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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
(2007), PG-13 [PG-13*] (2hr 13min)
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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): Columbia Pictures, Marvel Enterprises, Laura Ziskin Productions, Columbia Pictures Industries
Distribution (US): Sony Pictures Entertainment, Sony International, Sony Pictures Releasing
Director(s): Sam Raimi
Producer(s): Avi Arad, Joseph M. Caracciolo, Grant Curtis, Kevin Feige, Stan Lee, Laura Ziskin
Screenplay by: Sam Raimi, Ivan Raimi, Alvin Sargent
Story: Sam Raimi
Screen Story: Ivan RaimiB
Marvel Comic Book: Stan Lee, Steve Ditko
Cinematography/Camera: Bill Pope
Music: Christopher Young
Film Editing: Bob Murawski
Casting: Kathy Driscoll, Francine Maisler
Production Design: J. Michael Riva, Neil Spisak
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6
Since this report is being posted before the first showing on May 4, 2007 I will not go into as much plot or story detail as usual. I will however give you a comparative of all three Spider-Man shows. In the scoring comparative below several matters come clear
The first matter to come clear is the improvement, however slight, in morality content since the first Spider-Man of 2002: from a final score of 51 to 59 to 62. Indeed, the Spider-Man 3 show, except for one stinking point in Drugs/Alcohol (D) content, is equivalent to PG films in five of the six CAP investigation areas as revealed by the scoring range earned by PG films (68 to 86 out of 100) in the comparative baseline database. Be not comforted too much by these finings, though. Spider-Man 3 is as violent and maybe more so than both the previous Spider-Man shows. All three Spider-Man shows are truly equivalent to most R-rated films in violence content.
In Columbia Pictures' and Marvel Comics' Spider-Man 3, an animated black slime from outer space envelops its victim, Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) for one, and turns the victim into something s/he is not: ugly, aggressive, bitter. If you don't want to see the nerdy kid from Queens become an aggressive, arrogant, apathetic and licentious lad living for the gaze of the ladies, don't watch Spider-Man 3.
Harry Osborne (James Franco) continues his accusations that Peter Parker as Spider-Man (Tobey Maguire) killed Harry's father, Norman Osborne (Willem Dafoe), the Green Goblin from the first Spider-Man film. As the new Goblin, Harry launches attack after attack on Spidey. Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst) continues to try to make it in the performing arts. While Peter feels MJ is a dazzling diva, the critics do not agree. MJ is replaced in one of her roles by a young lady with a more powerful presence, Andrea Rubin (Jessi Collins).
One of the new kids on the block is Sandman a.k.a. Flint Marko (Thomas Haden Church). By an accidental exposure to super-scientific experimentation, escaped convict Marko is transformed into the Sandman. As it turns out, Marko is the accomplice of the burglar who killed Uncle Ben (Cliff Robertson). Was it the burglar or Marko who killed Uncle Ben? Was Uncle Ben's death a murder or an accident?
Another new kid on the block is Venom. As the animated sludge from space slimes its way into the life of Daily Bugle rival photographer, Eddie Brock (Topher Grace) he becomes Venom. Crime fighting for Spidey becomes doubly troublesome.
Peter's landlord, Mr. Ditkovich (Elya Baskin) is still bellowing "RENT" to Peter but at a much lesser volume. Mr. Ditkovitch's daughter, Ursula (Mageina Tovah) still has eyes for Peter. Mr. J. Jonah Jameson (J.K. Simmons), editor for the Daily Bugle is back, still barking "You're fired!" until his blood pressure ... and his wife ... take control of his explosive character. Still helping to keep Jameson's cool is Robbie Roberson (Bill Nunn) And, of course, Aunt May (Rosemary Harris) is back, as loving and wise as ever.
To say the very least, there is a lot more to this 133-minute continuation of Columbia Pictures Spider-Man franchise. But as I promised above, I will not go into any great detail about the plot or story since this report is being posted before the first showing.
But I will tell you a great deal about the content which led to its PG-13 label. Below are individual discussions of the content as revealed by the six CAP investigation areas. Remember though that the discussions below are just summaries of the listings in the Findings/Scoring section of this report which is the heart of the CAP analysis model and the most detailed accounting of film content available.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
This film is intensely violent, more so than the first two Spider-Man films. Not only is there more violence, it is somewhat more graphic than either of the earlier two installments. CGI is utilized to the max to present completely unrealistic but yet somehow believable-looking violence. Violence is not only intense but often comes in long sequences, climaxing in an exceptionally graphic act of violence such as an impalement murder.
God warns us in 1 Cor. 15:33 (and others) that "evil communications (sight, sound) corrupt good manners (coping skills)." This verse, whether intentional or even aware, is the basis for the joint finding of the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association and others that revealed viewing violence can and does embolden the viewer into aggressive behaviors. See Joint Statement on the Impact of Entertainment Violence on Children Congressional Public Health Summit for more information.
In terms of language content, Spider-Man 3 is atypically lite for a PG-13 film. Only three instances of the three/four letter word vocabulary were noted. The most foul of the foul words which seem to be oozing more and more into PG-13 is not there. At least it was not noted if there was. [Prov. 22:11]
Other matters of impudence and/or hate included lies and taking pleasure in the arrogant, apathetic, self-serving and licentious lifestyle. [Mal. 4:1] A father's dream state image teaching a son to seek vengeance [Rom. 12:19] and "I like being bad - it makes me happy" [2Ths. 2:12] topped off the loss of 25% if the starting 100 points in this investigation area. This film did seem to treat seeking vengeance as if it were an acceptable consequence of being wronged.
Sexual Immorality (S)
A man in a shower, a boy and a girl making out, one instance of excessive cleavage and an anatomical innuendo are part of the sexually oriented programming in Spider-Man 3. These, along with Tobey Maguire doing pelvic thrusts plus dressing to maximize the human form repeatedly are all that were noted to the sexually-oriented envelope. [1Ths. 4:1-5] No one got in bed with anyone and no nudity of any kind was seen.
In addition to smoking, this investigation area found examples of bars, of general drinking and of drinking to ease sorrows. The target crowd whether by design is the older preteen and younger teen ... the most impressionable of the youth yet with the power to make their own decisions and decide their own behavior when out on their own. This forms the point of vulnerability regarding the presentation of drinking (and smoking) in and as entertainment. The American College of Physicians (ACP) found an undeniable link between drinking/smoking in and as entertainment with youthful abuse of these substances. This is a big deal so I am going to make a big "sermon" from it.
The drinking is of significant danger in this film suggested by the MPAA as being fit for the middle school age stratum. The study by the ACP revealed that adolescent exposure to drinking in and as entertainment leads to undeniable abuse of alcohol among underage kids. The finding 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 assumed R-rated movies typically present more drinking than movies of other classifications. This assumption is no longer true. The researchers were not aware of the matter of "R-13" proven by this ministry (see R-13 and four years later by Harvard University scientists (see Harvard Agrees With Us). The bottom line? The focus 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]
I can add to the ACP study that reveals films which present drinking and drunkenness contribute to underage substance abuse. I submit that it is not so much the presence of alcohol and tobacco in films that embolden youth to abuse substances, but is rather the attitude portrayed such as the "drinking to ease sorrows" 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)
In addition to a strong presence of seeking vengeance and/or revenge with lust for killing, Brock asked Jesus to kill Peter Parker. God's name was used in vain a number of times but always without the four letter expletive. [Deut. 5:11]
Gunfire murder was presented twice in addition to one rather intense impalement murder. [Rev. 22:15]
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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Lord, Master, Teacher, Savior, God.
ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture
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