WASHINGTON (October 22, 1999) --The 1-800-311-4CCC movie line reviews Bringing out the Dead for the week of October 22-28. Also included on the toll-free line is a review of The Wizard of Oz, 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 22-28 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.
- Bringing out the Dead -- Because of brief violence including an instance of euthanasia, a gory childbirth, some substance abuse, occasional profanity and recurring rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Bringing out the Dead is a grim tale of burned-out NYC paramedic Nicolas Cage whose frantic nocturnal-ambulance runs expose him to all manner of desperate individuals as he is haunted by visions of those he could not save on the city's mean streets. Intense life-and-death encounters capture the traumatizing effects of the job, but the movie doesn't build sufficient momentum as the paramedic vacillates between a breakdown and the possibility of redemptive love with a patient's daughter.
- Crazy in Alabama -- Because of brief violence, a few sexual references and occasional 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. Crazy in Alabama is an offbeat comedy-drama about Southern wife Melanie Griffith who kills her abusive husband in 1965 and takes off for Hollywood with his head in a hatbox, landing a TV role before having to face the music back home. Flawed by its weak ending, a subplot involving escalating racial tensions lends some gravity to the off-kilter tale.
- 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 Best Man -- Because of a fleeting sexual encounter, crude bachelor-party lap dancing, brief violence, occasional profanity and much 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 Best Man is an uneven romantic comedy about a group of affluent African-Americans in which a wedding is jeopardized when the best man's autobiographical novel suggests he was intimate with the bride-to-be while she was dating his best friend, the now-enraged groom. Often raunchy despite the groom's fervently-held Christian beliefs, which finally lead him to forgiveness, the comedy strains for laughs about the war of the sexes and the double standard.
- Three to Tango -- because of sexual situations and innuendo involving marital infidelity and homosexuality, as well as several instances of profanity and rough language, 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. Three to Tango is a failed sex comedy in which a Chicago architect falls for the mistress of a tycoon but has to pretend he's a homosexual or lose his job. The result is a dreary TV-level sitcom that offers few laughs and has no heart.
- Bats -- Because of recurring violent bat attacks, some profanity and minimal 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. In Bats, a Texas town is decimated by mutant bats on a killing rampage as the sheriff , and bickering scientists struggle to devise a manner to kill them all before the mayhem spreads across the country. The formula horror flick delivers cliches in place of chills, but at least the rapid-fire depictions of the attacks are indecipherable.
The family video of the week is The Wizard of Oz. The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-I -- general patronage. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is G -- general audiences. The Wizard of Oz follows Dorothy as she rides her cyclone to the magic land over the rainbow in the 1939 fantasy classic which skyrocketed Judy Garland's career and has given generations of families prime entertainment time and again.
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.