WASHINGTON (November 6, 1998) -- The 1-800-311-4CCC movie line reviews The Wizard of Oz for the week of November 6-12. Also included on the toll-free line is a review of The Muppet 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 November 6-12 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.
- The Wizard of Oz -- The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-I -- general patronage. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is G -- general audiences. The Wizard of Oz returns Judy Garland's Dorothy to the big screen for her ride on a cyclone to the magic land over the rainbow in the classic musical fantasy that has delighted generations of families ever since its release in 1939. The movie's color images and soundtrack have been rejuvenated for the enjoyment of a new generation of young viewers.
- The Waterboy -- Because of fleeting nudity, some sexual innuendo, bruising athletic competitions, crude expressions and an instance of rough language, 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. The Waterboy is a slack sports comedy in which dimwitted waterboy Adam Sandler becomes the star player of a Southern college's losing football team, despite the fierce objections of his wild-eyed Cajun mom. Sandler's sweetly stupid character is one of many Southern stereotypes in a halting comedy whose highest value is brute strength.
- Living Out Loud -- Because of some sexual innuendo, minor substance abuse as well as intermittent profanity and rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Living Out Loud is a sweet-natured story in which lonely, newly divorced Holly Hunter befriends her depressed doorman Danny DeVito and the two help each other get on with their lives. It's a small story with big-hearted characters whose mid-life crises are treated with compassion.
- The Siege -- Because of some intense violence and mayhem, brief sexual innuendo and intermittent rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. The Siege is a shrill action picture in which FBI agent Denzel Washington and CIA operative Annette Bening search for Arab terrorists whose bombings have brought New York City under marital law. The densely plotted thriller raises provocative questions about democracy and racism which prove more interesting than the story itself.
- Velvet Goldmine -- Because of sexual situations, full frontal nudity, substance abuse, recurring rough language and occasional profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Velvet Goldmine presents a boring, nihilistic tale of two male rock music stars who become lovers during the glitter days of the early 1970's rock scene. The empty proceedings glamorize bisexual lifestyles in between raucous musical performances.
- Belly -- Because of excessive violence, sexual encounters, nudity, drug abuse and rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Belly is a low-budget crime picture about two African-American pals who rise high in the drug trade, then become fugitives until a bogus crime-doesn't-pay ending. The narrative is an ugly, incoherent mess which glories in violence and its material rewards.
The family video of the week is The Muppet Movie -- The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-I -- general patronage. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is G -- general audiences. The Muppet Movie follows Kermit the Frog and the rest of the Muppet crew on a cross-country jaunt that ends with Kermit's studio audition in Hollywood. Jim Henson's Muppet characters have some fun turning each of the locations they visit into a stage for their brand of entertainment which will delight most family viewers.
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.shtmll.
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."