ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture


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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to our youth though you,
their parents and grandparents, in His name by His Word

Vanilla Sky (2001), R
Analysis Date: December 21, 2001
CAP Score: 50
CAP Influence Density: 1.91

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NOTE: If you do not want the plot, ending, or "secrets" of a movie spoiled for you, skip the Summary/Commentary. In any case, be sure to visit the Findings/Scoring section -- it is purely objective and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.


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

VANILLA SKY (R) -- Not only does Julie commit suicide, Aames does it -- twice.

Distributed by: Paramount Pictures
Director(s): Cameron Crowe
Producer(s): Tom Cruise, Paula Wagner
Written by/Screenplay: Cameron Crowe, Mateo Gil Rodríguez (based on Alejandro Amenabar's Open Your Eyes)
Cinematography/Camera: John Toll
Music: Nancy Wilson

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I am not going to go into any great extent about the storyline of this *Vanilla Sky*. It is about David Aames (Tom Cruise) who is disfigured by a car wreck then looses much of his world. Aames has the world by the tail. A huge publishing company left to him by his father makes him rich. Being holder of 51% of the company, Aames is also the CEO. Aames is an 11 year old in the eyes of the "Seven Dwarfs" -- the Board of Directors -- who are trying to slide Aames out of the lead position because of his haphazard, devil-may-care, "What, me worry" attitude.

A good friend of his, Julie (Cameron Diaz) thinks that since Aames has had sex with her many times that having done so is a promise to her. Aames wants another girl, Sofia (Penelope Cruz). The car wreck is a suicide by the driver Julie, his jilted bedroom buddy, plus an attempt to murder her passenger, Aames. Aames opts to get cryo-frozen to awake in the future when they have surgical techniques to restore his good looks. Aames also opted to have Lucid Dream playing during his popsickle state as he hibernates to the future. Lucid Dream is injection of brain activity by the cryo-technicians. Lucid Dream plus the activity of the subconscious takes the subjects thoughts during the dreamstate to who knows where.
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This is the first show I've seen where a man kills himself by drug overdose AND by jumping off a tall building. What a message! Suicide to solve everything. Not only does Julie commit suicide, Aames does it -- twice. Go figure. Though one of his suicides is during his dreamstate, since the movie seems to take great pride in making it very difficult to tell reality from dreamstate, the optics are the same.

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God says "Thou shalt not murder" [Exod. 20:13]. What would suicide be if it is not murder of the self. Additional movie content of noteworthy concern for mom/dad are the nearly three times as many uses of the most foul of the foul words than all of the rest of the three/four letter word vocabulary [Col. 3:8]. Also of concern are the sexual matters bombarding the viewer at about 12 per hour, including intercourse with nudity [1Cor. 7:2]. Since the Findings/Scoring section of these reports is the heart of the CAP analysis model, I will let it represent our findings more completely.

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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.

  • Exod. 20:13 You shall not murder.
  • 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.
  • 1Cor. 7:2 But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband.

    *******Food for Thought*******
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.
  • Jude 4 For certain men* whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change 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.

    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.

    FINDINGS / SCORING: Vanilla Sky (2001) CAP Thermometers

    NOTE: Multiple occurrences of each item described below may be likely, definitely when plural.

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
  • verbal threats
  • reckless driving
  • traffic wreck - graphic
  • stalking, repeatedly
  • cruelty
  • beating

    Impudence/Hate (I)(1):
  • 48 uses of the most foul of the foul words
  • 17 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • adult tantrums
  • lies
  • vulgar gesture

    Sex/Homosexuality (S):
  • cohabitation for sex, repeatedly
  • nude woman in man's bed after overnight cohabitation
  • revealing wear
  • dress to tease
  • offer of sex, repeatedly
  • physical maneuvers to stimulate sexually with explicit talk
  • flash nudity
  • adults in underwear
  • man atop a woman, clothed
  • oral sex talk
  • emotional disaster due to immoral sex
  • leg wrapping
  • nude man atop a nude woman, nudity seen, repeatedly
  • intercourse with nudity, repeatedly
  • dressing to maximize female form and/or skin exposure

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • drinking, repeatedly
  • bar/booze, repeatedly
  • prescription drug abuse
  • Drunkenness, repeatedly

    Offense to God (O)(2):
  • three uses of God's name in vain with the four letter expletive and twice without
  • claim of reincarnation

    Murder/Suicide (M)(3):
  • suicide for love
  • murder by suffocation
  • suicide by prescription drug overdose
  • suicide by jumping

    NOTE: The CAP Analysis Model makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse or for manufacturing of justification for aberrant behavior or imagery, or for camouflaging such ignominy with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure or example from the sinful display or the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. This is NOT a movie review service. It is a movie analysis service to parents and grandparents to tell them the truth about movies using the Truth.

    "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 five-year 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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    (1) As noted in CAP Special Report-001, "Investigation Area and Scoring Trend," of the six CAP Investigation Areas, Impudence/Hate was the strongest presence in all four movie classifications. It has a strong revelation about the entertainment media.

    (2) The use of the three/four letter word vocabulary without God's name in vain is incorporated into the Impudence/Hate Investigation Area. The use of God's name with or without the four letter expletive is incorporated into the Offense to God Investigation Area. There is no duplication.

    (3) Only portrayal of successful murder or suicide are incorporated into Murder/Suicide. Portrayal of attempts to commit murder or suicide and deaths by police action or war are incorporated into Wanton Violence/Crime.

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