WASHINGTON (July 9, 1999) -- The 1-800-311-4CCC movie line reviews Big Daddy for the week of July 9-15. Also included on the toll-free line is a review of The King and I, 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 9-15 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.
- Arlington Road -- Because of sporadic violence, an implied affair, some profanity and occasional rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Arlington Road is a chilling thriller about a widowed father (played by Jeff Bridges) who teaches a course on terrorism and becomes increasingly paranoid in his belief that his mild-mannered neighbor (Tim Robbins) is plotting a massive terrorist attack on U.S. soil. The ominous narrative gradually picks up steam to pack a wallop with its shattering conclusion.
- American Pie -- Because of its scornful treatment of premarital virginity, sexual situations including masturbation and oral encounters, some nudity, gross toilet humor, occasional profanity and recurring rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. In American Pie a quartet of sex-obsessed high school seniors make a pact to all lose their virginity by prom night and set about lining up willing partners. The gross comedy's focus on sex as mere sport with no consequences is relentlessly one-track and clearly aimed at impressionable teens.
The family video of the week is The King and I -- The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-I -- general patronage. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America. The King and I is a tuneful animated version of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical in which the imperious king of 19th-century Siam hires a prim English schoolmarm to teach his many children Western ways but discovers he has much to learn himself. The pretty animation is overshadowed by the splendid music and well-known lyrics that should entertain viewers of every age.
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."