WASHINGTON (March 27, 1998) -- The 1-800-311-4CCC movie line reviews Wide Awake for the week of March 27-April 2.
The 800 movie review line is a project of the Catholic Communication Campaign (CCC).
The March 27-April 2 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.
- Wide Awake -- Because of its vivid depiction of a youngster's grief and a few crude 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. Wide Awake offers a disarming tale of a 9-year-old Catholic schoolboy whose depression over the death of his grandfather leads him to search for signs that God and heaven really exist. The picture deftly captures the child's sincerity in finding the caring presence of God in daily life as he comes to terms with his loss.
- Primary Colors -- Because of fleeting violence including a suicide, various implied affairs, recurring 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. Primary Colors is a political satire about a Southern Governor (played by John Travolta) whose campaign for the presidential nomination is threatened by allegations of extramarital affairs. The result gives only superficial treatment to the candidate's character, while offering along the way some keen observations on the political process and ethical compromises.
- Meet the Deedles -- Because of comic violence, sexual innuendo and gross humor, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested. Meet the Deedles is a sophomoric comedy in which dopey twin brothers save Yellowstone National Park from being undermined by prairie dog tunnels. The mindless enterprise offers a disjointed series of skits alternating between dumb-and-dumber routines, toilet gags and life-threatening stunts.
- The Newton Boys -- Because of some gory violence, sexual innuendo, comic treatment of crime 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. The Newton Boys gives a glossy account of four fun-loving brothers who quit their Texas farm in 1919 to make a living robbing banks until their arrest in 1924 Chicago. Though it provides a credible re-creation of the colorful era, the result tends to glamorize the brothers and their criminal exploits.
- Mr. Nice Guy -- Because of much stylized violence, menacing situations, sexual innuendo and coarse 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. Mr. Nice Guy is a martial arts extravaganza with Jackie Chan as an Australian TV chef who singlehandedly demolishes an entire gang of drug traffickers. The tongue-in-cheek plot serves up one breathless chase after another through the busy streets of Melbourne, but with nothing else going on, the fast-paced action quickly becomes tiresome.
- Grease -- Because of its glamorization of negative aspects of adolescent behavior and preoccupation with sex in dialogue and lyrics, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested. Grease is a glossy musical romance set in the 1950s with slick-haired, leather-jacketed John Travolta as a teen gang leader who transforms sweet high school lass Olivia Newton-John into a gang groupie. Originally released in 1978, this teen fantasy embodies a philosophy of life that needs to be questioned rather than embraced and is especially offensive in its treatment of the fears of an unwed pregnancy.
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 movie 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."