WASHINGTON (August 20, 1999) --The 1-800-311-4CCC movie line reviews Mickey Blue Eyes for the week of August 20-26. Also included on the toll-free line is a review of Meet Me in St. Louis, 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 20-26 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.
- Mickey Blue Eyes --Because of brief violence, some profanity, irreverent depictions of religious art and a few instances of 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. Mickey Blue Eyes is a frail mob comedy in which expatriate British auctioneer Hugh Grant becomes engaged to schoolteacher Jeanne Tripplehorn whose gangster family immediately ensnares him in mob business that could get him killed. The fish-out-of-water premise is stretched pretty thin through the course of some mildly amusing situations.
- 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.
- Teaching Mrs. Tingle -- Because of its implied justification of criminal acts, an off-screen sexual encounter, some violence, underage drinking and an instance of rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents are strongly cautioned that some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. Teaching Mrs. Tingle is a corrosive black comedy in which three high school seniors tie their nasty history teacher (Helen Mirren) to her bedposts, taking bedroom photos of her with the school's drunken, married coach in order to prevent their being expelled for cheating. The smug, emotionally manipulative tale of vicious characters celebrates the teens' outrageously anti-social behavior.
- Universal Soldier: The Return -- Because of excessive violence, nudity, profanity and rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Universal Soldier: The Return is set in a secret government lab where a haywire computer turns a force of almost indestructible human robots loose until stopped by former robot Jean-Claude Van Damme. The cycle of violence in the repetitive sequel is even more mindless than in the original.
The family video of the week is Meet Me in St. Louis -- The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-I -- general patronage. It is not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America. Meet Me in St. Louis is a warmly nostalgic musical celebrating the old-fashioned virtues of close-knit family life as various complications beset parents, grandpa, teenage daughter Judy Garland and the boy next door. The 1944 production lightens the sentiment with good-natured humor; Judy's songs include "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and tiny Margaret O'Brien steals the show with her impish pranks.
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."