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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to His little ones through you in His name by His Word
(2001), NR [G-NR*]
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(While the Scriptural references are certainly not subjective, my commentary may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)
Distributed by: Cloud Ten Pictures
Director(s): Mark Griffiths
Producer(s): Lee Wilson (exec.), Robert Woods, (exec.), Deborah Gabler (prod.), Deanna Embury (assoc.)
Written by/Screenplay: Lee Wilson
Cinematography/Camera: Richard Walden
Sound: Charlie Shepard
Miracle of the cards indeed. Craig Shergold, an eight year old English cancer patient broke the Guinness world record of 1,000,256 for the number of get-well cards received by one individual!
Skeptical and atheist reporter, Josh (Kirk Cameron) was sent to investigate. Visiting Craig's mother, Marion (Catherine Oxenberg) Josh heard the line-by-line accounting of the miracle of the cards. Josh expected to reveal an over-sensationalized distortion of a simple happening but found instead real and hard facts that God intervenes.
For some time early in 1989, Marion Shergold (Catherine Oxenberg) had been having having nightmares about seeing her eight year old son Craig (Thomas Sangster) in a casket. Marion couldn't shake off the feeling of doom. Adding to her fears, Craig began experiencing fatigue which his father, Ernie (Peter Wingfield) passed off as too many parties. Craig had also been experiencing earaches which were passed off by a pediatrician (Bernard Cuffling) as emotional reactions to Craig losing his grandmother. Even a pharmacist (Chang Tseng) filling an earache prescription for Craig warned that he should go to the hospital. But when the violent nausea began, Marion decided to escalate medical attention for her son and took him to the hospital. After a time of apathy from the hospital staff, Craig again vomited which drew the attention of a senior nurse (Gwenda Lorenzetti). When she looked into Craig's eyes she immediately ordered detailed attention for Craig. Soon it was discovered that Craig had a brain tumor, a teratoma, the size of an orange. And it was in a most difficult location.
While in the hospital, Marion saw hanging on a corridor wall a number of pictures of the staff doctors. Here is where the first in a series of revelations happened. The background of the picture of Dr. Middleton (Duncan Fraser) flashed with bright light. None others flashed. Marion, a strong Christian, knew it was Dr. Middleton who would be the one to save her son and spoke to him with after-the-fact resolve as if the ordeal was all over and her son cured before treatment even started. Dr. Middleton inserted a shunt to drain the excess fluid threatening to rupture Craig's brain. He also performed surgery to reduce the tumor. Dr. Middleton became resolved to the point of suggesting, since the tumor was malignant and was assuredly fatal, that the Shergolds consider taking Craig home and let the tumor take its gradual toll. Marion nearly exploded at that suggestion and demanded further treatment. Though Dr. Middleton agreed, he assured the Shergolds that even radiation therapy and chemotherapy would merely prolong the inevitable. Now little Craig had the side effects of those treatments to add to his long list of ills.
As all this was going on, Marion notices that get-well cards kept coming in. Convinced the cards were prayers form well-wishers, she and Craig launched a get-well card campaign to break the Guinness world record. While Ernie kept leaning to giving up and encouraging Marion to do the same, Marion became even more steadfast in her battle with Craig's tumor. Knowing the power of prayer and believing the cards to be prayers from others, Marion became what Ernie saw as obsessed with the card campaign. Marion kept assuring Ernie that the campaign was a goal, a valuable and therapeutic goal for Craig as well as a source of prayer support. Meeting with disappointment, Dr. Middleton shared with Marion and Ernie knowledge of a new breakthrough in tumor treatment by Dr. Kassell (Richard Thomas, "John-boy" of The Waltons) in America. The new treatment was the Gamma Knife which focuses with precision gamma radiation on the tumor. Sounded great but Ernie warned that they did not have the money to finance relocating from England to America. Then billionaire John Kluge, who was preparing to send Craig a get-well card, as the press notes say, felt God tap him on the shoulder saying "You can do more." Mr. Kluge financed all expenses.
Whether the operations, the treatments and all other measures were successful and for how long is up to you to find out. I don't want to spoil all of this movie for you. And there is little to be concerned about regarding invasive programming so popular with secular entertainment. Josh, being a non-believer, spouted some possibly influential antagonism toward the omnipotence and even existence of our Lord. The scriptwriters included Marion and Ernie snuggling in bed together in one scene, dressed in sleepwear. Granted, the real Marion and Ernie were married but Catherine and Peter were not. Even if they were, is it appropriate for millions of viewers to watch a married couple in bed? God's name was vainly used in desperation only once and then without the four letter expletive [Deut. 5:11].
A constant theme of impending doom to a young boy, though necessary to the story, might start young children to worry needlessly. But then, Cloud Ten Pictures are not (yet) targeted to children but are rather evangelical and witnessing tools/instruments for the adult/parent. Finally, an extremely short skirt is worn for a brief moment by Sharon Shergold (Jennifer Anne Carmichael), the wife of Steve Shergold (Jeremy Guilbaut). Maybe that was the fashionable style in England of the 90s and elsewhere, but Sharon was the only one wearing such revealing dress in the movie. When has style ever been concerned about the thoughts and feelings such dress conjures in young boys as those who wear very short skirts sit down or bend over? Maybe such dress is excused by the heavy stockings the actress wore or maybe the real Sharon dressed that way? You decide. This old-fashioned reporter just wanted you to know. Though the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) seems to place anything of "theological" nature into the PG-13 at least PG classification, numerically The Miracle of the Cards was equivalent to G-rated movies in the CAP comparative scoring baseline database. G-rated movies of the baseline database earned scores from 87 to 100 during the validation and verification of the analysis model. The Miracle of the Cards earned a 97.
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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.
(The objective heart of the CAP Analysis Model, independent of and insulated from the Summary/
Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
Sexual Immorality (S)
Offense to God (O)
|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.|
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