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Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP Ministry)
Entertainment Media Analysis Report
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(2004), PG-13 -- It was difficult ... until now ...
Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Warner Bros., Dimension Films, Red Hour Films, Weed Road Pictures, Red Hour Films, Riche-Ludwig Productions
Distribution (US): Warner Bros.
Director(s): Todd Phillips
Producer(s): Gilbert Adler, William Blinn, Scott Budnick, Stuart Cornfeld, Akiva Goldsman, Tony Ludwig, Alan Riche, Ben Stiller
Characters: William Blinn
Story: Stevie Long, John O'Brien
Screenplay: John O'Brien, Todd Phillips, Scot Armstrong
Cinematography/Camera: Barry Peterson
Music: Theodore Shapiro
Film Editing: Leslie Jones
Casting: Juel Bestrop, Jeanne McCarthy
Production Design: Ed Verreaux
Art Direction: Greg Papalia
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6
Starsky & Hutch is another good example of the CAP Rule of 1000. If not a good example, proof of it. Except for the frequent and sometimes exceptionally bad foul language and token nudity, there is little in Starsky & Hutch that is as bold as the signature content of hard R-rated movies. But there are so many examples of assaults on morality and decency of lesser severity that the "effect" or magnitude of the movie's envelope is easily equivalent to many R-rated movies. Some hard R-rated movies. Our Director - Child Psychology Support agrees with me that presenting a great many examples of aberrant behavior and imagery of lesser severity such as in this movie is indeed even more negatively influential than the typically fewer but more extreme examples of moral assaults typical of R-rated movies of similar length. It was difficult ... until now ... to imagine whether one average length PG-13 movie could present such a density of these "lesser" ignominies that it could ever break into the teens scoring. Starsky & Hutch earned a final score of 16! Further, Starsky & Hutch earned an Influence Density (ID) of 2.28. The range of ID scores for all the R-rated movies in the comparative baseline database is about 0.72 to 2.2 (the higher the figure, the more dense the invasive content). That clearly places Starsky & Hutch as slightly more extreme than the "most R" movie in the comparative baseline database, which is The Specialist (1994) which earned a final score of 25! (See CAP Methodology.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) agrees with me that prolonged exposure to this sort of guided imagery and learning generates acceptance of it. The AAP agrees also with me that because children (2 to 18) have such high levels of exposure to entertainment (up to eight hours per day), entertainment media have greater access and time to shape children's minds and attitudes and thus behavioral decision-making than do parents or teachers, replacing them as role models, educators and as the primary sources of world information and behavior. And the AAP agrees that behavior aberrations brought on by entertainment can persist for decades! Whether the AAP know it, they agree with God.. [Ps. 12:8] But what makes this reality so easy to discard is that we have become so drugged by the narcotics of extremes in and as entertainment progressively for so long that what once was morally unacceptable has become morally invisible. Desensitization, anyone?
Starsky and Hutch of 2004 go through the same sort of hijinks the original characters of the TV series went through but with a new age stain. A look-alike of the 1970s "Starsky & Hutch", this 2004 version employs the same tools and devices down to the same 1976 Ford Grand Torino flying through the air, the same funk provided mostly by Huggy Bear (Snoop Dogg, originally played by Antonio Fargas), the same bell bottom pants and cameo appearances of the original Starsky, Paul Michael Glaser, and Hutch, David Soul. But a lot has been added. A lot of immoral behaviors and imagery.
David Starsky (Ben Stiller) is a straight-laced and organized detective with the Bay City Police Department who has fallen into disfavor with Captain Harold Doby (Fred Williamson). Ken Hutchinson is a laid back and more liberal detective also with the Bay City PD who has also fallen in disfavor with Captain Doby. While Starsky would not think of accepting any kickback from the crime worlders, Hutch was not above greasing his palm with a little graft every now and then. Starsky is so by-the-book that he wanted to arrest Huggy's henchmen for packing pistols while Hutch was quite willing to look the other way.
Both Starsky and Hutch are assigned to a cocaine manufacturing organization led by Reese Feldman (Vince Vaughn). Reese's chemist developed a new form of cocaine that is undetectable by taste or drug dogs but is fully effective narcotically. "New coke has replaced the old coke." One can imagine that $35 million would be a competitive price for the new undetectable drug. Quantities of the new drug were to be sold in seven lots at $5 million each. The 'vehicle' for making the sale was rather creative (hint). Reese's front for the drug operations was a foundation to help newly released convicts.
As there was a lot of assaults on ethics and morality packed into this 102 minute show, there was a lot to the story as well. Too much to be able to provide much detail without taking more time than can be afforded. Besides, adding too much detail to this Summary/Commentary would spoil the show should you decide the following information about it is acceptable for you and/or your family.
Amy Stuart strips to nudity in front of Stiller and Wilson who ogle at her obviously. And the audience sees much of it from the side as well. [1Cor. 7:2] There are 52 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary plus one use of the most foul of the foul words [Col. 3:8]. There are also one use of God's name in vain with the four letter expletive and 16 without. [Deut. 5:11] The whole story is based on illegal drug operations and drug intoxication is demonstrated along with drinking and drunkenness. [Eph. 5:18; Gal. 5:21] There is a graphic gunfire murder, armed robbery and much gunfire to kill as well as sheer lunacy with a firearm. While Stiller leaves Wilson with Amy Stuart and Carmen Elektra (two cheerleaders), the trio engage in making out then the two women engage in lesbian kissing. And lesbianism is not left to fend for itself, homosexual suggestions and mannerisms including a fetish with belly buttons appear not as just a token promotional short insert but as an integral point in the story. [Rom. 1:26 - 27; 1Cor. 6:9-10; Jude 7] A pornographic song is sung to Reese's daughter [Luke 17:2]. Inappropriate touching was demonstrated as well. [1 Cor. 7:1] Too bad, too. There was some great music in this movie.
There is much more to the assaults on decency and morality. They are listed in the Findings/Scoring section.
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***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
Kids, Teens and Home Vertical Portal
|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.|