WASHINGTON--The 1-800-311-4CCC movie line reviews The Parent Trap for the week of July 31-August 6. Also included on the toll-free line is a review of the 1961 version of The Parent Trap, 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 31-August 6 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.
- The Parent Trap -- Because of some unamusing pranks and a scene of amateur ear-piercing, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-II --adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested.
The Parent Trap is a slow-paced but often charming re-make of the 1961 movie in which 11-year-old identical twin sisters, raised separately by divorced parents, happen to meet at summer camp, then switch places to work on reuniting mom and dad. The sentimental premise provides a number of heartwarming moments with comic relief from the mischievous twins, but the feel-good results are superficial at best.
- Ever After -- Because of some stylized violence, menace and crude language, 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. Ever After is a fairy tale romance with Drew Barrymore as a spunky young Frenchwoman who, despite the interference of her wicked stepmother, wins the heart of the crown prince who is enthralled by her natural beauty, wit and intelligence. This variation on the Cinderella story offers a modern, self-reliant heroine in a colorful 16th-century setting, with often amusing and, at times, heartwarming results.
- The Negotiator -- Because of considerable violence, life-threatening situations, recurring 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. The Negotiator is a murky thriller in which Chicago cop Samuel L. Jackson holds a number of people hostage while trying to convince police negotiator Kevin Spacy that he has been framed for a crime he didn't commit. The overly contrived proceedings are filled with hokey action, vague motivations and stereotyped characters that lose interest long before the formula ending.
- 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.
- Baseketball -- Because of crude sexual humor, brief rear nudity, much sophomoric vulgarity, frequent rough language and some profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-IV -- adults, with reservations. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Baseketball is about a game combining baseball and basketball invented by a couple of lame-brained louts who go on to become beloved lame-brained sports heroes. This comic misfire starts as a satire of professional sports but the result proves to be little more than a tiresome exercise in bad taste.
- 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 Parent Trap -- The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-I -- general patronage. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America. The 1961 version of The Parent Trap features Hayley Mills as identical twins raised separately by divorced parents Maureen O'Hara and Brian Keith, but after meeting by chance, the twins conspire to get mom and dad back together again. It's the kind of sentimental family comedy in which parents are no match for their precocious offspring, but the result here has some genial fun with heartwarming situations.
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."