WASHINGTON (June 4, 1999) --The 1-800-311-4CCC movie line reviews Notting Hill for the week of June June 4-10. Also included on the toll-free line is a review of The Sea Gypsies, this week's suggested home video for family viewing.
The 800 movie review line is a project of the Catholic Communication Campaign (CCC).
The June 4-10 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.
- Notting Hill -- Because of an off-screen sexual encounter, some crude references, occasional profanity and minimal 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. Notting Hill is a gauzy romantic comedy in which a Hollywood movie star (played by Julia Roberts) and a timid London bookseller (Hugh Grant) fall in love but he finds himself too intimidated by her fame to pursue the relationship. The contrived crowd-pleaser is long on stunning smiles and sugary sentiment but short on realistic romance.
- The Thirteenth Floor -- Because of sporadic nasty violence, some sexual innuendo, intermittent rough language 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. The Thirteenth Floor is a densely plotted sci-fi thriller involving a murder in parallel worlds, including Los Angeles 1937 and the present, with characters slipping between dimensions as they search for one true reality. The convoluted tale plays intriguing mind games with viewers until the weakly constructed climax goes over the top then ends unconvincingly.
- Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace -- Because of sci-fi
swordfights and battle sequences, 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 Phantom Menace is a disappointing prequel to the "Star Wars" trilogy in
which two Jedi knights (played by Liam Neeson and Ewan McGregor) intent on
saving the planet Naboo from Federation invaders enlist the help of a young
boy who will eventually become the evil Darth Vader. By emphasizing
fantastical creatures and myriad special effects, writer-director George Lucas
loses much of the movie's human dimension and ends up achieving mostly visual
- Limbo --Because of an off-screen sexual encounter, recurring rough
language, fleeting off-screen violence and occasional profanity. The U.S.
Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture
Association of America rating is R -- restricted.
In Limbo a fisherman (played by David Strathairn), his new girlfriend (Mary
Elizabeth Mastrantonio) and her estranged daughter (Vanessa Martinez) find
themselves stranded on an Alaskan island after escaping a boat where a murder
has taken place. The uneven drama meticulously explores the roiling emotions
of troubled characters as they struggle to survive or at least make peace with
- The Love Letter -- Because of an off-screen affair, references to a
same-sex relationship, fleeting nudity and a few instances of rough language,
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.
The Love Letter is a lightweight tale set in a New England village where
romantic complications ensue among the residents (including Kate Capshaw, Tom
Selleck, Tom Everett Scott and Ellen DeGeneres) when several of them believe
they are the intended recipient of an anonymous love letter. The comedy's
charms are minor and its resolution weakly dramatized.
- Instinct -- Because of intermittent violence and a few instances of
rough language and profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is
A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R --
In Instinct, psychiatrist Cuba Gooding, Jr. must uncover why imprisoned
American anthropologist Anthony Hopkins chose to abandon civilization for life
among Ruwandan gorillas which led to his killing two park rangers a few years
later. Balancing out a simplistic script and formula scenes of prison
brutality are the steely performances of the two intense actors.
The family vidoe of the week is The Sea Gypsies -- The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-I -- general patronage. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is G -- general audiences. The Sea Gypsies is a Swiss Family Robinson sort of adventure as five people reach shore after their boat sinks off the Alaskan coast, then must learn to cope with its forbidding terrain and visits from hostile animals. The result is enjoyably unpretentious entertainment for all, though some youngsters may be frightened by skillfully-done scenes involving unfriendly wildlife.
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."