WASHINGTON (August 15, 2000) -- Bless the Child, a thriller, heads the Catholic Communication Campaign 1-800 movie review list for the week August 11-August 17.
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:
- Bless the Child -- Because of its occult theme, recurring violence with some gore, brief drug use and minimal rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-IV -- adults, with reservations. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Bless the Child is an absorbing thriller in which psychiatric nurse Kim Basinger suspects that her six-year-old niece is being targeted by members of a Satanic sect planning to misuse the child's extraordinary powers to fulfill a Biblical prophecy. The familiar good-vs-evil premise is marred by a cheesy ending, but has a convincingly spooky edge with a refreshing emphasis on the selflessness of love.
- The Replacements -- Because of sexually suggestive gestures, brief violence, recurring crude expressions, 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. The Replacements is surprisingly winsome in following a football team of alternate players (including Keanu Reeves) put together during an NFL players' strike by retired veteran coach Gene Hackman. Formulaic but funny, the briskly paced comedy appeals despite a predictable story line, time-worn cliches and stereotypical characters.
- Space Cowboys -- Because of brief menace with intermittent crass language and some profanity, 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 that some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. Space Cowboys is an enjoyable action-adventure flick about four retired pilots played by Clint Eastwood, Tommy Lee Jones, James Garner and Donald Sutherland sent into space forty years past their prime to stop a malfunctioning Russian satellite from smashing into Earth. Despite lacking a plausible plot, the casually paced film maintains interest with colorful characters and impressive visual effects as well as an unexpected finale.
- Autumn in New York -- Because of a few sexual encounters and fleeting rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Autumn in New York is a forgettable romantic drama in which aging playboy Richard Gere discovers true love with a feisty young woman half his age (Winona Ryder) whose grave illness may abbreviate their time together. Performances are hammy and the corny plot is predictable leaving swell shots of fall in the Big Apple as the sole attraction.
- Hollow Man -- Because of much gory violence, a few implied sexual encounters, some nudity and 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. Hollow Man is an uneven sci-fi thriller in which Kevin Bacon plays a rogue military scientist who tests his invisibility formula on himself and is then unable to reverse the procedure. Despite amazing visual effects and an intriguing premise, the film lurches forward trading suspense for explosions while minimally exploring the psychological ramifications of a man without societal constraints.
- Coyote Ugly -- Because of sexual promiscuity, brief crass language and mild bar brawling violence, 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. Coyote Ugly is a forgettable romantic drama in which a young woman, played by Piper Perabo, with songwriting aspirations is sidetracked by her job as a sexy barmaid in New York City's hottest watering hole. Pitifully trite dialogue and a formulaic narrative mark this tiresome film which lacks both dramatic credibility and noteworthy characters.
Family video of the week:
- Benji -- The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-I -- general patronage. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is G -- general audiences. Benji, a tough little mongrel, maintains his independence by begging food only from people who attach no strings and ultimately becomes the hero of his small town by foiling some kidnappers. The 1974 charmer is light, wholesome entertainment with enough tension and false leads to keep children on the edge of the seats as the little dog toughs it out and wins on his own.
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.