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Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP Ministry)
Entertainment Media Analysis Report
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(2004), PG -- Something was done right ... I can't put my finger on it.
Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Pop Pop Productions, Mayhem Pictures, Walt Disney Pictures
Distribution (US): Buena Vista Pictures
Director(s): Gavin O'Connor
Producer(s): Mark Ciardi, Gordon Gray, Ross Greenburg, Justis Greene, Jon Mone, Greg O'Connor
Written by: Eric Guggenheim
Music: Mark Isham
Film Editing: John Gilroy
Casting: Sarah Finn, Randi Hiller, Coreen Mayrs
Production Design: John Willett
Art Direction: Ross Dempster
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6
Does the "PG" rating of this film (or any other film) tell you anything? Does it tell you of the 29 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary? Does it tell you of a flash image of streaking nudity from the 1970s? Does it tell you of the repeated instances of drinking alcoholic beverages? It would be a miracle if "PG" told you all these things. The CAP analysis model does.
Miracle was not spectacular but yet stirring. Except for Russell, acting was moderate and maybe even sometimes cardboard. The story was the Cinderella story of hockey with the US hockey team of 1980 finding the glass slipper. Connectivity of subplots was what I believe is recipe (I am not a professional critic) but a rather palatable concoction. We knew the ending before the beginning of the film but there was still some newness to it. There was nothing earth-shaking or heart-grabbing and nothing to write home about. But while watching it I, probably the most pragmatic para-critic there is, had no trouble paying attention to every frame. And after it was over, I felt exhilaration about something that happened over 20 years ago in something I don't particularly care for - hockey. Something was done right. But not being a professional film critic nor schooled in films, I can't put my finger on it but there was definitely something there to entice even they who, like me, don't really care for hockey. I indeed came away with a new respect and understanding of the (for the lack of a better term) poetic flow of hockey. And that leads me into the next point.
In one of the reviews I read, there was a comment about how this film would have a huge influence on youngsters deciding to play hockey. I wonder if that individual knew how precise was his/her innocent comment regarding the huge influence. The power of the entertainment industry to shape opinions, values and even beliefs may be, at times, immeasurable. Especially when a movie plays a stanza or two in the symphony of the observer's life whether the symphony tells a pleasant story or a decidedly unpleasant story. And since a film can make changes in the hearts of youngsters about hockey, how can we deny the ability of films to change the hearts of kids in other ways? Negative ways. Answer: We can't. Of all the influences in a child's life, the only exofamilial entity that more deeply and intimately saturates our children than the entertainment industry is air. The American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, several other professional health agencies, God and myself agree
Coach Herb Brooks (Kurt Russell), who died in a car wreck recently, and his wife Patty (Patricia Clarkson) accepted the challenge of coaching the US hockey team after the US lost to the Russians time after time. Coach Brooks had some new and innovative ideas with hard boiled tactics not well received by the Board. Coach Brooks even kept the Board out of the team selection process.
The Russians used fultime professional players. At the time, the US used amateur players. What to do? Coach Brooks led the boys through a grueling set of thow-up generating practices. Assistant coach Craig Patrick (Noah Emmerick) began to wonder whether Coach Brooks' pace was body and skill building or was cruelty. In one set of particularly brutal skating drills, even the team doctor, Doc Nagobads (Kenneth Welsh) rode Brooks hard for abusing the physical abilities of the boys. But as the boys heaved and dropped to the ice, Brooks prepared to send them on another skating drill after dozens of previous repetitions if it Then, one of the players, between gags and gasps, announced support to what Brooks was doing and Brooks ended the practice knowing the boys learned exactly what he wanted them to learn. Earlier, Doc had told Patrick, in response to Patrick's query to the Doc about whether Doc thought Brooks was too hard on the boys, that maybe Brooks' did things the way he did so the boys would hate him and not each other.
There is much, much more to this based-on true story and much of it is indeed good and positive. But those matters are for your discovery should you decide the amount of ignominy we reveal for your consideration is tolerable for your family.
In the first paragraph I pointed out that the CAP model revealed repeated instances of drinking. Certainly the team players, coach and many others drank alcoholic beverages, especially to celebrate getting the gold. But that is the point -- using booze to celebrate in a children's film. The suggestion is just too dangerous. And though drinking in and of itself is not sinful, getting drunk is. [Gal. 5:21] Since it is, getting drunk to celebrate just doesn't make any sense. Further, a recent study by the American College of Physicians (ACP) revealed that adolescent exposure to drinking in entertainment leads to an undeniable increase in alcohol abuse. The finding entitled Relation Between Parental Restrictions on Movies and Adolescent Use of Tobacco and Alcohol
With a final score of 76, Miracle indeed earned a score in the range of scores earned by PG movies in the comparative baseline database (86 to 68 out of 100). But one of the greatest features of the CAP analysis model shines brightly for this PG film. That is, identification of any programming areas which presents a concentration of assaults on morality and decency. Three of the six CAP investigation areas revealed scores equivalent to G-rated movies (100 to 87 out of 100) and two earned a score equivalent to PG movies in the comparative baseline database. Only Impudence/Hate earned a score less than those earned by PG movies. Indeed, Impudence/Hate revealed enough foul language to drag the value of that area down to that equivalent to R-rated movies (54 and below out of 100). A glance at the CAP thermometers will tell it all. Clearly, the concentration of ignominy in Miracle was in the use of foul language. Twenty-nine times to be exact. [Prov. 22:11] Plus three uses of God's name in vain but without the four letter expletive. [Deut. 5:11] Another issue likely to raise the eyebrows of us fundamental Christians is the use of a vulgar reference by the Coach to monkeys being sexually active with a football. [Eph. 5:4]
Please inspect the listing in the Findings/Scoring section before you decide whether this film is tolerable for your children.
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***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)
Single Christian Network
Kids, Teens and Home Vertical Portal
|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.|