WASHINGTON (November 14, 1997) -- The 1-800-311-4CCC movie line reviews Anastasia for the week of Nov. 14-20. Also included on the toll-free line is a review of The Love Bug, this week's suggested home video for family viewing.
The 800 movie review line is funded by the Catholic Communication Campaign (CCC).
The November 14-20 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.
- Anastasia -- The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-I -- general patronage. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is G -- general audiences. Anastasia is an animated musical about the youngest daughter of the Czar who survives her family's massacre during the Bolshevik Revolution, grows up in an orphanage without memory of her past, then is taken to Paris by a handsome con man to meet her one surviving relative. This romanticized story turns history into a fairy tale with the enchantment of lush animation and spirited musical numbers.
- The Little Mermaid -- The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-I -- general patronage. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is G -- general audiences. The Little Mermaid is a rerelease of Disney's 1989 animated version of the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale about a feisty mermaid who falls in love with a human prince, to which is added a hopeful, happy ending. The underwater animation is magical and the characters are a delight, especially the enterprising heroine who learns to take responsibility for her own choices.
- The Man Who Knew Too Little -- Because of brief slapstick violence, fleeting sexual innuendo and an instance of profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested. The Man Who Knew Too Little is a silly spoof set in London where a dense Bill Murray is mistaken for a hitman, then along the way nearly blows up various government heads at a gala state dinner. Though the comedy's screwball shenanigans are stretched pretty thin, Murray's character retains sympathy as a blissfully unaware dunderhead.
- The Jackal -- Because of some gory violence, intermittent 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 Jackal is an uninspired thriller in which FBI agent Sidney Poitier teams with temporarily paroled IRA gunman Richard Gere to prevent a major assassination by notorious terrorist Bruce Willis. The formula action plot moves forward efficiently but never attains the gripping suspense of the 1973 movie upon which it is based.
- 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.
- One Night Stand -- Because of some graphic sexual encounters with nudity, a casual attitude towards adultery, much rough language and an instance of profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. In One Night Stand, a husband's overnight fling with a married woman while on a business trip has unexpected consequences when the two married couples are brought together by a mutual friend dying of AIDS. Despite its pretentions as serious drama, the result offers little more than a tacky tale of listless mate swapping.
The family video of the week is The Love Bug -- The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-I -- general patronage. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is G -- general audiences. The Love Bug is a live-action Disney comedy about a veteran Volkswagon named Herbie who adopts a has-been racing car driver (played by Dean Jones), then carries him to victory and the altar with Michele Lee. The 1969 production is a mildly diverting fantasy which youngsters are likely to enjoy more than their elders.
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."