WASHINGTON (July 2, 1999) --The 1-800-311-4CCC movie line reviews Wild Wild West for the week of July 2-8. Also included on the toll-free line is a review of Yankee Doodle Dandy, this week's suggested home video for family viewing.
The 800 movie review line is a project of the Catholic Communication Campaign (CCC).
The July 2-8 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.
- Big Daddy -- Because of implied affairs, coarse expressions and gestures, some profanity and fleeting violence, 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. In Big Daddy, Adam Sandler plays an irresponsible 32-year-old temporarily taking custody of a motherless 5-year-old boy to impress a girlfriend, but in the process he learns parenting is more than just hanging out and goofing off. The one-joke movie lurches from toilet humor to blatant brand-name product placements to increasingly sappy sentiment as Sandler's character predictably matures.
- South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut -- Because of excessive rough
language, scatological digressions and sexual references, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted.
South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut is a musical cartoon feature in which grade school children sneak into a raunchy Canadian movie, emerging with a four-letter-word vocabulary that shocks their mothers into a national anti-smut campaign leading to war against Canada. The satiric storyline takes self-serving pot-shots at the movie rating system, the V-chip and censorship, but features little wit and less humor as the children's constant use of foul language is excruciating and the sexual gags are tiresomely juvenile.
- Wild Wild West -- Because of intermittent explosions and stylized violence, some sexual innuendo with double entendres and fleeting rear 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.
In Wild Wild West, based on the '60's TV series, Will Smith and Kevin Kline play dashing post Civil War government agents who must disable a behemoth killing machine operated by a wheelchair-bound madman bent on bringing down the Republic. The blend of sci-fi contraptions and a comic tone in an Old West setting results in hallow escapist entertainment emphasizing impossible stunts and decorative femme fatales.
- Summer of Sam -- Because of numerous rough sexual encounters including a bisexual orgy with nudity, intermittent gory violence, recreational drug
use, some profanity and incessant rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted.
A serial killer who terrorized 1977 New York City forms the backdrop for Summer of Sam, about a druggy hairdresser (played by John Leguizamo) who compulsively cheats on his wife (Mira Sorvino) and whose macho buddies convince him that his sleazy punk rocker pal (Adrien Brody) may be the killer dubbed Son of Sam by the frenzied tabloid media. The shrill drama exaggerates ethnic stereotypes to almost comic, and very inappropriate, effect while
assaulting viewers with a barrage of hostility, perversity and prejudice.
- An Ideal Husband -- Because of fleeting nudity and sexual innuendo plus references to fraud and deceitful behavior, 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. An Ideal Husband, Oscar Wilde's 1895 drawing-room comedy of manners, finds a rising London politician (Jeremy Northam) in danger of losing his career and adored wife (Cate Blanchett) unless a spoiled bachelor ally (Rupert Everett) can outwit a blackmailing femme fatale (Julianne Moore). The streamlined adaptation is visually and verbally elegant with an able ensemble cast skewering the era's social pretensions.
- The Red Violin -- Because of instances of theft, a fleeting sexual encounter, brief nudity, momentary opium use and a few instances of profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America. The Red Violin is a sumptuous drama spanning more than 300 years as an exquisite violin passes from its Italian maker in 1681 to a child prodigy in Vienna a century later, an impassioned virtuoso in late 1800's England, a disgraced music teacher during Mao's Cultural Revolution and on to an eventful auction in contemporary Montreal. Although sluggishly paced, the various stories are enhanced by haunting music, fine visual details and a flair for the dramatic.
The family video of the week is Yankee Doodle Dandy -- The U.S. Catholic Conference
classification is A-1 -- general patronage. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America. Yankee Doodle Dandy is a nostalgic, flag-waving musical starring James Cagney as George M. Cohan, the feisty entertainer , who was born on the Fourth of July and went from vaudeville to Broadway in a songwriting career blending patriotism with Irish charm. The 1942 production features a grand collection of Cohan's best-remembered songs as well as Cagney at the top of his form singing and dancing his way to an Academy Award.
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."