WASHINGTON (June 5, 1998) -- The 1-800-311-4CCC movie line reviews The Truman Show for the week of June 5-11. Also included on the toll-free line is a review of The Adventures of Robin Hood, this week's suggested home video for family viewing.
The 800 movie review line is a project of the Catholic Communication Campaign (CCC).
The June 5-11 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.
- The Truman Show -- Because of mature themes, marital discord and a few instances of profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested. The Truman Show is a beguiling fantasy in which 30-year-old Jim Carrey suddenly discovers his life from day one has been secretly televised 24 hours a day and all the people in his tranquil island community are paid actors. The emotionally involving tale gingerly scratches the surface of moral issues concerning media manipulation and the right to privacy.
- 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.
- A Perfect Murder -- Because of a fleeting sexual encounter, brief but intense violence, some rough language and profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. A Perfect Murder is a glossy thriller in which heartless husband Michael Douglas plots to have rich wife Gwyneth Paltrow killed by her ex-con lover, but all goes murderously awry. Loosely based on Alfred Hitchcock's 1954 "Dial M for Murder," the twisty plot is weakened by adding scenes of adultery and hard-edged violence as melodramatic padding.
- 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 The Adventures of Robin Hood -- The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-I -- general patronage. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America. The Adventures of Robin Hood is a rousing adventure movie from 1938 with Errol Flynn leading the Merry Men of Sherwood Forest to the rescue of Olivia de Havilland's Maid Marian from the clutches of Claude Rains' villainous Prince John. The story's fight against injustice is treated with sincerity yet told playfully, with a zestful cast of supporting players adding to the fun. Stylized period violence.
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."