WASHINGTON (June 26, 1998) -- The 1-800-311-4CCC movie line reviews Gone With The Wind for the week of June 26-July 2. Also included on the toll-free line is a review of The Kid from Left Field, 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 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.
- Gone With The Wind -- Because of wartime violence, romantic complications and period black stereotyping, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is G -- general audiences. Gone With The Wind is a romantic saga spanning 20 years in the troubled life of ambitious southern belle Vivian Leigh after she loses aristocratic Leslie Howard to another, then marries dashing Clark Gable, with unhappy results. Produced in 1939, the story's setting re-creates the myth of the Old South, its destruction in the Civil War and the tribulations of Reconstruction.
- Mulan -- The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-I -- general patronage. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is G -- general audiences. Mulan offers a boisterous animated tale of ancient China where a rebellious daughter disguises herself as a man to fight invading Huns in place of her sickly father. Blending sumptuous visuals with catchy songs and some contrived humor, the picture's theme of female empowerment downplays romance to focus on issues of self-identity, honor and patriotism.
- Can't Hardly Wait -- Because of an implied sexual encounter, some underage drinking, crass expressions and minimal profanity and rough 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. In Can't Hardly Wait -- an unsupervised high school graduation party becomes the occasion for couples to make up, break up or generally act wild and crazy. All the characters in this derivative party movie are reduced to predictable stereotypes whose lame shenanigans fail to amuse.
- The X Files -- Because of brief violence, menacing situations, occasional profanity and an instance of rough 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. The X Files tells a meandering story of stubborn FBI agents Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny on the trail of frozen aliens, a mutating virus and the possible colonization of Earth by extraterrestrials. In what amounts to a two-hour episode of the TV series on which it is based, the result is a murky mix of dimly seen menacing aliens amidst elaborate theories of global conspiracies.
- Dr. Dolittle -- Because of much bathroom humor, coarse language and several instances of 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. Dr. Dolittle is a comic misfire with Eddie Murphy as a San Francisco physician whose life becomes complicated when he starts talking to animals but no one else can hear what they say to him. The result is a dull sentimental comedy paced by crude gags and verbal insults.
- Out of Sight -- Because of some nasty violence, jokey treatment of criminal activity, an implied sexual encounter, occasional profanity and much rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-IV -- adults, with reservations. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Out of Sight is a giddy crime caper in which federal marshal Jennifer Lopez is torn between arresting or romancing charming con man George Clooney who's about to pull off a diamond heist with traitorous partners. The movie's stylish direction isn't enough to compensate for shallow characterizations and a highly contrived plot.
The family video of the week is The Kid from Left Field -- The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-I -- general patronage. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America. The 1953 version of The Kid from Left Field stars little Billy Chapin as a bright 9-year-old who goes from bat boy to manager of a faltering major league baseball team, then leads it out of the cellar into the pennant race. The result is just the right speed for little leaguers, with enough heart for older members of the family willing to string along with the fantasy premise.
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."