The ChildCare Action Project (www.CAPalert.com) is an extreme example of Christian movie reviews that has become a sort of humor site for non-Christians because the kind of things it points out. It claims to be "The #1 Christian entertainment media analysis service on the Internet! We give you OBJECTIVE tools NO ONE ELSE CAN to help YOU make an informed decision for yourself whether a film is fit for your family!" Each movie is rated overall on a scale of up to 100 points (higher being more appropriate for children), on six sub-scales with the mnemonic "WISDOM" (Wanton violence/crime; Impunity/hate; Sex/homosexuality; Drugs/alcohol; Offense to God; and Murder/suicide), and on "influence density," how frequently things the reviewer considers inappropriate occur. Though I disagree with the reviewer (and it does seem to be a single person running the site) on many issues, I do have to respect him for giving The Passion of the Christ a score of 69, not far from say, the 67 given to The Rocky Horror Picture Show -- at least he applies the same standards to religiously-oriented and secular movies. But in my opinion, the reviews do have a lot of inconsistencies.


Original comments from when there were writeups above mine:
CAP can't make up their minds -- in the review of South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut they complain about angels being depicted as female (and "nude, very nude" ones at that), but in the review of Dogma they complain about an angel pulling down its pants to show that it has no genitalia. So are angels supposed to have a sex or not?


Added later on: the CAPalert reviews are often inconsistent in more disturbing ways. For example, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is described as promoting evil through and through and given a score of 55, because it deals with witchcraft as a positive force. (The later movies in the series got scores in the 60s.) However, Mary Poppins is one of the least-objectionable movies, according to the reviewer; it's given a score of 100. To me, Mary Poppins has just as much magic involved as does Harry Potter -- the only difference is that Mary can walk into drawings and fly without having to recite spells or wave a wand. If the fictional world of one is acceptable, why is the equally-fictional world of the other movie bad? The reviewer says about Mary Poppins:

"There were no instances of offensive material throughout the movie. While there were several occurences of "magic," there was nothing evil or sinister about any of the "magic." Mary could have been angelic. While some might consider the "We won't go to sleep!" from Michael to Mary Poppins to be arrogance and/or impudence, the obstinence was NOT at his parents. All instances of Jane and Michael taking issue with parental authority (e.g., the song) were with respect and even apology. I cannot find in the Bible anywhere God has a problem with children disagreeing with their parents but I can find a LOT of warnings against arrogance toward and rebellion against parents..."
(The Big See commented to me, "In any other movie he'd not only object to magic but also to rebellious children who run away, dictate the terms on which their father hires a nanny, and are generally willful and disobedient.")

Whereas the CAPalert review of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets says, "An example of this is Professor Lockhart who teaches protection against the dark arts using witchcraft, sorcery and wizardry. That, in and of itself is misleading and false, saying that witchcraft, sorcery and wizardry are not dark arts while God says they are. Now this movie has planted in your young child's mind that which God specifically calls evil is not evil." So how is there nothing evil about Mary Poppins' magic then?

The web site that I trust above all others to root out the exceptional movies from the rest. A cursory glance at each movie tells me exactly how much T&A to expect and involving which actors. I get the skinny on how much actual mouth watering violence there is and how many creepy, mutilated zombie-cheerleader brain eating scenes I should be able to expect when I slap down my seven-fitty at the box office.

An invaluable movie going resource for the truly depraved!

The funny part about this website is that it is supposedly aimed toward parents who want to check out movies before their kids see them, but they review the movies that no decent parent would ever take their child to see. For example, they review The Cell. Yes, many responsible parents take their children to see movies that take the viewer into the mind of a serial killer. And many Fundamentalist Christian families sit down the watch The Devil's Advocate together. The real reason that these movie reviews exist? So that this capalert guy can go see these morally repugnant movies and enjoy them without worrying that he's going to hell.

CAPAlert is a genuinely strange website. No consideration is given to a film's artistic merit or the overall positivity or negativity of its message; the writer concentrates solely on issues such as how many "uses of the most foul of the foul words" there are. [How does he know what the foulest word is? Where in the Bible is that word even mentioned?] It begs the question: why count? Do people need to know whether the Lord's name is taken in vain 65 times or 83 times? And is the reviewer using that clicker so much that he's missing the entire plot of the movie? Even the (exceedingly rare) positive reviews focus on the few "offensive" portions, such as the "threat of physical violence" in Toy Story 2. I find this strict quantitative analysis of films to be completely joyless, immature, and ignorant. Is there any doubt that a by-the-numbers filming of the Bible itself would garner a "Red Alert"?

I have a sneaking suspicion that the site is more often read as a goof by folks like myself than by actual Christians wondering which movies contain tattoos or smoking. If you're a devout Christian looking for movie reviews which take your faith into consideration, I instead recommend "Christian Spotlight on the Movies" (http://www.christiananswers.net/spotlight/movies/home.html). Even as a non-Christian I was impressed with the quality of the reviews on that site. There are separate "Moral Ratings" and "Moviemaking Quality Ratings", and the site wisely states the "primary audience" at the top of each review. Unlike CAPAlert, this site speaks both to parents trying to protect their children and adults with the maturity to handle adult themes and content.

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