WASHINGTON (July 14, 2000) – Scary Movie is far more sick than scary says the Catholic Communication Campaign's 1-800 movie line for the week of July 14 - 20. Young people have plenty to keep them entertained this week, however, with Chicken Run and X-Men getting a clean bill of health by the CCC reviewers.
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:
- Disney's "The Kid" Sappy fantasy comedy in which a successful yet unhappy image consultant (Bruce Willis) about to turn 40 gets an unexpected visit from himself as dweeby eight-year-old child (Spencer Breslin) who reminds him of his childhood dreams. Though basically a sweet film, director Jon Turteltaub's interesting twist on time travel and few laughs do not offset a thin premise, underdeveloped characters and a skimpy script. 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)
- 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)
- "X-Men'' -- Entertaining sci-fi thriller that pits outcast humans whose genetic mutations give them super powers against evil mutants intent on ruling over humanity. Based on the Marvel comic book series, director Bryan Singer's live-action film has an absorbing, multi-layered narrative, sharp editing and imaginative special effects, but some sketchy characterizations. Some sci-fi violence and a few instances of crass language. The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents are strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. (20th Century Fox)
- Seven Faces of Dr. Lao -- Diverting entertainment focusing on a traveling circus owned by the mysterious Dr. Lao (Tony Randall who also plays seven other roles) whose performances work strange effects on his audience in a town of the Old West. Director George Pal's fantasy has imaginative special effects and its story should intrigue youngsters and amuse adults. The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-I -- general patronage. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America.
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.