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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
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(2008), PG-13 [Hard R-13*] (1hr 09min)

Final Score
Analysis Date
Date Posted
Influence Density
April 13, 2008
April 15, 2008

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(While the Scriptural references are certainly not subjective, my commentary may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)

If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary.

(2008), PG-13 [Hard R-13*] ... without a doubt another R-13 ... if two plus two still equals four.

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Dimension Films
Distribution (US): Dimension Films, The Weinstein Company
Director(s): Craig Mazin
Producer(s): Jeff Maynard, Craig Mazin, Robin Mulcahy Fisichella, David Siegel, Matthew Stein, Scott Tomlinson, Bob Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein, Robert K. Weiss, David Zucker
Written by: Craig Mazin
Cinematography/Camera: Thomas E. Ackerman
Music: James L. Venable
Film Editing: Andrew S. Eisen, Dan Schalk
Casting: Venus Kanani
Production Design: Bob Ziembicki
Art Direction: James F. Truesdale
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6

Films rated R in the comparative baseline database earned final scores of 54 and below out of 100. Superhero Movie earned a final score of 25 out of 100. If two plus two still equals four, Superhero Movie is without a doubt another R-13. mainly because of saturation with crude, rude, toilet and sexual "humor", foul language and so much violence "humor." Some examples include a man telling a high school aged boy he had sex with his mother, that man giving the boy an alcoholic beverage and an old lady is "accidentally" thrown into a tree log chipper and all the viewer can see is her horizontal lower legs vibrating. Where is the humor in that?

If the final score of 25 does not convince you of the "hard R" rquivalence of Superhero Movie, take a look at the Influence Density score of 2.93. Films rated R in the comparative baseline database earned influence density scores between 0.78 and 2.04. Again, if two plus two still equals four Superhero Movie earned a R-equivalent influence density score. In spades.

Superhero Movie did not earn such a low score necessarily because of the intensity or severity of assaults on morality and ethics but rather because of so many assaults. Superhero Movie is a perfect example of that to which the CAP Rule of 1000 applies. The writers use a plethora of examples of "lesser" assaults on morality and decency to achieve the same "feel" as a film with fewer but more severe examples. It makes little difference whether a film presents 100 lesser examples of assault on morality and ethics each worth only 10 "bads"or 10 more severe examples each worth 100 "bads." The result is the same -- 1000 "bads." In fact, our Director - Child Psychology Support informed me that a movie with a plethora of lesser examples of "bad" (Movie A) might more easily contaminate healthy moral standards than a same-length movie with fewer but more bold assaults on morality (Movie B). Superhero Movie is another Movie A.

Orphan Rick Riker (Sam Cohen, Drake Bell), orphaned by killing his parents Blaine (Robert Hays) and Julia (Nicole Sullivan) as a child and adopted by his Uncle Al Adams (Leslie Nielsen) and Aunt Lucille (Marion Ross), is bent on next door neighbor Jill Johnson (Sara Paxton) becoming his girlfriend. In a Spiderman triangle, standing in the way is Trey (Kevin hart) whom Jill is dating to rebel against her father while the mother (Charlene Tilton), a foul mouthed snipe of a woman, has issues. And Jill, the teen daughter is, as always, innocent.

But things do not go well for Rick. His days are each an example of the new TV commercial which sings "I just can seem to get it right day." Then one day Rick is bitten by one of seven genetically altered dragonflies that escaped containment during a tour of a science facility by Dr. Strom (Brent Spiner - aka Data of Star trek(tm)). Rick slowly becomes a superhero.

During all this, corporate bad guy Lou Landers (Christopher McDonald) becomes energized as Hourglass, a super bad guy, by a scientific contraption gone awry. Landers now has superpowers and uses them for evil. He also now needs the life force of another to keep his life alive. One life each day.

To speak much more about the story and plot would be to give more attention than this little slice of deviltry deserves.

Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
While all of the violence in this film, however intense, is "slapstick" intended as humor, it is still violence. And there is a l-o-t of it. In addition to the example of the old lady being "eaten" by a log chipper, there are implied murders, a nail shot into the hand of a boy, a scene with a gun to the head, a firearm threat, several gunshots hitting people, robbery, impalement injuries and more. So much more that this investigation area found content enough to earn a zero out of 100 investigation area score. [Prov. 16:29]

Impudence/Hate (I)
Forty-seven times an example of the three/four letter word vocabulary is uttered, ten of them by youth. Is it any wonder why so many of our youth speak with such contempt for clean speech and try so hard to defend such speech with the Freedom of Speech (which, by the way, never addressed vulgar and foul language until ten ex-hippies in robes corrupted the Freedom of Speech) when the larger-than-life characters onscreen do so? "It's all fantasy. It ain't real. It's just actors playing a part." True. But a bad influence does not have to be real to influence badly. And "acting" does not excuse sin. And I mention in passing that the most foul of the foul words is also uttered once by an adult. [Col. 3:8, Titus 2:6 - 8, Eph. 4:29] All the lies, flatulence, hate talk from mother to daughter and dating to rebel against parental authority didn't help the score due to content found by this investigation area.

Sexual Immorality (S)
This film might be better described as an adolescent sex flick. Nudity is implied or masked but other sexual content and crude/rude humor is thick. About 41.7 examples per hour. That averages almost once per minute. One example is when Uncle Al tells Rick that he loved Rick just like his [now dead] father, that he raised Rick just like his father, that he had sex with his mother just like his father. Enough such content was found by the Sexual Immorality investigation area to drain all its starting 100 points as well. The males pumping women's breasts did not help the scoring, either. Nor did the men atop women in beds. Nor did the motions and gestures of intercourse. Nor did the oral sex innuendo. Nor did the homosexual inferences/suggestions. Nor ... [Eph. 5:4, Gal. 5:19, 1 John 2:26]

Drugs/Alcohol (D)
The whole gambit of drugs/alcohol are present: booze; drinking; drunkenness; giving an alcoholic beverage to a minor; offer to sell illegal drugs to minors; drug consumption. All for your 13 year old kids (and younger) to view and be changed. Changed? What's that you say? Changed. At least the American College of Physicians say so.

A 2002 study by the American College of Physicians (ACP) revealed that adolescent exposure to drinking in and as entertainment undeniably leads to 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% of the youths were under fourteen years old) only 16% were completely restricted from viewing R-rated movies. Within the ACP study population, the prevalence of having tried alcohol without parental knowledge was

  • 46% for those with no restrictions
  • 16% for those with partial restrictions
  • four percent for those with complete restrictions.
    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 in 2000 (see R-13) which Harvard University scientists corroborated four years later (see Harvard Agrees With Us). The bottom line? The focus is that 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. [Eph. 5:18]

    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.

    Our studies provide an additional parameter for the ACP study. While booze, drinking and smoking in and as entertainment indeed embolden defiance of rule and law and take their toll on wholesome decision-making skills of youth, our studies indicate the influence is not so much the presentation of booze and cigarettes in and as entertainment as it is the attitude portrayed by and with the drinking and smoking. See ATTITUDE: In Perspective -- Investigation Area Scoring and Trend in CAP Entertainment Industry Investigations, Special Report-001 for more information on the strongest proselytizing element in modern entertainment not being sex, drugs, alcohol, violence, etc. but is the attitude: the attitude of freedom from authority, freedom from accountability and freedom from consequences. Further, note that it is indeed attitude that emboldens youth to defy rule and law. Note also that attitude (impudence, arrogance, a proud look, "haughty eyes") is the first in the list of seven behaviors our Lord hates. [Prov. 6:16 - 19]

    Offense to God (O)
    With an area score of 42, the Offense to God investigation area is one of the two highest scoring investigation areas. The score of 42 is due to the use of God's name in vain in a variety of ways, including with the four letter expletive and trailing the three-syllable sentence so popular among teens of today. [Duet. 5:11] In addition, the display of the supremely arrogant micro culture of emo (goth), however short the display might be, lost the film a point in this investigation area.

    Murder/Suicide (M)
    While there are four implied murders in Superhero Movie, implication of murder cannot be incorporated into this investigation area but is incorporated into the Wanton Violence/Crime investigation area. There is, however, one murder by Hourglass by Mummy(tm)-style draining of the life force out of one person.


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  • Prov. 16:29 A violent man entices his neighbor and leads him down a path that is not good. [The issue is the violence, no matter how "small" it might seem, and its effect on an observer. "A violent man" can be a man, woman OR the men/women/characters demonstrating the violent behavior/action on the screen. Knowing of Prov. 16:29 you now know why violence, especially in and as entertainment, can embolden the viewer into aggression, especially youth. See also Joint Statement on the Impact of Entertainment Violence on Children: Congressional Public Health Summit. Further, God speaks darkly of violence 56 times in the Old and New Testament of the KJV. And see 1 Cor. 15:33 below.]
  • Col. 3:8 But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander (injurious speech), and filthy language [aischrologia: foul speaking, low and obscene speech] from your lips.
  • Titus 2:6 - 8 Young men (and women) likewise exhort to be sober minded. In all things showing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine showing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that (s)he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.
  • Eph. 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
  • Eph. 5:4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.
  • Gal. 5:19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;
  • 1 John 2:26 These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. ["These things I have written" includes lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes from 1 John 2:16. An example of "them that seduce you" includes they who demonstrate sexual sin, however innocuous it may seem, in and as entertainment which can morally "seduce" the viewer, can lead one astray by desensitizing one and emboldening him/her to believe sexually immoral deeds, thoughts and display are acceptable OR by eroding one's natural inhibition against sexually immoral deeds and thoughts. And anything in and as entertainment that draws the viewer's attention to sexuality, sexual deeds, nudity and the private parts clothed or not, seen or not, is sexual.]
  • Eph. 5:18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. [Since "drunk" is methusko {meth-oos'-ko}: to intoxicate; make drunk; to get drunk; become intoxicated, "wine" can be any intoxicating substance including illegal drugs or abuse of prescription drugs. The issue is do not abuse the body by intoxicating it [1 Cor. 6:19]. Though it is not a sin to drink, it is a sin to get drunk OR to influence to get drunk OR to drink in defiance such as underage drinking.
  • Prov. 6:16 - 19 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. [Proud: ruwm {room} - to rise, rise up, be set on high, be lofty, be exalted. Look: ahyin {ah-yin} - eye, sight, conceit, pleased (with self).]
  • 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 responsible discussion is in vain. That includes the popular three syllable sentence with His name trailing it AND the misuse of Jesus' name or title.]

    ***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
  • Jer. 37:9 This is what the LORD says: Do not deceive yourselves, thinking, 'The Babylonians [the destroyers from within] will surely leave us.' They will not!
  • 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, 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 Be not deceived: evil [kakov: of a bad nature, not such as it ought to be] communications corrupt good manners.
  • Rom. 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
  • Jude 1:4 For there are certain men* crept in unawares [secretly slipped in among us], who were before of old ordained to this condemnation [whose condemnation was written about long ago], ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness [a license for immorality], and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. [*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 one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
  • Luke 17:2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. [Offend: skandalizo {skan-dal-id'-zo} - scandalize; to entice to sin; to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey; to cause to fall away.]
  • Ps. 119:133 Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me [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. ["Evil" includes all things that are sinful.]


    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.
    (The objective heart of the CAP Analysis Model, independent of and insulated from the Summary / Commentary section.)

    Superhero Movie (2008) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
  • slapstick violence, frequent
  • firearm
  • four implied murders
  • talk of suicide
  • gun to head
  • fight
  • threat to kill
  • death by log chipper
  • shooting nail into boy's hand
  • threat with firearm
  • robbery and armed robbery
  • several gunshots hitting men and women as humor
  • sci-fi killing
  • killing by head blown off by "a supersneeze"
  • man afire
  • death by fall, twice
  • series of crimes
  • impalements, repeatedly
  • long series of slapstick violence
  • planning mass murder

    Impudence/Hate (I)
  • 47 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary, ten of them by teens
  • one use of the most four of the foul words and a euphemism of it
  • gross-out humor
  • lies, repeatedly
  • falling into manure
  • flatulence, many, some quite exaggerated
  • hate talk by a mother of her daughter
  • daughter dating only to rebel
  • urination, repeatedly, some quite exaggerated
  • defecation humor
  • poor hygiene humor

    Sexual Immorality (S)
  • attention to the crotch, repeatedly, some quite exaggerated and/or animated
  • transvestism
  • several animals trying to mate with a human boy
  • anatomical talk, repeatedly
  • attention to sexual behavior matters, repeatedly
  • crude menstrual humor, repeatedly
  • admission of sexually immoral behavior, twice
  • sequence of teen girl in underwear
  • anatomical grossness
  • peeping
  • exhibitionism
  • sex talk
  • homosexuality reference/suggestion, multiple
  • adult male in underwear, repeatedly
  • inappropriate touch
  • admission of sexually immoral behavior, an uncle saying "I had sex with your mother just like your father did"
  • kinky sex talk
  • rubbing bank clerk's crotch with foot under desk to influence the clerk's decision (unseen)
  • crotch humor, repeatedly
  • a teen boy pumping a woman's breasts
  • crotch hit
  • excessive cleavage, repeatedly, mostly by teen girl
  • dressing to maximize the female form and/or skin exposure, repeatedly
  • oral sex innuendo
  • sexual arousal imagery
  • phallus
  • intercourse innuendo
  • man fondling woman's breasts and asking for more
  • several individual undressed heterosexual pairs in bed together with additional imagery of intercourse motions

    Drugs/Alcohol (D)
  • giving beer to adolescent
  • offer to sell illegal drugs to high school students
  • booze
  • drinking
  • drunkenness, repeatedly
  • smoking dope/hash

    Offense to God (O)
  • high school students as emos/goth
  • eight uses of God's name in vain, two of them by teens

    Murder/Suicide (M)
  • sci-fi murder

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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 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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