ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)


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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
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Simpatico (1999), (R)
CAP Score: 36
CAP Influence Density: 1.76
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ALERT: To fully understand this report you should first visit the topics
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*Simpatico* (R) -- a play-turned-film story.

A play-turned-film story of horse breeding with a past -- a sorted past. Character development had sort of a rhythm as the contents of the characters' closets were slowly revealed: such a rhythm that seemed to blend together, or rather bleed together the various roles in a way that somewhat hides where the story began and when it ended. The blending/bleeding even seemed to obscure how characters differentiate. If it was not for difference faces, separation of characters would have been difficult.

Nick Nolte, in this role as the vulnerable and aged version of a partner in a youthful crime, was not his typical steel bravado role. Jeff Bridges was . . . Jeff Bridges, playing the part of a successful horse breeder and the aged version of Nolte's partner in the youthful crime. Sharon Stone showed how well she can play the part of a woman of shallow ugly character with a deep ugly past, and was the aged version of the third partner in the youthful crime trio. In fact, interconnectivity between characters was dependent on the ugly past they each shared.

Albert Finney played a corrupt horse racing commissioner who was the pivotal figure and key offender in the dark past, or rather a co-key offender with Stone at his "side." Kimberly Williams, who played the part of Nolte's girlfriend, appeared to be the only character in the movie without a deep and dark past who proceeded to put some skeletons in her closet with the spoils of the dark past of the others. Sure, the story ended when Stone shot and killed the triple crown winning horse that had a reproductive defect, but the ending seemed to cry out in a loud voice "Isn't there more?"

And *Simpatico* was truly another R-rated movie with all the "trimmings" of the R rating: 17 uses of the most foul of the foul words; 18 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary; 12 uses of God's name in vain; intercourse (mostly masked), sex talk; bribery; extortion; drunkenness; and a plethora of other portrayals of sinful behavior poised ready to plant aberrant behavioral templates in your kids if they see it ("kids" used herein is all progeny living dependent on you). Possibly the best thing I saw while watching this movie was there were NO underage moviegoers in the audience. I pray this is a trend starting which can be used to wean the CAP off of R-rated movies.

So many of our visitors seem to be relying only on this Summary/Commentary for a full assessment of this movie. This is not possible. For the best representation of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie, visit the Findings/Scoring section below.

FINDINGS / SCORING: Simpatico (1999) CAP Thermometers

NOTE: Multiple occurrences of each item described below may be likely.

Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
  • aiming a gun at a photo of of one disliked
  • entire movie based on extortion and bribery
  • threats
  • insane threat with firearm to head
  • cheating in business
  • encouragement to steal

    Impudence/Hate (I)(1):
  • 17 uses of the most foul of the foul words
  • 18 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • "Tell them..." [lies]
  • "Everything's fine" [lie]
  • "Tell her I've gone to Canada to see an old buddy" [lie]
  • argumentation

    Sex/Homosexuality (S):
  • sex talk, some vulgar
  • admission of immoral sex
  • intercourse (masked)
  • inappropriate touch
  • flashbacks of intercourse

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • smoking
  • booze
  • drinking
  • drunkenness, including to ease worries

    Offense to God (O)(2):
  • 12 uses of God's name in vain without the four letter expletive
  • "Just like she was answering my little prayer."

    Murder/Suicide (M)(3):
  • none noted

  • (1) As noted in CAP Special Report-001, "Investigation Area and Scoring Trend," of the six CAP Investigation Areas, Impudence/Hate was the strongest presence in all four movie classifications. It has a strong revelation about the entertainment media.

    (2) The use of the three/four letter word vocabulary without God's name in vain is incorporated into the Impudence/Hate Investigation Area. The use of God's name with or without the four letter expletive is incorporated into the Offense to God Investigation Area. There is no duplication.

    (3) Only portrayal of successful murder or suicide are incorporated into Murder/Suicide. Portrayal of attempts to commit murder or suicide and deaths by police action or war are incorporated into Wanton Violence/Crime.

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    Thomas A. Carder
    ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)

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