DVD/VIDEO REVIEWS week of June 28, 2010
This week's DVD and Blu-ray releases
The following are capsule reviews of new and recent DVD and Blu-ray releases from Catholic News Service. Theatrical movies have a Catholic News Service classification and Motion Picture Association of America rating. These classifications refer only to the theatrical version of the films below, and do not take into account the discs' extra content.
Romanticized German tale of fantasy and imagination in which a young lad falls in love with a slightly older flirt who has moved in next door, only to find out that his father (Maximilian Schell) is sleeping with the girl. Also directed by Schell, the movie concentrates on atmosphere and mood with bucolic settings and lush photography, but its lack of plot and shallow substance will leave most viewers yawning. A-III -- adults. (R) (VCI Video) 1970
Historical drama set against the background of Gen. Giuseppe Garibaldi's 1860 invasion of Sicily where the prince (Burt Lancaster) of an old aristocratic family refuses to adapt to revolutionary times despite the marriage of his more egalitarian nephew (Alain Delon) to the daughter of a wealthy ex-peasant. Directed by Luchino Visconti from the novel by Giuseppe Di Lampedusa, the result captures a fascinating period of social, political and economic change in a family saga filled with nostalgia for a past, more elegant age. In Italian. English subtitles. Mature themes. A-III -- adults. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America. (Criterion Collection; also available on Blu-ray) 1963
Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
A mildly troubled New York high school student (Logan Lerman) discovers his true identity as a demigod -- offspring of the Greek sea god Poseidon (Kevin McKidd) and a human mother (Catherine Keener) -- and embarks on a quest to prevent a war among the deities of Mount Olympus, assisted by a semi-divine teen girl warrior (Alexandra Daddario) and a courageous but untested adolescent satyr (Brandon T. Jackson). Director Chris Columbus' glossy but shallow screen version of the first in novelist Rick Riordan's best-selling series of children's novels relies on slick special effects to keep the adventure moving forward, though the titular hero's transformation from a 12- to a 17-year-old introduces elements unsuitable for some of the book's younger fans, while parents who see the tale's mythological premise as more than a literary device will hesitate to allow impressionable youngsters to view it. Pagan themes, brief domestic discord, a few instances of sexual innuendo, a couple of crass terms. Spanish language and titles options. A-II -- adults and adolescents. (PG) (20th Century Fox Home Entertainment; also available on Blu-ray) 2010
These movies have been evaluated for artistic merit and moral suitability by the media reviewing division of Catholic News Service. The reviews include the CNS rating, the Motion Picture Association of America rating, and a brief synopsis of the movie.
The classifications are as follows:
A-I -- general patronage;
A-II -- adults and adolescents;
A-III -- adults;
L -- limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. L replaces the previous classification, A-IV.
O -- morally offensive.
Note: Some movies previously were designated A-IV. Older films with this classification should be regarded as classified L.