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The Skulls (2000), (PG-13)
CAP Score: 38
CAP Influence Density: 1.25
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NOTE: We make no scoring allowances for Hollywood's trumped-up "messages" to excuse, or its manufacturing of justification for aberrant behavior or imagery. This is NOT a movie review service. It is a movie analysis service to parents and grandparents to tell them the truth about movies using the Truth. If you do not want the plot, ending, or "secrets" of a movie spoiled for you, skip the Summary/Commentary. In any case, be sure to visit the Findings/Scoring section -- it is purely objectuve and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.
SUMMARY / COMMENTARY:
*The Skulls* (PG-13) -- a secret society with familiar secrets.
Membership is most selective in this secret college society mimicking the real Skulls and Bones of Yale University, though the logo of The Skulls did not use the crossbones beneath the skull. If nominated for their outstanding achievements or feats such as champion rowing, pledges have to perform some daring-do, possibly illegal to become a Skull. Membership has included high profile and high power business, legal, educational and political leaders for more than 200 years. The rules of the society were, of course, above the law.
With a theme of "preppie fraternity" pretending to be dark and sinister, initiates were sworn to secrecy and servitude at the risk of death, at least for this one "different" member, Luke McNamara (Joshua Jackson). While hungry for the notoriety of membership to The Skulls with all the social and financial benefits of it, Luke still had "scruples." When one of Luke's friends, journalism student Will Beckford (Hill Harper) is killed by his curiosity and for the good of the society, McNamara lashes out and exposes the whole lot with the help of an immune powerful politician who has a participated in adulterous sexual immorality with a young woman -- I aint' saying nothin' here except that such immoral behavior of at least one immune "powerful politician" and him/her (and most of a congress) believing s/he is above the law just might be a reflection of reality, a shameful reflection.
Though *The Skulls* was rated PG-13, in keeping the trend of PG-13 movies it earned a CAP Final Score equivalent to R-rated movies. Why not? By paraphrasing the MPAA president, PG-13 is merely a slice off the top of the R rating anyway. I guess the MPAA and its questionable survey population and its questionable survey techniques feel we need to let the early teens see "adult entertainment", too don't we? Soon, maybe we can look forward to the PG audience being permitted to watch "adult stuff" too. Next is G. And then the *world* -- NAY, THE UNIVERSE **ya-ha-ha-ha-ha!!!!!!!**. I have yet to figure out how watching "adult entertainment" that makes the viewer adult. Also in keeping with the trend of PG-13 movies (and others), the ignominy was presented by saturation of the movie with tons of "lesser" issues of sinful behavior instead of fewer massive issues of ignominy -- a most effective tool to quietly desensitize us and ready us for lowering even further the thresholds of acceptability and morality.
Thick with violence and crime [Hab. 2:12], *The Skulls* emptied the foul language dictionary on the viewer [Matt. 12:36-37]. Arrogance toward and defiance of righteous fair authority was as present as Bluebonnets in Texas [Jer. 13:15; Prov. 30:17]. Cowardice by intimidation with firearms, attempted murder by gunfire, attempted suicide with a firearm and a bloody death by gunfire (none of which were defensive) gave fodder to the anti-gun fanatics [Matt. 26:52]. Hanging a dead body by the neck to cover up murder, trickery to avoid prosecution, and breaking and entering to commit theft were among the criminal aspects portrayed in the movie [Eccl. 8:11]. Lies to get out of duty, lies to cover up wrongdoings, and a lie by a father to the face of his son helped to desensitize the viewer's commitment to integrity [Prov. 29:12]. Then comes the issue of permitting fraternal rules to supersede law. While we indeed must measure our laws by the Scriptures, giving reigning weight to the Scriptures, there was nothing Scriptural about the fraternal rules. No one may take the law into his/her own hands but must rather submit to due process like everybody else. Ours is a democracy not an existentialistic totalitariansim (yet anyway -- maybe in November 2000 this threat will go away). And no matter how old the participants including unmarried college students, any sexual activity outside of monogamous heterosexual marriage, especially prostitution, is sinful [1Ths. 4:3].
In an effort to improve the chances of the continuation of these reports, this Summary/Commentary section will be progressively minimized and may eventually have to be discontinued. Please see the Findings/Scoring section below for a full accounting of this movie: for the best representation of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.
FINDINGS / SCORING:
NOTE: Multiple occurrences of each item described below may be likely.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
Offense to God (O)(2):