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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
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(2010), R [R*] (1hr 28.3min)

Final Score
Analysis Date
Date Posted
Influence Density
March 2, 2011
March 4, 2011

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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.

(2010), R [R*] ... "based-on-real-life" does not excuse ...

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Eight Films, Film4, Everest Entertainment, Darlow Smithson Productions, Dune Entertainment III, HandMade Films, Pathé
Distribution (US): Fox Searchlight
Director(s): Danny Boyle
Producer(s): Bernard Bellew, Danny Boyle, Christian Colson, Lisa Maria Falcone, Tom Heller, François Ivernel, John J. Kelly, Cameron McCracken, Diarmuid McKeown, Tessa Ross, Gareth Smith, John Smithson
Screenplay: Danny Boyle, Simon Beaufoy
Book: Between ad Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralston
Cinematography/Camera: Enrique Chediak, Anthony Dod Mantle
Music: A.R. Rahman
Film Editing: Jon Harris
Production Design: Suttirat Anne Larlarb
Art Direction: Christopher R. DeMuri
Viewed on Fox Home Entertainment DVD

James Franco provides the onscreen version of Aron Ralston, the climber and canyoneer who was trapped by a fallen boulder for 5.3 days -- 127 hours.

Aron decided one day to take a trip through Blue John Canyon and make the trek in 45 minutes less than the guide says. As the story goes, Blue John Canyon is named after the cook for the Hole in the Wall gang of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid fame which frequented the canyon and used it to trap horses. Blue John Canyon is basically a crack in the Earth's crust.

In "Canyonland" en route to Blue John Canyon, Aron runs into Kristi (Kate Mara) and Megan (Amber Tamblyn) who are lost. Knowing the area well, Aron guides them to their destination and is invited to join the girls at a party the next night. No one could have known Aron would not be able to make it: that his right forearm would be crushed and imprisoned between a rock wall and a fallen boulder as the partying took place. Bad enough as that is, Aron told no one where he was going. And no cell phone service was available. If he had simply picked up the phone when his mother called just before he left home he would probably have told her where he was going.

And that is the gist of the story.

127 Hours is R mainly due to violence and profanity. Twenty-one times someone, mostly Franco, utters the most foul of the foul words. Granted, one's choice of words may not be all that polite with a boulder crushing one's forearm against a rock wall ... for five days ... but that he was "justified" in using such language is beside the point. Our job at the CAP Ministry is not to judge whether someone is justified in their cinematic demonstration of sin but is to tell you, mom/dad, of it. We tell you what is there, you decide on the "justification."

Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - Zero out of 100
Much of the violence-related content of this film surrounds, as would be expected of a "documentary", the entrapment injuries and the self-inflicted injuries Ralston had to suffer. Though the story is based-on-true-life, violence is violence. The influence can and often is the same, especially when viewed on a 20x60 foot screen rather than against the tapestry of real life. Indeed, the influence of onscreen violence can be more deeply implanted than real life violence due to the nice air-conditioned environment while navigation a box of popcorn in a comfy chair -- with no consequences. Violence in and as entertainment can and often does lead the observer into aggression whether acted on or not. In other words, as worded jointly by four professional health agencies, violence in and as entertainment "may lead to real life violence." And even God warns us that violence can lead one in a "way that is not good." [Prov. 16:29]

Impudence/Hate (I) - Zero out of 100
Profanity is the second of the two major components of the content of this film that makes it "R." As I implied above, that this is a "based-on-real-life" does not excuse perpetuating emboldenment to use profanity [Rom. 5:19]. Profanity is the only content that applies to this investigation area. There are no instances of hatred toward anyone, no teens screaming obscenities at their parents, etc. And no assaults of impudence on the part of the filmmakers. But the language is definitely R-equivalent. [Col. 3:8, Eph. 4:29]

Sexual Immorality (S) - 28 out of 100
While there is no "bump-n-grind" sex in this film, it has its share of sexually immoral content. Particularly in the "flashback" memories Ralston experiences., flashbacks of previous immoral sexual encounters. The only content that approaches the "bump-n-grind" caliber was the orgy in a station wagon. [Col. 3:5, 1 Ths. 4:1-5]

Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 62 out of 100
As might be expected of a film that displays sexually immoral behaviors, alcoholic beverages are likewise displayed and consumed, once as part of the orgy.

Offense to God (O) - 55 out of 100
Eleven times someone abused God's name. And each time was a sin as noted in Deuteronomy 5:11. Remember, I did not write the Rules. The One who spent three days in Hell so you and I would not have to spend one moment there did.

Murder/Suicide (M) - 100 out of 100
There were no murders nor suicides noted through the entire 88.3 minutes.


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  • Prov. 16:29 A violent man enticeth his neighbour, and leadeth him into the way that is not good. [The issue is the violence, the 'way that is not good' no matter how "small" or "justified" the violence might seem, and its "leading" effect on the observer. "A violent man" ["man" here is enowsh {en-oshe"}: man (collective), mortal, person, mankind; contracted for iysh {eesh}: whosoever, each] can be any character of any age, any gender, human or not since the cinematic display is at the hands men and women, in the act of committing (demonstrating in the case of entertainment) violent behavior/action whether for good or evil or the violent behaviors/actions themselves. Such exposure can and does embolden the viewer into aggression, especially youth. It took years for American professional health community to finally affirm, probably without knowing it, that which God told us in 1 Cor. 15:33 below. See also Joint Statement on the Impact of Entertainment Violence on Children: Congressional Public Health Summit for more information. Further, God speaks darkly of violence 56 times in the Old and New Testament of the KJV.]
  • Rom. 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, ...
  • Col. 3:8 But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice [kakia: ill-will, desire to injure, wickedness, depravity, evil, trouble, not ashamed to break laws, etc.], and filthy language [aischrologia: foul speaking, low and obscene speech] from your lips.
  • 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.
  • Col. 3:5 Put to death [defeat, expunge, deprive of power, destroy the strength of], therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.
  • 1Ths. 4:1-5 Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. It is God's will that you should be sanctified [hagiasmos: purified in your heart and life]: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his [or her] own body [which includes control of drives, touching, seeking, lusting (even after images), speech, promiscuity, etc.] in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; [Be master of your body and urges, not a slave to them. Be not a seeker of any manner of sexually-oriented imagery or behavior outside of a monogamous heterosexual marriage. For any sexual contact (including visual), conduct or activity outside of a monogamous heterosexual marriage is sinful.]
  • 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 in prayer, with respect or reverence or in 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. So, trying to excuse such expressions with "I was talking TO God/Jesus/Christ when I said that" or "It's just words" or "I was acting" or "I was quoting" will not work with God.]

    ***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.)

    127 Hours (2010) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - Zero out of 100
  • wipe out on bicycle
  • fall with bloody entrapment injury
  • blood smear, repeatedly
  • long sequence of entrapment
  • replay of fall
  • injury gore/bloody gore, repeatedly
  • attempt to cut off arm
  • explosive startle
  • storm/flood peril
  • nightmare sequence
  • self stab of right forearm with knife, graphic
  • licking one's own blood
  • drinking one's own urine
  • craze due to body pathology
  • breaking one's own arm, twice (two bones)
  • cutting of one's own flesh to amputate forearm, graphic
  • long sequence of self amputation gore
  • long sequence of torturous trek back to civilization
  • bloody scenes, many

    Impudence/Hate (I) - Zero out of 100
  • five uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • 21 uses of the most foul of the foul words

    Sexual Immorality (S) - 28 out of 100
  • sex talk in song
  • sexual innuendo
  • "booty call"
  • man in shower
  • man in towel only
  • images of woman's finger tracing a man's breast, repeatedly
  • orgy in station wagon with nudity
  • female upper nudity with gender-specific anatomy off-camera
  • woman reaching under blanket to man's genitals, genitals off-camera
  • masturbating

    Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 62 out of 100
  • encouraging irresponsible drug consumption in song
  • booze, repeatedly
  • drinking, repeatedly

    Offense to God (O) - 55 out of 100
  • eleven uses of God's name in vain but all without the four letter expletive

    Murder/Suicide (M) - 100 out of 100
  • none noted

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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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