WASHINGTON (September 12,1997) -- The Game heads the 1-800-311-4CCC movie review line for September 12-18. Also included on the toll-free line is a review of Mary Poppins, this week's suggested home video for family viewing.
The 800 movie review line is funded by the Catholic Communication Campaign (CCC).
The September 12-18 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.
- The Game -- Because of stylized violence, occasional profanity and frequent rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. The Game offers a twisty thriller with Michael Douglas as an arrogant banker whose estranged brother Sean Penn gets involved with a bizarre game-playing organization that results in the banker becoming the target of unknown assailants. The imaginatively contrived proceedings are absorbing and quite suspenseful until the plot proves to be clearly illogical.
- 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.
- The Full Monty -- Because of its comic treatment of sexuality, brief rear nudity, fleeting homosexual innuendo, some rough language and occasional profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-IV -- adults, with reservations. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. The Full Monty is a droll British comedy in which an unemployed steelworker convinces five jobless buddies they can make some easy money performing in a one-night male strip show. The result downplays the story's sleazy aspects by focusing on the characters' financial plight and ridiculous ineptitudes as would-be performers.
- 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.
Family video of the week is Mary Poppins. The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-I -- general patronage. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is G -- general audiences. Mary Poppins is a musical fantasy with Julie Andrews as the primly perfect nanny who uses her magical powers and common sense to straighten out a dysfunctional London household at the turn of the century. The 1964 Disney production adds songs, dance numbers, animated characters and marvelous special effects to a fanciful live-action story that's fun for all.
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."