WASHINGTON (September 26, 1997) -- The Edge makes its debut on the 1-800-311-4CCC movie review line for September 26 - October 2. Also included on the toll-free line is a review of The Diary of Anne Frank, this week's suggested home video for family viewing.
The 800 movie review line is funded by the Catholic Communication Campaign (CCC).
The September 26 - October 2 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 Edge -- Because of some intense violence, threatening situations, intermittent profanity and recurring rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. The Edge is a harrowing adventure in which billionaire Anthony Hopkins is stranded in the Alaskan wilderness with fashion photographer Alec Baldwin whom the rich man suspects is having an affair with his much younger wife. Their struggle to survive the elements as well as their mutual mistrust provides plenty of suspenseful action, despite a few lapses in the story's logic.
- Soul Food -- Because of fleeting violence, brief bedroom scenes, occasional profanity and recurring rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Soul Food follows the near dissolution of the ties that bind three married sisters (played by Vanessa Williams, Vivica Fox and NEE-ah Long) in an extended African-American family after their peacekeeping matriarch goes into a diabetic coma. The spirited ensemble drama, while contrived and shamelessly sentimental, ends up as a testament to preserving the loving relationships that families are all about.
- The Peacemaker -- Because of frequent violence, intermittent rough language and a few instances of profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. The Peacemaker is a frantic thriller teaming intelligence agent George Clooney with nuclear physicist Nicole Kidman on the trail of stolen nuclear weapons which leads to a madman intent on setting off a doomsday bomb in midtown Manhattan. The hectic narrative is packed with car chases and shoot-em-ups, resulting in an emotionally sterile story of bogus thrills.
- L.A. Confidential -- Because of recurring violence, fleeting nudity, recurring sexual innuendo, some profanity and intermittent rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-IV -- adults, with reservations. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. L.A. Confidential offers a stylish cop drama set in 1950's Los Angeles where a trio of police detectives begin to link a series of murders to corrupt city officials. The darkly cynical story is densely plotted with murders most foul and gobs of chicanery and deceit.
- In & Out -- Because of its flippant treatment of homosexuality, a brief scene of gay men kissing, occasional profanity and an instance of rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-IV -- adults, with reservations. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents are strongly cautioned that some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. In & Out follows the comic confusion of a 40-year-old small-town teacher (played by Kevin Kline) when days before his wedding, a former student announces to the world that the teacher is gay. The farce uses some warm-hearted humor and broadly funny performances in poking fun at gay and straight stereotypes.
- The Assignment -- Because of much brutal violence, rationalization of adultery, some seamy sexual encounters with full nudity, occasional profanity and frequent rough language, The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. The Assignment is a sordid thriller in which callous CIA agent Donald Sutherland enveigles Navy lieutenant Aidan Quinn into impersonating an international terrorist in hopes this will lure the real one (also played by Quinn) out of hiding. The loosely fact-based story emphasizes hard-edged violence in scenes of terrorism and murder committed by the lieutenant while masquerading as the merciless assassin.
The family video of the week is The Diary of Anne Frank. The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-I -- general patronage. It is not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America. The Diary of Anne Frank is a somber dramatization of the long ordeal facing the adolescent girl of the title (played by Millie Perking), her parents and another Jewish family hiding from the Nazis in a secret room in World War II Amsterdam. The 1959 production looks at the terrible consequences of racism through the eyes of a young girl, though youngsters may need support from older members of the family in coping with story's tense situations and menacing atmosphere.
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."