WASHINGTON (July 18, 1997) -- George of the Jungle leads the July 18-24 movies on the 1-800- 311-4CCC movie-review line. Also included on the toll-free line is a review of Fun and Fancy Free, this week's suggested home video for family viewing.
The 800 movie review line is funded by the Catholic Communication Campaign (CCC).
The July 18-24 list includes the following theater releases and their classifications according to moral suitability. Movies are evaluated according to artistic merit and moral suitability by the U.S. Bishops' Office for Film and Broadcasting
- George of the Jungle -- Because of occasional slapstick violence, some mild sexual references and bathroom humor, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested.
George of the Jungle is an engagingly silly live-action version of an old TV cartoon series about a jungle-raised primitive (played by Brendan Fraser) who falls in love with an heiress on safari and follows home to San Francisco. It's a good-natured spoof of jungle adventure movies, though the pace flags when the action moves to the big city.
- Contact -- Because of some sexual innuendo and fleeting violence, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested.
Contact is an impressive-looking sci-fi tale in which radio astronomer Jodie Foster picks up an alien transmission with the blueprint for a spaceship to transport one human to the sender's distant galaxy. While focusing on the astronomer's determination to be the one selected for the flight, the story also touches on the scientific and spiritual implications of extraterrestrial life.
- Operation Condor -- Because of much comic-book violence, sexual references and brief nudity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents are strongly cautioned that some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.
Operation Condor stars Jackie Chan as a secret agent battling various villains with the help of three bickering women while seeking gold buried by Nazis in the Sahara Desert. The dubbed, jokey action movie is full of dopey stereotypes in a nonsensical plot offering little but Chan's dexterity in the martial arts.
- Out to Sea -- Because of sexual situations and innuendoes as well as coarse language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents are strongly cautioned that some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.
Out to Sea is a thin formula comedy with two cranky elders, inveterate schemer Walter Matthau and long-suffering pal Jack Lemmon, finding unexpected romance aboard a cruise liner. It's a good-natured vehicle for a veteran comedy team backed by a seasoned supporting cast in what adds up to a light-hearted, light-weight sentimental entertainment.
- A Simple Wish -- Because of some coarse language and mild menace, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested.
A Simple Wish is a weak though innocuous comic fantasy in which Martin Short plays an inept male fairy godmother trying to grant a little girl's wish for her dad to star in a Broadway musical. The comic special effects are more amusing than the flimsy story and all the frantic antics of Short's klutzy character.
- Nothing to Lose -- Because of its ambivalent attitude towards crime, comic treatment of violence, a fleeting sexual encounter and constant rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-IV -- adults, with reservations. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted.
Nothing to Lose is a coarse, witless comedy in which bumbling car jacker Martin Lawrence helps despondent ad executive Tim Robbins rob his boss, then try to return the money before it's missed. The manipulative odd-couple story goes for cheap laughs while implying circumstances may justify grand theft.
Family video of the week:
Fun and Fancy Free -- The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-I -- general patronage. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is G -- general audiences.
Fun and Fancy Free is a 1947 Walt Disney feature with Dinah Shore narrating the cartoon tale of "Bongo," a slow-learning bear trying to make good in the circus. The highlight, however, features Mickey Mouse and friends in "Jack and the Beanstalk" as told by Edgar Bergen with occasional interruptions from wooden-headed Charlie McCarthy.
The classifications are A-I - general patronage; A-II - adults and adolescents; A-III - adults; A-IV - adults, with reservations (an A-IV classification designates problematic films that, while not morally offensive in themselves, require caution and some analysis and explanation as a safeguard against wrong interpretations and false conclusions); O - morally offensive.
The movie reviews are produced by the U.S. Catholic Conference (USCC) Office for Film and Broadcasting, which each week provides full length movies reviews, brief capsules and film classifications of new theater releases.
Reviewers include Henry Herx, Director, and Gerri Pare, Associate Director, of the Film and Broadcasting Office, which is funded by the CCC.
The capsule reviews are available on the World Wide Web. They can be found on two sites: http://www.nccbuscc.org and http://www.CatholicDigest.org/stops/movies/movies1.html.
Full-length reviews of the above and other movies are available through America Online at the Catholic News Service site on AOL, and can be accessed by AOL members using the keyword, "CNS."