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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to His little ones through you in His name by His Word
(2006), PG-13 [PG-13*] (1hr 42min)
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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): Eketahuna LLC, Summit Entertainment, Touchstone Pictures
Distribution (US): Buena Vista Pictures, Summit Entertainment
Director(s): Anne Fletcher
Producer(s): Erik Feig, David Garrett, Jennifer Gibgot, Bob Hayward, Adam Shankman, John H. Starke, Patrick Wachsberger
Story: Duane Adler
Screenplay: Duane Adler, Melissa Rosenberg
Music: Aaron Zigman
Film Editing: Nancy Richardson
Casting: Joanna Colbert, Carlyn Davis, Richard Mento
Production Design: Shepherd Frankel
Art Direction: Laura Ballinger
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6
I am surprised Julia Stiles didn't make at least a cameo appearance. Step Up seems like a photocopy of Save the Last Dance with some smears of toner. One of the smears is of a young boy, after being taught how to steal cars by his older brother and his friend, is murdered for it.
It is basically the same story. A rather well-to-do high school girl dancer, Nora Clark (Jenna Dewan) meets up with a street kid, Tyler Gage (Channing Tatum) and that makes everything better. Subjectively speaking though, while I am no more a dance expert than I am a movie critic, there were some rather sharp dance routines in this flick. And the music wasn't that bad in a couple places, either. Talent? It was also pretty good. In a couple places.
And Step Up has a couple "good things" to say. One is that hard work can bring one up out of the pits and miry clay of delinquency. But Jesus can do a better job of it. [Ps. 40:2] The other is to not give up. But we must each understand that though a destination may be noble, it does not excuse an ignoble path.
A couple times while viewing a PG-13 film I did not expect it to earn a PG-13 equivalent final score because it seemed more "tame" than other PG-13 films. That is the way Step Up seemed. But it wasn't. Step Up earned a final score of 58 out of 100, placing it squarely in the range of scores earned by PG-13 films (55 to 67 out of 100) in the comparative baseline database. This is yet another example of how the CAP analysis model could not care less what I think. At least Step Up is not R-13 like most PG-13 films nowadays. And Harvard University agreed with us ... four years after we published our first R-13 finding.
Low-key Baltimore car thief and epitome of attitude Tyler lives with his caring but idiot foster mother and drunken foster father as he completes his senior year of high school. He and his best friend Mac Carter (Damaine Radcliff) are teaching Mac's younger brother, Skinny (De'Shawn Washington) how to steal cars, too.
Before I go any farther, I want to share some truth with you. Please do not get any ideas about foster care if you watch this film. My wife and I have provided foster care for 31 kids over 14 years and foster care is not like this film portrays it to be. Believe it.
In an accidental window-breaking, the trio decide to break-and-enter the establishment that now has a broken window. It is the Maryland School of the Arts - a high school for art students. After trashing enough property to equal the tuition of a student, security (Frank Ferrara) captures Tyler as Mac as Skinny scamper off.
Now Tyler must serve 200 hours of community service to the MSA doing whatever needs to be done. Sweep. Mop. Clean windows. Including the windows in the dance practice room where Nora captured his eye. Soon, by injury to Nora's boyfriend partner, Tyler took his place. In more ways than one.
The Wanton Violence/Crime (W) investigation area found that this film is not all that violent but it has its share of illegal/criminal behaviors. Violence included matters such as assault and fighting but criminal examples included car theft, chop shopping, breaking and entering and more. [Hab. 2:9]
The Impudence/Hate (I) investigation are found enough matters of impudence such as language, arrogance, defiance and lying to make Step Up equivalent to some "hard" R-rated films. Eleven uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary [Matt. 12:36, 2 Tim. 2:16 - 17], mischief, teaching the younger to steal [Luke 17:2], adolescent hate talk to mother, lying and defiance of mom's order's which resulted in the murder of Skinny. [Exod. 20:12]
The only nudity in this film is statue nudity and no one gets in bed with anyone else but the Sexual Immorality (S) investigation area still found enough matters of sexual orientation and behaviors to make this film equivalent to some "lite" R-rated films. None of the matters were all that bold but there were so many of them that the total envelope of their influence reached into the realm of "lite" R. [Gal. 5:19, Col. 3:5]
The Drugs/Alcohol (D) investigation area found teen and adult drinking and drug dealing. [Eph. 5:18]
The Offense to God (O) investigation area found five uses of God's name in vain but only without the four letter expletive, not that leaving out the four letter expletive excuses the use of His name in vain. The use of His name in vain is a sin. Adding the four letter expletive just compounds the sin. [Deut. 5:11]
The Murder/Suicide (M) investigation area found a horrible finger-pointing murder death. Skinny, who was being taught how to steal cars by his brother Mac, was shot and killed by the owner of one of the cars Skinny broke into. There is a perfect example of the application of Luke 17:2. Unless forgiven, Jesus says Mac would be better off if a millstone were tied about his neck then cast into the sea. An since Jesus will be the One setting in the Throne of Judgment I suspect He has the authority to say so.
The listing of observations in the Findings/Scoring section will provide all that was noted.
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)
Christian Educators Association International
|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: |
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