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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 29min)
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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): Universal Pictures, Spyglass Entertainment, Shady Acres Entertainment, Original Film, Relativity Media
Distribution (US): Universal Pictures
Director(s): Tom Shadyac
Producer(s): Gary Barber, Roger Birnbaum, Michael Bostick, Steve Carell, Tom Hanks, Ilona Herzberg, Matt Luber, Neal H. Moritz, Amanda Morgan Palmer, Dave Phillips, Tom Shadyac, Jonathan Watson, Janet L. Wattles, Jason Wilson
Screenplay by: Steve Oedekerk
Story by: Steve Oedekerk, Joel Cohen, Alec Sokolow
Chracters by: Steve Koren, Mark O'Keefe
Cinematography/Camera: Ian Baker
Music: John Debney
Film Editing: Scott Hill
Casting: Deborah Aquila, Craig Fincannon, Jennifer L. Smith, Mary Tricia Wood
Production Design: Linda DeScenna
Art Direction: James Nedza
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6
This report is about three weeks late. Again lack of funding prevented providing you with a timely analysis report. Oh, well. It is still useful to they who wait for a film to come out on video.
Even a Bible-thumper like me was surprised with Evan ALMIGHTY. For two reasons. One, while watching it I did not expect it to earn a score as low as it did. I guess that is evidence of the objectivity of the CAP Analysis Model which is insulated from and independent of the personal values of the investigator. Two, maybe I missed something or maybe I am not as fluent in the Scriptures as I think I am but I could not find content to corroborate all the rumors of the blasphemy hoopla that has been going around about this film. I suppose if a filmmaker were to make such a comedy about God it would be blasphemous, but Noah was not God. As I understand it, Noah was a drunk prophet chosen by God to work His will.
In this film "God" is portrayed as a man (Morgan Freeman) appearing to Congressman Evan Baxter (Steve Carell) who directs Evan to build an ark to save critters from a coming flood. I cannot remember where it is in the Scriptures but God has told us no mortal may look upon His face and survive. That is why Moses was confronted by God as a burning bush rather than face-to-face. Maybe that mortal man cannot look upon the face to God is also a benefit of God coming to us in Jesus, Emanuel, rather than Himself. That "God" appeared to Evan face-to-face is indeed a violation of Scripture but other than several uses of God's name in vain, that is about all. There are a number of unnatural, "magical" events but each is credited to God who is quite capable of any of them.
One might also think it may be blasphemous, or at least counterfeiting of the Scriptures, to have a modern Noah build an ark to protect us from a holy flood God promised to never send again [Gen. 9:13 - 15]. But this flood did not submerge the whole Earth "to destroy all life", just Prestige Crest, a high-priced housing community near New York City.
As a sign of His promise to never flood the Earth again, God placed a rainbow at the end of the great flood. Evan ALMIGHTY also had a rainbow at the end of the localized flood. But the "Evan rainbow" seems to offer it up as a reminder of God's promise than as mockery.
Many film review services, including Christian ones, have given this film a bright and cheery commentary. I tend to want to recommend this film as well because it is indeed cheerful and fun but cannot because of the periphery content. I will not recommend children (or adults) view yet more nudity in and as entertainment and have even more of their natural tendency to sexual purity become yet more desensitized. And if you try to argue "Gimme a break" with me that the level of nudity in this film is innocuous or completely acceptable, you prove the point. Steve Carell playing Evan Baxter is seen nude. Twice. His private parts are hidden by a convenience object, specifically a hedge bush, but he is portrayed as nude nonetheless. Sometimes suggestion is more powerful that overt display ... and filmmakers know that. If we as a people have come to the point where such display, even before our little ones, has become morally acceptable, "Evan 'elp us" to quote the script. Indeed, we may have become so drugged by the narcotics of such extremes in and as entertainment that what once was morally unacceptable has become morally invisible.
How is it that comedy filmmaking or any form of entertainment can excuse such display when God condemns the display of nudity? He even commanded priests to not build an altar with steps lest the wind exposure their nudity to the people below. God speaks darkly and shamefully about the display of nudity (nakedness) 47 times from Genesis to Revelation.
At first, everyone thought Evan to be a crackpot looking to add spice to his Congressional Freshman political platform. I can empathize with Evan as his wife, Joan (Lauren Graham) leads his sons, Dylan (Johnny Simmons) and Jordan (Graham Phillips) against Evan's "ministry." But eventually events surfaced to lead at least his family to stand with him and even help built the ark.
As the animals started following Evan and even helping him build the modern ark, people started to wonder whether there is actually something to Evan's claims of the coming flood. Soon, all the community stood with Evan ... on the ark made from (800) go-4-wood (Gen. 6:14 Make thee an ark of gopher wood). I just thought it would be humorous to reveal this little piece of cleverness on the part of the writers.
To those not familiar with the workings of the CAP Analysis Model the scoring distribution earned by Evan ALMIGHTY may seem a little brutal. As with any short film with the same or similar scoring distribution, Evan ALMIGHTY presents its target content in what might be described as a "rapid-fire" format using smaller, shorter packets of assault on morality and decency thus increasing the density of content. The density of content factors into the scoring as wall as the content itself. So, since this is a short film distilled of the wholesome "ingredients" to provide "higher proof" entertainment the scoring earned will be lower than a longer film with identical invasive content because of the shortness of it. This is a proper model parameter which reveals that which is sometimes invisible to many because of the format of rapid-fire, dense barrage of short-packet of assaults on morality and decency. Indeed, in some cases corruptive short-packet content presented in a compact and dense package may have more of an indelible negative influence on the observer than the same content spread out over a longer period in assault packets of longer duration. The CAP Analysis Model takes this mathematically into account.
On to the main reason most parents, grandparents, pastors and other youth leaders come to our pages.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
The only matter of violence noted was the action and peril during the flood.
Amidst four uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary (two muffled) [Col. 3:8], repeated adolescent disrespect of and wife desertion of the father [Mark 3:25], a number of lies and telling others to lie [Rev. 21:8] led to the less than 54 score in this investigation area which is one of the three reasons for the red CAPCon Alert light (see link for an explanation of the CAPCon Alert lights).
Sexual Immorality (S)
The second of the three reasons for the red CAPCon Alert light is the less than 54 score in this investigation area. The score in this investigation area is due to a dog slamming its nose into the privates of Carell -- twice [Eph. 5:4], Carell's nudity -- twice, a man and a woman in bed in their underwear, a homosexual reference -- twice, a child speaking toilet humor [Luke 17:2], a man in a washtub before a woman, a crotch hit, anatomical humor, a man in a shower and more.
No instances of any booze, drinking, smoking, illegal drug use/references or abuse of prescription drugs were noted.
Offense to God (O)
This investigation area found the third of the three reasons for the red CAPCon Alert light. In addition to the violation of Scripture that warns that no mortal shall look upon the face of God and survive, six uses of God's name in vain [Deut. 5:11], though without the four letter expletive plus one use of "You fool!" [Matt. 5:22] drained the starting 100 points in this investigation area to a less than 54 score. Not much less than 54 at 51 but less than 54 nonetheless.
No murders or suicides were noted through the 89 minutes of the film.
If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ] or bold. 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)
|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.|
|In the name of Jesus: |
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