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A service to our youth through you,
their parents and grandparents, in His name by His Word
Spider-Man (2002), PG-13
Analysis Date: May 2, 2002
CAP Score: 51
CAP Influence Density: 1.03
SPIDER-MAN (PG-13) -- "You mess with one of us, you mess with all of us!"
Distributed by: Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment
Director(s): Sam Raimi
Producer(s): Avi Arad, Ian Bryce, Grant Curtis, Heidi Fugeman, Stan Lee, Laura Ziskin
Written by/Screenplay: Stan Lee and Steve Ditko (comic book), David Koepp (screenplay)
Cinematography/Camera: Don Burgess
Music: Danny Elfman
Film Editing: Arthur Coburn, Bob Murawski
Casting: Lynn Kressel, Francine Maisler
Art Direction: Tony Fanning, Scott P. Murphy
[Image: ©2002 Columbia Pictures.]
The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) uses subjective opinion to give their ratings. The CAP model uses mathematical objectivity. Maybe that explains the MPAA giving Spider-Man a PG-13 but the CAP analysis gives Spider-Man a score of 51, three points under the scoring range earned by PG-13s (54 to 68) in the CAP comparative baseline database. I would like to blame the three points on skewing but the CAP model has worked very successfully for seven years. But I gotta subjectively admit, Spider-Man was an amazing piece of work, comparatively lite in sexual issues, comparatively lite in language and obviously a statement of good over evil. But did evil ever make its presence known! Brutally. Spider-Man was, for the most part, true to the Spider-Man(tm) many of us grew up with but this Spider-Man, of course, has an attitude. Not at all like the Spidey we know.
Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) is a troubled and tormented teen in Queens High School. Everyone picks on him (Sound familiar? As in Columbine?). And Peter is in love with the girl next door -- for eleven years -- Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst, recently in Cat's Meow. Peter's Aunt May (Rosemary Harris) told Peter that when he first saw her he was 6 years old and he said "Aunt May! Aunt May! Is that an angel?"
But Mary Jane is "in love" with a bully named Eugene 'Flash' Thompson (Joe Manganiello). At least she thinks so. And Thompson makes certain Peter knows it. Physically. There are some episodes of "the strange kid(s)" being tormented in school and an episode of "getting even." Not a good picture to paint in these days. But I felt it, too -- the satisfaction of the bully getting his comeuppance. I've been on both sides of that fence, both giving the comeuppance and getting it. Many of us have. But that doesn't excuse it. And get even Peter does. Eventually. After putting up with only so much. He has special strength and abilities now. Why not use them? I'll leave the answer up to you.
On an outing to Columbia University's Science Department, amidst even more tormentings Peter gets bitten, graphically, by a special spider. One of fifteen like none others on the planet. Specially engineered genetically. Yes, there is presentation and discussion of evolution in this film. Indeed, some pictorial display of DNA sequences being completed to form a new species is shown. But it's a movie. It is not proof. Soon Peter starts to feel the effects of the spider bite and begins to discover some new powers and abilities.
I don't want to spoil the movie for those who will see it, but before I end the discussion about the plot and story I want to throw in a 'nice touch' on the part of the filmmakers. First, some background. The Green Goblin, who is Norman Osborne of Oscorp (Willem Dafoe) sky-surfs his way into causing a tramway car suspension system to Roosevelt Island to collapse, endangering the dozen or so kids in a car, dangling the car from its one cable in one hand high above the river and Mary Jane Watson in the other hand, asking Spidey which one he wants to save. As the battle ensues, the onlookers on the bridge start pelting the Green Goblin with anything they can throw, saying "You mess with one of us, you mess with all of us!" Nice touch, Sam Raimi, Stan Lee, at al. Nice touch, indeed. I am proud of you. A great "replacement" for editing out the scene of the car of bad guys hung by spider web between the twin towers of the World Trade Center. Thank you. And I am sorry to hear your stunt man broke both ankles swinging onto the moving car. I hope he healed well.
I know many of our readers will watch Spider-Man. All I ask is that your somberly consider the findings we offer below and in the Findings/Scoring section before you decide to take your kids to see it or see it for yourself. I find myself wanting to let our teens watch it but not our younger ones. But I am not your gauge. The reason for this service is to objectively tell you the truth about the content of movies which the advertisements, trailers, previews, etc. can't or won't tell you so you can make an informed decision on your own by your own standards whether a film is fit for your kids and/or yourself.
In addition to the few matters mentioned above, among the issues likely to be concerns to parents and grandparents include physical assault resulting in murder, gunfire to kill, firearm to the head and armed robbery, armed mugging and armed assault [Prov. 3:31-32, Jon. 3:8]. There are eleven uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary but NO uses of the most foul of the foul words [Prov. 17:20, Col. 3:8]. God's name in vain is used nine times without the four letter expletive but none with it [Deut. 5:11]. Brutal attacks, fighting and beatings, impalement death and multiple murder by explosives add to the violence of Spider-Man. Parental verbal/emotional abuse of a high school aged daughter [Eph. 6:4], lies [Rev. 21:8] and teen arrogance against a father [Is. 30:1, Eph. 6:2] blasted a few scoring points. Excess cleavage, dressing to maximize the female form and/or skin exposure plus ghosting of female anatomy through a "wet T-shirt" led the sexual issues [Rev. 22:15]. There is more you might want to consider before making a decision about this movie. Theses and all other issues are provided in the listing in the Findings/Scoring section of this analysis report.
Thank you for your trust in this ministry. Just know that Jesus loves you, no matter who you are, no matter what you've done, no matter what you've heard. And you do NOT have to be "clean" to come to know Him. Whether you believe it or not.
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*******Food for Thought*******
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):
Offense to God (O)(2):
Christian Media News
Biblical based Management Consulting
|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.|