WASHINGTON (August 7, 1998) -- The 1-800-311-4CCC movie line reviews Halloween: H20 for the week of August 7-13. Also included on the toll-free line is a review of 101 Dalmatians, this week's suggested home video for family viewing.
The 800 movie review line is a project of the Catholic Communication Campaign (CCC).
The August 7-13 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.
- Halloween: H20 -- Because of recurring shadowy violence, mild sexual innuendo, intermittent rough language and an instance of profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. In Halloween: H20 a presumed dead homicidal maniac tracks down the sister (played by Jamie Lee Curtis) that he tried and failed to kill 20 years earlier, this time intent on finishing the job. Since some attention is paid to the negative effects violence had on the Curtis character over the years, the slasher sequel seems less excessive and is occasionally suspenseful.
- Snake Eyes -- Because of recurring violence, some sexual innuendo, minimal rough language and frequent profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. In Snake Eyes the lifelong friendship of corrupt cop Nicolas Cage and Naval Commander Gary Sinese is sorely tested when they investigate a Cabinet member's assassination at a championship boxing match they were attending. The movie is more sleek than suspenseful in finding its twisted route to the truth and one man's hardly credible redemption.
The family video of the week is 101 Dalmatians -- The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-I -- general patronage. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is G -- general audiences. 101 Dalmatians is a charming live-action remake of the 1961 Disney cartoon in which English pets and barnyard animals unite to rescue a litter of puppies from being turned into a polka-dotted fur coat for wicked fashionplate Cruella DeVil (played by Glenn Close). The story proceeds at a bracing pace, with an amusingly over-the-top caricature by Close, fairy tale-like visuals and a sprinkling of slapstick confrontations.
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."