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CONTACT

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What You Need To Know:

CONTACT will give pseudo-intellectuals much food for thought while letting down the average moviegoer and offending Christians. Ellie Arroway, played by Jodie Foster, was taught how to use a ham radio by her father. As a Harvard trained radio astronomer, Ellie’s mission in life is searching for extra-terrestrials. Her nemesis, Dr. Drummel, seems intent on thwarting her. Just when all seems lost, she detects a signal coming from the Vega system at the center of the Universe. Thus, she battles it out with Dr. Drummel to see who will get to travel to Vega to meet the aliens, who turn out to be a letdown.

According to Carl Sagan’s materialistic vision, salvation is not from God coming to earth to give us eternal life, but from aliens telling us that there are other aliens out there. This small vision is at the heart of CONTACT. This film could have been redeemed if it had been devoid of Christian bashing, sex and foul language. In the movie, Jodie Foster seems anguished while Matthew McConaughey seems too mellow. The movie is materialist drivel, crying out for true faith and a real God. CONTACT could be advertised as FORREST GUMP’s sister meets L. Ron Hubbard

Content:

(E, AC, C, LL, V, NN, S, A, D, M) Evolutionary scientific materialism worldview with many scenes bashing Christians although a major character purportedly represents a man of faith; 13 obscenities & 6 profanities; violent trips through the imagined worm holes of space & deadly explosion; upper female & upper male nudity; implied fornication; alcohol use; smoking; and, fraud

More Detail:

CONTACT is a beautifully produced, sophomoric film which will give pseudo-intellectuals much food for thought while letting down the average moviegoer and offending the Christian moviegoer. Like most sophistry, this movie conjures up several clever epithets which could describe its grand pretensions, such as: Forrest Gump meets L. Ron Hubbard; Soren Kierkegaard leaps into Sartre’s NO EXIT; Heaven’s Gate goes to Vega; meet me in Vega; or, Carl Sagan’s reduction of faith. Whatever label is attached to this movie, and however many hours students wrestle with it in film classes, it remains a vacuous work..

The story starts out with young Ellie Arroway learning how to use a ham radio, at the gracious instruction of her father. Ever since her mother died giving birth to Ellie, her father, in his own kind and gentle way, has raised Ellie to be a genius. As she works the dials of the ham radio and listens intently for voices from afar, he tells her “Small moves Sparky” – an instruction which helps her make contact with the aliens later in life. Next, her father introduces her to astronomy. When Ellie asks if there is other intelligent life out there, her father responds with the theme of the film: “If it is just us, it seems like an awful waste of space.”

Cut to Ellie as a Harvard trained radio astronomer joining the team of the world’s largest radio telescope to search for extra-terrestrial intelligence (SETI). Her first day on the jungle radio telescope, she meets an ex-seminarian, who is called “the priest,” Palmer Joss played by Matthew McConaughey, who inquires about her faith in God. Ellie is cool until Palmer utters the secret code words, “If it is just us, it seems like an awful waste of space.” When these key words unlock her emotions, she jumps into bed with him.

The next day, as Ellie deliberately walks out on Palmer, the movie flashes back to the death of her father when she was nine-years-old. When her father dies from a heart attack, little Ellie in the flashback runs to the ham radio and tries to call him somewhere in space. Surely, the pop-psychologists in the theater will realize that Ellie can’t have a healthy heterosexual relationship because she doesn’t trust men − after all, the man she loved most left her all alone.

At the jungle radio telescope, she is confronted by her nemesis – smooth talking presidential scientific advisor, Dr. Drummel, who seems intent on thwarting her mission in life to make “contact.” Dr. Drummel closes down her research, and she has to seek private funding in the person of corporate bigwig Mr. Hadden, who agrees to fund her research at the world’s largest radio telescope array in New Mexico.

All seems to be going well, until the government decides to cancel her research time at the New Mexico base, courtesy Mr. Drummel. In the nick of time, Ellie detects an ordered signal coming from the Vega system at the center of the Universe. This signal turns out to be prime numbers. Further investigation discovers a re-transmission of the first television broadcast − Adolph Hitler opening the 1936 Olympic games. Evidently, Ellie has made contact.

The world gets involved. National security wants to protect the United States from evil aliens. Mean Christians denounce her by raising placards that says “Jesus saves,” “The end is near,” “Scientists are bunk,” and other mean-spirited remarks.

More research finds that these signals from Vega contain diagrams of a giant machine which no one can figure out except the benevolent, reclusive, international businessman Mr. Hadden. He discerns that this machine is a transport to take man to Vega.

Ellie competes with Dr. Drummel to be the first one to go to Vega. Ellie gets turned down by the world committee when she states that there is no empirical evidence for God. (Clearly, she hasn’t read Josh McDowell’s EVIDENCE THAT DEMANDS A VERDICT.) Since 95% of the world mistakenly believes in God, it is thought that she will not be a worthy representative of deluded mankind. Later, privately, Ellie tells Palmer that she was kicked out of Sunday school for asking probing questions that any Sunday school teacher could have answered.

Dr. Drummel gets the job, but gets blown up with the transport by an evil Christian evangelist, so Ellie gets her chance. She gets to Vega after a very bumpy ride through the imagined worm holes of space and finds herself face-to-face with her father. Her scientific mind deduces that this is not her real father. Actually, the aliens have downloaded her memory and have presented themselves as an image that she can tolerate. The father-alien tells her that space is not wasted since there are millions of intelligent beings out there. They all come to meet at Vega once in a while, but there is no supreme being as far as they know, and they don’t know much more than she does.

Regrettably, when Ellie gets back to earth, it appears as if she never left. Nobody believes her, but now she has faith in aliens, hugs the man of faith, Palmer Joss, and goes to teach school children her new alien pseudo-scientology religion.

Dr. Karl Sagan first emerged on the national scene as host of COSMOS when Dr. Baehr was head of the TV center at the University of New York. Dr. Baehr’s fellow academics considered Sagan a pseudo-scientist. As a scientific materialist, Dr. Sagan originally contended that man evolved solely by chance. When the evidence did not support that particular verdict (although many people still believe that lie), he revised his position in his later years to contend that life was seeded throughout the universe by aliens. Throughout his career, Dr. Sagan never wanted to posit a first cause − a Prime Mover. Perhaps, he didn’t want to be under the authority of the Creator, for no matter how advanced they are, aliens are fallible, whereas a Creator would be the judge and the jury − a Supreme Architect who would lay down the rules. Therefore, in his materialistic vision, salvation is reduced from the Gospel of the Son of God transcending time and space to come to earth to give us eternal life, to aliens telling us that there are other intelligent-but-limited, fallible beings out there in the vast recesses of space. Like Sartre’s play, NO EXIT, we are stuck in a room with other intelligent beings who quarrel, fight and argue, but there is no grand design, no purpose and no life beyond the room. This small, materialist vision is at the heart of CONTACT.

In the process of presenting this limited religion, the movie takes broad swipes at the Christian faith although it tries to extol faith itself − at least faith in a pseudo-scientific theory which is very similar to L. Ron Hubbard’s Scientology.

This film could have been redeemed if it had been devoid of Christian bashing, sex and language. Then the audience could have mused about the premise of the movie without having the unseemly aspects of its attack on true faith shoved in their faces.

A strange undercurrent in the movie is the corporate socialism and benevolent world leader of the corporation who knows more than the governments whom he manipulates. He represents a sanitized, modern National Socialism, whose true nature is presented in images of Adolph Hitler.

In terms of acting, Jodie Foster constantly seems anguished while Matthew McConaughey seems to be a very mellow mainline religious advisor to President Clinton. If only Ellie had gotten together with Palmer at the end, this could have been a love story. As it is, it is materialist drivel, crying out for true faith and a real God to send his Son into this closed system to give us real redemption.

Now more than ever we’re bombarded by darkness in media, movies, and TV. Movieguide® has fought back for almost 40 years, working within Hollywood to propel uplifting and positive content. We’re proud to say we’ve collaborated with some of the top industry players to influence and redeem entertainment for Jesus. Still, the most influential person in Hollywood is you. The viewer.

What you listen to, watch, and read has power. Movieguide® wants to give you the resources to empower the good and the beautiful. But we can’t do it alone. We need your support.

You can make a difference with as little as $7. It takes only a moment. If you can, consider supporting our ministry with a monthly gift. Thank you.

Movieguide® is a 501c3 and all donations are tax deductible.


Now more than ever we’re bombarded by darkness in media, movies, and TV. Movieguide® has fought back for almost 40 years, working within Hollywood to propel uplifting and positive content. We’re proud to say we’ve collaborated with some of the top industry players to influence and redeem entertainment for Jesus. Still, the most influential person in Hollywood is you. The viewer.

What you listen to, watch, and read has power. Movieguide® wants to give you the resources to empower the good and the beautiful. But we can’t do it alone. We need your support.

You can make a difference with as little as $7. It takes only a moment. If you can, consider supporting our ministry with a monthly gift. Thank you.

Movieguide® is a 501c3 and all donations are tax deductible.


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