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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
(2005), PG [R-PG*]
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(This section may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)
Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Walt Disney Pictures, Spyglass Entertainment
Distribution (US): Buena Vista Pictures
Director(s): Adam Shankman
Producer(s): Gary Barber, Roger Birnbaum, Derek Evans, Jennifer Gibgot, Jonathan Glickman, Garrett Grant, Adam Shankman, George Zakk
Written by: Thomas Lennon, Ben Garant
Cinematography/Camera: Peter James
Music: John Debney
Film Editing: Christopher Greenbury
Casting: Robin D. Cook, Victoria Thomas
Production Design: Linda DeScenna
Art Direction: Arvinder Grewal
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6
Lt. Shane Wolfe (Vin Diesel) is not the pacifier. But I won't tell you what or who the pacifier is in case you decide whether this third R-PG is fit for your family (Kangaroo Jack with a final score of 29 was the first R-PG and Son of the Mask with a final score of 45 was the second). The Pacifier is just barely R-PG but still R-PG nonetheless. With a final score of 54, The Pacifier falls at the very top of the scoring range earned by R-rated movies (54 and below out of 100) in the comparative baseline database using the same unchanging system which has been used for analysis of films for ten years.
There may be another R-PG film or two in our archives but I do not have the time to manually search the files of nearly 1000 film analyses to find out. Man, do I wish we had the funding to retrofit all those files into a serachable, sortable database if only for our users. But we don't. And at the rate the users of our free service are donating, it doesn't seem likely we will ever have enough. This service may be free of charge but it is not free of costs.
The Pacifier is influentially equivalent to some "lite" R-rated movies not because of extreme or bold examples of aberrant behavior or imagery typically associated with R-rated movies but because of so many examples of aberrant behavior or imagery of the"lesser" kind. Truly, a film with many examples of unacceptable behavior and imagery of the "lesser" kind is likely to have more of a negative influence on the observer than a same-length film using a few examples of extreme or bold aberrant behavior (see CAP Rule of 1000).
I've told everyone, probably too many times, that Harvard University agrees with us about the "ratings creep" the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) is suffering. And they did so by publishing their finding of the "ratings creep" a full four years after we published our R-13 finding. For all those years we gathered data and trended the scoring, so many were crying "fanatic" and other ignominy-excusing terms. Well, now I will selfishly say to them "we told you so."
I may sound as though I am harping on this R-13/Harvard matter but the many new CAP "family" members need to know as well. And so do you if you have kids. Christian or otherwise.
The Motion Picture Association of America says The Pacifier is "Rated PG for action violence, language and crude humor." Balderdash! I guess since there are only four uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary, no uses of the most foul of the foul words and since nobody gets in bed with anybody that the MPAA thinks it is okay for your toddlers to teens. Let me remind the MPAA that it is none of their business what is and is not acceptable for your kids (which includes at-home teens) no matter what their questionable survey population says. It is YOUR decision whether the content of a film is or is not for your family. That is why we usurp the MPAA by giving you the detailed truth about the content of films: content which the MPAA, advertisers, promoters, etc., cannot or will not tell; content information which will hopefully give you what you need to be in a better position to make a moral decision on your own whether a film is fit for your family.
I didn't write this film and I am not the MPAA. But by scanning the listing in the Findings/Scoring section this film is not PG caliber no matter what the MPAA says. It is certainly a warm and moving film with a good story given by talented performers, but being a work of art on the surface does not excuse moral assaults and attacks on decency and ethics. Art is not sin unless art uses sin. Context does not excuse demonstrating assaults on morality and decency to your kids unless YOU decide there is some merit. No matter what the MPAA says.
I guess the rumors about Hollywood slacking off the R-rated movies is true. I say "So what?" "R" has been clearly sleazing up into PG-13 for a number of years and now into PG. The bottom line? How, when, where, by whom and to what extent your children are exposed to moral grime in and as entertainment is up to you, not the filmmakers and equally not the MPAA. I suppose a "R-PG" film is necessary every now and then to conform to what the MPAA claims are the moral standards of modern America, but you do not have to accept it. The movie industry is not the moral thermometer for America.
Do I sound angered? I am.
Lt. Wolfe was commanding a Navy SEAL rescue operation to save Professor Howard Plummer. After a nearly complete rescue, Wolfe was shot in the operation and Plummer was murdered (unseen). What a way to start off a kids' movie!
Through that military operation were several instances of explosions tossing bodies about and destroying manned craft plus several attempts at gunfire killings. The cinematography was every bit as graphic as the similar scenes of Charlie's Angels. Both The Pacifier and Charlie's Angels earned a zero score in Wanton Violence/Crime but Charlie's Angels was rated PG-13 - err - R-13.
Dr. Plummer was being sought for his new breakthrough in electronic satellite technology called G.H.O.S.T. which would give the country who possessed it a great military advantage. Now that Dr. Plummer is dead, -- he did not have the device on him -- the bad guys went after Plummer's family.
In an effort to secure any information about G.H.O.S.T. and maybe G.H.O.S.T. itself, Captain Bill Fawcett (Chris Potter) assigned Wolfe to live with the Plummer family for a couple days. But mom, Julie Plummer (Faith Ford) was called to Europe to secure some of her husband's possessions in a bank safe deposit box. Trying to remember the required password for access to Plummer's possessions dragged a 48-hour excursion into many days.
Wolfe is now in charge at the Plummer house. The gruff and militaristic rule of Wolfe was, for the lack of a better expression, oppressive. Oppressive to the kids, anyway. The babysitter, Helga (Carol Kane) hired by Mrs. Plummer, was the first to go. Now, Wolfe was not only on an information gathering mission and of protecting the five Plummer kids but as a babysitter for them. For f-i-v-e- kids: Baby Tyler (Bo and Luke Vink); preschooler Peter (Kegan and Logan Hoover); elementary schooler Lulu (Morgan York); high schoolers with attitudes Seth (Max Thieriot) and Zoe (Brittany Snow). Wolf must not only try to secure all information he can about G.H.O.S.T. and maybe G.H.O.S.T. itself but must now protect the family from those who would do them harm to possess G.H.O.S.T. That degree of involvement with the Plummer family dragged Wolfe into all facets of Plummer life including poopy diapers, adolescent power warfare and school.
While Wolfe's relationship with the school Principal Claire Fletcher (Lauren Graham) developed into a morally clean romance initiated by professional camaraderie, his relationship with wrestling coach and Vice Principal Murney (Brad Garrett) was bitterly adversarial, from Murney's angle anyway. Seth and Coach Murney did not get along at all since Seth's performance and enthusiasm for wrestling were empty and superficial. Seth had joined the wrestling team and stayed on it after his father's death to honor his dad's wishes. But now dad is gone.
In the principal's office with Wolfe there Seth was discovered to not only have an attitude but to have bleached his hair blonde and had a swastika arm band! Seth even constantly wore an old hat to hide his hair. All the earmarks of rebellion seemed to be there. Sudden and traumatic loss. Apparent submission to the unconditional acceptance of an evil influence! Defiance. Deceit. Risk-taking. But as Jesus reminds us that while we must righteously judge behavior (see Judge Not Lest Ye Be Judged), we must avoid judging by appearances. [John 7:24] Seth's appearance was not true to his cause.
While vengeance is the Lord's [Rom. 12:19] and while it is His job to repay wrong-doers for their assaults, Wolfe did do sin. Wolfe became fed up with Murney's abuse of Seth and accepted an invitation from Murney to get beat up on the wrestling floor. Imagine that! A trained Navy SEAL and a high school wrestling coach "duking it out." In the opening I told you that Vin Diesel is not the pacifier. Here, if you decide to watch this R-PG, is where lies the answer to what is the pacifier. A rather clever device of the writers but I won't reveal it should you decide this R-PG is fit for your family.
There is a lot more to this 90-minute film and some of it is wholesome and capable of being a teaching tool, but I do not want to "spoil" any more of it should you decide it is acceptable to you. Please inspect closely the listing in the Findings/Scoring section before you decide.
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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 heart of the CAP Analysis Model)
Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
Sexual Immorality (S)
Offense to God (O)
|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.|
|In the name of Jesus: |
Lord, Master, Teacher, Savior, God.
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