WASHINGTON (July 16, 1999) --The 1-800-311-4CCC movie line reviews Eyes Wide Shut for the week of July 16-22. Also included on the toll-free line is a review of Alice in Wonderland, 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 16-22 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.
- Eyes Wide Shut -- Because of graphic sex scenes, full nudity, drug use and rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted.
Eyes Wide Shut is a failed cautionary tale about a mixed-up Manhattan physician who sneaks into a satanic cult's sex orgy from which he barely escapes with his life to return home a more sober husband. Director Stanley Kubrick's final picture is a major disappointment in its cold-hearted, heavy-handed treatment of shallow characters in thinly contrived situations that fail to elicit any empathy.
- Muppets From Space -- The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-I -- general patronage. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is G -- general audiences. Muppets From Space is a merry tale about muppet Gonzo discovering he is an alien and inviting his extraterrestrial relatives to visit even though a government operative (played by Jeffrey Tambor) wants them attacked on sight as enemy invaders. The madcap movie orchestrates frolicsome foolishness with goofy sight gags, gentle humor and upbeat musical numbers that translate into family-friendly entertainment.
- Lake Placid -- because of some predatory violence with decapitations, sex references, occasional profanity and intermittent rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Lake Placid is a lame horror-comedy in which big-city paleontologist Bridget Fonda, earnest game warden Bill Pullman and wealthy eccentric Oliver Platt insist on helping a rural sheriff catch a huge crocodile that has devoured a few locals. The movie offers sparse spurts of comic mileage and suspense is equally absent.
- The Wood -- Because of sexual situations, brief violence, fleeting rear nudity, minimal profanity and much rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. The Wood is a drawn-out yet warm-hearted tale of three African-American buddies, one of whom (played by Taye Diggs) vaccilates about taking his vows hours before his wedding while another (Omar Epps) recalls in flashback their awkward teenage fumblings with the opposite sex a dozen years earlier. The comically intended macho posturings are overly familiar but the three are finally revealed as men more prepared to accept marital commitment.
- Run Lola Run -- because of stylized violence, drug dealing, sexual innuendo and occasional rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A- III--adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Run Lola Run is a subtitled German production providing three alternate versions of what transpires during the 20 minutes it takes Lola to race across Berlin on foot while getting the money needed to save her lover from a drug dealer's bullet. Using all kinds of cinematic devices from split screens to flash forwards, what holds the movie together is the energy of the performers and the pace of the action, with the race against the clock central to its appeal.
- 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 Alice in Wonderland -- The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-I -- general patronage. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is G -- general audiences. In Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, a schoolgirl daydreams her way through a fantasy world of strange creatures and odd personages, from the White Rabbit to the Cheshire Cat. Disney's 1951 animated version of this classic will please the entire family, especially youngsters unfamiliar with the original.
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."