WASHINGTON (March 31, 2000) -- High Fidelity is low on comedy, according to the Catholic Communications Campaign's movie line reviewers this week. A safer bet is to stay home and watch The Winslow Boy, this week's family video of the week.
The movie line number is 1-800-311-4CCC. Movies are evaluated according to artistic merit and moral suitability by the U.S. Bishops' Office for Film and Broadcasting. The March 31-April 6 list includes the following theater releases and their classifications according to moral suitability:
- The Road to El Dorado -- Because of mild animated violence that may scare younger children, fleeting crass language and a somewhat risque romance, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested. The Road to El Dorado is a disappointing animated adventure about two Spanish con men (voices of Kenneth Branagh and Kevin Kline) who find El Dorado, the legendary city of gold, but run into trouble when the natives mistake them for gods. The film has a strong cast of voices and vibrant coloring, but the storyline tends to limp and the flat, formulaic music is forgettable.
- Here on Earth -- Because of an implied sexual encounter, brief violence and 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. Here on Earth is a sweet, schmaltzy teen melodrama about a poor girl (Leelee Sobieski) who falls in love with a rich prep-school boy (Chris Klein) and encounters many obstacles on the path to happiness, including familial opposition, a jealous boyfriend and serious illness. The manipulative plot is filled with contrived dialogue and few surprises in serving up a sentimental look at first love.
- The Skulls -- Because of brief violence, implied sexual situations and some crass 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. The Skulls is a convoluted thriller about an ambitious ivy league student (Joshua Jackson) who joins a secret society to gain status and connections, but after his best friend's mysterious death he discovers that privilege comes with a price. Although visually impressive, the confusing plot drags on interminably while the supposed suspense produces unintentional giggles instead of goosebumps.
- Romeo Must Die -- Because of recurring violence, brief recreational drug use and homosexual innuendo, fleeting 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. Romeo Must Die is a lively hip-hop action drama about an ex-cop (Jet Li) who escapes from a Hong Kong prison to avenge his brother's murder in California only to get caught in a gang war between Asians and African-Americans while falling in love with the rival gang leader's daughter (Aaliyah). The martial-arts action is skillfully choreographed but surprising twists and double crosses produce a convuluted plot marred by skimpy character development.
- Price of Glory -- Because of some violence, brief drug use and fleeting 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. Price of Glory is a hackneyed drama about a has-been Mexican-American boxer (Jimmy Smits) who pushes his three gifted sons to achieve the championship boxing status he could not, but the results prove dire. Weak performances and the clichéd plot offer no new insights into the wearied story of a bitter father living vicariously through his sons.
- High Fidelity -- Because of sexual situations with shadowy nudity, fleeting violence, an abortion reference 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. High Fidelity is a dull-witted romantic comedy about a shiftless record store owner (John Cusack) who is forced to assess his lackluster life when his longtime live-in girlfriend breaks up with him. The loosely constructed plot meanders while the comedy sputters, although the eclectic mix of music provides some respite.
- The Winslow Boy -- The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-I -- general patronage. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is G -- general audiences. In The Winslow Boy a father (Nigel Hawthorne) in 1910 London believes the naval academy has wrongly expelled his 14-year-old son for stealing and at great personal cost, especially to his daughter (Rebecca Pidgeon), engages a prominent lawyer (Jeremy Northam) to prove the lad’s innocence. The story unfolds through elegant dialogue and a marvelous cast of characters, honing and sharpening but not changing a period piece about British justice upholding the rights of a citizen against the power of the state.
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.