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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to His little ones through you in His name by His Word
(2006), PG-13 ["Lite PG-13*] (2hr 25min)
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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): Red Sun Productions Pty. Ltd., Warner Bros. Pictures, Original Film, Bad Hat Harry Productions, DC Comics, Legendary Pictures, Peters Entertainment
Distribution (US): Warner Bros. Pictures
Director(s): Bryan Singer
Producer(s): Gilbert Adler, William Fay, Stephen Jones, Chris Lee, Scott Mednick, Jon Peters, Bryan Singer, Thomas Tull
Story by: Bryan Singer, Michael Dougherty, Dan Harris
Screenplay: Michael Dougherty, Dan Harris
Characters: Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster
Cinematography/Camera: Newton Thomas Sigel
Music: John Ottman, John Williams
Film Editing: Elliot Graham, John Ottman
Casting: Roger Mussenden, Ann Robinson
Production Design: Guy Dyas
Art Direction: Hugh Bateup, Damien Drew, Lawrence A. Hubbs, Catherine Mansill, John Pryce-Jones, Charlie Revai
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6
Astronomers discover where Superman's home planet Krypton used to be. After a five-year journey to the remains of his home to find out if he truly is alone, Kal-El, who is now Superman who, disguised as Clark Kent (Brandon Routh), mild mannered reported for a daily metropolitan newspaper, returns to Earth to resume his role as the man of steel in the name of truth, justice and the American way. In the time he was gone, something on Earth grew.
Question: If Superman's powers depend on our yellow sun, how could he survive in the cold vacuum environment of outer space under what once was the realm of a red sun? The crystalline father of Superman, Jor-El (archive footage of Marlon Brando) had nothing to say about that.
So this is not a "sequel" so to speak with another Superman film arriving on the big screen but is a tale really of his return to Earth after his five-year absence. It is a tale of how things moved on in his absence, including Lois Lane (Kate Bosworth).
In Superman's absence, Lois Lane won a Pulitzer Prize on an article she wrote "Why the World Doesn't Need Superman." Does that sound like a jilted lover's revenge to you? She has good cause to feel jilted. But since Superman is Lois' "kryptonite" she falls putty again.
Superman Returns is also a tale of how Lex Luthor (Kevin Spacey), who is now out of prison, again plots and plans to destroy Superman and billions of humans in the process of acquiring -- you guessed it -- land. That will make sense to those who saw Luthor in one of the other Superman films. Not known by Superman, the land Luthor "acquires" is mixed with Kryptonite. Luthor even fashions a knife out of Kryptonite and uses it against the Man of Steel. And it works.
I will risk of telling a spoiler because of the contribution of the subject matter to the level of morality in this film. A subplot portrays Lois as having a five-year old son, Jason (Tristan Lake Leabu). Jason is given the last name of her cohabitating partner, Richard White (James Marsden), nephew of the Chief Editor of the Daily Planet, Perry White (Frank Langella), who assumes the boy is his. In other elements of this subplot the script alludes to the boy being the son of Superman. In any case, not one of the characters is married. And that says without saying to anyone with any degree of experiential maturity that at least one woman and two men have had immoral sex out of wedlock. This stuff may be background noise to you, obscured by the intense action and state-of-the-art quality of the film, but our youth pick up on these sort of things far better than do we as adults/parents. And it gets our youth thinking about such matters, desensitizes them to natural inhibition in favor of pleasure and emboldens them to do as others do. [Rom. 1:32].
Isn't there an increasing trend in the prevailing centers of childhood development -- in public schools for example -- to teach that the only safe sex is no sex (not that the school has any business teaching kids about sex in the first place)? If true and if movies really do reflect real life instead of engineer it, shouldn't movies follow suit instead of conflict with it? But then, if movies did truly reflect real life and its apparent trend to teach abstinence, Superman Returns would probably not contain the cohabitation and pregnancy out of wedlock. Now, wouldn't that be a shame? In some or maybe even many cases, the big screen is a better teacher than the one in front of your child Monday through Friday. And, yes, mom/dad, by no fault of your own the big screen might sometimes be a better teacher than you. [1 Cor. 15:33]
With a final score of 64 out of 100, Superman Returns is equivalent to the scores earned by PG-13 films in the CAP comparative baseline database. In fact, it earned a place in the high end of the scoring range (56 to 67 out of 100) earned by PG-13 films. But don't be fooled by the success this time of the MPAA to assess this film akin to earlier PG-13 films. Its Wanton Violence/Crime (W) investigation area score is zero out of 100.
Superman Returns is a very violent film. At least as violent as some of the "hard" R-rated films of violence, just without the gore. Indeed, in one sequence a super machine gun first kills a number of police officers then peppers the chest of Superman for several seconds, then the assailant fires a round of .45 ammo onto the eyeball of Superman. But no body parts are strewn, no pounds of flesh are blasted out and no blood is splattered in any of the killings or attempted killings. The no-gore is a nice-to-do move on the part of the filmmakers but little do they seem to know the mechanisms of violence influences less than the attitude. [Prov. 3:31]
The Impudence/Hate (I) investigation area found some profanity [2 Tim. 2:16], but more than that it found brutal disregard for life as Luthor plans to kill billions of people to achieve his goal and other intense brutality and hatred. Maybe that portrayal is in synch with real life? [2Tim. 3:1 - 5]
The contribution of sexually immoral matters found by the Sexual Immorality (S) investigation area is discussed above plus a couple innuendo and the use of a woman as a toy or an ornament. [Gal. 5:19]
The Drugs/Alcohol (D) investigation area found a bar, booze, drinking and smoking but no use of or reference to illegal drugs. [Eph. 5:18]
The Offense to God (O) investigation area found a number of uses of God's name in vain without the four letter expletive but none with it [Deut. 5:11] nor any presentation of witchcraft/sorcery/Satanism. Superman flying is unnatural and is thus incorporated in this investigation area along with miraculous healings and one resurrection. [Gal. 6:7] Though not incorporated into the scoring due to their ambiguity, there are a number of sly implications of mocking God such as several references to Superman being "the savior" and comments such as Jor-El saying "I have sent them you ... my only Son." and Luthor saying "The world doesn't need a savior, Neither do I."
The only matter covered by the Murder/Suicide (M) investigation area was the murder of a number of police officers by machine gun fire. The attempted murders of Superman and others are incorporated in the Wanton Violence/Crime investigation area. [Prov. 28:17]
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)
Christian Educators Association International
|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.|
|In the name of Jesus: |
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