WASHINGTON (October 9, 1998) -- The 1-800-311-4CCC movie line again leads with a review of Antz for the week of October 9-15. Also included on the toll-free line is a review of The Big Sombrero, 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 9-15 list includes the following theater releases and their classifications according to moral suitability. Movies are evaluated according to their 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.
- Holy Man -- Because of some sexual references and minimal profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested. Holy Man is a tepid tale with Eddie Murphy as a spiritual guru who helps turn a failing home shopping network into a booming business. The result is a feel-good comedy drama promoting love, harmony and self-esteem in superficial fashion.
- 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.
- One Tough Cop -- Because of intermittent violence, implied affairs, occasional profanity and much rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults.
The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. In One Tough Cop, a New York City police detective tries to do his job despite being saddled with an alcoholic partner and pressures from his superiors to bug a lifelong friend with criminal connections. The would-be gritty story is too contrived to be anything more than a mediocre crime melodrama.
- 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 The Big Sombrero -- The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-I -- general patronage. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America. The Big Sombrero follows singing cowboy Gene Autry south of the border as he saves a Mexican senorita from a gang of stateside swindlers after her ranch. Released in 1949, the picture's simple story offers some genial humor, pleasant country music and almost no violence until the action-packed final reel.
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."