WASHINGTON (November 13, 1998) --The 1-800-311-4CCC movie line reviews The Rugrats Movie for the week of November 13-19. Also included on the toll-free line is a review of Babe, 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 13-19 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 Rugrats Movie -- The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-I -- general patronage. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is G -- general audiences.
The Rugrats Movie, based on the animated children's TV series, finds the five frisky toddlers lost in a forest on the way to returning the infant brother of one of them back to the baby hospital for being such a loud crybaby. The tykes survive assorted misadventures and dangers while learning about friendship and helping the helpless.
- 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.
- Meet Joe Black -- Because of fleetingly intense violence, a discreet sexual encounter, occasional profanity 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. Meet Joe Black is a dull romantic fantasy in which Brad Pitt is Death in human form who delays claiming media magnate Anthony Hopkins in order to experience life on earth, including falling in love with the alarmed millionaire's vulnerable daughter. The soggy proceedings limp along for three interminable hours offering only opulent visuals to distract from the shallow characterizations.
- Enemy of the State -- because of sporadic violence, sexual references, some profanity and intermittent rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Enemy of the State is a glossy political thriller in which a Georgetown lawyer Will Smith is set up to be framed for murder by a corrupt government surveillance agent unless a mysterious former agent can outsmart the operative at his own game. The relentlessly high-tech chase film overstresses elaborate surveillance gizmos and tracking satellites at the expense of emotional involvement with the characters.
- American History X -- because of some intense gory violence, sexual situations including a homosexual gang rape, brief nudity, racial epithets, recurring rough language and some profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-IV -- adults, with reservations. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. American History X is a violent melodrama in which the leader of a California hate group, convicted of manslaughter for killing two African-Americans, is raped in prison by fellow skinheads, then befriended by a black convict before returning home a changed man. Despite the movie's anti-hate message, it relies on hard-edged violence to convey its sole insight about the danger such groups present to society.
- I'll Be Home for Christmas -- Because of an indulgent attitude toward one character's lying, cheating and stealing as well as fleeting sexual innuendo, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested. I'll Be Home for Christmas -- is a witless road movie in which a manipulative college student must get across the country by Christmas Eve to claim a luxury car, all the while worrying his girlfriend will fall for a romantic rival. The contrived situations are blandly unimaginative and the young man's transformation from smug to sweet unconvincing.
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."