WASHINGTON (January 30, 1998) -- The 1-800-311-4CCC movie line reviews Spice World for the week of January 30-February 5. Also included on the toll-free line is a review of Fancy Pants, 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 30-February 5 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.
- Slappy and the Stinkers -- Because of slapstick violence, bathroom humor and crude language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested. Slappy and the Stinkers is a feeble comedy in which five 7-year-olds sneak a sea lion named Slappy out of an aquarium but before they can free it in the ocean, Slappy is stolen by a villain for a circus. The result is a mirthless series of frantic chases and slapstick comedy which is rarely amusing and anything but cute.
- Great Expectations -- Because of some stylized violence, sexual situations, brief nudity, rough language and occasional profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Great Expectations presents a reworked and updated version of the Charles Dickens classic with Ethan Hawke as a poor Florida youth given the chance to make good in the New York art world, thanks to anonymous patron Robert De Niro. Adapting the Victorian story to a contemporary American setting results in an uneven, largely uncompelling coming-of-age tale.
- Deep Rising -- Because of gory fantasy violence, some rough language and a few nstances of profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Deep Rising is a scary monster movie in which the passengers aboard a luxury cruise ship are being drained of their blood by monstrous sea serpents, while the survivors try to evade the relentless creatures. The movie doesn't bother with character development, relying instead on fearsome special effects as the horrific monsters chase their prey.
- Desperate Measures -- Because of much hard-edged violence, life-threatening situations, rough language and profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-IV -- adults, with reservations. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Desperate Measures is a violent thriller about homicidal convict Michael Keaton breaking loose in a hospital where he is to provide bone marrow for the dying son of policeman Andy Garcia. The wild chase through the hospital as the cop tries to keep the escaped killer alive or else lose his boy is too improbable to be satisfying and answers none of the moral questions raised about the cop's conflicting obligations to his son and the public.
- Deceiver -- Because of criminal violence, intense menace, sexual situations, rough language and profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-IV -- adults, with reservations. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Deceiver is a talky psychological thriller in which two detectives subject a rich murder suspect to a series of lie detector tests, with occasional flashbacks to the crime and events in the lives of the three principals. The movie sets up an intriguing situation, then gets lost in increasingly bizarre plot twists with unlikely and unlikeable results.
The family video of the week is Fancy Pants -- The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-I -- general patronage. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America. Fancy Pants offers some fun in the Old West with jobless actor Bob Hope mistakenly hired as an English butler for a cattle baron whose prankster daughter, Lucille Ball, grows fond of the inept tenderfoot. The 1950 comedy features a winning pair of screen clowns at the top of their form in a story that has wit as well as pratfalls.
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."