WASHINGTON (July 7, 2000) -- The Catholic Communications Campaign's movie review line says that, when it comes to family viewing, it's time to get Help!, the 1965 Beatles movie with enough tunes and droll humor even to satisfy those who may not remember the group's heyday or recognize their songs. Theatrically, The Perfect Storm and The Patriot continue to do well at the box office, and the movie line recommends them. The movie line number is 1-800-311-4CCC.
The U.S. Bishops' Office for Film and Broadcasting Movies evaluates films according to their artistic merit and moral suitability. The list for July 7-13 includes the following movies and their classifications.
- Disney's "The Kid" -- Because of a few crass expressions, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested. Disney's "The Kid" is a sappy fantasy comedy in which a successful yet unhappy Bruce Willis, about to turn 40, gets an unexpected visit from himself as dweeby eight-year-old child who reminds him of his childhood dreams. Though basically sweet, the film's twist on time travel and few laughs don't support its thin premise, skimpy script and undeveloped characters. (Disney)
- 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. (DreamWorks)
- Scary Movie -- Because of a vulgar sexual encounter, recurring drug use, violence and rough language, crude sexual references, repulsive body-fluid humor and full nudity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Scary Movie is a vile gross-out comedy about six teen-agers who accidentally killed a man and are being chased by a black-caped, white-masked serial slasher intent on slaughtering them. It's a poor pastiche of several horror films with a virtually non-existent plot used as a frame on which to hang raunchy, humorless jokes. (Dimension)
- 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. 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 how precious each human life is in the face of nature's awesome power. (Warner Bros.)
- 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. (Columbia)
- 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. (Universal)
- Help! -- The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-I -- general patronage. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of Americas. In the 1965 madcap musical comedy Help! the Beatles are on the run from Oriental religious fanatics seeking a ring which Ringo can't get off his finger. There's a lot of clever editing, some comic menace and slapstick violence, and although the chase's frantic pace eventually wears thin, Beatles' fans will mind a whit.
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.