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Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP Ministry)
Entertainment Media Analysis Report
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(2004), PG-13 -- "...there are no atheists in foxholes." ... "...is NOT an "R-13."
Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Imagine Entertainment, Touchstone Pictures
Distribution (US): Buena Vista Pictures
Director(s): John Lee Hancock
Producer(s): Brian Grazer, Todd Hallowell, Ron Howard, Mark Johnson, Philip Steuer, Louisa Velis
Written by: Leslie Bohem, Stephen Gaghan, John Lee Hancock
Cinematography/Camera: Dean Semler
Music: Carter Burwell
Film Editing: Eric L. Beason, Paul Covington
Casting: Ronna Kress
Production Design: Michael Corenblith
Art Direction: Lauren E. Polizzi, Dan Webster
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6
The Alamo was not a fort. It was a San Antonio mission. A church. It was not designed to be a military stronghold. And neither were all of the soldiers trained to be a military fighting unit. But they led the way to the defeat of Santa Anna and the securing of Texas as a sovereign state of these United States of America. What right did we have to take the Texas territory? I can't speak to that anymore than I can speak to our right to take America from the Native Americans.
About 200 men, many with their families, fought President/Dictator/General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna (Emilio Echivarria) and his army for 13 days in 1836 for the possession of the territory known as Texas. Santa Anna arrived with thousands of soldiers which hopelessly outnumbered and out-gunned the defenders of the Alamo and San Antonio. While we fought Santa Anna for 13 days at the Alamo and lost that battle, General Sam Houston defeated Santa Anna at San Jacinto in 18 minutes.
Among those defenders of Texas at the Alamo included the one an only Congressman and Colonel Davey ... err ... David Crockett (Billy Bob Thornton) and Colonel James Bowie (Jason Patric). Thankfully, there was no mention of Wild Bill Hickock at the Alamo or anywhere else. But leading the backup troops was General Sam Houston (Dennis Quiad), initially to fight Santa Anna at the Alamo but as strategy would have it, to fight a 700-man fragment of Santa Anna's army with him in it at San Jacinto. Commanding the Alamo was the "90-day wonder"-looking Lt. Colonel William Barret Travis (Patrick Wilson) who assumed command from a Colonel who left for personal business. So straight and proper was Travis that he and Bowie got into a scuffle about command Bowie's volunteers as a unit within Travis' regulars.
The tracing of history was apparently quite correct. Though I am a "Texian" I am not familiar enough with the intricacies of the contribution of the Alamo to the history of Texas to discuss them in any great detail. I've stood in front of the Alamo in San Antonio (about four an one half hours south of Fort Worth, about three and one half hours south of me) but have embarrassingly not learned enough about its position as cornerstone of the birth of this largest state in the union. One of the expressions of the truckers here in Texas is "I been drivin' from sunup to sunset and ain't seen the other side of Texas yet." Texas with 275, 416 square miles of land is nearly twice as large as California. It seems the Californians are confused about how much land they have. Searches reveal sizes of California ranging from 158,869 to 163,707 square miles.
About "the biggest state in the country", we won't count Alaska (591,004 square miles) since it wasn't even thought of during the Alamo times. Anyway, Alaska has more than 3 million lakes over 20 acres in size making much of Alaska under water and that don't count as land to steers or crops. Besides, 20 acres of water is just a sip to a Texas longhorn. And with all that water seeping up from the ocean Alaska is bound to sink some day. Alaska came to be because back when we whupped Santa Anna we ended up with so much extra land that we had Paul Bunyan and Babe drag a chunk of it way up north (which made the Rocky Mountains) to get rid if it and somebody made it Alaska. So, when folks sing "North to Alaska" think of Texas. If anyone has any other really good tall Texas tales, send them in by email and we might post them right here with this one. Can't pay you for your submission, though. And if'n you do NOT want your name and email attached to it, say so.
The Alamo is not a blockbuster nor is it likely to earn any awards, but it is a faithful telling of the events that led up to and including the defeat of Santa Anna at San Jacinto. And our Christian heritage is not ignored nor is our reliance on the Father. I heard once the there are no atheists in foxholes. The Alamo is a good example of that saying.
I don't know if it is true that Crockett was a fiddle player, but some of the reported "flaws" in the lead contributors to the story are presented such as Houston's excessive imbibing of the bottle and Bowie's battle with "consumption" and the depression from knowing he will die from it Even the finale of the campaigns against the heroes in the Alamo was accurately told as happening at night. And Davey Crockett was quick to minimize all the fantastic tales about him such as killing a bear when he was only three, Crockett being the one who was only three. Crockett also told us he learned many things as a congressman but he never learned how to lie. How true it was I don't know that Crockett prevented a volley from Santa Anna by accompanying on his fiddle the drum and brass instrumental Santa Anna played before each volley, but it was a nice touch.
Though to be expected of a war story, clearly the strongest presence in The Alamo is violence. Not much gore but a lot of violence. The battle sequences involve many individualized killings. Though true to history as can be, such imagery and influence can be counterproductive to many youth. [Prov. 3:31-32] General Houston's drinking, guzzling and drunkenness, though probably true, are not a good influence coming from such a figure in and as entertainment. [Eph. 5:18] The only sexual impropriety in the whole picture was when Santa Anna opened the doors to a room and we see a very reluctant young local woman in a bed (fully clothed) obviously for Santa Anna's sexual pleasure. Such was abduction for sex. [1Cor. 7:2] Also a true to but a dark part of our history was the portrayal of slavery, of people as the property of others. Moses spent a great deal of time and effort explaining to us the wrongness of slavery but did we listen? "Let my people go" appears several times in the Bible. And there were 13 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary [1Pet. 3:10] and three uses of God's name in vain but without the four letter expletive [Deut. 5:11].
The CAP scoring range for PG-13 movies in the comparative baseline database is 67 to 55 out of 100. The Alamo earned a score high in that range at 64. While the Wanton Violence/Crime investigation area score was zero, scoring in the other five investigation areas were high enough to lift the final score high in the range of scores earned by PG-13 movies in the comparative baseline database. The Alamo is not an "R-13."
Please look to the listing in the Findings/Scoring section for the itemization of findings before you decide the age stratum for which this film is acceptable in your family. The MPAA nor this ministry cannot know as well as you what is and is not right for you children. Only God and you (in that order) can know that.
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.
***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)
Single Christian Network
Kids, Teens and Home Vertical Portal
|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: |
Lord, Master, Teacher, Savior, God.
ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture
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