WASHINGTON --The 1-800-311-4CCC movie line reviews Antz for the week of October 2-8. Also included on the toll-free line is a review of True Grit, this week's suggested home video for family viewing.
The 800 movie review line is a project of the Catholic Communication Campaign (CCC).
The October 2-8 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.
- Antz -- Because of some crude expressions and fleeting comic violence, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested. Antz is a computer-animated tale about an ant colony where one of the workers sets out to win the queen ant's sassy daughter and save the colony from a warrior ant's tyrannical rule. Despite the realistic animation, the bland story about following one's dreams proves a disappointment.
- 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.
- A Night at the Roxbury -- Because of implied affairs, a discreet sexual encounter, some crude expressions and a few instances of 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. A Night at the Roxbury follows two losers striking out at nightclubs until they stumble into romance and success in spite of themselves. The witless comedy features gratingly dumb characters whose brainless antics are thuddingly dull.
- What Dreams May Come -- Because of its theme of reincarnation, a suicide and some instances of 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. What Dreams May Come is a muddled romantic fantasy in which Robin Williams dies, reunites in the afterlife with his two children who were also killed, then searches hell for his wife when she commits suicide. Though beautifully photographed, its sappy and often incoherent treatment of life after death is unappealing.
- A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries -- Because of its uncritical view of premarital sex, fleeting violence, occasional profanity and intermittent rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-IV -- adults, with reservations. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries is about the family of an American author who after years of living in Paris returns to the States where his 15-year-old daughter seeks popularity by promiscuous behavior. The father's permissive attitude toward his daughter's sexual activities is a troubling aspect of this fact-based drama exploring the effects of culture shock on a close-knit family.
- Clay Pigeons -- Because of its jokey depiction of sexual violence, a few sexual encounters with nudity as well as constant profanity and rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Clay Pigeons is an inept black comedy about a Montana gas station attendant being framed for murders committed by an out-of-town serial killer. There's nothing remotely amusing about this implausible story of a gleeful murder spree.
The family video of the week is True Grit -- The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-I -- general patronage. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is G -- general audiences. True Grit is a Wild West adventure with John Wayne as a gruff frontier marshal helping a strong-willed little gal (played by Kim Darby) track down her father's killer. Produced in 1969, the pair's rousing adventures and scrapes with death are nicely leavened with good humor and moral values, though children may need support from their elders along the way.
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."