WASHINGTON (February 27, 1998) -- The 1-800-311-4CCC movie line hails The Borrowers as a charming, whimsical fantasy for the week of February 27-March 5. Also included on the toll-free line is a review of Pollyanna, 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 27-March 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.
- 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.
- The Apostle -- Because of a strong scene of violence, menacing situations and implied marital infidelity, 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 Apostle follows more Pentecostal preacher Robert Duvall after he gravely injures the man he blames for losing his wife and congregation, then flees Texas for Louisiana where he founds a church and radio ministry whose popularity leads to his arrest. This portrait of an evangelical preacher explores his religious zeal as well as personal failings in a compelling story played out with sincerity and conviction.
- Krippendorf's Tribe -- Because of its positive view of a variety of immoral acts, including a one-night stand, as well as crude sexual references and an instance of 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. Krippendorf's Tribe stars Richard Dreyfuss as a dishonest anthropology professor who uses his family to create a fictitious native tribe which he pretends to have discovered, then profits from media contracts. It's a dreadful comic misfire employing crass crudeness and nasty adolescent humor.
- Kissing a Fool -- Because of sexual situations, drug references, occasional profanity and much rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Kissing a Fool is a tired formula comedy in which a foolish sportswriter decides to test his fiancee's fidelity by having his best friend try to seduce her. The resulting romantic triangle is more silly than amusing as the slow-paced proceedings drag on to a predictable but unearned moral ending.
- Dark City -- Because of occasional violence and brief nudity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Dark City is a murky sci-fi thriller in which a man discovers aliens have manufactured his memories and physical surroundings in order to steal his soul. The mysterious proceedings are sustained by strange, nightmarish visuals, though the result fails to add up to a coherent story.
- Dangerous Beauty -- Because of its glamorization of prostitution, brief sexual encounters with nudity, some violence and occasional rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of more America rating is R -- restricted. Dangerous Beauty follows the adventures of a 16th-century Venetian courtesan who seduces the king of France, then relies on her former lovers for protection from the Inquisition. The mushy yarn romanticizes its heroine in what amounts to a lame historical bodice-ripper.
The family video of the week is Pollyanna -- The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-I -- general patronage. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is G -- general audiences. Pollyanna is the heartwarming tale of an orphan who comes to live with her stern New England aunt, then brightens the lives of all in the vicinity with her sunny disposition and penchant for looking on the bright side. The 1960 Disney production gets a sweet performance from Hayley Mills in the title role, though grumps may be put off by the story's sugar-coated treatment.
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."