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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
(2006), PG [PG*] (1hr 24min)
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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): Warner Bros. Pictures, Donners' Company, Village Roadshow Pictures
Distribution (US): Warner Bros. Pictures
Director(s): Paul Feig
Producer(s): Michael Aguilar, Julie Bergman Sender, Bruce Berman, Ira Glass, Michael Lambert, Carrie Morrow, Lauren Shuler Donner, Julie Snyder
Written by: Jacob Meszaros, Mya Stark
Cinematography/Camera: Christopher Baffa
Music: Michael Andrews
Film Editing: George Folsey Jr., Brad E. Wilhite
Casting: Allison Jones
Production Design: Aaron Osborne
Art Direction: Erin Cochran
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6
If you are expecting a bright and cheerful report on Unaccompanied Minors you will be disappointed and are, of course, free to move on to something else.
According to the film, "unaccompanied minors" are children who fly on airplanes without parental supervision. Six kids end up "unaccompanied minors" as airports over the entire northeast and central US are socked in due to snow storms. The kids are not even at home and they still get grounded. And it is Christmas Eve.
A big problem is that there are a few dozen other kids stranded, too. Apparently, every one of them is the victim of divorce. Every one is being shuttled to some distant location to spend Christmas with the other parent.
But the biggest problem is that it seems Hollywood would have you think that all minor children are licentious hooligans out to defy any and all rules and manners. Granted, God tells us that foolishness is bound in the hearts of youth [Prov. 22:15] but we don't need to be emboldening it in the name of entertainment. Though many would try, that such onscreen behavior influences the behavioral choices of your kids is inarguable. How much, when and how it manifests are the only questions.
Spencer "K-Mart" Davenport (Dyllan Christopher) and his sister, Katherine (Dominique Saldana) are being shuttled from mom to dad but are delayed due to all flights being canceled due to a snow storm. Snowed-in in Michigan, Spencer and Katherine are thrown into the fray of a few dozen other unaccompanied minors in the Unaccompanied Minors (UM) room.
In spite of all the class warfare going on a clique soon forms between Spencer, Katherine and four other unaccompanied minors: street-smart Donna (Quinn Shephard); really smart kid Charlie (Tyler James Williams); super hero wannabe Timothy "Beef" (Brett Kelly); snooty beauty Grace (Gina Mantegna). These six kids devise plans to thwart airport security to escape the confines of the dank and barren "UM room."
After laying down the UM Room law, passenger relations manager Oliver (Lewis Black) orders second in command Zach (Wilmer Valderrama) to supervise all the unaccompanied minors. Try as they might to quell the uproar created by a slew of minor children, passenger relations plus airport security learn a few things about minors. Hollywood style.
There are some enjoyable slapstick shenanigans, age-appropriate "car" chases and even some downright believable thespian talents in the kids. The film even has a "message" in the end, but ...
Unaccompanied Minors certainly earned a CAP final score within the range of scores earned by PG films in the comparative baseline database, giving it the impression of being morally toothless. But rest assured it has teeth. Revealing such is what the Findings/Scoring section (the heart of the CAP analysis model) is for. I was rather offended by the portrayal of middle school sensuality in it and if I had my way it would have earned at least a PG-13. But what I think is immaterial to the CAP analysis model (the Findings/Scoring section).
If you feel that, for example, a teen girl in a very short skirt seemingly being not at all concerned about modesty climbing tightly onto the lap of a "laid back" older male teen (maybe adult) in a dark suit who looked like one of the Selsun Blue(tm) dandruff shampoo commercial actors with a strap-on Santa beard, treating him as "Santa" and pulling off his beard then saying "I knew it! You're hot!" is "PG" material, the MPAA agrees with you. If you feel an undressed young teen girl with only a towel covering most of her lying on a massage table being massaged saying something like "Do you want to see me to run around dressed or naked" is "PG" material, the MPAA agrees with you. If that same young teen flaunting her developing body in tight clothing and using sensual mannerisms to influence is "PG" material, the MPAA agrees with you. If a dog biting a man's crotch, several additional instances of attention to the male privates, a few dozen adolescents wreaking havoc and defying, indeed ignoring fair authority is "PG" material, the MPAA agrees with you.
By the way, Unaccompanied Minors is another Christmastime story without Christ. Maybe many folks who do know the Christ in Christmas want to kick Jesus out of Christmas but we, the majority, who do know Him do not have to lose a sacred holiday which as been a CHRISTian holiday from the start for the sake of the minority who reject Jesus. Let those who do not want to celebrate our Savior's birth each December 25th; let those who do not know that He spent three days in Hell so we would not have to spend one moment there develop a yule holiday of their own. If you are one who rejects the deity of Christ you may choose to take Christ out of your Christmas ... but not out of mine.
And if you don't like to hear me say such things, don't visit our pages or email us. No one is forcing you to do either. But I would rather you join us in knowing the immense strength and peace in a personal relationship with Jesus. Let me know if you are interested.
Listening to Christian radio KLTY this afternoon I heard a couple things of interest regarding Christ in Christmas. First, the announcer reported that a survey found that 95% of the people surveyed were not offended by others saying "Merry Christmas" to them. They reported also that 32% of those surveyed were offended by "Happy Holidays." That rather says a lot for keeping Christ in Christmas.
Second, KLTY hosts "Plugged In", a film review service of Dr. James Dobson's Focus on the Family. Their review for Unaccompanied Minors reported "nothing negative." I guess the reviewer forgot about God's Word against crude humor [Eph. 5:4] and against disrespect of fair authority [Heb. 13:17] and parents [Eph. 6:2]. Or I guess they feel "acting" excuses violation of His Word: that the emboldening properties of "acting" are gossamer [1 Cor. 15:33]. And there are those nagging verses which condemn teaching and/or causing our youth to sin: Matt. 18:7, Luke 17:2, Rom. 5:19 and many others such as Ps. 12:8 and Jude 1:4. And let us not ignore Matt. 25:40 where Jesus Himself warns us that whatever we do to our youth we do to Him. Even the MPAA agrees disagrees with "nothing negative" since it slapped "mild rude humor and language" on this film.
Indeed, after watching this film do not be surprised if your little girl starts screaming "I DON'T WANT TO" with intense anger on her face instead of her typically more humble manner. Let us hope, however, that your adolescent does not start punching adult men in the crotch like the preteen girl in this film. "Nothing negative", huh?
I know this all sounds like an old crusty preacher banging his Bible but maybe it is time we start taking God's Word seriously. Maybe it would be wise to stop trying to excuse defiance of His Word with situational redefinition, counterfeiting and conditional application of it to excuse ignominious content in entertainment. Though there is nothing anyone can do to stop God's prophecy, I get so troubled as Hollywood uses children to fulfill the letter of Ps. 12:8.
Though this film has a warm and loving ending, remember that a noble destination does not excuse an ignoble path.
Nothing negative? Ha!
Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
Aside from adolescent trespassing, theft, vandalism, fleeing from rightful authority and a couple other matters of the violent and/or criminal nature, there is little else.
The instances of arrogance against fair authority, including parental, the lie and two uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary comprise the majority of the Impudence/Hate findings.
Sexual Immorality (S)
Regarding sexually immoral behavior, the instance of the young girl climbing onto the lap of a male while wearing a very shirt skirt, Mantegna parading as if her only statement was sensual for a large part of the screen time and all the attention to the male crotch are the most bold matters in the show.
One instance of Spencer's aunt being drunk was the only finding regarding the presence of alcohol and/or tobacco.
Offense to God (O)
The two uses of three-syllable sentence with God's name trailing it in this film, once by a teen, will likely convince other adolescents that it is okay to do so even though God says it is not. [Deut. 5:11] The teens gambling may embolden others to do likewise with the lunch money you give your kids, mom/dad.
There were no instances of murder or suicide 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 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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Lord, Master, Teacher, Savior, God.
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