WASHINGTON (December 24, 1997) -- The 1-800-311-4CCC movie line reviews Titanic for the week of December 26 - January 1. Also included on the toll-free line is a review of Holiday Affair, this week's suggested home video for family viewing.
The 800 movie review line is funded by the Catholic Communication Campaign (CCC).
The December 26 - January 1 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.
- Titanic -- Because of agonizing death scenes on a massive scale, sexual situations and sporadic rough language and 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. Titanic lavishly re-creates the 1912 sea disaster after focusing on the improbable shipboard romance between first-class passenger Kate Winslet and steerage traveler Leonardo DiCaprio. Unfortunately the human dimension of the tragedy gets lost in a paltry soap opera about two love-struck youths, though the special effects of the sinking luxury liner are truly spectacular.
- Mouse Hunt -- Because of much slapstick violence, mild toilet humor 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. Mouse Hunt is a madcap comedy in which brothers Nathan Lane and Lee Evans inherit an historic mansion, then plan to sell it for millions if they can only stop an elusive mouse from bringing the house down around their heads. The episodic results offer some zany comic mayhem as the resourceful rodent shuns every trap they set.
- Tomorrow Never Dies -- Because of excessive violence, sexual innuendo and fleeting profanity, 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. Tomorrow Never Dies features Pierce Brosnan as superagent James Bond out to stop maniacal media magnate Jonathan Pryce from starting a war to boost his cable network's ratings. The explosive action is virtually non-stop, dropping Bond's suave sophistication in favor of numbing mindless mayhem.
- Mr. Magoo -- Because of mild sexual innuendo and frequent comic violence, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested. Mr. Magoo is a feeble live-action comedy in which Leslie Nielsen plays the popular near-sighted cartoon character being chased by thieves and federal agents after unknowingly walking off with a priceless ruby. The thin premise occasions few amusing sight gags while floundering in a dull series of slapstick kickboxing confrontations.
- The Postman -- Because of recurring violence, a sexual encounter with nudity, fleeting substance abuse, some 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 R -- restricted. The Postman is set in a lawless post-apocalyptic society where wandering loner Kevin Costner assumes the garb of a U.S. mailman reminding people of what they have lost and motivating them to fight to restore democracy. The far-fetched but spirited story appeals to sentimental notions of patriotism while overly idealizing the title character.
- As Good As It Gets -- Because of stylized violence, sexual situations, recurring 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 PG-13 -- parents are strongly cautioned that some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. As Good As It Gets is an abrasive comedy in which nasty writer Jack Nicholson mellows after falling in love with friendly waitress Helen Hunt and befriending homosexual artist Greg Kinnear. The thin plot offers little but mean-spirited humor which turns mushy as the writer attempts to reform, but the proceedings are overlong and seldom amusing.
The family video of the week is Holiday Affair -- The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-I -- general patronage. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America. Holiday Affair offers some warmhearted romance with Janet Leigh as a World War II widow raising a young son while trying to choose between steady but dull lawyer Wendell Corey and hard-working but dreamy salesman Robert Mitchum. The 1949 picture is embued with the spirit of the Christmas setting and the likeable performances of the cast make the sentimental proceedings hard to resist.
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."