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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to His little ones through you in His name by His Word
(2007), PG-13 [Strong PG-13*] (1hr 43min)
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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): Morgan Creek Productions, SW7D Productions, Clifford Werber Productions
Distribution (US): Morgan Creek International, Universal Pictures
Director(s): Joe Nussbaum
Producer(s): Guy McElwaine, Wayne Morris, Dara Resnik, David C. Robinson, James G. Robinson, Clifford Werber
Written by: Chad Creasey
Cinematography/Camera: Mark Irwin
Music: Deborah Lurie
Film Editing: Danny Saphire
Casting: Pam Dixon
Production Design: Mark Garner
Art Direction: Andrew White
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6
Sydney White appears to be a concoction of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (hint: production in part by SW7D) with Animal House (to add poop to the recipe), Revenge of the Nerds, a dozen other college social/sexual warfare movies and Mean Girls poured in. Names have been changed to protect the innocent. And I suspect Sydney White is an attempt to revive Amanda Bynes' earlier successes (or attempts at success) with, for example, What a Girl Wants, Big Fat Liar and She's the Man.
College-bound 18 year old Sydney White (Amanda Bynes), daughter of widower Paul (John Schneider), a plumber, whose mother, Deb Lee (not seen) died when Sydney was nine years old, is keen on getting into the same prestigious sorority as her mother, the Kappa Phi Nu. That Sydney's mother was a Kappa makes Sydney a "legend" and practically a shoe-in if it were not for Rachel Witchburn (Sara Paxton), Kappa and student body president and her goons. All the Kappa girls look like Barbie(tm) dolls with blonde hair and size two clothes ... what there is of them at times, just like Rachel. Sydney does not fit that mold. Rachel wants Sydney to fail the obligatory initiation into Kappa but Sydney meets all the conditions and tests. Rachel is forced to admit Sydney into Kappa Phi.
But after becoming accepted into Kappa Phi Nu, Sydney is manipulated by Rachel and her mean-spirited pranks and is eventually ousted. Now Sydney is looking for a place to stay since she had lost her dorm room after joining Kappa Phi.
To the rescue are the seven dork "dwarves" of the Vortex house: George (Arnie Pantoja), Jeremy (Adam Hendershott), Lenny (Jack Carpenter), Gurkin (Danny Strong), Embele (Donte Bonner), Spanky (Samm Levine) and Terrence (Jeremy Howard). The Vortex is a run-down soon to be condemned house at the end of greek row that is seen by the greeks as less than a wart, The greeks want the spot for a new activity center.
This is where the take-off on Snow White and the Seven Dwarves materializes the most. Sydney is, of course, "Show White." One of the guys in the Vortex, I think it was Embele, is almost always sleepy because of what the film called jet lag. But there is ugly contrast with the original Snow White. In strongest contrast with the original purity of Disney's production is Spanky, a womanizer with one thing on his mind who blurts comments such as "This fabric has touched breasts" about Sydney's bra hanging in the closet. I do not remember any of the original seven dwarves being called "Lusty."
About that "This fabric has touched breasts" comment. It is not that far-fetched, mom/dad, for teen boys to think like that nowadays in this culture of AWOL and even amoral sexual standards. Today's teens are hit with such programing from every angle every day from movies, music, advertisements and even school books. Such comments in and as entertainment draw attention of the viewer to private parts and to sexual thoughts. That is why we include a performed wearing only underwear in the scoring of a film Just because deodorant and shower gel commercials capitalize on the new-found freedom to broadcast people in underwear to the consuming public does not make doing so pure. Consider this. During such a commercial, where do your eyes go when someone only in underwear appears onscreen? Hmmm? The character's feet? The deodorant or shower gel? And to put a finer point on that, when was the last time you saw such a commercial with an old fat man or woman wearing only her underwear? Someday I'll tell you about "exposure to below-navel skin" and "dressing to maximize the human body an/or skin exposure" in and as teen entertainment.
Anyway, the seven Vortex "dwarves" took Sydney in. Then along comes Tyler Prince (Matt Long), the president of the Beta Omega Pi fraternity and ex-boyfriend of Rachel (ex- for him anyway), whose stage name alone sets him up as the "handsome prince." He does come to the rescue but only after cohorting with the "evil queen" Rachel unbeknownst to Sydney. Unbeknownst or a while ...
During her stay with the "seven dwarfs" Sydney launches a campaign against incumbent Rachel to become student body president to restore time-honored character and tradition. While Rachel is underhanded and self-serving in just about everything she does, Sydney is polite and honorable.
Of trivia interest, like part of Clinton's campaign for US President, Sydney's campaign openly included homosexual practitioners. Probably for the same reason -- votes. The portrayal of homosexual practitioners did not include any demonstrations of homosexual behavior except the stereotype of transvestism and effeminate mannerisms. Nonetheless, this film promotes the practice of homosexuality, however lightly, by including it, leading to yet more desensitization of youth away from God's Word about such practice by saturating as much of the public eye with it as possible, portraying it as another harmless choice of behavior. Harmless the practice of homosexuality is not A choice it is. Every single non-autonomic movement of the human body is a choice. No exceptions. No debate. To avoid anyone thinking this is hate speech about homosexual practitioners, it is not about the practitioner. It is about the practice. The chosen behavior. S/he who chooses to practice homosexuality is as precious to Jesus as s/he who does not. It is not us God hates, it is some of our behaviors He hates. By His Word. Not mine. Not yours. [1Cor. 6:9-10, Jude 1:7]
If you've seen the previews you've seen enough to fill in the blanks in this teen flick of contempt for wholesome morality swirling among the "good messages.". Sydney White did earn a score equivalent to the scores earned by PG-13 films in the comparative baseline database but remember that "PG-13" is just a slice off the top of "R." Indeed, two of the six investigation areas found material to earn scores equivalent to some R rated movies.
The "poisoned apple" of this film is not so much from Rachel by her hateful antics but is the film itself and its plethora of assaults on morality and decency. Summary discussion of the poison is provided below in the individual investigation area summaries. Understand, however, that the most complete representation of the content found in this film is provided in the Findings/Scoring section.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
The only issue of content that even approaches violent or criminal activity is the stuffing of the ballot box. Rules are rules and s/he who does not compete by the rules is not a victor even if s/he wins. [2Tim. 2:5]
Twenty-one times some form of the three/four letter word vocabulary is uttered to the ears of your young teens who watch this show. About every five minutes someone cusses. Conceit [Phil. 2:3, Rom. 12:16] and socially cruel warfare are constant [Prov. 11:17].
Sexual Immorality (S)
Filled with some form of sexually-oriented content of one kind or another, this film is a danger to wholesome thought and demeanor. Images that challenge modesty do nothing but lead the thoughts into impurity. What goes on the outside comes from the inside. [Mark 7:21, 1 John 2:26] Some of that which was chosen for the outside for some of the performers by the filmmakers were certainly intended to be seductive, sensual or anatomically exhibitionistic: dressing to maximize the female form and/or skin exposure; excessive cleavage, nudity with the genitals hidden by convenience objects. A number of other matters to focus the viewer on sexually-oriented matters included camera angle to force the viewer on private parts, women in towels only, scant swim wear, etc..
A drinking party plus a guzzling contest were expensive to the Drugs/Alcohol investigation area. This is NOT an example to set for young teens anticipating college. It is bad news. Why? Since you've asked, I'll tell you.
The American College of Physicians (ACP) has found that exposure to booze and drinking in and as entertainment emboldens the viewer, in particular the middle school age stratum, the PG and PG-13 age stratum, to challenge and experiment with alcohol.
Though the ACP study used R-rated films since it was believed R-rated films contained the most drinking, the focus is on the influence of exposure to alcohol in and as entertainment regardless of the film rating. Besides, the ACP researchers were not aware of R-13 which defeats the assumption that R-rated films present the most drinking and drunkenness. A finding by Harvard University agreed with our R-13 finding, four years after our finding. As a sidebar note, consider this, too. The MPAA is apparently going to consider all films with smoking in them as R-rated, clearly announcing without trying that smoking in and as entertainment is indeed a negative influence. If so, why not make R-rated any films which present booze and/or drinking and/or drunkenness? [Eph. 5:18] We incorporated smoking into a film's scoring distribution long before the MPAA. Even other film rating websites have plagiarized our methodology. Might that imply others are following our lead? That we are doing something right?
Within the ACP study population of 4544 middle school students (90% were under fourteen years old), the prevalence of having tried alcohol without parental knowledge was
Rather revealing of the influences of the entertainment industry wouldn't you say? And emboldening children to sin with drink in and as entertainment screams of violating Luke 17:2.
I can add to the ACP study that reveals films which present drinking and drunkenness contribute to underage alcohol abuse. I submit that it is not so much the presence of alcohol in films or the rating of the film(s) that embolden youth to abuse it, but is rather the attitude portrayed: the attitude of freedom from authority, freedom from accountability and freedom from consequences. PG-13 and R-rated films, even lesser rated films, are typically heavy with attitude. Our report on this, ATTITUDE: In Perspective -- Investigation Area Scoring and Trend in CAP Entertainment Industry Investigations, Special Report-001 may provide more understanding of the point.
Offense to God (O)
Four times someone utters God's name in vain. Though each time was without the four letter expletive, such minimization does not minimize the sin of using His name in vain. [Deut. 5:11]
No murders or suicides were 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)
|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.|
|In the name of Jesus: |
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