WASHINGTON (October 16, 1998) -- The 1-800-311-4CCC movie line reviews Beloved for the week of October 16-22. Also included on the toll-free line is a review of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, 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 16-22 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.
- Beloved -- Because of some intensely violent images, brief sexual encounters, full nudity and intermittent profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-IV -- adults, with reservations. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted.
Beloved is the affecting story of a woman whose horrific memories of escaping from a Kentucky slave plantation and its violent aftermath are stirred by the visit of an old friend and the arrival of a disturbed young woman. The movie takes an unflinching look at slavery's legacy of shame and violence, with emotionally shattering results.
- 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.
- The Impostors -- Because of some comic sexual situations and innuendo, occasional profanity and some rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. The Impostors is a screwball comedy in which two out-of-work actors in the 1930s become stowaways on an ocean liner whose passengers include a mad terrorist out to blow up the ship. The result is an uneven comedy, best enjoyed for its large assortment of shipboard eccentrics.
- Practical Magic -- Because of some brief violence, an implied affair, 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. Practical Magic tells the muddled tale of sister witches who find themselves bedeviled by the spirit of a man they killed in self-defense. The jumbled proceedings are a mix of sappy romance and patches of fantasy, comedy and horror, but the result never jells into anything that makes sense.
- 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.
- Bride of Chucky -- Because of excessive gory violence, sexual situations, a flash of rear nudity, rough language and profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Bride of Chucky is a mindless horror sequel in which the killer doll of the title and his nasty doll girlfriend seek to take human form in the bodies of two teenagers. The result is a hodgepodge of gruesome killings that are intended to evoke laughter from immature viewers.
The family video of the week is The Adventures of Tom Sawyer -- The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-I -- general patronage. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer retells Mark Twain's classic yarn of boyhood in mid-19th-century Missouri where its spunky young hero gets in and out of scrapes with much good-natured humor. The 1938 version with young Tommy Kelly as Tom is still one of the best, with dandy action sequences paced by domestic scenes reflecting the innocence of youth, though there are some menacing moments 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."