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Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP Ministry)
Entertainment Media Analysis Report
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(2004), PG-13
Analysis Date
CAP Final Score
CAP Influence Density
April 30, 2004
52 out of 100

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If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary likely using a mix of KJV and NIV.

(2004), PG-13 -- VaPOOrizer not only vaporized doggie dump, it VaPOOrized the humor, too.

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): DreamWorks SKG, Castle Rock Entertainment, Baltimore Spring Creek Productions, NPV Entertainment
Distribution (US): DreamWorks Distribution LLC, Columbia Pictures
Director(s): Barry Levinson
Producer(s): Larry David, Barry Levinson, Josh McLaglen, Mary McLaglen, Paula Weinstein
Written by: Steve Adams
Cinematography/Camera: Tim Maurice-Jones
Music: Mark Mothersbaugh
Film Editing: Blair Daily, Stu Linder
Casting: Ellen Lewis
Production Design: Victor Kempster
Art Direction: Seth Reed
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6

With names and titles like Stiller, Black, Walken, Weisz, Levinson. DreamWorks, Columbia and Castle Rock, one would think a major production of top-notch quality was in order. Not so. Envy is a dud. In spite of the high wattage names and titles, Envy quite possibly could not have been worse.

Tim Dingman (Ben Stiller) and Nick Vanderpark (Jack Black) are nine-to-five blue collar workers. Tim is a mid-level executive at a sandpaper manufacturing company who watches shirt-n-tie co-worker and day dreamer Nick start raking in the loot.

Neither Tim or Nick are very excited about their jobs or anything else for that matter ... until Nick comes of with the idea for VaPOOrizer, a spray that vaporizes dog dung so the owners won't have to clean it up. And, of course, we see a man doing just that with a baggie on his hand. And anybody who enjoys seeing a few seconds of only manure in the field of vision - from directly above it in living color - will like Envy.

Nick invites Tim to invest only $2000 in the VaPOOrizer venture but Tim refuses to do so. Somewhere along the story Tim loses his job but Nick strikes it rich with his VaPOOrizer and becomes an egocentric stereotype rich man with wife, Natalie (Amy Poehler) who decides to run for "little congress", also known as the state legislature, on an environmental platform which later condemns VaPOOrizer on an EPA technicality - "where does the poo go?" Only the script does not use "poo." Tim's wife, Debbie (Rachel Weisz) gives Tim a hard time for not investing more in Nick's puppy poo spray.

After losing his job, Tim starts heeding the advice of a crusty dude in a bar who went by the handle, J-man (Christopher Walken in a University Drama-101 performance). Oddly enough, Tim ends up planting an arrow in J-man's back.

Just about every form of animal excrement "humor" is tried and just about everything that can be associated with it. But little works. Envy is more of a tale of jealousy than achievement. [Rom. 13:13] I guess that makes sense for a movie titled Envy. But VaPOOrizer not only vaporized doggie dump, it VaPOOrized the humor, too. VaPOOrizer. I'll bet someone just happened to mentally add an "o" to "vaporize" while swirling their swizzle stick in their martini and built a movie around it and called it Envy to draw attention away from the "matter" of the show.

Envy is a very typical PG-13 with loads of foul language [Col. 3:8] including the use of God's name in vain once with and many times without the four letter expletive [Deut. 5:11]. And, yes, a single token use of the most foul of the foul words is thrown in the mix. Drinking and drunkenness are plentiful as well [Eph. 5:18]. The listing in the Findings/Scoring section should tell enough for you to make up your own mind whether this film is fit for your family or not. My recommendation would be to not waste your time. But I don't make recommendations except in extreme cases. And Envy is certainly not an extreme case to which I refer.

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If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ]. 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.

  • Rom. 13:13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy.
  • Col. 3:8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
  • Deut. 5:11 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. [Vain is shav' {shawv}: emptiness, nothingness, vanity, such as an expletive. With or without the four letter expletive, the use of God's name in any way other than respect, reverence or thoughtful discussion is in vain. That includes the popular three syllable sentence with His name trailing it AND the misuse of Jesus' name.]
  • Eph. 5:18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. ["Wine" can be any intoxicating substance. Though it is not a sin to drink, it is a sin to get drunk. A recent study has found an undeniable link between the presentation of alcoholic beverages and tobacco in and as entertainment and abuse of them by adolescents. And teaching/causing youth to abuse alcohol/tobacco by emboldening youth with them in and as entertainment invokes Luke 17:2]

    ***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about [e.g., create progressively vile/offensive entertainment with impunity and no consequences and present it to younger and younger audiences every year] when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to defend it, embrace it, pay for it, enjoy it, want it, submit to it. I call attention to Ps. 12:8 to warn of the creeping desensitizing power of "entertainment."]
  • Col. 2:8 Beware lest any man [by his influence] spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.
  • Rom. 5:19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
  • Jude 4 For certain men* whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change [warp, distort, falsely represent, situationally redefine, counterfeit, conditionally apply] the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto [or for] one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto [or for] me.
  • Luke 17:2 It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. [cause by teaching or example]
  • Ps. 119:133 Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • 1 Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.


    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 heart of the CAP Analysis Model)

    Envy (2004) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
  • extortion
  • images of arrow impalement, repeatedly

    Impudence/Hate (I)
  • 31 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • one use of the most foul of the foul words
  • dog defecation
  • marital separation
  • anatomical reference
  • lie

    Sexual Immorality (S)
  • sexual aggression
  • teens making out in underwear
  • statue nudity

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • drinking, repeatedly
  • drunkenness, repeatedly
  • seeking relief from a bottle

    Offense to God (O)
  • one use of God's name in vain with the four letter expletive and 17 without

    Murder/Suicide (M)
  • none noted


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    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.

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