WASHINGTON (September 25, 1998) -- The 1-800-311-4CCC movie line reviews Without Limits for the week of September 25-October 1. Also included on the toll-free line is a review of Lady and the Tramp, 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 25-October 1 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.
- Without Limits -- Because of explicit sexual situations, brief rear nudity, rough language and 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. Without Limits follows the short career of University of Oregon track star Steve Prefontaine as he trains for the 1972 Munich Olympics, then pulls himself together after losing there, only to die in a tragic 1975 auto accident. This dramatization about a talented athlete portrays him as a quirky, self-centered rebel whose obsession with winning will appeal to few beyond sport fans.
- Ronin -- Because of much stylized violence, some rough language and occasional profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Ronin is a well-crafted action thriller with Robert De Niro heading a band of professional gunmen in a hijacking that leads to a frantic chase across France. It's an old-fashioned crime caper paced with shootouts, car chases, murky international intrigue and picturesque French locales.
- Pecker -- Because of its comic treatment of a sexual encounter, a striptease with fleeting nudity, shoplifting, misuse of a religious statue, occasional rough language and instances of profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-IV -- adults, with reservations. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Pecker is a generally sweet-natured satire in which an amateur photographer in Baltimore is suddenly discovered by New York art critics who bring intrusive and unwanted attention to his family and girlfriend. The thin premise tosses innocent characters into raunchy settings calculated to amuse more than offend, but the comic returns are slight.
- One True Thing -- Because of a tragic death, some sexual references, several scenes of inebriation and occasional use of rough language and profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. One True Thing is a contemporary family drama with Meryl Streep as a cancer-stricken mother whose grown daughter returns home to care for her, with both gaining a deeper understanding of the other. The movie is rooted in the traditional values of home and family relationships, though the story unfolds under the cloud of an investigation into the cause of the mother's death.
- Rush Hour -- Because of recurring violence, nasty menace to a child, a few racial slurs and intermittent profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents are strongly cautioned that some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. Rush Hour is a mindless action picture with Jackie Chan as a Chinese cop teamed with a Los Angeles police detective in trying to rescue a Chinese diplomat's daughter from an Asian crime lord. Brutal violence and deadly menace are portrayed as exciting, jokey fun that has no consequences.
- Urban Legend -- Because of excessive violence, fleeting sexual encounters and innuendo, intermittent rough language and some profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Urban Legend is a gory horror tale about a college coed and her friends being stalked by a campus serial killer. The movie's initial suspense soon gives way to a grotesque barrage of senseless slaughter.
The family video of the week is Lady and the Tramp -- The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-I -- general patronage. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is G -- general audiences. Lady and the Tramp is an animated feature about a cute cocker spaniel who loses her place in a Victorian couple's affections when their first child is born, then regains it through the efforts of a free-spirited mongrel. The 1955 Disney production features some delightful songs by Peggy Lee and a cast of loveable dog characters of special appeal to youngsters.
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."