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


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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to our youth though you,
their parents and grandparents, in His name by His Word

Late One Night (2001), NR
Analysis Date: September 5, 2001
CAP Score: 78
CAP Influence Density: 0.39

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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.

LATE ONE NIGHT (NR) -- "... Jesus just paid your bill."

Larry (Brad Heller), now 32, was an abused child. Abandoned by his father at 7 years old, Larry was a child started before marriage. He heard some extremely bitter and hateful words from his father to his mother while knowing Larry was looking on: "I hate you and I hate that kid" as his father slammed out of the house. Now Larry lives his life in and out of one jail after another.

Larry and his two buddies Mike and Vince (Tim Ross and Travis Hinson) descended on the focal scene of the show, Jackson's (Hugh McLean) Diner. Larry, the chief braggart of the trio, started immediately in being abusive and arrogant with not only Jackson, who looked like he could use all three of them as mops, but with his waitress and her friend as well.

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For short periods the scene moved to the street where a street preacher (Sydney Horton) was announcing to all that God loves them, passing out tracts. Soon, a quiet man (Josh Gaffga) came along and politely gave ear to the street preacher. Parting in mutual thankfulness, the quiet man stopped by Jackson's Diner for supper, taking with him one of the tracts the street preacher gave him.

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Returning focus to the trio, part of their discussion was about the disciplinary action Larry had that day for harassing a young woman at work. Given an ultimatum by the plant manager Mr. Crenshaw (Jonathan Demers), Larry acted all smart and innocent and bragged to Mike and Vince about how he was still going to conquer the woman, about how he did exactly what he was told to stop doing as he left the plant. Larry had arrogantly placed vengeance and his selfish goals above his own well-being and above the emotional turmoil he was causing the woman.
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The scene returned to the diner, Larry and company were still spouting arrogance and harassment. Now Larry's attention focused on the quiet man. Larry goaded the quiet man to argument for argument's sake by asking for his name in a rude way. The quiet man simply did not answer nor acknowledge Larry's presence. The quiet man got up evidently to go to the bathroom and left his coat on his counter stool seat. Larry searched the quiet man's coat in his absence and discovered the tract the street preacher gave the quiet man. Taking it back to his booth, Larry began to read it and ridicule what it had to say.
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Larry's tirade continued with his friends about his hatred of religion with more verbal darts at the quiet man. Then, thinking the tract in the quiet man's coat pocket made him a religious man, Larry asked "Are you a religious man?" The quite man said "No, I am a Christian." After further harassment, Larry decided to call the quiet man "Jesus." The monologue that follows presented many of the misguided assumptions about and arguments against belief in God and Christian faith [Rom. 16:17-18]. You've all heard them before but there is a special poignant property to this display and the talents of Brad Heller are brought to full bore.

One of the powerful exchanges was when 'Jesus' asked Larry how old he was. Larry answered "32." Then 'Jesus' told Larry to add 100 years to his life. 'Jesus' then asked Larry "How old will you be then." Larry responded, arrogantly of course, with "132." Then 'Jesus' asked "Where will you be?" That has a rather sharp point, doesn't it? What if Larry has answered "In a grave, where else?"

Finally, after Larry ruined 'Jesus's' food and after being further harassed and even physically jostled by Larry, the quiet man left. On his way out the quiet man paid his bill and had some inaudible words with Jackson. Larry, noticing the quiet man was without a car, decided to leave and go after him. Repeatedly Larry asked Jackson for the bill and Jackson repeatedly told Larry to not worry about it. Finally Jackson, in an academy award wining style, told Larry something about the quiet man that has eternal significance.

I have given you an almost line-by-line spoiler accounting of *Late One Night* but no amount of text from me can match the power and reality for the Christian in seeing this quality 33 minute movie. It could be a powerful evangelism tool. But as with any programming presenting confrontation, especially confrontation with faith in Jesus nowadays, if this movie is viewed by a child at the time of development when the child seems to more easily accept the provable empirical over the non-empirical, it may implant thoughts and feelings to accept that which s/he can touch see, feel, and the "everybody else does" syndrome, etc., over matters of faith. There is adult-level argumentation requiring at least some experiential maturtiy. The argumentation is that sort of which only the surface may be understood and thus captured by the adolescent who may see only the advantages of conforming with the worldly than with struggling with the silent unseeable and untouchable. But for the strong of faith, there is wise fortification of faith in the Hand you cannot hold, the Face you cannot see, and the Voice you cannot hear.

In accordance with the comparative baseline database scoring distribution of the CAP analysis model, it is highly likely *Late One Night* would have received a PG rating.


If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ]. 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.

  • Rom. 16:17 - 18 I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.

    *******Food for Thought*******
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.
  • Jude 4 For certain men* whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]

    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: Late One Night (2001) CAP Thermometers

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

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
  • none noted

    Impudence/Hate (I)(1):
  • marital argument - graphic
  • abandonement of a family by the father
  • "I hate you ... and I hate that kid." by a father before his wife and child
  • long sequence of harsssment with some minor physical assault

    Sex/Homosexuality (S):
  • admission of immoral sex

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • bar scene

    Offense to God (O)(2):
  • much smooth talk to deceive.

    Murder/Suicide (M)(3):
  • none moted

    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." 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 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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