WASHINGTON --The 1-800-311-4CCC movie line reviews Notting Hill for the week of June 11-17. Also included on the toll-free line is a review of Charlotte's Web, 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 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.
- 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
- Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me -- Because of comically intended violence, frequent sexual innuendo, crude references, rude gestures and a few instances of profanity, 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. Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me is a mindless sequel to the '97 spoof in which the swinging British secret agent (played by Mike Myers) time travels back to the '60s to recover his libido and joins forces with a comely CIA agent (Heather Graham) to again save the world from the wacky machinations of a madman and his miniature clone. Silly shenanigans alternate with gross toilet humor and lame sexual innuendo for a mixed bag of goofy, truly tasteless entertainment.
- Besieged -- Because of fleeting violence, a sexual situation, some nudity and brief alcohol abuse, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Besieged is an offbeat drama set in Rome in which a timid English pianist (played by David Thewlis) falls for his wary African maid (Thandie Newton), a medical student whose husband is a political prisoner in their homeland. There are intriguing attempts to convey romantic obsession, but as the characters barely communicate, the outcome lacks emotional resonance.
- 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 -- restricted. 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 video of the week is Charlotte's Web -- The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-I -- general patronage. The Notion Picture' Association of America rating is G -- general audiences. Charlotte's Web is a charming animated version of the E.B. White fable about a piglet named Wilbur who develops from runt-of-the-litter into county-fair champ with a little help from his friends, most notably the wise spider of the title. The 1973 Hanna-Barbera production is a gentle introduction to the natural cycle of life that will entertain the youngsters as well as most other members of the family.
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."