DVD/VIDEO REVIEWS week of August 23, 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.
The Long Good Friday
Tough British gangster movie in which Bob Hoskins gives a remarkable performance as a London gang lord done in by his own pride. Director John Mackenzie invests his brutal underworld story with grim but intelligent realism that some will find unnerving. Some intense scenes of violence. L -- limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. (R) (Image Entertainment; also available on Blu-ray.) 1982
Machine Gun McCain
Paroled convict John Cassavetes pulls off a one-man heist of a Las Vegas gambling casino and is subsequently tracked down by the Syndicate, which disapproves of such private initiatives. Mediocre Italian production directed by Giuliano Montaldo with cast mostly from Italian B-grade movies. Some violence and ethnic stereotyping. Spanish titles option. A-III -- adults. (PG) (Blue Underground; also available on Blu-ray.) 1970
Witty British comedy about a gang of greedy but good-hearted dwarfs who steal a map of creation from the Supreme Being (Ralph Richardson) and use it to bring an adventurous lad into a variety of historical epochs, meeting Napoleon (Ian Holm), Greek warrior Agamemnon (Sean Connery) and Robin Hood (John Cleese). Directed by Terry Gilliam, it is sometimes amusing and always intelligent, but its appeal for youngsters is spoiled by typical Monty Python vulgarities and black humor, some of it violent. A-III -- adults. (PG) (Image Entertainment; also available on Blu-ray.) 1981
Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg
Warmhearted documentary celebrating the life and career of Gertrude Berg, the creator, principal writer and star of "The Goldbergs," a popular radio series about a middle-class Jewish family that became one of TV's first sitcoms in 1949. Filmmaker Aviva Kempner's accomplished profile of this media pioneer, whose scripts promoted familial relationships over possessions, offers insights into the early history of broadcasting, the widespread anti-Semitism against which Berg courageously struggled, and the anti-communism crusade of the 1950s, which temporarily drove the show off the air. Mature themes, including suicide, and incidental but negative treatment of Catholic historical figures. A-II -- adults and adolescents. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America. (New Video Group) 2009
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.