WASHINGTON (February 26, 1999) -- The 1-800-311-4CCC movie line reviews October Sky for the week of February 26-March 4. Also included on the toll-free line is a review of Alice in Wonderland, this week's suggested home video for family viewing.
The 800 movie review line is a project of the Catholic Communication Campaign (CCC).
The February 26-March 4 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.
- October Sky -- Because of a mining tragedy, fleeting parental abuse
and a few muttered profanities, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is
A-II -- adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America
rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested.
October Sky is an uplifting tale set in 1957 rural West Virginia where a
miner's son rejects his father's occupation, instead enlisting three
schoolmates to build a functioning rocket in hopes of winning a college
scholarship. The fact-based story sensitively dramatizes the familial
conflicts and how the impoverished youngsters persevere to better themselves
with higher education.
- Office Space -- Because of fleeting nudity, brief sexual references,
gangsta rap lyrics with recurring rough language and racial slurs, and a few
instances of profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III
-- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. In Office Space three downtrodden office buddies conspire to rip off their
soulless corporation, relenting just before another mistreated employee
resorts to more desperate measures. While somewhat predictable, the sly
comedy humorously captures the numbing corporate environment of disposable
workers at the mercy of power-mad superiors.
- 8 MM (8 Millimeter) -- Because of excessive brutality and deadly
sexual violence, rationalization of vigilante justice, some nudity and much
rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is O -- morally
offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R --
8 MM (8 Millimeter) is a nihilistic tale about righteous investigator Nicolas
Cage who becomes a murderous avenger once he determines a teen-age girl was
butchered as the final scene of a porno film production. The violent thriller
offers no insights and wallows in the beastly world of pornographers,
blood-lusting killers and insatiable millionaires.
- The Other Sister -- Because of a discreetly suggested pre-marital
affair, an implied lesbian relationship and brief alcohol abuse, 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 Other Sister is a sentimental romance about two mentally challenged young
adults (played by Juliette Lewis and Giovanni Ribisi) wanting to marry and
live productive independent lives despite the objections of the woman's
overprotective mother (played by Diane Keaton). While poignantly conveying
the difficulties of mainstreaming, the story's often awkward humor makes the
movie seem more manipulative than intended.
- 200 Cigarettes -- Because of its benign view of sexual promiscuity
and substance abuse, recurring profanity and constant rough language, the U.S.
Catholic Conference classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion
Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted.
200 Cigarettes is a strained comedy set on New Year's Eve, 1981 in
Greeenwich Village as a dozen young adults and two teen-age girls desperately
try to sexually connect with members of the opposite sex. Mostly narcissistic
characters and a threadbare storyline translate into a tiresomely drawn-out
take on the battle of the sexes.
- Jawbreaker -- Because of brief violence, a fleeting sexual encounter, frequent innuendo, intermittent rough language and an instance of profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Jawbreaker is a feeble black comedy in which three arrogant high school beauties accidentally kill a classmate then proceed to transform the class geek into a vixen to guarantee her silence about the crime. The girls' catty dialogue lamely satirizes snooty high school cliques, but the stale results are unamusing and derivative.
The Family video of the week is Alice in Wonderland -- The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-I -- general patronage. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is G -- general audiences. In Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, a schoolgirl daydreams her way through a fantasy world of strange creatures and odd personages, from the White Rabbit to the Cheshire Cat. Disney's 1951 animated version of this classic will please the entire family, especially youngsters unfamiliar with the original.
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.usccb.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."