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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to His little ones through you in His name by His Word
(2008), PG-13 [Hard R-13*] (1hr 33min)
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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): 21 Laps Entertainment, Mosaic Media Group, Penn Station Entertainment, Regency Enterprises
Distribution (US): Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation
Director(s): Tom Vaughan
Producer(s): Michael Aguilar, Joseph M. Caracciolo Jr., Dean Georgaris, Shawn Levy
Written by: Dana Fox
Cinematography/Camera: Matthew F. Leonetti
Music: Christophe Beck
Film Editing: Matt Friedman
Casting: Avy Kaufman
Production Design: Stuart Wurtzel
Art Direction: W. Steven Graham
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6
This analysis is rather late. Nearly three weeks after viewing it. But I put it on hold in favor of getting analysis of the four films of the Indiana Jones quadrilogy to you. Maybe I should not have done so. This film for teens is a cussfest and sexfest. It is bad news for wholesome moral standards. With a final score of 32 and an influence density of 2.55 (standard range for R-rated films is 0.78 to 2.04), this flick is thick with assaults on morality and wholesome ethics: is clearly R-equivalent. As high as 37.4 examples of sexually immoral behaviors per hour.
To start this, note that the lead female character, Joy McNally (Cameron Diaz) may be stage married to the lead male character, Jack Fuller, Jr. (Ashton Kutcher) but Diaz is not married to Kutcher. And "acting" does not excuse sin. Even if Diaz and Kutcher were married in real life, what a husband and wife do in bed and other matters is not for public display.
Joy gets dumped by her live-in fiancé. In a lark at the coaching of one of her friends Joy decides to tolerate an unplanned fling in Las Vegas for a couple days before beginning a new plan for her life.
Jack gets fired by his boss who is also his father, Jack, Sr. (Treat Williams) because Jack, Jr. cannot seem to take anything seriously and never finishes anything. Jack is also coached to go to Vegas for a fling before he has to regroup and get serious.
Joy and Jack get thrown together in Vegas by getting the keys to the same hotel room ... and have a fabulous time.
The next morning Joy and Jack find themselves married.
During an argument in a casino lobby about getting out of the marriage Jack hits the $3,000,000 slot jackpot -- with Joy's quarter. Who gets the money? It was her quarter. But Jack is the one who played it. And they are married but do not want to be married. Who gets the money? Nevada is a community property state, dontchaknow.
Judge Whopper (Dennis Miller) orders six months of marriage and freezes the $3,000,000 for the same six months while the pair prove they can become one in marriage while the Judge decides what to do with the money.
To enforce the ruling Whopper also orders Jack and Joy, er, Mr. and Mrs. Fuller, to attend weekly marriage sessions with Dr. Twitchell (Queen Latifah) who must be able to report to the judge that the pair are happily married.
From the start, Jack and Joy deliver, er, whoppers of misery to each other. But as with many romantic comedies, the pair slowly learn to love each other. Even after a divorce.
As coaches, Jack's best friend and lawyer, Hater (Rob Corddry) and Joy's bar tender and confidanté, Tipper (Lake Bell) accompany the pair to cheer them on as Jack and Joy throw insults and slapstick jabs at each other. As events unfold, Hater and Tipper develop a relationship as well. It is unclear whether the relationship is good or bad.
Enough about the story. In this viewer's opinion it is not one to last beyond the trip back home.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
Except for some marital slapstick violence and a requested beating, the film is relatively free of violence.
As usual with PG-13 films, What Happens in Vegas is a teen cussfest, leading the viewer to believe that is the way everybody talks all the time. Twenty four uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary in a 93-minute film is not the standard for wholesome conversation. That is about one use per four minutes. Some, especially those of the middle school and high school age stratum, have tried to tell me "That is the way we talk. It is real-life." I say don't say "we."
I have yet to attend a real-life Sunday morning service that presents 12 uses of foul language in the half hour service. Even as a real-life jury foreman the use of foul language was not heard. And not once were any of the three/four letter words heard in the real-life court room after deliberations. Further, I cannot remember the last time I heard any one of the three/four letter words at the real-life grocery store, gas station , post office, ... Indeed, as best I can recall I hear them only at two real-life places other than from the big screen: the theater (lobby and parking lot) by teens right after a PG-13 cussfest and to a slightly lesser extent at public schools. In each case from the same age stratum. By teens right after a PG-13 cussfest? Kinda says something about the influence of such "entertainment" doesn't it? Luke 17:2 has something to say about that (skandalizo: entice to sin).
So much for such language being "real-life."
First Cor 15:33 also has something to say about that. God warns us that "evil communications corrupt good manners." Cussing is "evil communications?" Certainly. God warns us not to speak "filthy language" in Col. 3:8. Since He has made it a sin to cuss and since all sin is evil, cussing is included in "evil communications."
In addition to exaggeration of typical speech, this film presents such impudence as urinating on the dishes in a kitchen sink, vulgar gestures [Eph. 5:4], insults and reciprocal insults [1 Pet. 3:9] and lying [Rev. 21:8] galore. There are so many assaults on morality and decency that the film lost all its starting 100 points in this investigation area.
Sexual Immorality (S)
Where do I begin? Leg wrapping. A man and woman in bed, repeatedly. Homosexual insults and references to the practice of homosexuality. Flashes of frenzied making out in underwear. In fact it almost seems there is more screen time of adults in underwear than dressed. Inappropriate touching, male to female and male to male. A male fondling himself. Offer to show a breast for cab fare. More. A l-o-t more. It is a sexfest for teens. See the listing in the Findings/Scoring section for a full accounting of the sexually immoral content of this film. This investigation area also found enough content for the film to lose all of its starting 100 points in this area. [also Rev. 21:8, 1 Ths. 4:1-5]
After 13 years of studying the influence of modern entertainment, I can see no let-up, not as long as we continue to embrace their work. [Jer. 37:9, Ps. 12:8] It is as if filmmakers and performers are "adulterers." [Prov. 30:20, Eph. 4:19]
The drinking and drunkenness are of significant danger in this film suggested by the MPAA as being fit for the middle school age stratum.
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 the law 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.
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. [Eph. 5:18]
Offense to God (O)
At least one use of God's name in vain with the four letter expletive is stuffed into the script, along with 20 other uses of His name in vain but without the four letter expletive. God does not like that [Deut. 5:11], not even in that three-syllable sentence with His name trailing it.
There were no murders or suicides 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) - 89 out of 100
Impudence/Hate (I) - Zero out of 100
Sexual Immorality (S) - Zeero out of 100
Drugs/Alcohol (D) - Zero out of 100
Offense to God (O) - Zero out of 100
Murder/Suicide (M) - 100 out of 100
|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.|
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