RED does not mean "stop." GREEN does not mean "go." Click on the CAPCon Alert image for explanation
A ministry of the ChildCare Action Project:
Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP Ministry)
A 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Christian Ministry. www.capalert.com/
Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to His little ones through you in His name by His Word
(2004), PG [PG*]
The #1 Christian entertainment media analysis service on the Internet. We give you OBJECTIVE tools NO ONE ELSE CAN to help YOU make an informed decision for yourself whether a film is fit for your family. More than 900 analyses for parents, grandparents, pastors, youth leaders and more.
Click it to try it!
You DO NOT have to have a PayPal account.
OR by US Mail (preferred - no service charges).
on what Hollywood feeds your kids. SUBSCRIBE
to our FREE text-only email version of these reports and our COMING SOON notices.
Christian Long Distance
(This section may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)
Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Nickelodeon Movies, Paramount Pictures, DreamWorks SKG, Scott Rudin Productions
Distribution (US): Paramount Pictures, DreamWorks Distribution LLC, Paramount Pictures
Director(s): Brad Silberling
Producer(s): Scott Aversano, Minor Childers, Albie Hecht, Laurie MacDonald, Walter F. Parkes, Julia Pistor, Scott Rudin, Barry Sonnenfeld, Jim Van Wyck
Written by: Daniel Handler (books The Bad Beginning, The Reptile Room, and The Wide Window)
Screenplay: Robert Gordon
Cinematography/Camera: Emmanuel Lubezki
Music: Thomas Newman
Film Editing: Dylan Tichenor
Casting: Avy Kaufman
Production Design: Rick Heinrichs
Art Direction: John Dexter, Martin Whist
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6
Jim Carrey is the evil Count Olaf, Jim Carrey is an Italian scientist and Jim Carrey is a crusty old sea captain with a wooden leg in this big screen adaptation of three of Daniel Handler's eleven wildly successful Lemony Snicket books: "The Bad Beginning", "The Reptile Room", and "The Wide Window." I even heard a couple young adults waiting to view the screening with me that they were looking forward to the film because they had read the books as a child. Onscreen seams between books was rather smooth because, though I have not read any of Handler's books, it all felt as one work.
Fourteen year old inventor Violet Baudelaire (Emily Browning) and her avid reader brother of the same age stratum, Klaus (Liam Aiken) and witty toddler sister Sunny (twins Kara and Shelby Hoffman) lose their their stately upper-class Victorian home to a fire. They are also told their parents are dead. Their home destroyed, their parents killed, the Baudelaire kids are left with nothing but money, bank official Mr. Poe (Timothy Spall) sees to the security of the children by placing them in the care of their nearest relative Count Olaf, actor and opportunist extraordinaire. The likelihood of getting his hands on the Baudelaire fortune had nothing to do with his wishes to provide for the children, of course.
Though this film presents a tale of survival, ingenuity and courage of children, I read one secular review of this film By Robert Denerstein who reported he was told that Lemony Snicket books are very popular with the kids "...in part because they share some of the same dark impulses that filter through the Harry Potter novels." You can believe it. While five of the six CAP investigation areas (Impudence/Hate, Sexual Immorality/ Drugs/Alcohol, Offense to God, Murder/Suicide) each found programming equivalent to G or PG-rated films in the comparative baseline database, the Wanton Violence/Crime investigation area (which includes horror, peril, etc.) found programming equivalent in magnitude rather than severity to some R-rated films.
Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events is not a bright and crisp film but is somewhat dark and sinister throughout. In a cartoon prologue "The Littlest Elf" even Jude Law, who plays Snicket and narrates the film, warns attendees that if they do not like dark tales of loss and peril to children to go to another screen immediately.
Some comic relief is provided by clever use of Sunny being a toddler. With subtitles, Sunny speaks to the audience, often with adult projection in her words. Indeed, in one case she speaks of an adult in a clearly foul way, thanks to the writers. But real comedy was provided at least once since Sunny is a biter and she clamps on to the edge of a table. Her biting talents are actually used in the plot.
A couple other characters who became involved in the care of the Bauderlaire children was Uncle Montgomery Montgomery (Billy Connolly) who seemed to have the most earnest concern for the children. It was Uncle Monty who was victimized by Count Olaf who posed as the Italian scientist to lure the kids away from him.
Also in temporary care of the kids was Aunt Josephine (Meryl Streep) who was, in essence, afraid that snowflakes could have evil effect on the victim of them. Aunt Josephine was "wooed" by Count Olaf posing as the crusty sea captain, also to lure the kids away. Olaf was persistent, to be sure. He wanted badly the Baudelaire fortune.
Though never involved with the care of the kids, Dustin Hoffman appeared as a critic of Olaf's stage production. The stage production was of a wedding between Olaf and Violet to secure the Baudelaire fortune. Knowing a stage play would never be a legitimate marriage, Olaf had Justice Strauss (Catherine O'Hara) play the part of the Justice of the Peace so the stage marriage would be legal.
Though I have "spoiled" the film a little, there is much more to it. Part of the "much more to it" is the level of violence and violent acts in this PG film. The listing in the Findings/Scoring section will reveal all that were noted but a few of them included locking children in a bedroom, an adult violently slapping an adolescent, a threat to kill the children, disaster peril for children of hurricane proportions, use of children to extort unwelcome deeds and imprisoning Sunny in a cage high above the ground with a threat to drop it if Violet did not marry Olaf. [Matt. 18:10, Luke 17:2]
Other non-violence matters include Sunny, through subtitles, speaking a very crude expression which refers to oral sex [Eph. 5:4], unseen murders [a], arson for gain [Hab. 2:9] and lies [Rev. 21:8]. Only one use to the three/four letter word vocabulary and one use of God's name in vain but without the four letter expletive were found. A theme of seeking of ill-gotten gain permeated the plot [Ps. 62:10].
Please inspect the listing in the Findings/Scoring section before you decide whether to take your little one to see this "adult-flavored" PG.
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.
ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture
100% dependent on your tax-deductible financial support
ChristianStats Counter TEST
Unique. Posted 5/24/04
Christian Long Distance
We exist only by your tax-deductible donations. PLEASE
Features PayPal! You do NOT need an account to donate.