WASHINGTON (June 30, 2000) -- The Catholic Communication Campaign's 1-800 Movie Line is braced for The Perfect Storm, an action-packed account of the crew of a small fishing vessel and their fates when their craft meets a killer combination of weather conditions. The much lighter Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle, which also appears June 30 to July 6 movie list, is funniest when poking fun at itself and the sardonic cartoon series that inspired it.
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 list includes the following theater releases and their classifications:
- Shaft -- Because of recurring violence, constant rough language and fleeting shadowy nudity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-IV -- adults, with reservations. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Shaft is a slick action drama about an NYPD detective (Samuel L. Jackson) who resigns to track down the only witness to a racially-motivated murder so he can bring the slippery rich-boy killer to justice. Brutality and sharp street language tarnish this update of the 1971 original that otherwise features magnetic performances and an absorbing, twisty narrative.
- Chicken Run -- The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-I -- general patronage. The Motion Picture Association of America is G -- general audiences. Chicken Run is a delightful clay animation tale about a plucky English chicken and her hen pals who, with the help of a flying Yankee rooster, must escape the cruel clutches of an egg farmer intent on turning them into chicken pies. Though it occasionally lags, overall it's both visually pleasing and cleverly amusing despite a few intense moments and some jokes that might go over children's heads.
- Me, Myself & Irene -- Because of implied sexual encounters, brief violence, rear nudity, toilet humor and comic treatment of incessant rough language and profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-IV -- adults, with reservations. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Me, Myself and Irene is an extremely vulgar comedy in which a Rhode Island state trooper (Jim Carrey) with a split personality disorder falls for a young woman (Renee Zellweger) being pursued by deadly crooks and cops. The crude road romance showcases Carrey's manic physicality, but hits new lows in aesthetic offensiveness with its gross body-fluid sight gags and crass stereotyping.
- The Perfect Storm -- Because of discreet sexual innuendo, some 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 PG-13 -- parents are strongly cautioned that some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. In The Perfect Storm, three fierce weather systems collide off the coast of New Foundland jeopardizing a fishing trawler's six-man crew (including George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg) who are caught in its grip as monster waves hamper Coast Guard-Air Force rescue efforts. The fact-based bestseller is adapted to emphasize special-effects thrills over compelling characterizations although it captures the fragility of human life in the face of nature's power.
- The Patriot -- Because of brutal scenes of war violence, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-IV -- adults, with reservations. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. The Patriot is a savage action drama about a former war-hero-turned-pacifist (Mel Gibson) drawn into the American Revolutionary War when his idealistic son joins the fight for colonial freedom. The sweeping historical epic is a compelling story as interested in conveying the tragedy of violent human conflict and destroyed families as it is in depicting graphically intense battlefield scenes.
- The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle -- Because of fleeting crass language and some comically intended violence, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested. In the occasionally diverting Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle, an animated talking moose and a flying squirrel team up with an FBI agent to defeat a power-hungry leader and his two faithful underlings. Combining computer animation with live-action characters, the mediocre comedy's plot drags somewhat but succeeds in garnering hardy laughs when it pokes fun at itself.
Family video of the week:
- Avalon -- The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-I -- general patronage. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested. Avalon is a multi-generational saga about a Russian Jewish immigrant who joins his four brothers in 1914 Baltimore, embraces life in his new land, and watches their extended family, especially his son, pursue the American Dream. It's a well-acted tribute to family values but its positive message is blunted by a heavily nostalgic and sentimental treatment of the characters.
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: 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.