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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 [PG-13*] (2hr 08min)
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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, Heyday Films, Cool Music
Distribution (US): Warner Bros. Pictures
Director(s): David Yates
Producer(s): David Barron, David Heyman, Tim Lewis, Lorne Orleans, Lionel Wigram
Written by: J.K. Rowling
Screenplay: Michael Goldenberg
Cinematography/Camera: Slawomir Idziak
Music: Nicholas Hooper
Film Editing: Mark Day
Casting: Fiona Weir
Production Design: Stuart Craig
Art Direction: Andrew Ackland-Snow, Mark Bartholomew, Alastair Bullock, Gary Tomkins
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6
Morally speaking, as revealed in the scoring distribution comparative below, the content of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is another pea in the five-pea pod of Potter films: fairly heavy in Wanton Violence/Crime (W); somewhat harsh in Impudence/Hate (I); nearly innocuous in Sexual Immorality (S), Drugs/Alcohol (D) and Murder/Suicide (M). But all five films are dismal in Offense to God, each earning an investigation area score of zero in Offense to God (O).
What else might one expect of a film about teaching children to practice witchcraft and wizardry: to practice that which God condemns, not only from a witchcraft/wizardry perspective [Deut. 18:10 - 12; Rev. 21:8; Rev. 22:14-15] but also from the perspective of teaching/causing the little ones to sin? [Luke 17:2] "Little ones!? Gimme a break. The Potter cast are teenagers of the high school age stratum." 'Little ones' is mikros, meaning less by birth, younger. All of your children are "less by birth" than you. All of them are younger. So, "little ones" includes at-home teens.
I suspect the scoring distribution for each of the two upcoming Potter films, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (November 2008) now in post production and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows for 2010 will be close to a photocopy of that for each of the now five productions. Note that we have an analysis of each of the five Potter films. Links to them are provided alphabetically on our CAP Reports page. As a convenience, they are
Some movie critics say The Order of the Phoenix is darker than other Potter films. Again, what might one expect from a film about darkness: a film which paints a noble image of the dark practice of witchcraft and sorcery; the darkness of calling evil good by using evil for good purposes? [Is. 5:20]
In this Potter installment, Harry James Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) of 4 Privet Drive receives a talking letter that informs him he has been expelled from Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for practicing magic while away from school. In an effort to elevate himself above the consequences of violating the rules [2Tim. 2:5], under a thinly veiled twist of the facts Harry appeals the decision and does so with the help of Hoqwart's head master, Albus Dumbledore (Michael Gambon). Doesn't matter that Harry indeed violated the rules by performing magic while away from school. More than once and sometimes with a wink from the powers that be. While using his magic outside of school in this Potter installment was indeed to "save a life", his uses of magic outside of school in previous installments certainly were not to "save a life." Maybe the Ministry should also call Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane) up on charges for using his magic while in the Muggle world to give Dudley (Harry Melling) a pig's tail.
Harry, Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint) build a Dumbledore Army to do battle with the Ministry of Magic which has become corrupt by the influence of some evil evil ones, Voldemort in particular whose scheme has been building and seeping into and throughout the Ministry. With the Order of the Phoenix behind them, Potter and company again wage war on the influence of Tom Riddle as Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes). The Order of the Phoenix is an underground band of wizards and witches organized to keep the Ministry in check. Dumbledore and Harry's parents, James and Lily Potter (Adrian Rawlins, Geraldine Somerville) were a few of the Order's founding members.
With the aid of Hermione and Ron, Harry begins to train the Dumbledore army to do battle with the oppressive control of the insufferable Dolores Jane Umbridge (Imelda Staunton). the new Dark Arts professor. Umbridge is senior undersecretary to Cornelius Fudge (Robert Hardy), Minister of Magic and is power hungry. In her war with established protocol, Umbridge posts new rule after rule which oppress the students and their previous levels of freedom. An example is the rule than no two students may be closer than 8 inches.
In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Cedric Diggory (Robert Pattinson) was murdered at the hands of Voldemort. This time, Harry's close friend and confidante, Sirius Black (Gary Oldman) is murdered at the hands of a new member, Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter), a faithful follower of Voldemort. A trend of murder is set and will probably continue in the two upcoming Potter films. Someone is likely to die in each of them. Maybe Harry in martyrdom. A perfect influence to help lead youth away from foundational Scripture. Harry is a wizard. Wizardry is evil. No matter how much "good" Harry does with his evil power.
In addition to Umbridge and Lestrange, there are a few more new faces to add some spice to the previous cast. One of them is Evanna Lynch as the mysterious Luna Lovegood. Luna seems to be more of an advisor for Harry than a fellow student. She has knowledge of evil Harry does not. But for the large part the same cast provide an extension of the same story in the same genre to the same ends by the same means. With this in mind, I'll not go into any further detail about the story, plot or characters.
Since The Order of the Phoenix presents more of the same story in the same genre to the same ends by the same means, I will plagiarize my own intellectual property and repeat a piece of what was said for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire has one of the finest packages I have seen in film. It presents outstanding organization, intense imagery, wondrous technical achievements and ingenious creativity. It is truly a painstaking work of art. But it is dark art with a dark and sinister heart. It has many lures to confound and confuse the inexperienced and uninformed. [Eph. 4:14] It glorifies the practice of witchcraft and sorcery by presenting them not only as a goal of youth but as a noble behavior. This film has great power to desensitize many into accepting that using witchcraft and sorcery for "good" is noble while God says otherwise [Isa. 5:20]. The same applies to The Order of the Phoenix equally as well if not more so. Dabbling/experimenting in magic has to start somewhere. Potter films may be the extra push that forces the inquisitive to cross the threshold.
And I'll not try to explain the subliminal liberal versus conservative warfare in this film and all other Potter films: the animosity the liberals (witches and wizards) hold against the conservatives (Christians); the attitude of look-down-the-nose at the one-dimensional tunnel-visioned bigoted ignorant repressive bumpkin non-magic "bad guy" Muggles (Christians) who don't approve of imagination by the progressive, enlightened and politically correct "good guy" witches and wizards. Nor will I try to explain the teen against authority theme throughout the film: the portrayal of adults as power mad bullies and teens as victims. What is wrong with this picture? (No, it isn't me.) This and all Potter films are dots in the connect-the-dots anti-Christian picture, holding hands with the mainstream media's demonization of the Christian faith.
The Order of the Phoenix is rated PG-13 by the MPAA. Based on content it earned a CAP final score of 63 out of 100, two points above dead center of the scoring range earned by the PG-13 films in the comparative baseline database (55 to 67 out of 100). So, the envelope or magnitude of the content of this film is indeed equivalent to most PG-13 films. Note, however, that the scores earned by the content revealed by the Wanton Violence/Crime (W) and Offense to God (O) investigation areas are clearly equivalent to the scores earned by R-rated films in the baseline database (54 and below out of 100), revealing a heavy concentration in these two areas. It is the relatively high scores earned by content revealed by the Impudence/Hate (I), Sexual Immorality (S), Drugs/Alcohol (D) and Murder/Suicide (M) investigation areas that kept The Order of the Phoenix from earning a R-13 final score.
And why would the writer/filmmakers use a name of Nymphadora (Natalia Tena)?
Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
With an investigation area score of 35, the violence content in The Order of the Phoenix is clearly equivalent to many R-rated films as are all other Potter films. Images of evil and terror, intense talk of killing, physical assault by a teacher, a threat to kill a child to extort, repeated attempts to murder and other portrayals combine to give the same magnitude of violence as that of many R-rated films. [Prov. 16:29]
There is but a single use of the three/four letter word vocabulary noted. That, in addition to a teen tantrum, classroom disrespect, a lie, joy in oppressive control, advising to cheat, "Sort of exciting, isn't it ... breaking the rules" [Prov. 10:23] plus a couple other items of impudence evaporated about 30% of the starting 100 points in this investigation area. God speaks warning to the impudent one. [Rev. 22:14-15]
Sexual Immorality (S)
As with all the other Potter films, the score in this investigation area reflects the apparent respect for sexual purity among teens by the writer and/or the filmmakers. The only noted issues of sexually-oriented programming include a homosexual insult, an open-mouth kiss and excessive cleavage. [1Cor. 6:9-10]
The only instance of alcohol noted in the entire 208-minute film was what appeared to be glasses of beer or ale on a dinner table. While it is not a sin to drink, it is to get drunk OR to influence to get drunk OR to drink with impunity such as underage drinking. [Eph. 5:18]
Offense to God (O)
It would be counterproductive to even summarize in this paragraph the plethora of portrayals of unholy matters. The use of unholy magic to control, do harm/kill, mesmerize, distort, move objects, transform, etc. is at least as rampant as in all other Potter films since each of the five films earned a score of zero in the Offense to God (O) investigation area. Where the "darker" claim of some film critics may come from is likely this area as it did seem to intensify the lust in the use of unholy magic over previous Potter films except maybe The Goblet of Fire.
Note that I say "unholy magic" since even Jesus used "magic." But Jesus used holy "magic" when He healed the sick, raised the dead, cast out demons, made the lame walk and the blind see. Jesus' "magic" was holy power from the Father. Any magical force not from God is unholy and comes from Satan whether it be used for "good" or not. Since this film is about witchcraft and wizardry, its portrayal of magic is treated as if from Satan since God condemns witchcraft and wizardry. [Deut. 18:10 - 12; Rev. 21:8; Rev. 22:14-15]
While the attempts to murder by unholy power are many (attempts to murder are incorporated in the Wanton Violence/Crime investigation area) one character is murdered by unholy forces.
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***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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