ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture


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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to our youth though you,
their parents and grandparents, in His name by His Word

O (2001), R
Date analyzed: August 31, 2001
CAP Score: 12
CAP Influence Density: 4.30

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NOTE: 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 purely objective and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.


If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary likely using a mix of KJV and NIV.

O (R) -- yet another kids killing kids movie.

Wow! I had no idea filmmakers could cram so much "teen" in a movie for teens. O was clearly a movie for teens, probably just to provide another example of what "real life" is like so they'll be better prepared when they go out in it. If the CAP ministry had a dollar for every time we received hate mail claiming movies teach about real life, we would be able to have a fulltime staff ... with major equipment upgrade!

Real life cannot be learned at the movies. It takes a lot more than exposure to filth in film to learn how to handle life's difficulties. For so long movies have been given so much credit for "being like real life" that real life has become like the movies. And for so long we have been so drugged by vulgar extremes like those in O that what once was morally unacceptable has become morally invisible. This yet another kids killing kids movie is all we need. It is NOT real life. No movie is. But then, an influence does not have to be real to corrupt.

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Odin James (Mekhi Phifer) is the star of the basketball court. He is indeed a general on the court. He is also the only black athlete at the elite southern private school (and probably the most talented actor in the cast). Desi Brable (Julia Stiles), Odin's girlfriend, is the daughter of the Dean. Hugo Goulding (Josh Hartnett) is Odin's best pal and is the son of the basketball coach. Also in the mix is fellow ballplayer Michael Casio (Andrew Keegan) and Roger Rodriguez (Elden Rodriguez) who plays the undesirable of the group, the one who will do anything to get accepted.

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Desi loves Odin. And so does Hugo's father, Coach Goulding who says "I love him like my own son." This, when said at casual times, might not draw the focus it did when said by the Coach at a semi-formal dinner with Hugo in attendance. The accolade drew silent fire from Hugo. Hugo let this comment pile up with all the other lauds his Dad gave Odin but not Hugo except for a few clearly token compliments. Indeed, Hugo started to actively dislike and even hate Odin because of his father lauding over Odin and not him. Hugo has tried so hard to be number one in basketball just to get the respect and admiration of his father. Hugo begins a plan to kill Odin [Job 27:4; Prov. 14:22, 16:30].
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Odin is nicknamed "O" which is not coincidental. Desi's name is not coincidental and neither is Roger's name or Hugo's. O is a relatively faithful recreation of Shakespeare's "Othello." Othello, the only Moor (black) in the Venetian military was general in the Venetian armed forces. He was also married secretly to Desdemona who was much younger than Othello and daughter of the powerful Senator Brabanito. Iago, an ensign in Othello's army had unreciprocated feelings for Desdemona. A Florentine, Cassio had a relationship with Desdemona before she married Othello. Iago had also been passed over for a promotion when Othello gave the promotion to Cassio because of her still glowing love for Cassio. Cassio dispatched his devoted but inexperienced follower, Roderigo to inform Senator Brabanito about the unwanted marriage. Iago was now fuming to kill Othello and anyone else that got in the way and plans to use the gullibility of Roderigo to manipulate him as a puppet in his plan. And the plot thickens. Many "Othello" summaries are available on the web. A good one I found is at
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In O, Odin, "general" of the basketball court is "Othello's" Othello. Desi, daughter of the dean is Desdemona. Hugo, the one "passed over" in basketball accolades is Iago. Roger, the do-anything-you-want-to-get-accepted "undesirable" is Roderigo. Michael (Casio) is Cassio. Besides the marriage and a couple lesser details, O is the story of Othello. O is an intricate pattern of adaptation of Shakespeare's "Othello" to the 21st century. It is brilliant and a fine work of artistic ingenuity. But art does not equal sin. And sin does not equal art. Art becomes sin only when art uses sin. And O certainly did. Not only does O present mounds of sin it presents more high school kids killing high school kids. Like we need another one? The Basketball Diaries was far too much by itself.

There is much foul language in this teen flick for "adults" (as if this kind of entertainment makes the viewer "adult"). The use of the most foul of the foul words outnumbers all other three/four letter words combined [Col. 3:8]. Our Lord's name is not respected at all [Deut. 5:11]. A teen girl to her father regarding his asking about her sexual activities: "Dad, that's none of your business. [I asked you a question.] I said it's none of your business." [Gal. 4:2; 1 Sam. 15:23]. A teen boy sneaking into a teen girls bedroom, teens in bed together and intercourse between unmarried teens paint a much more immoral picture than "Othello." [Gal. 5:19] Treachery and deceit led to murder [Job 27:4] ... graphically. Much more so than Shakespeare's written works. This is much like some people trying to excuse sin in sinema with sin in the Bible [Is. 30:1]. Where in the Bible are there any audio or video exhibitions of sinful behavior? What about descriptions of such events in any sort of graphic detail as that which saturates modern cinema?

To continue, the Bible speaks in understatement, e.g., "He took her" or "He had his way with her." Much experiential maturity is required to perceive the meaning of such texts. As another example for comparison, reading "sliced off his ear" is a l-o-t different than watching and hearing someone thrust a 14" knife into a man's body, seeing the steel of the blade repeatedly disappear then reappear more stained with each withdrawal, the body twitching with each thrust until it twitches no more, then pumping eight rounds of .45 ammo into the body to make certain the victim is dead. And there is no doubt what would happen to porno mags if the pictures were replaced with text as found in the Bible. Quite a bit of difference in perspective.

Please! This section of the report is just a summary in commentary format. For the most complete representation of the CAP analysis model to this movie visit the listing in the Findings/Scoring section. Please. The Findings/Scoring section is the heart of the CAP analysis model.


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.

  • Job 27:4 My lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit.
  • Prov. 14:22 Do they not err that devise evil? but mercy and truth shall be to them that devise good.
  • Prov. 16:30 He [a violent man] shutteth his eyes to devise froward things: moving his lips he bringeth evil to pass.
  • Col. 3:8 But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.
  • Deut. 5:11 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain [vain: shav' {shawv}; false, emptiness, nothingness, lying, worthlessness (of conduct)]: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
  • Gal. 4:2 He [the child] is subject to guardians and trustees [the father and those appointed by him] until the time set by his father.
  • 1 Sam. 15:23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.
  • Gal. 5:19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;
  • Job 27:4 My lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit.
  • Is. 30:1 Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin:

    *******Food for Thought*******
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.
  • Jude 4 For certain men* whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]

    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.

    FINDINGS / SCORING: O (2001) CAP Thermometers

    NOTE: Multiple occurrences of each item described below may be likely, definitely when plural.

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
  • beating
  • fight with injury
  • rape
  • harassment, ridicule
  • assault of younger child
  • treachery
  • planning murder
  • breaking and entering
  • threats with firearm
  • gunshot - attempted murder
  • suicide victim - graphic
  • dead bodies
  • illegal purchase/sale of firearm

    Impudence/Hate (I)(1):
  • 57 uses of the most foul of the foul words
  • 54 uses of the rest of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • teen arrogance against father's authority
  • vulgar rap music in background - repeatedly
  • adult tantrum
  • teen tantrums
  • lies, direct and "I did not hear that!" as an order
  • deceiving father

    Sex/Homosexuality (S):
  • sensual touching
  • teens in underwear
  • boy sneaking into a girl' bedroom
  • teens stripping to nudity
  • teens in bed together, clothed and nude
  • sex talk, comments, innuendo - some vulgar
  • teens snuggling in bed together, her nude
  • admissions of sexual immorality
  • intercourse -repeatedly, some with nudity some without
  • cohabitation (overnight) for sex
  • anatomical references
  • homosexual insults

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • consumption of illegal drugs - repeatedly
  • teen drinking - repeatedly
  • drug dealing - repeatedly
  • possession of illegal drugs - repeatedly

  • Offense to God (O)(2):
  • three uses of God's name in vain with the four letter expletive and twice without

    Murder/Suicide (M)(3):
  • multiple murders by firearm, choking, tire iron, gunfire
  • suicide by firearm

    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 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 five-year 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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    (1) As noted in CAP Special Report-001, "Investigation Area and Scoring Trend," of the six CAP Investigation Areas, Impudence/Hate was the strongest presence in all four movie classifications. It has a strong revelation about the entertainment media.

    (2) The use of the three/four letter word vocabulary without God's name in vain is incorporated into the Impudence/Hate Investigation Area. The use of God's name with or without the four letter expletive is incorporated into the Offense to God Investigation Area. There is no duplication.

    (3) Only portrayal of successful murder or suicide are incorporated into Murder/Suicide. Portrayal of attempts to commit murder or suicide and deaths by police action or war are incorporated into Wanton Violence/Crime.

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