WASHINGTON (December 31, 1998) --The 1-800-311-4CCC movie line reviews Mighty Joe Young for the week of December 31-January 7. Also included on the toll-free line is a review of Madeline, 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 31-January 7 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.
- Mighty Joe Young -- Because of brief violence and sporadic mayhem, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested. Mighty Joe Young is an entertaining remake of the 1949 monster fantasy in which a young woman saves a giant-sized ape from South African poachers by relocating it to a stateside nature preserve from which it escapes to endanger the local populace. The ape's hokey adventures are fairly tame but what's impressive are the visuals of the huge beast interacting with puny humans.
- Down in the Delta -- Because of a scene of substance abuse and a veiled reference to prostitution, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents are strongly cautioned that some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. Down in the Delta is an uplifting tale in which drug-addicted, single mom Alfre Woodard takes her two young children from the inner city to make a fresh start in rural Mississippi with her righteous uncle and Alzheimers-afflicted aunt. It's a story of hope, and the healing power of family, flawed only by the apparent ease of the troubled woman's transformation.
- Patch Adams -- Because of an off-screen act of tragic violence, fleeting nudity and a few coarse words as well as double entendres, 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. Patch Adams offers a fact-based comedy-drama with Robin Williams as an idealistic medical student whose belief in the healing power of humor leads him to risk dismissal from medical school. The unabashedly sentimental story lacks subtlety but Williams' ingratiating performance and his character's beliefs provide some appeal.
- The Prince of Egypt -- Because of some emotionally intense scenes, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested. The Prince of Egypt retells the biblical story of Exodus in a beautifully crafted animated feature that focuses on Moses' conflicts with having been raised as the Pharaoh's adopted son, then leading his oppressed people from bondage in Egypt. The result is an impressive animated spectacle told in compelling fashion, though younger children may find it an overwhelming experience with some harrowing scenes.
- The Faculty -- Because of gory violence, sexual references and innuendo, the use of drugs as a plot device, 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. The Faculty is an inept sci-fi horror tale about body snatchers from outer space taking over a high school until some students find a way to fight back. The formula plot has some scary effects but little suspense, with the slack taken up by the teenagers' preoccupation with sex and drugs.
- Stepmom -- Because of a live-in relationship, sexual references 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. Stepmom is a pointed drama with Susan Sarandon as a seriously ill mother whose ex-husband's glamorous fiancee has insufficient parenting skills to raise two impressionable youngsters. Sarandon's searing performance as the dying mom anchors a heartfelt tale exploring the painful aftermath of divorce for children and adults alike.
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/index.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."