WASHINGTON (August 27, 1999) -- The 1-800-311-4CCC movie line reviews A Dog of Flanders for the week of August 27-September 2. Also included on the toll-free line is a review of Barney's Great Adventure: The Movie, 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 27-September 2 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.
- A Dog of Flanders -- Because of stylized violence, some intense
menace, an implied sexual encounter and a few cuss words, the U.S. Catholic
Conference classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. The Motion
Picture Association of America rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested.
A Dog of Flanders is an engrossing version of the Ouida novel in which an
orphaned 19th century Flemish boy, encouraged by local painter Jon Voight to
become a great artist, gives up after losing a painting contest and is accused
of arson, then faces death in a snow storm until a miracle gives him a second
chance. The movie richly evokes the period in exploring the poor lad's
problems and prospects, his love of his deceased mom and his yearning for his
- Dudley Do-Right -- Because of comic violence, much menace and
assorted vulgarities, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-II --
adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG
-- parental guidance suggested.
Dudley Do-Right is a thin live-action comedy based on the TV cartoon series
in which the hopelessly square Canadian Mountie of the title (played by
Brendan Fraser) gets some help from his faithful horse in saving his dim
sweetheart (Sarah Jessica Parker) from a villain (Alfred Molina) who's using a
fake gold rush to fleece novice prospectors. There are more easy laughs than
genuine humor in the corny dialogue, weak sight gags and frantic slapstick
- The Muse -- Because of a few instances of profanity and a flash of
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 The Muse a failing screenwriter (played by Albert Brooks) is forced to
indulge every pampered wish of a woman (Sharon Stone) he believes to be a
genuine muse whose inspiration will turn around his career. Brooks, who also
directs, mocks the Hollywood value system quite amusingly, but has nowhere to
go with the silly premise beyond clever one-liners.
- Life Is Beautiful -- Because of its Holocaust setting, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents are strongly cautioned that some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. Life Is Beautiful offers a bittersweet comic fable in which an Italian Jew convinces his little son their grim existence in a Nazi concentration camp is just a game which they are sure to win. The subtitled picture begins as a comedy about the young man's courtship and marriage, then switches midway into the touchingly human story of a parent's determination to protect his child from terror and misery.
- The 13th Warrior -- Because of some gory battlefield violence with
decapitations, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults.
The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted.
The 13th Warrior is a chaotic tale of tenth-century Vikings who force a
traveling Arab diplomat Antonio Banderas to fight with them against savage
cannibals decimating one of their kingdoms. The constantly panning camera,
murky visuals and often incomprehensible dialogue amount to a dark and dreary
- The Astronaut's Wife -- Because of some intense violence, explicit sex, an attempted abortion, rough language and profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. The Astronaut's Wife is a lame sci-fi thriller in which a woman begins to suspect her husband has been replaced by an alien, then fears she will give birth to its alien offspring. The movie's weak premise, pedestrian pacing and predictable ending turn this supposed thriller into a limp misfire.
The family video of the week is Barney's Great Adventure: The Movie -- The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-I -- general patronage. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is G -- general audiences. Barney's Great Adventure: The Movie follows TV's purple dinosaur and three young friends as they join in a parade, have fun at the circus and happen on some hot air balloons in which they take flight by using their imagination. The syrupy story and colorful musical numbers are aimed specifically at pre-schoolers who will enjoy it all the more with the rest of the family alongside them.
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."