WASHINGTON (December 11, 1998) --The 1-800-311-4CCC movie line reviews Star Trek: Insurrection for the week of December 11-17. Also included on the toll-free line is a review of Scrooge, this week's suggested home video for family viewing.
The 800 movie review line is a project of the Catholic Communication Campaign (CCC).
The December 11-17 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.
- Star Trek: Insurrection -- Because of intermittent fantasy violence, romantic complications and a few coarse words, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested. Star Trek: Insurrection is a lively addition to the series as Captain Picard (played by Patrick Stewart) and the Enterprise crew defy their superiors in order to save an endangered race on a distant planet. The briskly told story alternates sci-fi action with humorous and romantic subplots for modestly entertaining results.
- Jack Frost -- Because of some menacing situations and a fleeting 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. Jack Frost is about a deceased dad (played by Michael Keaton) who returns to life as a snowman in order to bond with his glum 12-year-old son. The emotions look about as real as the manufactured snow in this trite fantasy meltdown.
- Shakespeare in Love -- Because of brief comic violence, some sexual encounters with nudity and occasional double entendres, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Shakespeare in Love is a spirited farce in which young Will Shakespeare has problems writing "Romeo and Juliet" until he falls for a passionate beauty masquerading as a boy to play the role of Romeo. The result is a zesty concoction of mistaken identities, outsized egos and doomed romance served up with contemporary humor.
- Psycho -- Because of some violence with gore, brief nudity and an implied affair, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Psycho is a faithful re-make of the 1960 black-and-white Hitchcock thriller in which a doomed young woman (played by Anne Heche) vanishes from the Bates Motel, drawing suspicion on its secretive owner (played by Vince Vaughn). The cast and color photography are new but the sleek storytelling and suspenseful build-up remain much the same as in the original shocker.
- Elizabeth -- Because of period violence including religious persecutions, torture and executions, sexual situations and brief nudity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-IV -- adults, with reservations. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Elizabeth re-creates the political intrigues and religious conflicts besetting 16th-century England under the Catholic Queen Mary, then her Protestant half-sister, Elizabeth, who reigns as the Virgin Queen after crushing the Catholic nobles. The dramatization turns a complex and confusing period of history into a series of highly dramatic scenes focusing on Elizabeth's rise to power, though the result never probes beneath the surface of events or motivations.
- Celebrity -- Because of numerous sexual situations, some gross sexual humor, and scene of domestic violence, frequent rough language and occasional profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-IV -- adults, with reservations. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Celebrity is Woody Allen's seriocomic tale in which a small-time New York writer on the trail of the rich and famous gets lost in a series of sexual affairs while his ex-wife remarries and finds happiness as a TV celebrity. The result is flat and labored, but especially unamusing is its hollow treatment of the neurotic writer's chronic infidelity.
The family video of the week is Scrooge -- The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-I -- general patronage. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is G -- general audiences. Scrooge is a musical version of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" with Albert Finney as the poor old title humbug whose disagreeableness is never believable and hence all the more fun to watch. The 1970 British production is lighthearted but intelligent entertainment for all who enjoy old-fashioned, heartwarming make-believe.
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."