WASHINGTON (February 18, 2000) -- The 1-800-311-4CCC movie line says "amen" to Lilies of the Field when it comes to family video viewing this week. Also included on the toll-free line is a review of the dark comedy, The Whole Nine Yards.
The 800 movie review line is a project of the Catholic Communication Campaign (CCC).
The February 18-24 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.
- The Whole Nine Yards -- Because of some stylized violence, a few sexual encounters, brief nudity and some rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. In The Whole Nine Yards, mob hit man Bruce Willis, hiding from a dangerous Chicago crime family, moves next door to dim-witted dentist Matthew Perry whose wife (Rosanna Arquette) wants to collect on his life insurance policy. The amusing dark comedy can be off-putting in its breezy treatment of crime but is cleverly plotted and shows off Perry's talent for physical comedy.
- The Tigger Movie -- The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-I -- general patronage. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is G -- general audiences. The Tigger Movie is a buoyant animated feature in which Winnie the Pooh's cheerful bouncing friend, Tigger, tries to discover if he's not the only one of his kind as he seeks out his own "tigger" family. Artfully crafted, near three-dimensional animation leaps out with vivid colors in a clever musical adventure featuring Pooh, Piglet, Roo, Owl, Rabbit and other charming characters.
- The Beach -- Because of some gory violence including a suicide, shadowy sexual encounters with nudity, some recreational drug abuse and recurring 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 Beach is a failed thriller about a restless American traveler (played by Leonardo Di Caprio) who convinces a French couple to journey with him to an idyllic, remote island off Thailand. Once there, they must pay a deadly price to keep the perfect beach a secret. Although visually beautiful, the chaotic film becomes muddled as the beach's bohemian residents discover evil exists even in paradise.
- Hanging Up -- Because of some rough language and brief sexual situations, 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. Hanging Up is a manipulative comedy-drama about harried middle daughter (Meg Ryan) coping with her difficult senile father (Walter Matthau) with little help over the phone from a domineering older sister (Diane Keaton) and a flighty younger sister (Lisa Kudrow). The movie's approach to familial relationships relies on stereotypes of sibling rivalry, using the telephone as a hokey prop.
- Boiler Room -- Because of a sexual encounter, some drug abuse, much rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Boiler Room is a derivative drama about a college drop-out (Giovanni Ribisi) who is seduced by the enticements of greed at a shady, suburban brokerage firm where he hopes to earn a quick million and the respect of his stern father (Ron Rifkin). The film delivers deft characterizations but offers an uninspired narrative that gradually becomes predictable while losing credibility.
- Pitch Black -- Because of intermittent stylized violence, a character's drug abuse, occasional profanity and much rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Pitch Black mixes sci-fi with horror as the survivors of a spaceship crash-landed on a barren planet are pursued by maurading monsters and must turn to a convicted murderer in their midst (Vin Diesel) to lead them to safety. The menacing Diesel anchors a murky movie that seems a patchwork quilt of Alien, The Birds and Lost in Space.
Lilies of the Field -- The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-I -- general patronage. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America. Lilies of the Field stars Sidney Poitier as a jack-of-all-trades who helps a group of German nuns settle in New Mexico, but Lilia Skala as the stern Mother Superior isn't satisfied until he builds them a chapel. The 1963 story of faith coupled with good will has enormous charm in the winning performances of the two principals, some good-natured comedy and the infectious theme song, "Amen."
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 Gerri Pare, Director, and Anne Navarro, Officer, of the USCC Film and Broadcasting Office.
The capsule reviews are available on the World Wide Web. They can be found on two sites: http://www.nccbuscc.org and http://www.CatholicDigest.org/stops/movies/index.html.
Reviews of movies classified by the USCC can also be found in Our Sunday Visitor's Family Guide to Movies and Videos, edited by Henry Herx and available in bookstores for $29.95 per copy. They can also be ordered direct from OSV by calling 1-800-348-2440 or ordered online at www.osv.com.