WASHINGTON (October 1, 1999) -- The 1-800-311-4CCC movie line reviews Double Jeopardy for the week of October 1-7. Also included on the toll-free line is a review of Yellow Submarine, this week's suggested home video for family viewing.
The 800 movie review line is a project of the Catholic Communication Campaign (CCC).
The October 1-7 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.
- Double Jeopardy -- Because of some violence, a shadowy sexual encounter, and intermittent profanity and rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Double Jeopardy is a sleek thriller in which probation officer Tommy Lee Jones chases parolee Ashley Judd across country to prevent her from murdering the two-timing husband who framed her. The straightforward fugitive story maintains suspense without relying solely on the expected revenge motive.
- Blue Streak -- Because of its justification of a major crime, some violence, coarse sexual references, occasional profanity 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. Blue Streak is a routine action-comedy in which thief Martin Lawrence passes himself off as an LAPD detective in order to get access to headquarters where he's stashed a 17 million-dollar diamond. Numerous cliches and Lawrence's comic mugging don't improve a movie where the thief is seen as a hero who deserves his instant millionaire status after escaping with police complicity.
- Jakob the Liar -- Because of some violence, suicides and an implied pre-marital relationship 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 Jakob the Liar, Robin Williams brings hope to despairing fellow Jews fearful of being shipped from their Polish ghetto to Nazi concentration camps by pretending he hears BBC radio reports that Russian liberators are almost at hand. Although well intended, the tragicomedy strains for poignancy amidst bouncy music, forced humor and a halting pace.
- Mumford -- Because of its depiction of sexual fantasies with nudity, a character's prior drug addiction, some rough language and minimal profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Mumford is a quirky tale of a bogus psychologist (played by Loren Dean) whose talent for listening actually spurs his smalltown patients to have insights into their own problems while he struggles with the ethics of becoming romantically involved with an especially vulnerable patient (played by Hope Davis). The gentle ensemble comedy is sweet but slight in exploring a well-meaning quack who eventually comes to terms with his own shortcomings in a responsible way.
- Three Kings -- Because of some fairly graphic violence, a brief sexual encounter and recurring profanity as well as rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Three Kings tells of American soldier George Clooney and three comrades going AWOL at the end of the Gulf War to look for hidden gold but pausing along the way to protect pro-Western Iraqi villagers from marauding nationalist soldiers. The result mixes intense action with sudden spurts of satire and frenzied visuals that ultimately underline the hypocrisy of politics and the insanity of war as well as its inhumanity.
- American Beauty -- Because of brief gory violence, sexual situation including adultery, masturbation and nudity, some 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. American Beauty is a nihilistic black comedy in which a husband (Kevin Spacey) lusts after a blonde teen-ager (Mena Suvari), his shrill wife (Annette Bening) has an affair with a business rival (Peter Gallaher) and their teen daughter (Thora Birch) find solace with a drug-dealing classmate from an equally dysfunctional family. Director Sam Mendes paints a corrosively bleak portrait of family life in which the increasingly desperate behavior of self-absorbed characters culminates in murder.
The family video of the week is Yellow Submarine -- The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-I -- general patronage. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is G -- general audiences. Yellow Submarine is a wonderful animated feature for young and old, with music from the Beatles' Sergeant Pepper album while following the adventures of John, George, Paul and Ringo in the never-never world of Pepperland where they find the Blue Meanies overrunning its lovely terrain. Director George Dunning's animation is a wonder, the music a delight and, of course, Sgt. Pepper and his Lonelyhearts Club Marching Band get their peaceful land back at the end, and those Blue Meanies are not all that mean.
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.
Our Sunday Visitor's Family Guide to Movies and Videos, edited by Henry Herx, is now available in bookstores for $29.95 per copy. MasterCard, VISA, and Discover customers can order direct from OSV by calling 1-800-348-2440. Orders can also be placed online at www.osv.com. Or, send payment plus $5.95 shipping/handling to: Our Sunday Visitor, 200 Noll Plaza, Huntington, IN 46750. OSV can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.