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A service to our youth through you,
their parents and grandparents, in His name by His Word
Like Mike (YE2002AR), PG
Analysis Date: July 6, 2002
CAP Score: 79
CAP Influence Density: 0.38
LIKE MIKE (PG) -- a delightful and touching excursion in the life of 13 year old orphan...but...
Production: 20th Century Fox
Distribution: 20 Century Fox
Director(s): John Schultz
Producer(s): Teresa Caldwell, Jermaine Dupri, Garrett Grant, Peter Heller, Barry Josephson, Michael Mauldin, Adam Silver, Gregg Winik
Written by/Screenplay: Story: Michael Elliot. Screenplay: Michael Elliot, Jordan Moffet
Cinematography/Camera: Shawn Maurer
Music: Da Brat, Jermaine Dupri, Jason Frederick, Richard Gibbs, Kevin Kliesch, Lil' Bow Wow
Film Editing: Peter E. Berger, John Pace
Casting: Brennan Dufresne, Risa Bramon Garcia
Production Design: Arlan Jay Vetter
Art Direction: John Zachary
I am going to take an opportunity to remind the readers from fark.com, brunching.com. rottentomatoes.com and readers from other sites of like caliber who complain that I list all the negatives of a movie and leave out the positive features. For the most part, that is what I do ... purposely. If I were to report on all the fine elements of programming it would spoil the whole movie. The positive features of a movie are for parents and grandparents to discover on their own if they decide the ignominious content we reveal is acceptable. The CAP Analysis Model (the Findings/Scoring section) makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse, for manufacture of justification for, or camouflaging of ignominious content or aberrant behavior or imagery with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme/plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure or example of behavior or thought from the sinful display or of the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. We make no attempt to quantify the "artistic" or "entertainment" value of a movie -- whether a movie has any positive value or "entertainment" value is up to mom/dad. The CAP analysis model is the only known set of tools available to parents and grandparents which give them the control they need, bypassing the opinion-based assessment of movies by others and defeating the attempts of some who would say anything to convince their parents/grandparents otherwise. The model is completely objective to His Word. Our investigation standards are founded in the teachings and expectations of Jesus Christ. If a sinful behavior is portrayed, it is called sinful whether Hollywood tries to make it otherwise. That the sinful behavior is "justified" by some manufactured conditions does not soften or erase the price of sin. The freedom of choice God gave us gives us only the freedom to choose whether to obey Him or not. It does NOT give us the freedom to decide on our own whether what He says is sinful really is. That man, over the millennia, has successfully erased most of God's Word from their lives does not make it go away. Ever.
Unlike the Findings/Scoring section which is completely objective to his Word, this is the Summary/Commentary section -- a summary in commentary format. I can say just about anything I want in it. Even subjective comments such as Like Mike was a delightful and touching excursion in the life of 13 year old orphan boy Calvin Cambridge (Lil' Bow Wow - Shad Gregory Moss) who thought he had found some old sneakers of Michael Jordan. Calvin discovered he could do anything MJ could do as long as he was wearing the sneakers only to find that the special abilities he demonstrated with the sneakers on were inside him all along. This movie portrayed that it is possible to overcome thoughts of inadequacy: that once given the right incentive there are few self-imposed impediments we cannot overcome. But, as with any movie carrying a warning, there are matters of concern in it for Christian parents wanting to control the exposure of their kids to behaviors not condoned by our Lord.
At the Chesterfield Group Home Orphanage, Ox (Jesse Plemons) is the bully. Murph (Jonathan Lipnicki) and Meg (Brenda Song) are Calvin's best pals. When Ox gave Calvin a hard time, Murph and Meg would try to step in. But sometimes it wouldn't work. One day, Sister Theresa (Anne Meara) brought a donated coat for Murph. And out of the coat fell, unbeknownst to Sister Theresa) a pair of sneakers with "MJ" indelibly written on the inside of the tongues of the shoes. Calvin just had a hard time making the basket in the orphanage playground and was thinking of Michael Jordan. So, naturally he figured the "MJ" on the sneakers meant they once belonged to Michael Jordan.
Ox stole the tied-together shoes from Calvin and threw them. They landed dangling from a power line to the orphanage. That was that and all had to come in for the evening and bed. But Calvin could not stand it that his MJ shoes were dangling on the power line, in the rain now. He, Murph and Meg and others I think sneaked outside to fetch the shoes. Calvin climbed the nearest tree and started to stretch for them from a rickety limb. the storm grew worse and pelted Calvin with rain. then, without warning, a lightning bolt struck the power transformed on the supply pole. The charged traveled down the power line to the shoes and into Calvin. Thudding to the ground, Calvin watched the tiny arcs dance over the shoes.
Calvin had been given tickets to a LA Knights basketball game by Coach Wagner (Robert Forster) who had befriended Calvin as Calvin tried to sell him candy to support the orphanage. Supposedly. Coach was impressed with Calvin when Calvin could not take the $20 gratuity the Coach Wagner wanted to give him for a candy bar because Calvin was not even sure the money went to the orphanage or to the pockets of the sneaky Mr. Stan Bittleman (Crispin Glover) the head master of the orphanage. With the tickets, Calvin sneaked out with Murph and Meg to attend the game. Lo and behold, there stands Ox, threatening to snitch on them until Calvin bought his silence with one of the tickets to the game.
During halftime, to boost ticket sales, owner's agent Frank Bernard (Eugene Levy) announced a $1000 prize to the boy who could score against Knights star Tracy (a painted name in the movie was "Tracy", Internet Movie Database says "Tracey) Reynolds (Morris Chestnut). During the halftime show, Calvin scores big against the very best of the Knights team. All because of the MJ sneakers, or so thinks Calvin. And the show goes on. But I will stop spoiling it here. Like Mike is certainly a delightful and touching excursion in the life of 13 year old orphan...but...
There is a reason, rather, several of them for the PG rating. Like Mike is somewhat invasive for the intended age stratum. Several episodes of bullying [Prov. 8:13, 12:20], the bad fall with the electric shock due to unwise risk-taking, reckless endangerment of children [Matt. 25:40] plus a few issues of illegal activity make the Wanton Violence/Crime score rather low. Likewise low is the Impunity/Hate score due mainly to children sneaking without supervision, adult underhandedness with children [Matt. 25:40] and five instances of foul language, three times by an adolescent of course. There was only once instance of booze and it was dinner wine (not consumed) [Prov. 20:1]. God's name was used three times but without the four letter expletive [Deut. 5:11]. There were no murders or suicides and, except for a very slight implication of sexual immorality by Tracy picking up a girl and taking her to his motel room, there was nothing of the sexual nature, a victory indeed.
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*******Food for Daily Thought*******
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):
Offense to God (O)(2):
Christian Media News
Biblical based Management Consulting
|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 or example 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 nearly seven 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.|