Plugged In exists to shine a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving you and your family the essential tools you need to understand, navigate and impact the culture in which we live. Through reviews, articles and discussions, we want to spark intellectual thought, spiritual growth and a desire to follow the command of Colossians 2:8: "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ."


Family uses Plugged In as a ‘significant compass’

"I am at a loss for words to adequately express how much it means to my husband and me to know that there is an organization like Focus that is rooting for us. Just today I was reading Psalm 37 and thinking about how your ministry provides ways to 'dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.' We have two teenagers and an 8-year-old in our household...Plugged In has become a significant compass for our family. All three of our kids are dedicated to their walk with Christ but they still encounter challenges. Thanks for all of your research and persistence in helping us navigate through stormy waters."

Plugged In helps college student stand-up for his belief

"Thanks for the great job you do in posting movie and television reviews online. I’m a college freshman and I recently had a confrontational disagreement with my English professor regarding an R-rated film. It is her favorite movie and she wanted to show it in class. I went to your Web site to research the film’s content. Although I had not seen the movie myself, I was able to make an educated argument against it based on the concerns you outlined. The prof said that she was impressed by my stand and decided to poll the whole class and give us a choice. We overwhelmingly voted to watch a G-rated movie instead! I’ve learned that I can trust your site and I will be using it a lot in the future.”

Plugged In brings ‘Sanity and Order’ to Non-believer

“Even though I don’t consider myself a Christian, I find your Plugged In Web site useful and thought-provoking. No one reviews movies like you do. Instead of being judgmental, you put entertainment ‘on trial.’ After presenting the evidence, you allow the jury of your readers to decide for themselves what they should do. In my opinion, you bring sanity and order to the wild world of modern day entertainment. Keep up the good work!”

Mom thinks Plugged In is the ‘BEST Christian media review site’

"Our family doesn't go to the movies until we go online and check out your assessment of a given film. I think this is the BEST Christian media review website that I've found, and I recommend it to my family and friends. Keep up the good work!"


Our hope is that whether you're a parent, youth leader or teen, the information and tools at Plugged In will help you and your family make appropriate media decisions. We are privileged to do the work we do, and are continually thankful for the generosity and support from you, our loyal readers, listeners and friends.

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Game Review

Many a classic film has used well-known landmarks as backdrops for its celluloid diorama. Moviemakers love this because a shot of England's Big Ben or Egypt's Pyramids instantly connects us with something of that country's beauty and culture. So when the guys at Capcom developed their new video game Dead Rising, they decided to center the action around an American cultural landmark—the shopping mall.

Freelance photojournalist Frank West has gotten a big tip about a little town in Colorado called Willamette. All communication has been cut off from the sleepy burg and the military has placed it under quarantine (which probably should have been Frank's first red flag). But patient reason doesn't win a Pulitzer, so Frank hires a helicopter and flies in for the story of a lifetime.

He finds a town gone crazy. Gangs of staggering men and women are attacking school buses and blowing up gas stations. Frank snaps his photos, but his reporter's heart lusts for more. So he has the pilot drop him off on the roof of the local mall and gives instructions to come back and retrieve him in 72 hours. That should be plenty of time to ... die.

Your Money's No Good Here
Now the "fun" begins. It seems that the whole population of Willamette has been turned into flesh-eating zombies—flocking back to where their instincts tell them they belong. And it's your job to help Frank figure out how this all happened (if not for humanity's sake, then at least for a great scoop).

The central game action is a set of eight "cases" (a clue-gathering string of events) that Frank jumps into as soon as he meets up with the first group of survivors. This complicated core story is hardwired into the timeline and can end up with any of six conclusions based on the choices you make (including infecting the world with parasitic zombie insects). And while pursuing these main objectives, you take side missions to rescue survivors, snap photos for your story, rummage through stores, look for food and alcohol, and wade through this vast mall, crammed full of oozing, stumble-footed, dead people.

A Food Court to Die For
As you would expect, Dead Rising is a gory mess. Gallons of blood and grisly slop are splashed onto the floors and walls from every creature you kick, decapitate, shoot, grind, pummel, electrocute and slice through. And to be honest, that's the main action of this game. There are thousands, no, tens of thousands of zombies in and around this mall. And everything you can possibly imagine a mall holding (in over 100 retail shops) is at hand to use as a weapon. Baseball bats, lead pipes, guns, bowling balls, plastic light sabers, sledgehammers (nasty), lawnmowers (really nasty) and teddy bears are but a few of the gazillions of possibilities. In fact, it's clear that the game's creators hope that you'll search for as many bizarre items as possible and find disgusting ways to rip up these "people" as a sort of black comedy.

But wait, there are also psychopath humans out there who will attack you at every turn. And they can be worse than the zombies. A chain saw-wielding killer clown and raging raincoat-clad cult kooks are but a sampling of those who will also need killing. With all this butchering going on, you'd think dialogue wouldn't be necessary, but conversations are plentiful and peppered with such words as "d--n," "b--ch" and "s---." Our photographer friend Frank sports some coarse language, too, with "what the h---?" hissing through his clenched teeth on a number of occasions.

Shop Till You Drop
The rotten cherry on top of this sundae of stomach-turning spew is that Dead Rising is very difficult to put down. Part of the reason for this is the ticking clock feature. Not only are you challenged to accomplish the main objective and beat the 72-hour clock, but each rescue mission has its own countdown. In fact, there are more timed challenges thrown your way than are humanly possible to accomplish. And you feel like you just gotta squeeze one more in.

Along with that, the game's save mechanic keeps you glued to your controller. Saving points (bathrooms and lounge areas) are few and far between. Which means that when the swarming brain-eaters finally overcome your hero (and believe me, they will) you'll lose a big chunk of your progress (and level-ups). Or you can opt to keep your leveled-up abilities (strength, speed and endurance) and go all the way back to the beginning of the game.

So, not only will you be looking for new ways to puree zombies, find clues and beat the clock, you'll be doing it over and over and over again until you feel like you're becoming a zombie (brain-dead and without a shopping cart in sight). Doesn't that just scream fun for the whole family?

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles



Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews



Readability Age Range







Record Label


Xbox 360, PlayStation 3




On Video

Year Published



Bob Hoose

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Get weekly e-news, Culture Clips & more!