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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to His little ones through you in His name by His Word
(2006), PG [PG*] (1hr 22min)
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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): Hoot Productions LLC, The Kennedy/Marshall Company, Walden Media
Distribution (US): New Line Cinema
Director(s): Wil Shriner
Producer(s): Jimmy Buffett, Carl Hiaasen, Frank Marshall, Kevin Reidy, Wil Shriner
Cinematography/Camera: Michael Chapman
Music: Jimmy Buffett
Film Editing: Alan Edward Bell
Casting: Amanda Mackey Johnson, Cathy Sandrich
Production Design: Stephen J. Lineweaver
Art Direction: Richard Fojo
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6
Three kids fight to protect the endangered burrowing owl families nesting in Coconut Cove, Florida. The owls are threatened by construction of a restaurant by Mother Paula's House of Pancakes. Though the construction practices of Mother Paula's House of Pancakes are deceitful and even illegal, the methods the kids used were not much better. A noble destination does not excuse an ignoble path.
Montana reject Roy A. "Cowgirl" Eberhardt (Logan Lerman), a local tomboy bully and her recluse brother do battle with Mr. Muckle (Clark Gregg) of Mother Paula's House of Pancakes who is obsessed with launching his 100th restaurant. The Coconut Cove Mayor (Robert Wagner) said, it is a good thing to improve the local economy with a new restaurant which will mean 12 new jobs. But building it on the intended site would destroy several burrowing owl families.
Roy, nicknamed "Cowgirl" by the much larger bully Dana Matherson (Eric Phillips), is a Montana reject because his father (Neil Flynn) is an agent in the Department of Justice who has been relocated to Coconut Cove, Florida.
On his first day at the new school during his first school bus ride to Trace Middle School, "new kid" Roy becomes the new target of Matherson. While Matherson flattens Roy's face against the bus window glass, Roy notices a boy about his own age running barefoot like a gazelle along side the bus, keeping up with it. As Roy exited the bus, Beatrice (Brie Larson), a girl about his own age but with a large presence, banged into Roy and thus began a second adversarial relationship with the second Trace Middle School student "new kid" Roy had met.
Taking an interest in this mysterious boy, Roy begins his search for the boy and finds him to be a runaway from a dysfunctional home. Roy further finds that the boy is Beatrice's brother. The mysterious boy's name, given to him by Beatrice, is Mullet Fingers (Cody Linley) because he can catch mullet fish with his bare hands. Mullet Fingers has been vandalizing the Mother Paula's construction site for some time.
Soon, the trio become an army doing battle with not only Mother Paula's but with the police as well. Officer David Delinko (Luke Wilson) is the key target of their maneuvers since he is the officer who drew investigating the trouble.
Law-breaking antics of the terrible tweenage trio include sabotage of the construction site through several issues of vandalism such as ripping up surveyor's stakes thus causing cost overruns and delays; spray painting the windows of a police car; theft; assault to include abduction; releasing poisonous snakes in a human occupied area; placing alligators in porta-potties; lying to police and others. What's more is there are absolutely no consequences to the kids for their illegal acts. CNS News Service describes film being as "Soft Core Eco-terrorism for Kids."
Our Vice President added "It might be worth noting that several 'behind the scenes' folks involved with Hoot are associated with environmentalist terrorism groups [...], and one of their organizational goals is to use movies like Hoot as a youth recruitment tool. I still find it disgustingly ironic that so many people are so gung-ho about civil (and even uncivil) disobedience when it comes to protecting owls, but not when it comes to protecting helpless humans."
This is a hard pill to swallow, but the story is about the same as a story of vigilante's taking the law into their own hands but this time using adolescents.[1 Peter 5:5] While their goal is righteous, their methods are not. Each illegal tactic is as arrogant and wrongful as the underhandedness of the corrupt construction practices. [Col. 3:25] And the chest-puffing, head-swelling emboldenment such entertainment as this nurtures in our young may be the worse offense of all. [Luke 17:2]
The MPAA rated the film PG for wild bullying and brief language. There certainly is a "wild" amount of bullying in the film, but in the cut I saw there was but one use of the three/four letter word vocabulary. An adolescent spoke "Nobody gives a ---." The audio of the phrase was heard as "Nobody gives a dang" but the obvious lip movements were not compatible with making the "ng" sound. The "ng" sound is not made by closing the lips. Further, the audio has the characteristics of having been edited with someone else's voice speaking the "dang." And the only one use of profanity was by one of the adolescents, of course.
The main presence in Hoot was certainly not owls. It was war between youth and authority and made heroes of the law-breaking vigilante youth. If there is a subtle message to be had, it is "reverse psychology" by changing the "Do whatever you can to get your way" to "If you have a righteous cause, fight for it but fight righteously." The young should instead hear "No civil cause can be made righteous when defiance of and rebellion against established law are masters of the warrior heart." Else the "cause" becomes no more than an excuse.[Mal. 4:1]
Hoot earned a CAP final score 74 which places it in the range of scores earned by PG films (68 to 86 out of 100) in the comparative baseline database of films, but "fine-tuning" the final score and inspecting the scoring distribution reveals something only the CAP analysis model can reveal. Hoot is fully equivalent to G-rated programming in the comparative baseline database in four of the six CAP investigation areas [in Sexual Immorality (S), Drugs/Alcohol (D), Offense to God (O), Murder/Suicide (M)]. But in Wanton Violence/Crime (W) it is only one point above the range of scores earned by R-rated movies (54 and below out of 100), making it it equivalent to the violence and/or crime in a "hardcore" PG-13.
Further, Hoot is fully R-equivalent in Impudence/Hate (I). Granted, none of the individual examples of assault on morality and wholesome ethics found by Impudence/Hate (or Wanton Violence/Crime) were as harsh or caustic as those typically found in R-rated programming, the sheer number of the "lesser" assaults on morality and decency in Hoot made the magnitude or envelope of total assaults in the Impudence/Hate content equivalent to some R-rated films. See our CAP Rule of 1000 for more information.
The listing of observations in the Findings/Scoring section provides itemization of all that was noted. Please consider it thoroughly before you decide the age stratum for which this film is fit (if any).
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)
Christian Educators Association International
|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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