WASHINGTON (November 7, 1997) -- Bean doesn't offer viewers much according to the 1-800-311-4CCC movie review line for November 7-13. Also included on the toll-free line is a review of The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, this week's suggested home video for family viewing.
The 800 movie review line is funded by the Catholic Communication Campaign (CCC).
The November 7-13 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.
- Bean -- Because of brief drunkenness, a nude pin-up photo, some bathroom humor and a streak of 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. Bean is a slapstick British comedy with Rowan Atkinson as a bumbling museum guard entrusted to deliver a priceless painting to a Los Angeles art gallery, with predictable results. The childish behavior of the untalkative guard is occasionally amusing, but most of the juvenile humor simply falls flat.
- Mad City -- Because of brief violence, occasional profanity and an instance of rough 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. Mad City proves a dreary drama in which fired museum guard John Travolta takes his boss and visiting children hostage, then allows ambitious TV reporter Dustin Hoffman to manipulate the situation to advance his flagging career. The drawn-out tale of the media shaping a news event offers nothing new or insightful.
- Eve's Bayou -- Because of its theme of adultery, a fleeting sexual encounter, brief violence, intermittent rough language and profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Eve's Bayou is a poignant drama set in 1962 Louisiana where the philandering of a prosperous doctor (played by Samuel L. Jackson) harms his family and ends in tragic violence. Despite the action's melodramatic treatment, the beautifully lyric tale probes human failings with sobering results.
- Red Corner -- Because of some gory violence, a fleeting sexual encounter and brief nudity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Red Corner is a dense political thriller with Richard Gere as an American lawyer in China facing execution for rape and murder unless his government-appointed defense attorney risks her own life to uncover the truth. The story manages to work up some suspense, although hampered by a dubious plot twist and a mushy conclusion.
- Starship Troopers -- Because of excessive violence, a sexual encounter, nudity, coarse language and a sexual expletive, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Starship Troopers is an mindless sci-fi fantasy about teenage recruits fighting to save their militaristic society from an invasion of giant bugs. The sophomoric story of teen romance and military bloodlust is a tiresome special-effects bore.
- Boogie Nights -- Because of gory violence, explicit sex acts, full nudity, recurring rough language and occasional profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Boogie Nights tells of the rise and fall of a young actor in the sleazy business of making porn movies. Though the result doesn't glamorize the dysfunctional characters and their self-destructive way of life, this attempt to humanize the pornography trade lacks any larger moral or social perspective.
The family video of the week is The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad -- The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-I -- general patronage. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America. The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad offers an animated double feature with Basil Rathbone narrating a lovely, fanciful adaptation of Kenneth Grahame's "Wind in the Willows," and Bing Crosby singing as well as telling Washington Irving's "Legend of Sleepy Hollow" with its spooky Headless Horseman. The 1949 Disney production makes quite enjoyable family fare.
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.
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."