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ChildCare Action Project:
Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP Ministry)
Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to His little ones (which includes at-home teens) through you, their parents and grandparents, in His name by His Word

(2004), PG-13
Analysis Date
CAP Final Score
CAP Influence Density
March 5, 2004
16 out of 100

By popular demand, my pict will be here for a while then moved to the end of the report pages.

Written/Prepared by:

T. Carder

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If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary likely using a mix of KJV and NIV.

(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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If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ]. 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.

  • 1Cor. 7:2 But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband.
  • Col. 3:8 But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.
  • Deut. 5:11 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. [Vain is shav' {shawv}: emptiness, nothingness, vanity, such as an expletive. With or without the four letter expletive, the use of God's name in any way other than respect, reverence or thoughtful discussion is in vain. That includes the popular three syllable sentence with His name trailing it AND the misuse of Jesus' name.]
  • Eph. 5:18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. ["Wine" can be any intoxicating substance. Though it is not a sin to drink, it is a sin to get drunk. A recent study has found an undeniable link between the presentation of alcoholic beverages and tobacco in and as entertainment and abuse of them by adolescents. And teaching/causing youth to abuse alcohol/tobacco by emboldening youth with them in and as entertainment invokes Luke 17:2]
  • Gal. 5:21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
  • Rom. 1:26 -27 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.
  • 1Cor. 6:9-10 Do you not know that the [unforgiven] wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
  • Jude 7 In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.
  • 1 Cor. 7:1 Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.

    ***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about [e.g., create progressively vile/offensive entertainment with impunity and no consequences and present it to younger and younger audiences every year] when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to defend it, embrace it, pay for it, enjoy it, want it, submit to it. I call attention to Ps. 12:8 to warn of the creeping desensitizing power of "entertainment."]
  • Col. 2:8 Beware lest any man [by his influence] spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.
  • Rom. 5:19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
  • Jude 4 For certain men* whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change [warp, distort, falsely represent, situationally redefine, counterfeit, conditionally apply] the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto [or for] one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto [or for] me.
  • Luke 17:2 It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. [cause by teaching or example]
  • Ps. 119:133 Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • 1 Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.


    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.

    Starsky & Hutch (2004) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
  • firearm threats, repeatedly
  • fighting, repeatedly
  • armed robbery
  • dog attack
  • reckless driving for show, repeatedly
  • dead body floating in water
  • theft
  • reckless gunfire, repeatedly, including while intoxicated
  • gunfire to kill, repeatedly
  • knife impalement by adolescent, repeatedly
  • lunacy with a firearm
  • attempted murder by explosion resulting in collateral damage - child
  • firearm to the face, repeatedly
  • gunfire injury

    Impudence/Hate (I)
  • 51 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary, once by an adolescent
  • one use of the most foul of the foul words
  • lacsidaisical attitude about dead and the dead
  • lies, repeatedly
  • vulgar talk from a child
  • arrogance toward police

    Sexual Immorality (S)
  • sexual reference
  • inappropriate touch, repeatedly
  • sexual harassment
  • excessive cleavage, repeatedly
  • below navel skin - male, repeatedly
  • man and woman in bed
  • camera angle to focus viewer on private parts, repeatedly
  • suggestive eye movements, repeatedly
  • dressing to maximize the body form and/or skin exposure, repeatedly
  • woman stripping to nudity before two men
  • side female nudity
  • ogling at nudity
  • women as toys, repeatedly
  • men in towels only
  • homosexual mannerism/talk/suggestions, repeatedly
  • pelvic thrusts
  • making out
  • lesbian kiss
  • sex talk in song for young adolescents
  • revealing swim wear, many
  • anatomical reference

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • drug dealing/manufacturing, repeatedly
  • smoking, repeatedly
  • illegal possession of control substances, repeatedly
  • drinking, repeatedly
  • bar
  • drug intoxication
  • drunkenness, repeatedly
  • song of drug usage

    Offense to God (O)
  • one use of God's name in vain with the four letter expletive and 15 without
  • adultery, repeatedly

    Murder/Suicide (M)
  • gunfire murder, explicit

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    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.

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

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