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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
(2005), PG [13-PG*] (1hr 34min)
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(This section may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)
Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Columbia Pictures Corporation, Radar Films
Distribution (US): Sony Pictures Entertainment, Columbia Pictures
Director(s): Jon Favreau
Producer(s): Peter Billingsley, Louis D'Esposito, Michael De Luca, Ted Field, Scott Kroopf, William Teitler
Book: Chris Van Allsburg
Screenplay: David Koepp, John Kamps
Cinematography/Camera: Guillermo Navarro
Music: John Debney
Film Editing: Dan Lebental
Casting: Avy Kaufman
Production Design: J. Michael Riva
Art Direction: David F. Klassen, Richard F. Mays
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6
I am so sorry it has taken so long to get this to you. I was able to view the film November 11, 2005 but here it is November 16. That makes this report like last week's newspaper. But I cannot devote the 60 to 70 hours per week this full-fledged, nonprofit 501(c)(3) Christian ministry needs until it provides for enough of the expenses so my wife can quit and be the one who stays home with our seven kids. One of the two foster kids (to be our final adoption) is a cerebral palsy baby and needs breathing treatments and feeding every two hours. Caring for seven kids with one of them medically fragile, not to mention license requirements, requires someone to be with the kids 24-7. So, until I, just like your pastor, can devote a full 60 to 70 hour workweek to the ministry, which cannot happen until my wife can quit and stay home, such delays as with this report as well as many missed analyses are unavoidable Surely there are many out of the thousands of users of our free service each day who can make that happen with generous donations. This is a free service but it is not free of costs. And it is not just a simple website or "movie review" service. The continuation of this service beyond the end of 2005 may very well depend on you.
Jumanjuthura. Or Zathurmanji. Either way, Zathura: A Space Adventure is Jumanji with a new face by the same director. Though both films are, for the most part, out of the same mold I would suspect an analysis of Jumanji would reveal a significantly better final score and undoubtedly better investigation area scores in Sexual Immorality, Wanton Violence/Crime and Impudence/Hate. Maybe I'll prepare an analysis of Jumanji just to find out. The next time I find a few hours with nothing else to do, I might. But I would probably have better luck finding a frozen orb of dihydrogen monoxide that has survived unscathed a trip through the subterranean location of ultra-intense electromagnetic radiation in the super-thermal band.
Of most significant note is that this PG film places adolescents in a great deal of violent and dangerous situations akin to the Buggs Bunny/Road Runner genre except with live actors/actress and much more extreme. Enough violent and dangerous situations are portrayed to cause the loss of 82 of the starting 100 points in Wanton Violence/Crime. [Prov. 3:31]
This film also presents heavily a young teen girl in her underwear -- repeatedly -- underwear that exposed much of her below-navel skin and threatened to expose that which follows -- repeatedly -- nce in a particularly unflattering pose. When she finally gets dressed, none of the filmmakers seemed to be all that concerned about the fringes of her underwear still being exposed. Repeatedly. [Col. 2:20 - 23] What is it about underwear that makes teens and filmmakers want to expose it? Is there something "adult" about it?
This "13-PG" action adventure film places three adolescents in fantasy harm's way. In outer space. A word about that "fantasy." As a number of professional physiologists agree with me, it would be unusual for even a 16 your old child to be able to fully anticipate the consequences of his/her actions or to be able to fully separate fantasy from reality. Such abilities do not typically plateau until the early 20s if then. That is why such fantasy features as Zathura and others like it, which are decided for you to be acceptable for the middle school crowd and younger, are of significant developmental concern. When, for example, a like-aged character , likable or not. gets killed by being sucked into a black hole, even if the "killed" characters are seen walking and talking after, it might have an indelible invasive impact on youth who watch the film. Such is a "lite" example of stealing childhood from children. [Luke 17:2]
Six year old Danny (Jonah Bobo) is at the mercy of his 10 year old brother Walter (Josh Hutcherson), both of whom are at the mercy of their teenage sister Lisa (Kristen Stewart). Dad (Tim Robbins), a divorced commercial illustrator "strapped" with the kids for the weekend, is the target of the attention of the boys. Dad is under the gun to prepare illustrations and to attend a meeting at 3:00 PM.
Unrelentingly, Dad insists on leaving the two boys under the loving and careful watchful eye of their ultra-selfish and arrogant sister Lisa who is the perfect example of the "It ain't good enough, no matter what 'it' is" and the "It ain't none of yer business, dad" attitudes. Lisa is also the perfect example of what Hollywood apparently thinks is the modern teen -- a touch of potty mouth with a propensity to show skin who thinks she may look down her nose at parents and any other form of authority.
After a few minutes of script to explain why things are the way they are, Danny is churning to find something to do. Walter won't allow Danny to watch his favorite TV programming in favor of his own favorite TV programming ... the older brother bully syndrome.
In an attempt to start a period of catch with a baseball, in the house no less, Danny starts tossing the ball into Walter's lap. With an expression of "get lost" Walter begrudgingly tosses it back to Danny a few times until Danny hits Walter on the left side of his face with the ball.
Running for dear life repeating "I'm sorry - I'm sorry - I'm sorry" about a thousand times as he runs like a rabbit from Walter's "Yer dead" threats, Danny hides in the dumb waiter. Ah! Safety! ... until Walter finds Danny and lowers him into the basement in which Danny as never been. To six year old Danny, even the furnace looks like and growls like a monster.
As Danny frets around the basement of this new and unknown house he finds an old board game. Wonders! In a wild and hopeful rush, Danny takes the game, Zathura: A Space Adventure to Walter in hopes he will find acceptance by Walter. But Danny is so beneath Walter. At least Walter seems to think so. But duty reigns as Walter accepts that Danny is his brother after all. So, Walter starts a round of the game with Danny who hopes Walter will be enticed into playing. And that he does. Whether he likes it or not.
Danny's first move produces a game card with a notice of the coming game hazard. But Danny cannot read. Handing the card to Walter, the pair find the card reads "Meteor shower. Take evasive action." As Walter reads the card, with his last syllable a hole appears in the card ... and in the floor directly beneath the card. A hole left by a meteorite. That was the first one.
After a period of peril and life-threatening danger from the piercing meteorites, inspection of the damage leads the boys to find themselves in orbit around Saturn. And there begins the space adventures. Subsequent adventures include a menacing turned benevolent robot, an astronaut (Dax Shepard). some critters out to kill the kids and a black hole.
Apparently not in the book were two uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary by adolescents, thereby emboldening such vocabulary in the adolescent viewers. [Again Luke 17:2 but now add Matt. 25:40 and 1 Cor. 15:33] But the strongest presence found by the Impudence/Hate investigation area was repeated hateful and downright mean comments from Walter toward Danny [Col. 3:8] and from Lisa toward her father. [Exod. 20:12] This seems quite atypical of Chris Van Allsburg who wrote the book Zathura and wrote and produced Polar Express. But then, that's Hollywood.
Also apparently not in the book were seven uses of God's name in vain, six of them by an adolescent. Maybe some folks do not feel the use of God's name such as in the popular three-syllable sentence is offensive to God. But God does. [Deut. 5:11] Especially when youth are taught by example to use His name in vain (by adults or other kids) or use it at the direction of or "with the permission" of adults. [Luke 17:2 again] God is quite serious about the matter. Whether we like it or not. Whether believer or not. Whether we care or not.
Please consider inspecting the listing of findings of assaults on morality and ethics in the Findings/Scoring section before you decide whether to take your little ones.
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.
(The objective heart of the CAP Analysis Model, independent of and insulated from the Summary/
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: |
Lord, Master, Teacher, Savior, God.
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