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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to His little ones through you in His name by His Word
(2007), PG [Hard PG*] (1hr 33min)
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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): Marc Platt Productions, Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation, Walden Media
Distribution (US): Fox-Walden, Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation
Director(s): David L. Cunningham
Producer(s): Marc E. Platt, Ron Schmidt
Screenplay: John Hodge
Novel: Susan Cooper
Cinematography/Camera: Joel Ransom
Music: Christophe Beck
Film Editing: Geoffrey Rowland, Eric A. Sears
Production Design: David Lee
Art Direction: Bill Crutcher, Julia Dehoff, Alexandru Roxana, Vlad Vieru
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6
The Seeker: The Dark is Rising, an adaptation of The Dark is Rising, the second in Susan Cooper's series of novels for youth, is somewhat heavy in violence and is intense in unholy matters. But note that The Seeker: The Dark is Rising is completely void of, maybe I should say clean of profanity and sexually immoral behaviors and imagery.
This is a story of evil versus good: of light versus darkness. It might even be thought of as another mockery of spiritual warfare portraying (for the most part) good being a victim of darkness.
Fourteen year old birthday boy, Will Stanton (Alexander Ludwig), the seventh son of the seventh son doesn't know it but he is tasked with doing battle with the Rider (Christopher Eccleston) who is doing his best to kill the light with darkness. Now where have we heard that before? [John 8:12, John 12:46, John 3:19 and more] Though good -- the light -- wins in the end, a victory does not justify dishonorable means or methods. A noble destination does not excuse an ignoble path to it. Using evil powers even for good is still using evil powers. [Isa. 5:20] Too often in entertainment a message or meaning intended for a scene or dialogue may get lost as it passes through a plethora of social and emotional filters by the time it gets to the brain. As redemption does not excuse sins along the way to redemption, context does not excuse content.
Will's father, John (John Benjamin Hickey) has recently relocated his family to a small U.K. town so John could teach Physics. John is the seventh son of his father. John and his wife Mary (Wendy Crewson) had a daughter, Gwen (Emma Lockhart) with sons Max (Gregory Smith), James (Drew Tyler Bell), Steve (Jordan J. Dale), Robin (Edmund Entin) and Paul (Gary Entin). But wait! That is only six sons! How can Will be the seventh son? SPOILER! Later in the show we learn that Will had a twin brother, Tom (Alexander Ludwig) who was kidnapped and presumed dead soon after birth. So, now is laid the path of the seventh son of the seventh son.
The Old Ones, a band of four supernatural human warriors, have the task of teaching Will all they know in battling the Darkness and help his as best they can. Together with Miss Greythorne (Frances Conroy), Dawson (James Cosmo) and Old George (Jim Piddock) the leader of the Old Ones, Merriman Lyon (Ian McShane) mentors and protects Will as Will develops skills he did not know he had in how to utilize the Light to battle Darkness as has been his destiny from and because of birth ... as one of the Old Ones.
As the Seeker, Will must find six signs before the Rider does. Whomever finds the six signs first can save the world from the Darkness or rule the world with the Darkness. Five of the six signs are small circular objects each made of different material hidden in locations throughout history. But not to worry. One of Will's powers is to be able to transport back in time. The sixth sign "can never be found because it was never hidden." The secret as to the sixth sign is rather clever. Let us just say the Old Ones and the Rider have been waiting a very long time for Will.
Will has five days in which to find the signs. So does the Rider. But the Rider's evil powers increase as the five days elapse. Not only does Will's unfulfilled adolescence, in particular Maggie Barnes (Amelia Warner), get in the way so does increasingly bad weather caused by the Rider.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
In terms of violence, the Wanton Violence/Crime investigation area score of 53 for this film is mathematically equivalent to some "lite" R-rated films. Medieval warfare, a knife to a throat, animal attacks and threats to do harm to loved ones combine with other instances of violence to steal nearly half of the starting 100 points in this area. [Prov. 16:29, Prov. 13:2, Prov. 3:31]
There was not a single instance of profanity noted in the entire 93 minutes of this film. However, a few points were lost due to a son's arrogance toward his father and a couple lies. [Eph. 6:1 - 3, Col. 3:20, Rev. 21:8]
Sexual Immorality (S)
As there were no instances of profanity noted, there were also no instances of sexually immoral behavior or imagery noted.
If it were not for offering an alcoholic beverage to a minor, betting with booze and dinner wine, this film would have kept its starting 100 points in this Drugs/Alcohol investigation area. Note that presenting drinking to adolescents, especially of the middle school age stratum, has proven to be a serious matter. And I will treat it as such below.
The American College of Physicians (ACP) has found that exposure to booze and drinking in and as entertainment emboldens the viewer, in particular the middle school age stratum, the PG and PG-13 age stratum, to challenge and experiment with alcohol.
Though the ACP study used R-rated films since it was believed R-rated films contained the most drinking, the focus is on the influence of exposure to alcohol in and as entertainment regardless of the film rating. Besides, the ACP researchers were not aware of R-13 which defeats the assumption that R-rated films present the most drinking and drunkenness. A finding by Harvard University agreed with our R-13 finding, four years after our finding. As a sidebar note, consider this, too. The MPAA is apparently going to consider all films with smoking in them as R-rated, clearly announcing without trying that smoking in and as entertainment is indeed a negative influence. If so, why not make R-rated any films which present booze and/or drinking and/or drunkenness? [Eph. 5:18] We incorporated smoking into a film's scoring distribution long before the MPAA. Even other film rating websites have plagiarized our methodology. Might that imply others are following our lead? That we are doing something right?
Within the ACP study population of 4544 middle school students (90% were under fourteen years old), 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 alcohol 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, even 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.
Offense to God (O)
This investigation area found enough content to cause the film to lose all of its starting 100 points. While God's name was used in vain only once and without the four letter expletive [Deut. 5:11], matters of the use of unholy powers to do harm, bartering with souls, magical transporting of a human, the use of unholy magic to do good and unholy resurrections were very expensive to the scoring distribution. [Rev. 21:8, Rev. 22:15, Deut. 18:10 - 12] The list goes on so please be sure to inspect the listing in the Findings/Scoring section for the most complete accounting of the content of this film.
There was one non-graphic murder in The Seeker. Animals under unholy control were used to murder one man.
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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ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture
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