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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 [Hard R-13*] (2hr 00min)
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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
Director(s): Matthew Vaughn
Producer(s): Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Michael Dreyer, Chantal Feghali, Neil Gaiman, Stephen Marks, Peter Morton, Tarquin Pack, Matthew Vaughn, Brad Weston, David Womark
Screenplay by: Jane Goldman, Matthew Vaughn
Novel: Neil Gaiman, Charles Vess
Cinematography/Camera: Ben Davis
Music: Ilan Eshkeri
Film Editing: Jon Harris
Casting: Lucinda Syson
Production Design: Gavin Bocquet
Art Direction: Robert Cowper, Phil Harvey, Peter Russell
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6
Again I am able to view a film the day before opening day but am unable to get the report out until after a film has left theaters. I am getting tired of such delays.
The PG-13 Stardust is a cleverly arranged hard R-13. At least eight murders, once of a child. Unholy magic throughout. Not to mention immoral sex resulting in a baby.
While I might expect Michelle Pfeiffer to become involved with this caliber of production as a witch (Lamia), it surprises me that Robert De Niro would play a homosexual pirate captain (Captain Shakespeare). But then, since Ian McKellen (a.k.a. Magneto of X-Men fame) is the narrator I guess there would have to be some sort of homosexuality presented. Sir McKellen is a self-proclaimed homosexual practitioner and activist. And what better way to perform homosexuality activist functions than to "get to the kids", the most morally vulnerable age stratum, by indoctrinating them to homosexuality through entertainment targeted at them (PG-13). We are each precious to Jesus no matter what we choose to do, but some of what we choose to do is not. And, yes, to practice homosexuality is a choice. Every single non-autonomic movement of the human body is a choice. No exceptions. No debate.
The adventure begins in Wall, England -- a few hours trip from London. Wall is so named because of a rock wall built 150 years ago just East of Wall. There is a small gap in the wall. The gap is a portal to an imaginary land beyond, the land of Faerie. The portal opens into a field which leads to a forest. On the other side of the forest is Stormhold, so named for the Stormhold castle carved out of the mountain. Stormhold is a gathering of witches, warlocks, wizards and other manner of unholy magic known only to the imaginary world. In this village is Una, (Kate Magowan) a key figure, a slave girl for Madam Semele, a.k.a. Ditchwater Sal (Melanie Hill), one of a sisterhood of witches called the Lilim. The Una is actually the imprisoned princess, the only daughter of the king of Stormhold (Peter O'Toole).
Wistful and lustful young Dunstan Thorn (Ben Barnes) is bound and determined to cross the wall. Through trickery, Dunstan evades the sentry and charges through the portal to make his way into Faerie and eventually to Stormhold. There he meets the mother of his son - Una the slave girl. By special invitation into her trailer, Dunstan succumbs to her honey-laden wiles and conceives a child. [Prov. 5:3, 1 Cor. 6:19 - 20, 1 Cor. 7:1 - 2]
Eighteen years later we meet Tristan Thorn (Charlie Cox), son of Dunstan Thorn and Una. Tristan, too, has a yearning to cross the wall.
Tristan is in love with the Wall flower, Victoria (Sienna Miller), the beautiful belle of Wall. So enraptured with her is he, Tristan makes a promise to her that if she would give him her hand in marriage he would go and fetch a fallen star they had just seen and bring it to her as a gift. The star fell in the mountains beyond Faerie. Now Tristan's love for Victoria and his yen to cross the wall combine to give him the push to cross the threshold into Faerie.
There are others who want the fallen star, too. The king's four living sons want it since the king made it the key of succession to the throne upon his soon-to-be death. A decayed old witch, Lamia (Michelle Pfeiffer), queen of the Lilim wants it to make herself young again. And the effeminate Captain Shakespeare (Robert De Niro) and others make the task quite difficult for Tristan.
But the fallen star is not really a star. The fallen star, which is actually the space-bound jewel of a pendant of the king, is transformed into a young woman, Yvaine (Claire Danes). Still, Tristan promised to fetch the fallen star and give it to Victoria. Further, it is Yvaine's heart that is the "food" for Lamia to become young again. "Food?" Yes, food. Lamia needed to eat Yvaine's heart to regain youth.
There is much more to the rather graphic at times fantasy witchcraft and sorcery story in this film but enough is enough. Now to the part for which most of you come to our pages.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
With an area score of 11 out of 100, this content of the film is clearly equivalent to the same of many R-rated features. maybe not in extremeness but in total magnitude or envelope. Knives and swords at throats and faces. Much talk of cutting out a heart and eating it. Defensive killings by sword. Swords protruding out the backside of the victim. More. [Prov. 16:29]
Only four uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary were noted. Only four? That is four too many. [2 Tim. 2:16 - 17] Aside from the relatively lite assault on morality with the four uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary, a son lying to his father, cheating and more lies comprise the majority of the impudence content of this film.
Sexual Immorality (S)
Because, in part, of the implied immoral intercourse resulting in pregnancy out of wedlock and Pfeiffer dropping her clothes to the ground (genitals not seen), Stardust earned another R-equivalent score in this investigation area. Additional matters of sexually immoral behavior include rude gaze, nude man in tube with woman watching, nude woman in tub with man watching and a man and a woman in bed ostensibly after another intercourse overnight (cohabitation for sex), Stardust earned an area score equivalent to some hard R-rated movies. A film does not need to display nudity or other images to make a bold statement of and for immoral sex. Sometimes the suggestion of it is more influential than the display of it, [Rev. 21:8, Rom. 13:13, Prov. 30:20]
This film is equivalent in content to many PG films regarding drugs, smoking and alcohol content. A teen planning to drink and two teens drinking some celebratory wine is all there is to the Drugs/Alcohol content. Though equivalent to many PG films in this area, such should not be minimized. The American College of Physicians (ACP), the University of Connecticut and others have found undeniable links between underage abuse of alcohol and displaying it to them in and as entertainment. In a study of 4544 middle school students (90% were under 14) the ACP found that the prevalence of having tried alcohol without parental knowledge was 46% for those without restrictions on which rating may be viewed, 16% for those with partial restrictions and 4% of those with complete restrictions. That rather points a finger at presenting alcohol and drinking in and as entertainment. Whether we agree or not. [Eph. 5:18]
Offense to God (O)
Though the four uses of God's name in vain without the four letter expletive are serious enough [Deut. 5:11], they subjectively do not compare to the other matters of unholy content. Many unholy living things. Enchantment. Ghosts. The use of unholy magic to control and do harm. Shape-shifting. Many other matters of unholiness. This is not a film with which one might build reverence for God and His Word. [Deut. 18:10 - 12]
As introduced at the beginning of this report, there are portrayals of eight murders in this film. Murder to rise in power. Murder by poison. Murder by blade (multiple), including of a child. Murder by spike. Murder by evil power twice, once augmented by drowning. [Again Rev. 21:8, Rev. 22:14-15]
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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In the name of Jesus: Lord, Master, Teacher, Savior, God.
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