WASHINGTON (September 5, 1997) -- G.I. Jane heads the 1- 800-311-4CCC movie review line for September 5-11. Also included on the toll-free line is a review of The Adventures of Mark Twain, this week's suggested home video for family viewing.
The 800 movie review line is funded by the Catholic Communication Campaign (CCC). The August 29-September 5 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.
- G.I. Jane -- Because of much brutality, some violence, several sexual situations, occasional profanity and recurring rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-IV -- adults, with reservations. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. G.I. Jane is a hokey military melodrama with Demi Moore as a woman officer going through the brutal rigors of combat training with an elite Navy unit. The story offers no real insights about women in the military, concentrating instead on the character's determination to prove she's as tough as any man but the result is hardly worth the effort.
- Excess Baggage -- Because of brief violence, underage drinking, sexual innuendo and profanity, 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. Excess Baggage is a mirthless comedy with Alicia Silverstone in the role of a neglected teen who winds up being inadvertently kidnapped by a car thief. The witless proceedings ramble aimlessly on as a host of unsympathetic characters vie to cash in on the ransom.
- Kull the Conqueror -- Because of much stylized violence, brief bedroom scenes, sexual innuendo and crude expressions, 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. Kull the Conqueror is a brawny fantasy with Kevin Sorbo as a king who loses his throne to a sorceress, then regains it with the help of a beautiful slave. It's a sword-and-sorcery tale with some visual imagination but too much overacting and silly dialogue.
- Hoodlum -- Because of gory violence, brief sexual encounters, continual rough language and much profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-IV -- adults, with reservations. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Hoodlum is the stylish but violent tale of the deadly struggle between gangsters Laurence Fishburne and Tim Roth for control of the numbers racket in 1934 Harlem. The fact- based drama tends to glamorize the criminals' lifestyle until events lead to a final retribution.
- She's So Lovely -- Because of some violence including a rape, sexual references, occasional profanity and much rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A- IV -- adults, with reservations. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. She's So Lovely is about a woman torn between her first husband who's just been released from a psychiatric asylum and her present husband who has provided a good home for her and their children. This gritty, unappealing love story involves three unlikeable people in sordid situations that evoke little sympathy, despite occasional flashes of wit and originality.
- Fire Down Below -- Because of stylized violence, sexual references, occasional profanity and several instances of rough language, the U.S. Catholic conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. In Fire Down Below, Steven Seagal plays an indestructible federal agent who singlehandedly saves a poor community's water supply from being polluted by greedy mogul Kris Kristofferson. As usual in such Seagal vehicles, the plot is predictable, the characters one-dimensional and the macho heroics tiresome.
The Family Video of the Week is The Adventures of Mark Twain provides a nostalgic view of 19th-century America as seen through Twain's experiences as Mississippi riverboat pilot, Western prospector, newspaper reporter, popular humorist and acclaimed author. Fredric March gives a winning title performance in this 1944 movie, with Alexis Smith as the cherished wife whose early death devastates Twain and deepens his writing. Though idealized, the result is satisfying, meaningful entertainment.
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."