WASHINGTON (May 29, 1998) -- The 1-800-311-4CCC movie line reviews Hope Floats for the week of May 29-June 4. Also included on the toll-free line is a review of Take Me Out to the Ball Game, this week's suggested home video for family viewing.
The 800 movie review line is a project of the Catholic Communication Campaign (CCC).
The May 29-June 4 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.
- Hope Floats -- Because of fleeting violence and 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. Hope Floats is the syrupy tale of jilted wife Sandra Bullock taking her young daughter back to rural Texas where her mom and a childhood admirer help restore her self-confidence. The consequences of adultery are treated earnestly but tend to get lost in an episodic story filled with gauzy sentimentality.
- Quest for Camelot -- Because of heavy fantasy violence and much menace, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is G -- general audiences. Quest for Camelot is an animated adventure fantasy about a spunky young woman who joins forces with a blind youth to save King Arthur from a false knight with evil powers. The thin story features numerous violent encounters on the perilous journey to Camelot which here is depicted as a pre-Christian stronghold of democracy built on the Druid ruins at Stonehenge.
- Almost Heroes -- Because of slapstick violence, sexual innuendo, outhouse humor and 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. Almost Heroes is a comedy clunker about inept explorers Chris Farley and Matthew Perry starting out from St. Louis in 1804 to beat the Lewis and Clark Expedition to the Pacific Ocean. It's a one-joke comedy whose witless wilderness proceedings go from crude to cruder.
- Godzilla -- Because of recurring fantasy violence with much mayhem 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. Godzilla is an overhyped monster movie in which New York City's landmarks and citizens are stomped on by the giant beast whose hatching eggs prove an even greater threat, especially to four adults in imminent danger. The special effects-thriller utterly lacks the consistent excitement or goofy humor that would make it fun-filled escapist fare.
- Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas -- Because of constant substance abuse, brief nudity and non-stop profanity and rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas follows a dopey journalist and his menacing pal through a boozy, destructive Vegas weekend sampling every drug they can lay their hands on. This salute to the acid-tripping subculture of the 1960s mixes gleeful excess with gaudy nihilism.
- Bulworth -- Because of some crude sexual references, fleeting violence, substance abuse, constant rough language and occasional profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-IV -- adults, with reservations. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. In Bulworth Warren Beatty plays a U.S. Senator who after taking out a contract on his own life feels free to publicly express, in the sing-song rhythms of rap, that politics is aimed at keeping the rich in power at the expense of all others. While marred by a murky romantic subplot (with Halle Berry) and some simplistic political ideas, Beatty's bold satire serves up provocative entertainment.
The Family video of the week is Take Me Out to the Ball Game -- The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-I -- general patronage. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America. Take Me Out to the Ball Game is a genial musical comedy about a turn-of-the-century baseball club heading for the World Series as new club owner Esther Williams warms to star shortstop Gene Kelly while showgirl Betty Garnett pursues infielder Frank Sinatra. The 1949 production combines the colorful period setting with some zestful song-and-dance numbers in a smoothly contrived, easy-to-take romance.
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."