WASHINGTON (April 24, 1998) -- The 1-800-311-4CCC movie line reviews The Big Hit for the week of April 24-30. Also included on the toll-free line is a review of It Happens Every Spring, this week's suggested home video for family viewing.
The 800 movie review line is a project of the Catholic Communication Campaign (CCC).
The March 20-26 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.
- Paulie -- Because of a crude expression and a muttered instance of profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested. Paulie is a uneven comedy about the misadventures of a mischievous talking parrot as he searches across the country for the little girl who first owned him. The wisecracking bird is surrounded by good-hearted people (including Gena Rowlands) and one cardboard villain (played by Bruce Davison) in a colorful but weak story.
- Tarzan and the Lost City -- Because of some stylized violence, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested. Tarzan and the Lost City is a lackluster tale in which the Ape Man and his fiancee help a jungle tribe battle a band of mercenaries out to plunder their sacred treasures. The bland, humorless story limps along with little in the way of adventure but plenty of beefcake shots of the title he-man.
- The Spanish Prisoner -- Because of brief violence and fleeting sexual innuendo, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested. In The Spanish Prisoner, naive inventor Campbell Scott is befriended by mystery man Steve Martin whose helpful advice may get the inventor framed for murder. The movie unfolds a devilishly serpentine plot which proves too far-fetched to be credible but is thoroughly engrossing for its unexpected surprises.
- The Object of My Affection -- Because of its benign treatment of unmarried sexual relations, numerous sexual situations, rough language and profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. The Object of My Affection is a failed romantic comedy in which a pregnant social worker comes to love a homosexual teacher who only wants to be her friend. The movie places its charmless characters in a repetitive series of unconvincing situations which never get beyond moral muddlement.
- The Big Hit -- Because of excessive, jokey violence, implied promiscuity and sexual references, brief nudity and non-stop rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. The Big Hit follows the supposedly comic misadventures of a womanizing hitman targeted for death by his traitorous partner after a bungled kidnapping. The repulsive action comedy glamorizes its macho characters and presents vicious murders as heroic deeds.
- Scream 2 -- Because of excessive violence, sexual references, recurring rough language and occasional profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Scream 2 is a formula slasher sequel with a college co-ed and her chums threatened by a masked killer who's stabbing people to death much as in the original. The result offers cheap thrills, bad jokes, buckets of blood and cardboard characters endlessly speculating over the killer's identity.
The family video of the week is It Happens Every Spring -- The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-I -- general patronage. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America. It Happens Every Spring is a breezy bit of sports whimsy in which chemistry professor Ray Milland invents a wood-repellent making it impossible for a baseball to be hit by a wooden bat. The 1949 comedy turns the professor into an instant star pitcher on a team battling for the pennant, with amusing results even for those who don't like the national pastime.
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."