WASHINGTON (August 13, 1999)--The 1-800-311-4CCC movie line reviews Thomas Crown Affair for the week of August 13-19. Also included on the toll-free line is a review of Gulliver's Travels, this week's suggested home video for family viewing.
The 800 movie review line is a project of the Catholic Communication Campaign (CCC).
The August 13-19 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.
- The Thomas Crown Affair -- Because of sexual encounters with nudity, occasional profanity and a few instances of rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-IV -- adults, with reservations. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. The Thomas Crown Affair is a cat-and-mouse drama in which a billionaire art thief (played by Pierce Brosnan) and the insurance investigator (Renee Russo), who will net five million for nailing him, become romantically involved, complicating whether she will do her job or take off with him as he suggests. An update of the 1968 Steve McQueen-Faye Dunaway crime caper, the bedroom scenes are more explicit in this glossy escapist fantasy of riches and romance without consequences.
- Bowfinger -- Because of its comic treatment of a starlet's implied promiscuity, an instance of rough language and a few crude expressions, 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 Bowfinger, a desperate Hollywood producer (played by Steve Martin) secretly shoots footage of a top action star (played by Eddie Murphy) to use in his sci-fi-alien movie, but the star's paranoid fear of alien invaders produces comic complications. Steve Martin's script lampoons all sorts of Tinseltown pretensions with wry affection.
- The Iron Giant -- Because of some intense cartoon combat violence and menace to a child, 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 Iron Giant is an absorbing animated adventure about a young boy trying to protect a towering alien robot from a paranoid government agent bent on its elimination even if it means destroying the boy's hometown. The well-crafted tale is both political allegory adults can enjoy and a sweet story of friendship that older children can relate to.
- The Sixth Sense -- Because of gory violence, a menaced child and coarse 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. The Sixth Sense is a clunky psychological thriller in which child psychologist Bruce Willis tries to help a shaky 8-year-old who keeps seeing dead people walking around, though matters ultimately are not what they seem. The story's vague assumptions and boring situations are suddenly thrown into an entirely new light by a twist ending, though few will find the "surprise" worth waiting for.
- Detroit Rock City -- Because of its acceptance of teen recreational drug abuse, demeaning depictions of the clergy, implied sexual encounters including one in a church confessional, some violence, brief nudity, occasional profanity and constant rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is 0 -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Set in 1978, Detroit Rock City is a crude comedy that has four pot-smoking teen-age boys willing to do anything, from stealing to prostitution, to secure tickets to a Detroit concert that night by the rock band Kiss. The shrill proceedings lionize the youngsters' anti-social behavior in what is little more than an extended commercial for the raunchy rock band.
- Brokedown Palace -- Because of an implied sexual encounter, brief violence, fleeting drug abuse 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. In Brokedown Palace two American girlfriends vacationing in Bangkok are framed for drug smuggling by a seductive stranger and face decades behind bars unless an expatriate lawyer can prove their innocence. The belabored drama's loose ends weaken what's meant to be a sobering cautionary tale of severely tested friendship
The family video of the week is Gulliver's Travels -- The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A - I -- general patronage. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America. Gulliver's Travels offers an animated version of Jonathan Swift's tale of a shipwrecked Englishman washed ashore in the diminuative land of Lilliput whose tiny people see him as a . giant. The 1939 production still appeals to youngsters with its pleasing mix of comedy and fantasy as Gulliver tries to fit into this miniature world of rival kingdoms feuding over a royal wedding.
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."