WASHINGTON (January 23, 1998) -- The 1-800-311-4CCC movie line reviews Spice World for the week of January 23-29. Also included on the toll-free line is a review of Gus, this week's suggested home video for family viewing.
The 800 movie review line is a project of the Catholic Communication Campaign (CCC).
The January 23-29 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.
- Spice World -- Because of sexual innuendo, a childbirth scene, brief rear nudity and some rude humor, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested. Spice World is a feature-length music video with the five Spice Girls singing a few songs while being chased around London by the tabloid media and mobs of their fans. The witless results are clumsily contrived and the self-promotion of the singing group is too obvious to hold interest.
- Star Kid -- Because of fantasy violence, menacing situations, bathroom humor and few coarse words, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested. Star Kid is a thin adventure fantasy in which a 12-year-old boy climbs inside the shell of an alien android, then uses its superhuman strength to take revenge on a school bully until confronted by a ferocious spider-like invader from outer space. Pre-teen boys may enjoy the premise of controlling a powerful robot, though most others will find the formula plot as tiresome as the derivative special effects.
- Fallen -- Because of brief violence, much rough language and intermittent profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Fallen is a silly supernatural thriller in which homicide detective Denzel Washington finds himself being framed for murders committed by the demonic spirit of an executed serial killer. The ridiculous premise is more ludicrous than suspenseful in depicting the dead man's spirit entering host bodies to commit his foul deeds.
- Swept from the Sea -- Because of some stylized violence, a restrained sexual encounter, an illegitmate birth and occasional 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. Swept from the Sea retells Joseph Conrad's story of a Ukrainian immigrant to America who's shipwrecked on the coast of Cornwall, England, where he courts and weds a lonely servant girl, but their bliss is cut short by tragedy. The British production presents a lyric love story of two strangers clinging to each other in an alien land, told with feeling for its characters and beautifully photographed.
- The Gingerbread Man -- Because of brief violence, an implied affair, fleeting nudity, occasional rough language and some profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. The Gingerbread Man is a murky thriller in which Savannah lawyer Kenneth Branagh becomes attracted to a vulnerable client fearful of her unstable father, then finds himself ensnared in a deadly plot threatening the safety of his two young children. The sinister proceedings are wrapped in a dark, unsettling atmosphere but the story is less than credible and the characters are even more implausible.
- Phantoms -- Because of recurring fantasy violence, some profanity and occasional rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Phantoms is a dreary horror clunker about a Colorado resort town whose residents are being killed by an unseen force until eccentric scholar Peter O'Toole comes to the rescue. The formula gore generates no suspense in a silly plot whose ancient monster is seeking attention from the modern media.
The family video of the week is Gus -- The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-I -- general patronage. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is G -- general audiences. Gus is an above-average comedy about a losing football team which begins chalking up victories after its mule mascot starts kicking field goals. The 1976 Disney production provides lively, fast-moving entertainment which will amuse most children and not a few parents.
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."