WASHINGTON (May 14, 1999) --The 1-800-311-4CCC movie line reviews William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream for the week of May 14-20. Also included on the toll-free line is a review of Gordy, this
week's suggested home video for family viewing.
The 800 movie review line is a project of the Catholic Communication Campaign (CCC).
The May 14-20 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.
- William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream -- because of romantic complications and, fleeting nudity, 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.
William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream is an uneven adaptation of the Bard's comedy in which forest fairy Puck causes all manner of romantic upheaval overnight by casting spells on a quartet of mismatched young lovers, a hammy actor (played by Kevin Kline) and fairy queen Michelle Pfeiffer. Not all the cast excel in articulating Shakespearean dialogue but the fanciful and luminous visuals look sprinkled with, fairy dust.
- Trippin' -- Because of fleeting comic violence, sexual situations with brief nudity, repeated racial slurs, much rough language and an instance of profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-IV --adults, with reservations. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -restricted.
Trippin, is a crude high school comedy about an aimless day-dreaming senior (played by Deon Richmond) who pretends to be college bound to impress a serious classmate (played by Maia Campbell) and ends up following her lead. The central character's puerile fantasies perpetuate negative racial stereotypes which are clumsily overcome in the narrative by preachy warnings about staying in school.
- Entrapment -- Because of a romanticized view of crime, fleeting
violence and a few instances of rough language and profanity, the U.S.
Catholic Conference classification is A-IV, adults, with reservations. The
Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents are strongly
cautioned that some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.
Entrapment is a mindless escapist caper in which a wily insurance
investigator (played by Catherine Zeta-Jones) appears to join forces with the
world's craftiest art thief (played by Sean Connery) to nail him red-handed.
The glossy fantasy of double-crossing daredevils is sluggishly directed which
limits the suspense.
- The Mummy -- Because of recurring stylized violence and fleeting partial nudity, 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 Mummy is a spirited horror adventure set in 1920's Egypt where a treasure hunting Yank (played by Brendan Fraser) is confronted by a revived 3,000 year-old mummy whose evil powers seemingly know no bounds. The lavishly shot action movie is stuffed with spooky special effects and comical moments that downplay horror in favor of rousing, old-fashioned entertainment.
- Tea with Mussolini - Because of some threatening situations, sexual references and a few instances of coarse language the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-II adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested.
Tea with Mussolini is a warmly nostalgic tale in which several art-loving English matrons (played by Maggie Smith, Joan Plowright and Judi Dench) residing in 1930's Florence care for an abandoned boy who returns as a teen to help when they are interned as enemy aliens during World War 11. While it shows how the Italian youth lad comes to appreciate English culture what succeeds best is the gently humorous depiction of the women, including their two brassy American pals (Cher and Lily Tomlin) and how they manage to survive the tragic circumstances of wartime Italy.
- Black Mask -- Because of excessive violence with gore, a rough-sex encounter, much rough language and an instance of profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is 0 morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. In Black Mask, set in Hong Kong, a genetically enhanced human (played by Jet Li) joins forces with a cop to battle super criminals intent on world domination. The martial-arts slugfest seems intent only on cataloging myriad ways to maiza and slaughter opponents.
The family video of the week is Gordy -- The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-I -- general patronage. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is G -- general audiences. Gordy is a family movie with some comic menace in which Gordy, the talking piglet sets off to rescue his family from the slaughterhouse, is helped along the way by the daughter of a country musician and eventually becomes a national celebrity before resuming his original quest. The busy cornpone narrative relies on viewer willingness to accept the fantasy of a cute talking animal, something youngsters may find more congenial than their elders.
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."