WASHINGTON (September 4, 1998) -- The 1-800-311-4CCC movie line reviews Knock Off for the week of September 4-10. Also included on the toll-free line is a review of Barney's Great Adventure: The Movie, this week's suggested home video for family viewing.
The 800 movie review line is a project of the Catholic Communication Campaign (CCC).
The September 4-10 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.
- Why Do Fools Fall in Love -- Because of intense physical and psychological violence, explicit sexual situations, recurring 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. Why Do Fools Fall in Love misfires as a musical melodrama about a rock'n'roll singer who dies of a drug overdose, leaving three wives to fight over his estate. The result succeeds better in its re-creation of the rock'n'roll era in the mid-1950's than in the personal flashbacks portraying the bickering widows' very different recollections of the troubled musician.
- 54 -- Because of its uncritical portrayal of substance abuse, promiscuity and theft as well as brief nudity and much rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. 54 is loosely based on the rise and demise of Studio 54, New York City's hottest disco in the late 1970's, as seen through the eyes of a decadent bartender. Despite its pounding music track, the movie is a lifeless assemblage of glossy but empty images drawing no lessons from the consequences of life in the fast lane.
- Knock Off -- Because of excessive violence, sexual innuendo, foul language and occasional profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Knock Off is a high tech, low concept action thriller with musclebound Jean-Claude Van Damme battling renegade Russian agents in Hong Kong. Like the title, the boring plot is as bogus as the mindless violence it dishes out.
- Dance with Me -- Because of romantic complications and unmarried sexual relationships, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested. Dance with Me offers overblown musical romance with a Latin beat as a Cuban youth comes to Texas to meet the man he's certain is his father, then falls for a dance studio instructor while helping restart her professional dancing career. The thinly developed story relies on increasingly elaborate dance routines to provide the interest missing from stereotyped situations and characters.
- Next Stop, Wonderland -- Because of its ambiguous view of unmarried sexual relationships, much 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. Next Stop, Wonderland is an off-beat comedy in which a Boston nurse searches for a serious relationship while a serious-minded plumber seeks to become a marine biologist, with these two kindred spirits meeting only at movie's end. The parallel stories poke fun at the singles scene, especially the pathetic games played by males, while pointing to a more traditional notion of romance.
- Slums of Beverly Hills -- Because of explicit sexual situations and references, nudity, violence, drug usage, rough language and profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Slums of Beverly Hills is a lethargic coming-of-age tale in which a 15-year-old girl learns about life from her sour divorced dad and about sex from a mixed-up cousin and a local drug dealer. The result is a glossy but empty picture centered in a charmless collection of losers whose troubled behavior is meant to be seen as amusing.
The family video of the week is Barney's Great Adventure: The Movie -- The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-I -- general patronage. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is G -- general audiences. Barney's Great Adventure: The Movie follows TV's purple dinosaur and three young friends as they join in a parade, have fun at the circus and happen on some hot air balloons in which they take flight by using their imagination. The syrupy story and colorful musical numbers are aimed specifically at pre-schoolers who will enjoy it all the more with the rest of the family alongside them.
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."