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A ministry of the ChildCare Action Project:
Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP Ministry)
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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to His little ones through you in His name by His Word
(2007), R [R*] (1hr 56min)
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(While the Scriptural references are certainly not subjective, my commentary may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)
Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Paramount Vantage, Miramax Films, Scott Rudin Productions, Mike Zoss Productions
Distribution (US): Miramax Films
Director(s): Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Producer(s): Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, David Diliberto, Robert Graf, Mark Roybal, Scott Rudin
Screenplay by: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Cinematography/Camera: Roger Deakins
Music: Carter Burwell
Film Editing: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Casting: Ellen Chenoweth
Production Design: Jess Gonchor
Art Direction: John P. Goldsmith
Viewed on Buena Vista Home Entertainment DVD
While we do not particularly care to conduct analyses of R-rated films, it is necessary to do so for a few R-rated films to maintain the mathematical integrity of the CAP analysis model since the verification and validation of it was completed by actual use on G, PG, PG-13 and R-rated films (NC-17/X films will not be analyzed by the CAP Ministry). In other words, how could I otherwise say, for example, a PG-13 film earned a score in the range of scores earned by R-rated films (a "R-13" film) if I do not analyze a few R-rated films?
Further, the "R" is nothing but a signal to parents. And for some youths "R" is a lure. By analysis of hundreds of R-rated films over the years, I cannot remember a single one that did not have underage youth in the audience ... except this one. I viewed it from DVD with none of my kids in the "audience." By the way, "underage kids" includes at-home teens.
If our analysis of R-rated films will cause even one parent to prevent his/her underage child from watching a R-rated film then we will have done our job. And it is working. More and more parents are thanking us for this service because it tells them the truth about the content of films which advertisers, promoters, the MPAA, trailers/previews can't or won't tell so mom/dad might be in a better position to make an informed moral decision whether an unseen film is fit. I sometimes wonder if a film is unfit for kids why is it fit for adults? Isn't that which is sinful for a child also sinful for an adult?
Maybe "Christian" should mean "no-R" but it doesn't. If that were so, "Christian" should mean also "no PG-13" since we (and Harvard University scientists four years after us - see Harvard Agrees with Us) have proven the "ratings creep." Indeed, the CAP analysis model revealed before Harvard scientists that most PG-13 films should have been rated R (see R-13). If you think Christians stay away form R-rated films, someday ask your Christian friends where they go after the after-church lunch. You might be surprised. Maybe what we do will help change that.
The bottom line? I do not enjoy watching R-rated films, but I will. Occasionally. In fact, after more than 1200 films I don't particularly enjoy watching films. However, I do greatly enjoy 1) helping mom/dad make an informed moral decision and 2) applying God's Word to noted behaviors. And I will do so as long as Jesus wants me to do so. At the last prayer I received no signal that He wants me to stop. Rather, I sense He wants me to accelerate and expand, but that depends on you. Ask Him what He wants you to do.
Aging sheriff Edward Thomas "Tom" Bell (Tommy Lee Jones) is getting fed up with "the way things are." The way law enforcement in changing. The way criminals do their deeds. The way general apathy and disrespect are rampant. Now there (the latter) is a true reflection of real life. But maybe it is films like these that make real life the way it is?
Along comes two characters that become the final straw that drives Tom into retirement: a local out-of-work welder Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) and a psychopathic drug dealer and murderer Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem)
While on a hunting trip, Moss discovers a gathering of pickup trucks in the middle of nowhere. Upon inspecting them Moss finds the trucks riddled with bullet holes and three gruesomely murdered men with another dying of gunshot wounds. In the back of one of the trucks Moss also discovers a huge stash of illegal drugs. Moss stumbled upon a drug deal gone bad. But always with drug deals is a great deal of money. Sure enough. Moss found a satchel with $2,000,000 in it. So, Moss runs with the money and one of the several guns strewn about.
Arriving home to his wife, Carla Jean Moss (Kelly Macdonald, who may have been the best performer of the entire cast) questions Moss about where he had been and where he got the gun in his belt. After a series of lies and smooth talk, Moss returns to the murder site to give water to the dying man who begged Moss for "agua."
Not long after his return to the site the drug bosses arrive and try to kill Moss. After a volley of gunfire and eluding an attack dog Moss escapes. But little did Moss know a tracking device was planted in one of the bundles of bills. With that tracking device, Moss was never able to be free of Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem) whose last name sounds almost like "sugar."
But sugar he was not. Chigurh is, as described by Carson Wells (Woody Harrelson), a bounty hunter of sorts, as quite probably the 'badest' murderer that has ever lived. One of Chigurh's victims was no more than an elderly man along the road. One of Chigurh's favorite tools of murder is a compressed air cattle slaughter tool that drives a 3-inch bolt into the brain of a cow, instantly killing the cow. Chigurh used it on door locks ... and human heads. His other favorite tool was a shotgun with a silencer. Along his path to locate and kill Moss, Chigurh brutally and graphically murders at least 20 people.
This is not a film for the impressionable. God warns us of such "communications" in 1 Cor. 15:33 and other verses. Too many use "It is just a movie, fantasy" as a crutch ... but the imagery is still implanted. Imagery notwithstanding, the influence of the cold, uncaring attitude of which is very well played by Bardem, is damaging to the impressionable and even the not-so-impressionable. Since God warned us that such "communication" corrupts you can trust it is.
Indeed, we have found that it is not so much the violence (or sex or drugs, etc.) that poses the greatest moral and behavioral risk to the viewer but is rather the attitude portrayed (see ATTITUDE: In Perspective). Just remember that a bad influence does not have to be real to influence badly. In 1 Cor. 15:33 God makes no distinction between the impressionable and the strong when He warns us that "evil communication" corrupts. Maybe we should listen to Him for a change.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
This Wanton Violence/Crime investigation area found enough content to earn an investigation area score of zero. Many instances of gunfire to kill. Pursuit to kill. People dripping with blood. Views of very graphic gunshot injuries. Dead bodies. All these portrayals and more combine to steal all of the starting 100 points in this investigation area. [Prov. 16:29] Indeed, if the limiters that cause less-than-zero investigation area scores to be shown as zero were removed, the "mercury" in the Wanton Violence/Crime (W) thermometer would be 110 points below the zero mark. Note that the limiters are used to display as zero all less-than-zero investigation area scores since scores less than zero are meaningless in the display.
Seventeen times the three/four letter word vocabulary are heard. Four times by a young teen or late preteen, including the most foul of the foul words. [Col. 3:8] A constant theme of a cold, brutal and vicious sadistic attitude combined with related matters of impudence such as lying and intimidation cost the film nearly all of the starting 100 points in this investigation area. [2Tim. 3:1 ... 3]
Sexual Immorality (S)
Surprisingly, for an R-rated film this film is lite in sexually immoral behavior demonstrations/imagery. I suspect that with credibility borne of long-term study I can say PG-13 films are generally more "sexual" that this R-rated film. I guess that fits since we proved in 2000 (as did Harvard University scientists four years later) that more than 60% of the PG-13 films analyzed should have been rated R (see R-13). Other than some sexual talk, an anatomical reference and a rude gaze by Brolin, the only other sexually immoral behavior noted was a prostitute propositioning Moss from a motel poolside. [Col. 3:5, Prov. 23:27-28]
The same holds true about R-rated films being more dense with drinking and drunkenness than PG-13 films. Such is no longer true. No Country for Old Men, rated R, has less "alcoholic content" than most PG-13 films. It is of weaker "proof" than most PG-13 films. Though presenting a weaker "proof" than most PG-13 films, this film does present booze and drinking. While the booze/drinking is bad enough of an influence, worse yet is the illegal drug theme throughout. [Luke 17:2] Though Luke 17:2 refers to corrupting youth, when do you suppose illegal drugs remain in the adult world only? And even if they did ...?
Offense to God (O)
One old timer sheriff spewed God's name in vain with the four letter expletive four times in three or four minutes. God's name is spoken in vain without the four letter expletive only once. Either way, God' does not like it. And tells us so. [Deut. 5:11]
Demonstrations of murder are rampant. Graphic murder. Brutal murder. Cold, heartless murder. God speaks darkly of murderers many times throughout the Old Testament and the New Testament. But they are all summed up in Ex 20:13.
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.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
Sexual Immorality (S)
Offense to God (O)
• graphic and brutal murder, repeatedly, at least 20
|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 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.|
Thank you for visiting us and may God bless you. Prayerfully, we will provide you with some of the most revealing commentary and investigative reporting you have ever read. |
In the name of Jesus:
Lord, Master, Teacher, Savior, God.
ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture
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