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Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP Ministry)
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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to His little ones through you in His name by His Word
(2004), PG-13 [R-13*]
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(This section may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)
Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): 20th Century Fox, Davis Entertainment, Optional Pictures
Distribution (US): Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.
Director(s): John Moore
Producer(s): William Aldrich, Alex Blum, John Davis, Wyck Godfrey, Ric Kidney
Screeplay: Lukas Heller (1965), Scott Frank, Edward Burns
Cinematography/Camera: Donal Caulfield, Brendan Galvin
Music: Marco Beltrami, Christopher Ward
Film Editing: Don Zimmerman
Casting: Deborah Aquila, Sarah Trevis, Mary Tricia Wood
Production Design: Patrick Lumb
Art Direction: Jennifer Blatt, Timothy M. Earls, Alan Hook, Andrew Menzies
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6
It would be interesting to see the change in morality between this 2004 version of the original 1965 film starring James Stewart. I hope we can afford to prepare a comparative.
In this remake a woman is added an otherwise all-male cast. Miranda Otto joins the crew as Kelly Johnston, oil rig boss. But the writers remained comparatively noble in this era of teen cinema saturated with sexual immorality. The only sexually oriented behaviors in this remake were a couple innuendoes and an anatomical reference. [Eph. 5:4] While somewhat calm in sexual immorality, relatively speaking, this film was rife with foul language. Fifty-six uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary, one use of the most foul of the foul words plus more than a dozen uses of God's name in vain, once with the four letter expletive. [Deut. 5:11] By the way, this R-13 film s rated PG-13 for "some language, action and violence." Some language indeed. [Col. 3:8]
Captain Frank Towns (Dennis Quaid), pilot of a rickety flying boxcar cargo airplane used to ferry oil rig workers and co-pilot AJ (Tyrese Gibson) ran into a Gobi desert sand storm that rivaled the storms Quaid faced in The Day After Tomorrow.
Towns first tried to fly over the storm, which could not be done because the plane was carrying too much weight as airplane designer Elliot (Giovanni Ribisi) warned Towns from the start. Then Towns tried to fly around it but the storm was too massive and fast.
After first losing their radio antenna, the propeller of the left board engine spun off its drive shaft and sliced into the fuselage just behind the cockpit. Soon the plane lost so much altitude it clipped a stone archway on the ground. This brought the plane down in the Gobi desert hundreds of miles off their course. More than 200 miles from the nearest collection of civilization, the passengers and crew had some serious decisions to make since they had water only for a few days and canned peaches. Even cell phones would not work.
Boss of the failed oil rig, Kelly Johnston remarked since Amacore, the parent company of the riggers, would not spend the funds to provide decent transportation for the ousted riggers that they were not likely to spend any money searching for the crew of a money-losing oil rig. All hopes are dashed by her thoughtful comment. But Towns refused to give us and continued to hope for a rescue.
Believing Johston, Elliot reasoned to the ragtag survivors that he could use what was left of the downed flying boxcar plane with double tail sections to build another airplane to fly them to civilization. Reluctantly and after much badgering by the passengers Towns agreed to proceed with trying to build a plane out of the parts left, believing that such busywork would keep everyone's minds busy and be good for morale. But soon into the project, it is discovered that Elliot, the brilliant airplane designer was chief designer for a model airplane company. [2Tim. 3:12-13]
Flight of the Phoenix is quite an adventure into the hearts and characters of people in a pending doom situation. I wrote a white paper for a commercial nuclear power company some years ago about the reactions of large masses of people to disasters requiring large-scale evacuations. After researching a number of reports on major weather-related disasters it was discovered that people, as a mass rather than as individuals, do not react with madness and mayhem as Hollywood often portrays them but instead join in camaraderie, support and self-sacrifice. There were limited lootings and other licentious behaviors to be sure, but they were almost background noise rather than a significant factor. The same was found after studying the written accounts of the more than 700 survivors of the Titanic tragedy. But we do seem to hear more about the mayhem than the martyrdom. I dare say that when it came down to nuts-n-bolts survival the hardy group of downed passengers in this film portrayed behaviors that paralleled the findings of both studies but as a small group rather than a large mass. We, as a people rather than as individuals, are actually sort of neat.
Of most significance regarding the immoral/amoral content of this film was the foul language, evaporating all of the starting 100 points in Impudence/Hate. [2Cor. 8:7] Wanton Violence/Crime was next in severity in terms of point loss. Earning a score in Wanton Violence/Crime clearly equivalent to many R-rated films in the comparative baseline database, [Prov. 3:31-32] Flight of the Phoenix is sometimes graphically brutal. Drugs/Alcohol findings were limited to smoking. God's name was used in vain once with the four letter expletive and many times without it. In a capillary from the vein of camaraderie and togetherness, the coldness of the Hollywood heart was effectively portrayed as Elliot murdered a captive smuggler by shooting him in the head. [Rev. 21:8]
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.
(The heart of the CAP Analysis Model)
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: |
Lord, Master, Teacher, Savior, God.
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