WASHINGTON (July 23, 1999) --The 1-800-311-4CCC movie line reviews EYES WIDE SHUT for the week of July 23-July 29. Also included on the toll-free line is a review of ROBIN HOOD, 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 23-July 29 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.
- Drop Dead Gorgeous -- Because of offscreen violence, a few sexual references, intermittent 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. Drop Dead Gorgeous is an uneven satire about a Minnesota teen beauty pageant in which a former winner (Kirstie Ally) stops at nothing to ensure her pampered daughter (Denise Richards) wins over a more talented rival (Kirsten Dunst). Director Michael Patrick Jann captures some of the wacky desperation of beauty contests, but in flailing at many satirical targets, including religious sentiment, gets only scattershot comedic results.
- 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.
- The Haunting -- Because of gory violence, including a decapitation, and intermittent 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. The Haunting is set in a spooky old house in rural New England where a psychologist uses three volunteers for an experiment in fear that goes awry as the house begins to come alive with the evil spirit of its builder. The special effects horror is laboriously overdone and leaves nothing to the imagination, a mistake not made in the 1963 original which remains the one to see.
- Inspector Gadget -- Because of comic violence and mild sexual innuendo, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested. Inspector Gadget is a dopey adventure comedy starring Matthew Broderick as a bionic policeman slowly learning how to use the various crime-fighting gadgets with which his body has been equipped. Based on a TV cartoon character, this live-action Disney misfire is a waste of time.
The family video of the week is Robin Hood -- The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-I --general patronage. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is G --general audiences. Robin Hood is a Disney feature cartoon offering a humorous version of the exploits of the English folk hero who robbed from the undeserving rich to give to the exploited poor. The cast consists of crisply drawn animals who lend themselves to such characterizations as Robin being a crafty fox and King John as an anemic lion. Older viewers will appreciate the classic Disney-style animation under the direction of Wolfgang Reitherman, while younger viewers enjoy the comic derring-do.
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/movies1.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."