WASHINGTON (October 17, 1997) -- Playing God is on the 1-800-311-4CCC movie review line for October 17-23. Also included on the toll-free line is a review of The Jungle Book, this week's suggested home video for family viewing.
The 800 movie review line is funded by the Catholic Communication Campaign (CCC).
The October 17-23 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.
- Playing God -- Because of excessive violence, substance abuse, constant rough language and some profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Playing God is a mindless crime story in which drug-addicted, ex-doctor David Due-KUV-knee falls in with mobster Timothy Hutton, then tries to double-cross him with bloody results. Drably mounted and lifelessly acted, the gore-soaked proceedings offer nothing beyond numbing murders and mayhem.
- RocketMan -- Because of mild menace 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. RocketMan is an unamusing comedy about an annoyingly infantile computer freak who saves the day while onboard a space mission to Mars that goes awry. Clumsy pratfalls and rude humor keep the dull proceedings decidedly earthbound.
- I Know What You Did Last Summer -- Because of intermittent violence, fleeting sexual innuendo, some rough language and occasional profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. I Know What You Did Last Summer is a slick, somewhat gory thriller about four teens who accidentally kill a pedestrian and hide his body, then a year later fear for their lives after receiving notes threatening vengeance. The manipulative proceedings elicit the expected jolts as the menacing situations multiply.
- Most Wanted -- Because of intermittent violence, fleeting nudity, occasional profanity and some rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Most Wanted is a muddled thriller in which fugitive Marine Keenen Ivory Wayans tries to prove his innocence when power-mad general Jon Voight frames him for the assasination of the President's wife. The convoluted conspiracy plot loses all credibility as the story grows increasingly far-fetched with endless chase scenes.
- The Devil's Advocate -- Because of gory violence, explicit sexual encounters, recurring full nudity and much rough language with profanity, The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. The Devil's Advocate is an overwrought fantasy in which Al Pacino plays the Devil who is determined to corrupt ambitious criminal attorney Keanu Reeves. Drama and comedy clash badly in this shrill potboiler which relies on a lame cliche to reach its drawn-out conclusion.
- Gang Related -- Because of recurring violence, brief nudity, much profanity and non-stop rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Gang Related is a shoddy crime story in which corrupt cops Tupac Shakur and James Belushi unwittingly murder a federal drug agent, then try to frame homeless drunk Dennis Quaid for what they did. The lamely scripted result lacks any real suspense in its repugnant depiction of murderous, foul-mouthed cops.
The family video of the week is The Jungle Book. The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-I -- general patronage. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is G -- general audiences. The Jungle Book is Walt Disney's animated version of Rudyard Kipling's adventures of Mowgli, a boy-child reared by obliging wolves in the jungles of India. The 1967 production is nicely paced with humor, a bit of menace and colorful characters who will amuse just about everyone in the household.
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."