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(2008), PG [PG*] (1hr 25min)

Final Score
Analysis Date
Date Posted
Influence Density
November 3, 2008
November 11, 2008

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(While the Scriptural references are certainly not subjective, my commentary may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)

If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary.

(2008), PG [PG*] ... as usual the girl looses the most clothing ...

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Walden Media, New Line Cinema
Distribution (US): New Line Cinema Home Video
Director(s): Eric Brevig
Producer(s): Cale Boyter, Michael Disco, Beau Flynn, Brendan Fraser, Cary Granat, Charlotte Huggins, W. Mark McNair, Alex Schwartz, Mylan Stepanovich, Evan Turner, Tripp Vinson
Based on Novel by Jules Verne
Screenplay: Michael D. Weiss, Mark Levin, Jennifer Flackett
Cinematography/Camera: Chuck Shuman
Music: Andrew Lockington
Film Editing: Steven Rosenblum, Paul Martin Smith, Dirk Westervelt
Casting: Vera Miller, Elisabeth Rudolph
Production Design: David Sandefur
Art Direction: Jean Kazemirchuk, Michele Laliberte, Re'al Proulx
Viewed on New Line Cinema DVD

This analysis is sponsored by E&HP, LD, GG, DD, MT and DC.

Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008) is basically geological eye candy with a little story as fill. Some ingenuity and creativity were evident in the scenery but the film is more spectacle than story. Other films such as Indiana Jones with the mine cart ride and Spy Kids with the forever falling were parodied but all in all this PG-rated theme park romp was enjoyable. A better story would have helped. By the way, as usual of the caliber of modern cinema, for whatever reason the girl looses the most clothing during the action.

The Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008) DVD comes in both the standard 2-D vision format and in 3-D format but separately packaged. I cannot tell you if there are any differences between the two formats since I watched only the standard vision format. Several scenes of the standard format were typical of the 3-D format such as the yo-yo coming at the screen.

Though this 2008 version is not intended to be any sort of strict adaptation of the original 1959 Jules Verne's A Journey to the Center of the Earth with Pat Boone as Alec McKuen, James Mason as Professor Lindenbrook and Arlene Dahl as Carla Göteborg, it seems to be more of a mockery than a remake or even sequel of the original.

Vernian college professor Trevor Anderson (Brendan Fraser) is to entertain his fatherless 13-year old nephew, Sean (Josh Hutcherson) for ten days while Trevor's sister-in-law, Elizabeth (Jane Wheeler) settles in Canada to later fetch Sean. Sean's dad, Max (Jean Michel Paré) was lost, presumably killed about ten years earlier.

As Elizabeth drops Sean off at his uncle's house Sean displays the "It ain't good enough, no matter what 'it' is" attitude that Hollywood seems to want us to think is typical of "13" and expresses it to his mom and uncle. Sean does not want to be dumped on his uncle. Maybe it is understandable that a 13 year old who lost his father does not want to stay with his uncle for 10 days, but that does not excuse arrogance and verbal rebellion against fair authority. Go ahead and be unhappy with the "uglies" that life sometimes throws at us but keep the smart-alec attitude of disrespect out of it. Go ahead and express your hurt but do so in a respectable way. Our Lord has some rather stern things to say about the arrogant and rebellious mouth.

Above I said "Vernian" describing Professor Anderson. In the movie "Vernian" applies to they who believe the original book was not fantasy but contained real clues to a path to the center of the Earth: that Professor Lindenbrook (James Mason) of the 1959 story indeed made the trip and the book is an recounting of his trek. Professor Anderson and Sean were bound to prove this to be true by retracing Dr. Lindenbrook's path to the center of the Earth.

Professor Anderson and Sean travel to Iceland to begin their trek of confirmation. Arriving at what once was an institute for such research the duo meet a mountain guide, Hannah Ásgeirsson (Anita Briem) who warns them the legend of Lindenbrook is pure fantasy. Hannah's late father was a Vernian, too, and died while trying to prove the same thing Anderson is trying to prove. Undaunted, Anderson hires Hannah for 5000 of the local "dollars" ... per hour ... to escort Anderson and Sean up the target volcanic mountain to find the famous path to the center of the Earth: 5000 "dollars" per hour until she is safe back in her home.

On the mountain, Anderson finds a sensor left there ten years ago by his brother and Sean's dad, Max. The sensor recorder contains ten years of readings absolutely vital to Anderson's attempts to prove himself and his brother right. But as Anderson unearths the sensor a lightning storm arrives and targets the sensor's antenna which attracts the lightning bolts. As Anderson and company dive for safety in a cave in the side of the mountain lightning destroys the sensor ... and collapses the cave entrance. Now entrapped, Anderson and company must find a way out and back to the surface.

From there the action begins. All I will say about that is that the trio, two males and one female as in the original story, end up being spewed out of the Earth up a lava tube to the surface, just as in the original story and just in time to prevent being eaten by prehistoric beasts and flesh eating plants and cooked by a rising lava dome. At least Sean found his father plus a small fortune in jewels.

This time the lava lads and lass bring back proof of Anderson's claim. Indeed they ride some of the proof down a hillside into a farmer's home. By the way, there is no Arnie Saknussem (Thayer David [Hersey]) villain in this "sequel", the villain who shadows the original trio to steal credit for their discovery. Their only nemesis is the environment and its dangers ... and Professor Anderson's lust for proof.

Don't look for much science in this science fiction. There is less science integrity than story.

A final score of 72 lands the "big picture" content of this film squarely in the scoring range earned by PG films in the comparative baseline database (68 to 86 out of 100). But the final score does not reveal one of the most useful tools of the CAP Ministry service -- that of where the concentrations, if any, lie. The following discussions of the findings by individual investigation area do that for you.

Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - 3 out of 100
This film presents violence content equivalent to some R-rated films, not because of the intensity or severity of the instances of violence but because of the sheer number of them inside 86 minutes. For more information about this loading content technique please refer to the CAP Rule of 1000. Note that a film which feeds your kids with many "lesser" examples of value challenging programming can and may have more of a morally and coping skills counterproductive desensitizing effect than a film with fewer but more severe examples. For more information on the effects of violence in and as entertainment on youth, please visit Joint Statement on the Impact of Entertainment Violence on Children Congressional Public Health Summit.

Violence content includes animal and plant attacks and action violence repeatedly, death (unseen) by fall into lava, unbelievably long falls, storm peril, a near drowning and other items of the violent nature. [Prov. 16:29]

Impudence/Hate (I) - 38 out of 100
Stealing most of the starting 100 points of this investigation area was the Sean character and his arrogance and rebellion. A couple lies, one in which Professor Anderson told Sean to lie to his mother and teen contempt of adult direction was expensive to this investigation area score as well. There were no instances of literal profanity noted, however Sean used "schist" (a form of layered rock) as a euphemism of profanity. It was clear the writers inserted notation of schist rock just so Sean could "cuss" even if only once. [Prov. 8:13, Isa. 30:1, Eph. 5:4]

Sexual Immorality (S) - 92 out of 100
The only instances of sexually oriented programming noted were the "accidental" inappropriate touch of Hannah by Trevor as he hoisted Hannah into a vessel plus the obvious attention to "female" throughout the last two thirds of the film. [1Tim. 2:9] Regarding the "accidental" inappropriate touch, I can hear someone say "Anderson was trying to save her life! Give 'em a break!" To that I say wake up. This was a film with people performing for money. Nobody's life was in any danger. The filmmakers know exactly what goes into each and every frame, making the content of each and every frame intentional. "Plot", "story" and "message" do not excuse content. (Let me ask that if you have not please visit the BEFORE You read On ... link atop this Summary/Commentary section.) The CAP Analysis Model makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse, to manufacture justification for, or to camouflage moral assaults, aberrant behavior or imagery with "redeeming" programming. A noble destination does not excuse an ignoble path. And "acting" does not excuse sin.

Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 100 out of 100
There were no examples of illegal drugs, alcohol, prescription drugs abuse or smoking noted.

Offense to God (O) - 100 out of 100
There was not one noted use of God's name in vain, with or without the four letter expletive and no instances of witchcraft, sorcery, occultism, Satanism or other evil practices.

Murder/Suicide (M) - 100 out of 100
No murders or suicides were noted.


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  • Prov. 16:29 A violent man entices his neighbor and leads him down a path that is not good. [As a bad influence does not have to be real to influence badly, a "violent man" does not have to be real to influence violently. It took years for the American professional health agencies to finally affirm, probably without knowing it, that which God was telling us in 1 Cor. 15:33 below. See Joint Statement on the Impact of Entertainment Violence on Children Congressional Public Health Summit for more information.]
  • Prov. 8:13 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate. [By the way, to "fear" the Lord does NOT necessarily mean be afraid of Him. For more information, see our publication Fear of God.
  • Isa. 30:1 Woe to the rebellious children, ...
  • Eph. 5:4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.
  • 1Tim. 2:9 I also want women to dress modestly, ... [Though this is the Apostle Paul speaking, it is the wisdom of Jesus given to Paul.]

    ***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
  • Jer. 37:9 This is what the LORD says: Do not deceive yourselves, thinking, 'The Babylonians [the destroyers from within] will surely leave us.' They will not!
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about [e.g., create progressively vile/offensive entertainment with impunity and no consequences and present it to younger and younger audiences every year] when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to defend it, embrace it, enjoy it, want it, submit to it. I call attention to Ps. 12:8 to warn of the creeping desensitizing power of "entertainment."]
  • Col. 2:8 Beware lest any man [by his influence] spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 Be not deceived: evil [kakov: of a bad nature, not such as it ought to be] communications corrupt good manners.
  • Rom. 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
  • Jude 1:4 For there are certain men* crept in unawares [secretly slipped in among us], who were before of old ordained to this condemnation [whose condemnation was written about long ago], ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness [a license for immorality], and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
  • Luke 17:2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. [Offend: skandalizo {skan-dal-id'-zo} - scandalize; to entice to sin; to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey; to cause to fall away.]
  • Ps. 119:133 Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me [let no sin rule over me].
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • 1 Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil. ["Evil" includes all things that are sinful.]


    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 objective heart of the CAP Analysis Model, independent of and insulated from the Summary / Commentary section.)

    Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - 3 out of 100
  • animal attacks, frequent
  • cliff hanging peril
  • death (unseen) by fall into lava
  • storm peril, danger from lightning
  • entrapment peril
  • runaway mine car peril
  • falling peril, repeatedly, one exceptionally long sequence
  • near drowning
  • storm peril asea
  • attack by carnivorous plants
  • action violence, repeatedly

    Impudence/Hate (I) - 38 out of 100
  • "grossology" once
  • lie
  • teen arrogance and rebellion against fair authority, repeatedly
  • euphemistic use of "schist" by teen to speak profanity
  • teen contempt for adult direction in dangerous situations, repeatedly
  • telling adolescent to lie to his mother

    Sexual Immorality (S) - 92 out of 100
  • "accidental" inappropriate touch
  • obvious exaggeration of attention to "female"

    Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 100 out of 100
  • none noted

    Offense to God (O) - 100 out of 100
  • none noted

    Murder/Suicide (M) - 100 out of 100
  • none noted

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    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.

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