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Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP Ministry)
Entertainment Media Analysis Report
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UPDATED December 31, 2003
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|ALERT: To fully understand this report you should first visit the topics suggested by the CAP Site Map (Table of Contents). Further, 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 completely objective to His Word and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.|
(2003), R -- Let us pray that little Jenna does not suffer the same.
Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Revolution Studios, Imagine Entertainment
Distribution (US): Sony Pictures Entertainment
Director(s): Ron Howard
Producer(s): Steve Crystal, Brian Grazer, Todd Hallowell, Kathleen McGill, Daniel Ostroff, Aldric La'Auli Porter, Louisa Velis
Written by/Screenplay: Thomas Eidson (novel, The Last Ride), Ken Kaufman (screenplay)
Cinematography/Camera: Salvatore Totino
Music: James Horner
Film Editing: Daniel P. Hanley, Mike Hill
Casting: Jo Edna Boldin, Janet Hirshenson, Jane Jenkins
Art Direction: Guy Barnes
I am so sorry it has taken so long to get this posted. I viewed the film on November 26 and it is now December 2 at dark-thirty in the morning. I know this is inconvenient for those who wait until we publish our findings on a movie before considering whether to watch it or not, but I am doing the best I can. Things will get better as soon as we find full funding, whether I want them to or not.
Frontier healer Magdalena "Maggie" Gilkeson (Cate Blanchette) has cast her father, Samuel (Tommy Lee Jones) out of her life. That seems such a drastic thing to do when all he did was abandon the family when Maggie was but a wee lass, rejecting what white man brought to the wilderness. Then one day, dad shows up again looking like an aging American Indian wannabe snake oil peddler with the derby hat and multi-colored print shirt and vest. Trying to find forgiveness, Sam tried to give Maggie money. But it didn't work. Nor does it work for Maggie's eldest daughter, Lily (Evan Rachel Wood) who chimes right in with her mother's verbal disgust of her father. But then, that would be expected with the role Wood was playing (more on that later). However, the youngest of Maggie's two daughters, Dot (Jenna Boyd) seems ready and willing to welcome grandpa.
About my "more on that later" above of Wood's story character, Wood fit into it well since the role was to portray an "It ain't good enough, no matter what 'it' is" teenager. The progression of roles Wood has played are as predictable as the sunrise starting with Emily in the delightful Little Secrets, August 2002 (PG) then to Lainey in the somewhat more risque Simone, August 2002 (PG-13) to Tracy in Thirteen, October 2003 (R), one of the most arrogant and vile roles I have witnessed in the nearly 800 movies I have analyzed. While Wood's role as Lily in The Missing was certainly not vulgar, it was most certainly another one of those arrogant "kiss off, I'm better than this" roles most teenagers are given in modern cinema. But the reason for the comparison of Wood's progression into the world of teenage uppity cinema, I truly hope that the sparkling and adorable young Jenna Boyd is spared such teachings through the performing arts which Wood has suffered. This topic is why I placed photos of the two girls aside the poster art for the movie. The facial expressions nearly tell it all. Wood became very good at playing a vile and filthy role through her career in acting, making it questionable whether she was "just acting." (As if "acting" excuses sin.). Let us pray that little Jenna does not suffer the same.
In an act of defiance against mom's direction, Lily became a victim of child traffickers. Kidnapped and taken away to be sold in Mexico into prostitution, Lily became the target of the newfound trust and camaraderie between estranged father and frightened daughter as Maggie sought dad's help in rescuing Lily. Initially, mom was not about to let Dot come with her and her grandfather, but at Dot's rather animated insistence and after an Apache attack that left her live-in lover, Brake Baldwin (Aaron Eckhart) in parts in a bag hanging from a tree, mom agreed to let Dot come along on a mission through the parched land of New Mexico.
Lily and four other girls (Heather Gulas, Scarlett McAlister, Shelby Kocurek, Molly McAlister) were the booty being taken into child slavery by renegade Apache, Chidin (Eric Schweig). Chidin was a chilling and dirty shaman. Sam, having lived with the Apaches for quite some time was aware of the powers of this shaman and was constantly reminding Maggie to stop shortchanging the evil of which Chidin was capable as they tracked and overtook the kidnappers in the stone filled badlands. Indeed, this film is freckled with tales of witchcraft and portrayal of a witchcraft spell over Maggie.
As I have been alerting our visitors, until we can find full funding I must shorten the extent of these Summary/Commentaries in order to reduce the costs of bringing you these free analyses. So, let me get right to the main reason most of you visit our website.
In accordance with our scoring distribution, The Missing is rated R mostly due to content incorporated into the Wanton Violence/Crime and the Murder/Suicide investigation area, encompassing much violence [Prov. 3:31-32], several murders/killings [Rev. 21:8] and including a suicide by gunfire [Ex 20:13]. Second in loss of points was in Impudence/Hate due to adolescent arrogance at a parent and racial hatred [Exod. 20:12; Prov. 6:20; Prov. 10:1; Gal. 5:14]. Under Sexual Immorality were issues including inappropriate touch of a minor girl, attempted rape of a minor girl [Luke 17:2] and full rear male nudity [**]. Drugs/Alcohol revealed drinking, smoking and forced drugging. [Luke 1:15] Offense to God found one instance of the use of God's name in vain and without the four letter expletive [Deut. 5:11] and several tales of witchcraft/shamanism and casting of a spell [Rev. 21:8]. A complete representation of all that was found is presented in the Findings/Scoring section.
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.
***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.|