WASHINGTON (July 24, 1998) -- The 1-800-311-4CCC movie line reviews Saving Private Ryan for the week of July 24-30. Also, included on the toll-free line is a review of The Great Escape, 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 24-30 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.
- The Mask of Zorro -- Because of much stylized violence, mild sexual innuendo and fleeting rear nudity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. 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 Mask of Zorro is set in Old California where Anthony Hopkins, an aging Zorro, trains fiery replacement Antonio Banderas to destroy the tyrant who 20 years
earlier stole his infant daughter, now a dazzling beauty in love with the new
masked avenger. The spirited swashbuckler features old-fashioned derring-do
and a game cast in a zesty adventure pitting dauntless heroes against daunting
- Madeline -- The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-I -- general patronage. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested. Madeline is a sweet-natured tale set in 1956 Paris where the title 9-year-old orphan lives in a girls' boarding school which she attempts to save from being sold, but instead is kidnapped by circus performers. Children will enjoy the warm characters and their engaging adventures, including a bit of mild menace, while their elders may be more charmed by its nostalgic picture of growing up in a simpler age.
- There's Something About Mary -- Because of some comic violence, gross sexual innuendo, fleeting nudity, intermittent 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. There's Something About Mary is a wacky but very crude comedy about lovelorn Ben Stiller competing with sneaky private eye Matt Dillon and others for the affections of the attractive but incredibly naive Cameron Diaz. The jokes in this goofy romantic comedy range from the dopey to the outrageously vulgar, though the sentimental story helps keep its tasteless humor from becoming seriously offensive.
- Saving Private Ryan -- Because of graphic battlefield violence, some profanity and recurring rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Saving Private Ryan is a riveting war drama with Tom Hanks as an army officer who leads a patrol behind German lines in 1944 France to rescue G.I. Matt Damon whose three brothers had been killed in action the previous week. This realistic re-creation of war's horror and chaos never loses sight of the soldiers' humanity and loyalty, despite their questioning the mission's justification.
- Disturbing Behavior -- Because of stylized violence, menacing situations, sexual innuendo, a flash of nudity as well as occasional rough language and profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Disturbing Behavior is a slack thriller in which a transfer student is puzzled by his new high school's strangely perfect students until he discovers their brains have been programmed by the school's mad psychiatrist. There are occasional scenes of bizarre violence and nightmare suspense, but the plot makes little sense and the mix of sex and violence are definitely not for teen viewers.
- Mafia! -- Because of comic violence, sexual innuendo, crude toilet humor, ethnic stereotyping 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. Mafia! is a comic misfire that tries to get laughs from its formula story about the son of a klutzy Sicilian mobster eventually taking his father's place as underworld boss. Despite many goofy sight gags, the result is mostly flat and unamusing in its attempts to parody "The Godfather" and similar movies about organized crime.
The family video of the week is The Great Escape -- The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-I -- general patronage. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America. The Great Escape re-creates the fact-based story of an elaborate escape by Allied soldiers from a German prison camp during World War II. The 1963 production paces the planning and execution of the mass breakout with some good humor as the suspense builds to a stunning, sobering climax, though it's much too long -- almost three hours -- for young children.
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 movies 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."