WASHINGTON (October 15, 1999) --The 1-800-311-4CCC movie line reviews Random Hearts for the week of October 15-21. Also included on the toll-free line is a review of It Came from Outer Space, 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 15-21 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.
- Random Hearts -- Because of a discreet sexual encounter, brief violence, minimal profanity and an instance of rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Random Hearts is a plodding melodrama about Washington cop Harrison Ford jeopardizing the re-election of Congresswoman Kristin Scott-Thomas when they become romantically involved after their unfaithful spouses are killed in a plane crash. The picture explores the painful aftermath of adultery in a slowpaced narrative that is emotionally uninvolving.
- The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland -- The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-I -- general patronage. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is G -- general audiences. The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland follows "Sesame Street's" shy little Elmo as he searches for his beloved blanket in a subterranean world where grouch Mandy Patinkin refuses to give back the blanket until he learns a lesson in sharing. The Muppet characters go through their paces in endearing fashion, with preschoolers likely to find messy, garbage-filled Grouchland more amusing than threatening.
- Fight Club -- Because of excessive violence, sexual encounters,
nudity, rough language and profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference
classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of
America rating is R -- restricted.
Fight Club begins as a dark satire of materialistic society, then turns into
a slap-happy fantasy of underground male terrorists out to destroy that
society. Overlong and emotionally primitive, the convoluted plot is an
unsatisfying exercise in self-destruction.
- The Story of Us -- Because of much shrill marital discord with
profanity and rough language, a few sexual references and fleeting rear
nudity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The
Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted.
In The Story of Us, Bruce Willis and Michelle Pfeiffer portray an unhappy
couple with two children who are vacillating about whether to divorce as they
recall the highs and lows of their 15-year marriage. Despite an ultimately
positive message, the movie∆s repetitiveness and heavy-handedness reduce the
characters to unappealing spouses constantly lurching between fury and mushy
- Superstar -- Because of considerable sexual innuendo, comic religious
stereotypes, occasional vulgar language and a sexual expletive, the U.S.
Catholic Conference classification is A-IV -- adults, with reservations. 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 Superstar, Molly Shannon brings her TV comic skit character of a klutzy
Catholic adolescent to the big screen but the thin story of her high school
hi-jinks has little humor and no wit as the dopey central character grows
- American Beauty -- Because of brief gory violence, sexual situations 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 blond teen-ager (Mena Suvari), his shrill wife (Annette Bening) has an affair with a business rival (Peter Gallaher) and their teen daughter (Thora Birch) finds 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 It Came from Outer Space -- The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-I -- general patronage. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America. It Came from Outer Space is imaginative family fare from Ray Bradbury's story about an amateur astronomer who sights a UFO landing in the Arizona desert,
then discovers that the area's inhabitants, including his girlfriend are being taken over by aliens. The isolated desert setting heightens the sense of menace in the strange proceedings, though the aliens' intentions ultimately prove more benign than threatening in the upbeat ending.
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 email@example.com.