealed much higher scores. The final score was mathematically equivalent to the scores earned by PG movies in the comparative baseline database (86 to 68 out of 100) because four of the other Investigation Areas earned comparatively high scores. This is one of the great features of the CAP analysis model. It helps you identify whether and where a concentration of ignominy exists. Nearly every non-G movie made has a concentration or weighting of ignominy, typically in Impudence/Hate. And that is another finding of the CAP research.
Enough of the scoring techtalk. On to the film.
Dewey Finn (Jack Black) has been kicked out of his band for being too extreme in both style and behavior. Dewey's roommate, a substitute school teacher, Ned Schneebly (Mike White) is fixing to kick him out of the apartment for non-payment of his share of the expenses. Dewey is desperate. One afternoon Dewey answered a phone call for Ned from the Horace Green Preparatory Elementary School. Horace Green School wants Ned to sub for another teacher immediately. Out of a job and with no income, Dewey fakes being Ned and takes the job at $650 per week. Dewey ... err ... Mr. Schneebly will be teaching a 5th grade class of 10 year old kids.
Mr. Schneebly is not a teacher. That much is obvious from the first day. But Principal Rosalie "Roz" Mullins (Joan Cusack) is also desperate and believes Mr. Schneebly. Mr. Schneebly's instructional period of the greatest academic and educational value was recess. Indeed, it seems recess is the only education the kids get for a few days. Then one day Mr. Schneebly notices the kids in a music class and a light comes on. From that day, Mr. Schneebly teaches music to the class every day, all day. Rock-n-roll music.
Teaching music to 10 year olds? Sound like a good idea in a pinch, right? Mr. Schneebly thinks so since he is going to teach rock-n-roll. Something to note if you watch this show is how even the writers credit rock-n-roll for bad attitudes and arrogance. God does, too. [1 Cor. 15:33] Sure enough, Schneebly spends a great deal of pedagogical energy on ensuring the kids express a proper rock-n-roll attitude, all the way to the Best of the Bands competition. Schneebly was able to crank out top notch performances from the 10 year olds. All in six weeks.
I grew up on rock-n-roll and love it, but not modern rock-n-roll. Thank God! There is great power in expression through music, but abuse of that power by modern artists is the problem. This is a perfect opportunity to mention the latest finding regarding the influence of modern lyrics on youth. Consider for a moment visiting our "Lyrics Affect Us? You Can't Be Serious!" page
School of Rock is clever and inventive. It is even touching at times as the kids are passionate about doing well with their talents, albeit buried under the rubble of rebellion-ridden modern rock-n-roll. I cannot say but it sure looked as though the kids were actually performing the vocal and instrumental works. That is what made the show touching at times. But it was not touching at other times. Not only was the film filled with Black teaching the kids to be arrogant, deceitful and rebellious [Deut. 6:7], the writers had the children using foul language ... three times ... plus once by the entire class, which invokes the admonition of Luke 17:2 and Matt. 18:10. If this is the reason the MPAA placed a PG-13 rating on the movie, fine. I just wish the MPAA ratings worked. But such is a subjective matter. Specifically, while it is indeed woefully sinful to teach and/or cause a child to sin, what makes it okay for adults to sin with foul language? We don't deal in subjectivity. Whether a child speaks a foul word or an adult, it is a sin [Col. 3:8].
Unless I fell asleep, the only issues of sexual inappropriateness were a number of showings of belly skin (skin far below the navel) and dressing to maximize the male form and/or skin exposure, plus some portrayal of sexual awareness of a young girl clearly outside the typical development and understanding of a 10 year old girl.
The most severe matters of potentially corruptive addictive behaviors included teaching the kids to lie and deceive to manipulate [Titus 2:6-8], student arrogance toward even reasonable school authority, telling elementary school kids to keep something from their parents and a number of other inappropriate issues shown in the listing in the Findings/Scoring section.
Before closing, I want to at least give credit to the fine performances of the children who gave heart to this movie. Joey Gaydos played Zack on lead guitar with Robert Tsai as Lawrence on keyboard. Maryam Hassan played Tomika (the shy singer who was brought out of her shell) with Caitlin Hale and Aleisha Allen as Marta and Alicia, backup singers. Kevin Clark played the drummer, Kevin, Rebecca Brown played Katie on bass guitar. Miranda Cosgrove played Summer Hathaway, the singer wannabe band manager. Brian Falduto played Billy, the temperamental band stylist. Zachary Infante played Gordon, the special effects expert with James Hosey as Marco, the computer operator providing lightshow services. Angelo Massagli was Frankie, head of security with Cole Hawkins as Leonard as the second in band security, Veronica Afflerbach and Jordan-Claire Green played Eleni and Michelle, the groupies.
Please do read the listing in the Findings/Scoring section before you decide whether to let your family see this film.
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.|