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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to His little ones through you in His name by His Word
(2007), PG [PG*] (1hr 45min)
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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): Polish Brothers Construction
Distribution (US): Warner Bros. Pictures, Warner Independent Pictures
Director(s): Michael Polish
Producer(s): Len Amato, Robert Benjamin, Geyer Kosinski, Mark Polish, Michael Polish, Jonathan Sheldon, Paula Weinstein
Written by: Mark Polish, Michael Polish
Cinematography/Camera: M. David Mullen
Music: Stuart Matthewman
Film Editing: James Haygood
Casting: Victoria Thomas
Production Design: Clark Hunter
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6
The MPAA says The Astronaut Farmer is PG for thematic material, peril and language. I guess 18 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary constitutes "language." Except for one of the four-letter words, some R-13 level language has now made it into PG. I don't know how else to explain the R-equivalent Impudence/Hate investigation area score of 40 out of 100 when R-rated films in the comparative baseline database of films earned scores of 54 and below.
Aeronautical engineer and ex-NASA astronaut Charlie Farmer (Billy Bob Thornton), a daring test pilot and astronaut who never made it into space, vows to get there ... on his own ... by building his own rocket in his barn. And his family are all behind him 100%: wife Audie (Virginia Madsen), adolescent daughters Stanley (Jasper Polish) and Sunshine (Logan Polish), teen son Shepard (Max Thieriot). At least until the bank threatens to repossess the farm and cancels their credit card. Then Audie can't take it anymore, temporarily anyway, and throws a few plates at Charlie. But soon, the entire family are again behind Charlie. Audie, Sunshine and Stanley are the cheering section while 15 year old Shepard is Charlie's ground engineer.
In spite of fight after fight with the bank, Charlie succeeds in finishing his rocket but now fuel becomes a real problem. He needs 10,000 pounds of high grade rocket fuel which would cost $50,000. Charlie settles for a concoction using kerosene and pays for it dearly -- he is nearly killed as he hits the ground after a mile or two of skimming along the ground in his rocket.
What a family! The kids "adore" Charlie. Audie thinks like Charlie, agrees with his reasoning and gives him all her support. One incredibly unselfish comment heard was by Audie: "He needs our support regardless..." Even Audie's dad, Hal (Bruce Dern), who is living with them, is behind Charlie. Child Protective Services thinks the kids are in danger. The aeronautical commission thinks Charlie is insane. The bank thinks ... Well, you find out what the bank thinks and what Charlie thinks of the bank if you decide what we reveal is fit for your family.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
This is not a particularly violent film. Violence such as the action violence experienced as Charlie is propelled along the ground by a failing active rocket and criminal content such as a threat to kill a bank officer did not overpower the rest of the film. Charlie, when seeing a strange man in his fields near his cattle, confronted the strange man to find he was a bank officer assessing his property for foreclosure. To that Charlie said he had 350 acres of land and asked the bank officer if he knew how hard it would be to find a body in those 350 acres. Though under the given circumstances one might feel the bank "oppressor" deserved the threat but he was just doing his job of protecting the money of all the other bank depositors who, without their knowledge, might lose their farms without it. Are we to make the many suffer for the benefit of the one? A communist might and might make the victim the criminal as Charlie becomes the oppressor with his threat. The emotional manufacturing of envy for Charlie with his threat to kill might lead the young to view violence as "an effective way of settling conflicts." See Joint Statement on the Impact of Entertainment Violence on Children Congressional Public Health Summit for more information. [Prov. 3:31]
This PG film presents 18 uses of profanity. That makes it equivalent to some R-rated films in language. [Col. 3:8] And to add to the "R-ness" of The Astronaut Farmer in Impudence/Hate content are open urination by federal agents [Eph. 5:4] and marital fighting with throwing things. [Eph. 5:22, 25; Col. 3:18, 19]
Sexual Immorality (S)
Aside from Thornton being in bed making out with Madsen (clothed), sexual innuendo such as about intercourse, male anatomy and seeing nudity ruled the barely G-equivalent sexual immorality content. [Phil. 4:8]
The Drugs/Alcohol content was limited to a number of episodes of drinking beer and a scene in a bar with, of course, booze all about. I will not make light of this issue not only because of Eph. 5:18 but also because of the finding of the American College of Physicians (ACP). A study by the ACP has found an undeniable, inarguable link between the presentation of alcoholic beverages (and tobacco) in and as entertainment and abuse of them and arrogance/defiance with them by adolescents. And teaching/causing youth to abuse alcohol/tobacco (or drugs) by emboldening youth with them in and as entertainment invokes Luke 17:2. If alcoholic beverages in entertainment were not a problem for our young, why is there and why has there been such a push to get and keep booze commercials off prime time broadcast TV? Even the University of Connecticut corroborates the ACP finding.
Offense to God (O)
As one might try to deny, this film presents not only three uses of God's name in vain without the four letter expletive, it presents one use of His name in vain with it. Bruce Dern speaks the ever-sinful two-syllable expression only once and with the first word somewhat disguised and muffled, maybe to set it up so that it could be argued whether he actually speaks it, but he speaks it nonetheless. [Deut. 5:11]
There were no murders committing in this film. There was the one threat to kill by Charlie and mention of his father committing suicide a couple times, but these matters are incorporated into the Wanton Violence/Crime investigation area. Only completed murders and completed suicides are incorporated into this Murder/Suicide investigation area.
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***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)
|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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