WASHINGTON (July 2, 1998) -- The 1-800-311-4CCC movie line reviews Armageddon for the week of July 3-9 . Also included on the toll-free line is a review of Yankee Doodle Dandy, this week's suggested home video for family viewing.
The 800 movie review line is a project of the Catholic Communication Campaign (CCC).
The July 3 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Armageddon -- Because of explosive mayhem, an implied affair, 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. Armageddon is a bloated disaster story with Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck planting a nuclear warhead on a humongous asteroid in a desperate attempt to blast it out of its collision course with Earth. The result is an overlong tale of macho heroics, pumped up with special effects, then doused in weepy emotions.
- 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 Yankee Doodle Dandy -- The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-I -- general patronage. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America. Yankee Doodle Dandy is a nostalgic, flag-waving musical starring James Cagney as George M. Cohan, the feisty entertainer who was born on the Fourth of July and went from vaudeville to Broadway in a songwriting career blending patriotism with Irish charm. The 1942 production features a grand collection of Cohan's best-remembered songs as well as Cagney at the top of his form singing and dancing his way to an Academy Award.
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."