WASHINGTON (November 26, 1997) -- The 1-800-311-4CCC movie line reviews Anastasia for the week of November 28-December 4. Also included on the toll-free line is a review of Pippi Longstocking, this week's suggested home video for family viewing.
The 800 movie review line is funded by the Catholic Communication Campaign (CCC).
The November 28-December 4 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.
- Flubber -- Because of frequent slapstick violence and fleeting sexual innuendo, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested. Flubber is a weak re-make of a 1961 Disney comedy revolving around absent-minded professor Robin Williams who leaves his college president bride at the altar while trying to save their debt-ridden college by inventing flying rubber. The production flubs it with an excess of jokey special effects at the expense of story and characterization.
- Alien Resurrection -- Because of recurring gory violence, some 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. Alien Resurrection is a grim sci-fi sequel with alien-exterminator Sigourney Weaver coming back to life aboard a spaceship, then teaming with mysterious stranger Winona Ryder to rid the vessel of rampaging aliens. The mildly suspenseful thriller uses the stale premise mainly as a showcase for grotesque images of monsters incubating on deformed human body parts.
- John Grisham's The Rainmaker -- Because of brief but intense violence, 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. John Grisham's The Rainmaker is a bland drama in which novice attorney Matt Damon falls for troubled Claire Danes while suing a soulless insurance company represented by smug, fat-cat lawyer Jon Voight. The pedestrian treatment results in a predictable tale of a greedy corporation humbled by an idealistic underdog.
- Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil -- Because of brief violence, much sexual innuendo, some rough language and recurring profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil generates superficial drama as reporter John Cusack covers the murder trial of wealthy Savannah antiques dealer Kevin Spacey who claims he shot his homosexual boyfriend in self-defense. The movie doesn't grapple with the central question of the defendant's guilt or innocence, concentrating instead on numerous eccentric characters who add flavor but no substance to the drawn-out proceedings.
- Mortal Kombat Annihilation -- Because of much nasty fantasy violence and its theme of killing family members, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents are strongly cautioned that some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. Mortal Kombat Annihilation follows four muscle-bound humans in their bone-crunching battles with shape-shifting, evil warlords intent on demolishing planet Earth. Might makes right is the wrongheaded message of this martial-arts extravaganza of deadly combat pitting father against son, mother against daughter and brother against brother.
The family video of the week is Pippi Longstocking -- The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-I -- general patronage. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is G -- general audiences. Pippi Longstocking tells the animated story of a spunky 9-year-old girl who has some fun with neighboring children, an interfering busy-body and a pair of bumbling burglars while awaiting the return home of her sea captain father. Though the cartooning is unexceptional, Pippi's independent spirit and zestful hijinks should delight young viewers and amuse 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.
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."