WASHINGTON (February 13, 1998) -- The 1-800-311-4CCC movie line reviews Blues Brothers 2000 for the week of February 13-19. Also included on the toll-free line is a review of Abe Lincoln in Illinois, this week's suggested home video for family viewing.
The 800 movie review line is a project of the Catholic Communication Campaign (CCC).
The February 13-19 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.
- Blues Brothers 2000 -- Because of suggestive dancing with brief partial nudity, some comic violence, occasional crude expressions and an instance of 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. Blues Brothers 2000 is a feel-good musical sequel in which Blues Brother Dan Aykroyd re-unites his band after 18 years, then is pursued by cops who think he kidnapped an orphan. Despite a weak storyline, the colorful production numbers by top musicians coupled with Aykroyd and John Goodman's humorous on-stage moves should please baby boomers.
- Stephen King's The Night Flier -- Because of excessive violence, menacing situations, occasional profanity and rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Stephen King's The Night Flier is the tedious horror story of a cynical reporter on the trail of a vampire pilot who lands his plane on lonely, backcountry airstrips, then drains the blood from his victims. The concept of a supernatural fiend flying the unfriendly skies of America grows ridiculous long before ending in a repulsive blood bath.
- The Borrowers -- Because of comic violence and menacing situations, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested. The Borrowers is a whimsical fantasy in which villainous banker John Goodman sets out to drive a family from their home, then finds himself up against a resourceful family of miniature people living on the premises. Based on Mary Norton's children's stories, the movie has plenty of charm and gentle humor in telling the tale of two families joining forces to outwit a bully.
- Sphere -- Because of some stylized violence and intermittent 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. Sphere is a disappointing thriller with scientists Dustin Hoffman, Sharon Stone and Samuel L. Jackson threatened by an alien life force just outside the deep-sea station in which they are trapped. The initial premise is intriguing but soon gives way to murky developments that undercut the suspense and lead to an unsatisfying ending.
- The Wedding Singer -- Because of implied affairs, fleeting violence, occasional 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 PG-13 -- parents are strongly cautioned that some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. The Wedding Singer is a sappy romantic comedy set in the suburbs of New York where jilted fiancÚ Adam Sandler falls for waitress Drew Barrymore, then discovers she is about to marry a corrupt playboy. The contrived story pokes heavy-handed fun at 1980s' fads and fashions, but the bland proceedings remain largely lifeless.
- The Replacement Killers -- Because of excessive violence, some rough language and a few instances of profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. The Replacement Killers is a bullet-riddled action movie about a hitman targeted for death after refusing an assignment, who then gets help from a shady lady in his desperate attempts to escape. The mindless story shuffles unsympathetic characters from one bloody shootout to the next with boring predictability.
The family video of the week is Abe Lincoln in Illinois -- The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-I -- general patronage. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America. Abe Lincoln in Illinois stars Raymond Massey as the future President in this well-acted screen version of Robert Sherwood's Pulitzer Prize-winning play. The 1939 dramatization follows the growth of Lincoln's character through his struggles with adversity along the way from simple backwoodsman to compassionate lawyer.
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."