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


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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to parents and grandparents

Down to Earth (2001), (PG-13)
CAP Score: 00
CAP Influence Density: 0.00

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ALERT: To fully understand this report you should first visit the topics suggested by the CAP Table of Contents.

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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.

DOWN TO EARTH (PG-13) -- He has 40 more years to go!

Lance Barton (Chris Rock, Dogma), bike messenger by day, miserable comedian by night is trying to get a laugh at the Apollo Theater. Even his exceedingly patient and kind manager, Whitney (Frankie Faison) sees no hope for Barton as a comedian. After being booed off the stage, Barton bicycles his way down the street when his eyes meet an African-American beauty, Sontee (Regina King). Trouble is, his eyes don't leave her and fail to see the oncoming truck.

In a moment or two Barton is standing in a fancy party room in the 1940s style with his service angel, Keyes (Eugene Levy) welcoming him into Heaven. If this sounds a bit like Heaven Can Wait with Warren Beatty, it should. Also welcoming Barton is the head angel, Mr. King: (Chazz Palminteri) who discovers after a few social moments that Keyes took Barton 1/10 of a second before the truck hit him. Oh , no! Barton would not have died! Barton has to be sent back! He has 40 more years to go!

But to get back to humanity, Barton has to have a body. And the only one available is that of the recently murdered Mr. Charles Wellington (Brian Rhodes), a white millionaire. Let's look at that for a minute. A failing comedian "coming back" as a wealthy business man who has everything? Doesn't sound too bad, huh? However, Barton is a young stud and Wellington is a plump old geezer -- not good! And on top of that, Barton is black and Wellington is white. Not to worry. Mr. King (we will look at that name a little later - just keep in the back of your mind the King of kings) assures Barton that when anyone looks ar him they see Wellington. Only Barton sees himself when he looks in the mirror.

Soon we meet Wellington's sex-crazed wife (Jennifer Coolidge) and her man, Wellington's assistant (Greg Germann) who, together, killed old man Wellington for his money. Then whom do our eyes behold but Sontee herself -- the looky lady whose looks killed Barton. She is a community hospital worker out to let Wellington know in no uncertain terms about his underhandedness in closing her hospital. But by now, Barton is in Wellington. So, we see Barton taking it on the chin from Sontee who is letting Wellington have it with both barrels. It's easier to follow visually than in print.

Thus is set the stage for a list of shenanigans, mishaps and tricks n' triumphs of love. But as is typical with PG-13 movies, the goodness of the movie is drowned in ignominy. A plethora of uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary plus at least one the most foul of the foul words AND a number of uses of God's name in vain shook the earpans of the audience (and further encouraged observers to use foul language as conversational snippets) [Prov. 17:27; Prov. 8:13; Mark 7:20; Eph. 5:4]. Together with the ton of foul language, sexual programming made this PG-13 an "R-13." Murder by drowning, murder by gunfire, planning of murder and suicide were expensive to the scoring as well.

Let me return to the name of the chief angel, "Mr. King" just to add some perspective. The King of kings -- Jesus -- is the one to whom is given all authority to decide where we each will spend eternity: the One who will decide who gets into Heaven and who doesn't; the One before whom we will each stand on Judgment Day [John 5:26-27; Matt 28:18]. So, implication is strong in the movie that this Mr. King is cast in the role of Jesus since Mr. King decides who gets into the Down to Earth heaven and can decide who is be be "cast out" (sent back) And, as the strange teachings and slick talk in Dogma told us of cast out angels being able to get back into Heaven, Down to Earth (and others) tells us of souls being sent back to earth. God sends angels to earth as angelic possession, as messengers, protectors and the like, but I have found nothing to say souls are sent back to earth. The soul of one who has accepted Christ as Lord and the resurrected sacrificial Lamb of God will enjoy eternal Paradise but NOT as an angel. Angels are "tools" of God and He has told us that we are greater than the angels [1 Cor. 6:2-3]. Don't let Hollywood confuse you. Once final Judgment is made, it is eternal. [Hebr. 13:9; Prov. 24:28].


If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ].
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.
  • Prov. 17:27 A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered.
  • Prov. 8:13 To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech
  • Mark 7:20 He went on: "What comes out of a man is what makes him 'unclean.'
  • Eph. 5:4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.
  • John 5:26-27 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; And hath given him authority to execute [eternal] judgment [to condemn the unbelievers] also, because he is the Son of man.
  • Matt. 28:18 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
  • 1 Cor. 6:2-3 Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life!
  • Hebr. 13:9 Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace [the promises in His Word], not by ceremonial foods [such as strange teachings in entertainment], which are of no value to those who eat them [be a consumer].
  • Prov. 24:28 Be not a witness against thy neighbour without cause; and deceive not with thy lips.E

    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: Down to Earth (2001) CAP Thermometers

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

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
  • murder victim (act not seen)
  • tough guy striking a man
  • planning to murder
  • sniper weaponry

    Impudence/Hate (I)(1):
  • 65 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • one use of the most foul of the foul words
  • rudeness
  • lies
  • profanity in song (rap), repeated
  • vulgar gesture

    Sex/Homosexuality (S):
  • sex talk, comments, innuendo
  • vulgar necking, repeated, once with man on woman between her legs, his face on her stomach, clothed, woman in a dress)
  • suggestive eye movement
  • nude man in tub
  • inappropriate touch
  • sex offers/requests
  • vulgar dress
  • vulgarity in song (rap), repeated

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • bar/booze, repeated
  • drinking
  • smoking

    Offense to God (O)(2):
  • three uses of God's name in vain without the four letter expletive
  • mockery of Heaven, portrayal as a party place; sensual, material, lustful
  • portrayal of an angel as Jesus
  • "I'm a ----- angel. I can do anything I want."

    Murder/Suicide (M)(3):
  • suicide by jumping
  • murder by drowning
  • unseen murder
  • gunfire murder

    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 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." [Emphasis is mine] And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I aplaud 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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