TV film fare -- week of May 8
The following are capsule reviews of theatrical movies on network and cable television the week of May 8. Please note that televised versions may or may not be edited for language, nudity, violence and sexual situations.
Tuesday, May 10, 8-11 p.m. EDT (AMC) "Rio Bravo" (1959). Long-winded but pungent Western in which a seasoned sheriff (John Wayne) tries to keep a killer (Claude Akins) from being busted out of jail by his brother's army of gunslingers with only a drunken deputy (Dean Martin), an elderly cripple (Walter Brennan), a callow cowboy (Ricky Nelson) and a saloon hostess (Angie Dickinson) to back him up. Director Howard Hawks savors the desperate situation and its collection of oddball characters as the tension builds to the long-delayed slam-bang conclusion. Assorted stylized violence and sexual innuendo. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-III -- adults. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America.
Thursday, May 12, 10-11:45 p.m. EDT (TCM) "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" (1945). Genial musical comedy about a turn-of-the-century baseball club whose new owner is a woman (Esther Williams), despite which the team heads for the World Series until its star shortstop (Gene Kelly) gets sidetracked by a crafty gambler (Edward Arnold). Director Busby Berkeley combines the colorful period setting with some zestful song-and-dance numbers in dressing up a romantic plot pairing Kelly with Williams and infielder Frank Sinatra with assertive showgirl Betty Garnett. Smoothly contrived, easy-to-take family fare. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-I -- general patronage. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America.
Friday, May 13, 8-10 p.m. EDT (TCM) "The Paleface" (1948). Wild West comedy in which a tenderfoot with a mail-order degree in dentistry (Bob Hope) is tricked into marrying Calamity Jane (Jane Russell), who uses his dental practice as a cover while searching for a gang supplying guns to the Indians. Directed by Norman Z. McLeod, the comic action is fueled by zany sight gags and zippy one-liners, with Hope in top form as the cowardly hero and there's even an amusing, Oscar-winning song, "Buttons and Bows." Stylized violence and sexual innuendo. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-II -- adults and adolescents. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America.
Saturday, May 14, 8-9:45 p.m. EDT (HBO) "How-to Train Your Dragon" (2010). Robust animated fantasy about a teenage Viking (voiced by Jay Baruchel) who goes against his own people by befriending and domesticating the creatures his society has been battling for 300 years. Directors Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois have fashioned an engaging boy's own action-adventure, based on Cressida Cowell's book, with impressive 3-D visuals and a constructive pacifist message. While not overly taxing on brain cells or the imagination, it constitutes an above-average family-oriented ride, keeping in mind younger children may be frightened at times. Much relatively intense fantasy action, some harsh descriptions of Viking-dragon mayhem, two instances of potty language, two mildly off-color references to body parts. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-II -- adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating was PG -- parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.
Saturday, May 14, 8-11 p.m. EDT (ABC) "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End." (2007). Generally listless third leg of blockbuster voyage has Elizabeth (Keira Knightley), Will (Orlando Bloom) and Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) bringing Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) back from the dead before leading a rainbow coalition of pirates against the tyrannical forces of the East India Company. Evidently director Gore Verbinski and crew ran out of cinematic provisions while making this talky, mirth-free installment; its splintered story line and lack of swashbuckling action suggest fatigue, which allowed the creative equivalent of scurvy to set in. Recurring action-adventure violence and peril, including hangings and characters run through with swords, fondling and kissing of a bare female leg, suggestive humor and innuendo, voodoo incantations, a crude expression. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-II -- adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating was PG-13 -- parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.
TV program notes -- week of May 8
Here are some television program notes for the week of May 8 with their TV Parental Guidelines ratings if available. They have not been reviewed and therefore are not necessarily recommended by Catholic News Service.
Sunday, May 8, 2-2:30 p.m. EDT (EWTN) "Tajci: Let It Be." Croatian-born singer Tajci performs a made-for-television musical concert comprised of songs dedicated to Mary.
Monday, May 9, 9-10:30 p.m. EDT (PBS) "Soundtrack for a Revolution." This episode of the series "American Experience" recounts The story of the civil rights movement as heard through its powerful music -- the freedom songs protesters sang on picket lines, in mass meetings, in paddy wagons and in jail cells as they fought for justice and equality (TV-PG/LV -- parental guidance suggested; infrequent coarse language, moderate violence).
Tuesday, May 10, 10 p.m.-midnight EDT (PBS) "Bhutto." Filmmakers Duane Baughman and Johnny O'Hara's documentary profiles the first Muslim woman elected to lead a Muslim nation, former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto (1953-2007). An "Independent Lens" presentation (TV-PG -- parental guidance suggested).
Friday, May 13, 10-11:30 p.m. EDT (EWTN) "St. Bernadette of Lourdes." A cast of more than 160 Catholic children tells the story of St. Bernadette Soubirous, a poor, humble, 14-year-old girl from a village in the south of France, whose 1858 visions of a "beautiful lady" would change the lives of people around the world.