Web site TV for May 9 – May 15, 2010
TV film fare -- week of May 9
The following are capsule reviews of theatrical movies on network and cable television the week of May 9. Please note that televised versions may or may not be edited for language, nudity, violence and sexual situations.
Tuesday, May 11, 8-10 p.m. EDT (TCM) "Drums Along the Mohawk" (1939). Sparkling outdoor adventure saga of a colonial couple (Claudette Colbert and Henry Fonda) who settle in New York's Mohawk Valley, where they are beset by Indian attacks led by English officers during the Revolutionary War. Directed by John Ford, the picture alternates lovely sequences of bucolic farming life with stirring action scenes and plenty of rough frontier humor. Some stylized violence but in a meaningful context holding appeal for all members of the family except preschoolers. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification of the theatrical version was A-I -- general patronage. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America.
Thursday, May 13, 5:30-8 p.m. EDT (AMC) "Star Trek: First Contact" (1996). Headed by its bold captain (Patrick Stewart), the 24th-century Starship Enterprise battles an on-board invasion by killer aliens while racing back to the year 2063, where a crisis on planet Earth could terminate humankind. Director Jonathan Frakes weaves together two separate stories for a sci-fi tale of old-fashioned adventure jazzed up with futuristic visuals. Some stylized violence and fleeting sexual innuendo. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting 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.
Friday, May 14, 1:30-3:15 a.m. EDT (TCM) "Black Robe" (1991). After arriving in 17th-century New France, a Jesuit missionary (Lothaire Bluteau), guided by Algonquins, endures both a dangerous journey through the Canadian wilderness and an Iroquois attack to reach a distant Huron mission. Toward the end, director Bruce Beresford manages to put the cultural clash between the humorless priest and the unbelieving Native Americans in a moving spiritual context. Some brief but graphic violence and several shadowy sexual encounters with momentary nudity. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification of the theatrical version was A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating was R -- restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.
Saturday, May 15, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. EDT (AMC) "Mustang Country" (1976). Joel McCrea plays an aging cowboy who is joined by a little Indian boy (Demetri Mina) in attempting to capture a wild horse while eluding a three-toed grizzly, who is the villain of the piece because he kills more than he eats. Directed by John Champion, the result is a predictable wildlife adventure movie for family viewers, but one that youngsters will especially enjoy. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification of the theatrical version was A-I -- general patronage. The Motion Picture Association of America rating was G -- general audiences. All ages admitted.
Saturday, May 15, 8-10 p.m. EDT (ABC) "Just Like Heaven" (2005). Charming romantic fantasy about a dedicated young doctor (Reese Witherspoon), comatose after a near-fatal car accident, whose spirit "haunts" a grieving widower (Mark Ruffalo) who has rented her former apartment. Despite a somewhat formulaic setup and an uncertain start, director Mark Waters directs with just the appropriate gossamer touch, and the highly appealing leads play with the requisite delicacy. Some sexual innuendo and banter, mild profanity, a few crass expressions, brief rear hospital nudity, mild medical procedures including incisions, some occult thematic material, and an exorcism used for comic point make this best for adults (and older adolescents).The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification of the theatrical version was A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating was PG-13 -- parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.
Saturday, May 15, 10 p.m.-12:30 a.m. EDT (Cinemax) "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" (2009). Overlong, mindlessly violent action adventure sequel in which a college freshman (Shia LaBeouf) and his girlfriend (Megan Fox) assist a group of friendly, shape-shifting alien robots as they battle to defend humanity against the designs of a hostile horde of similar creatures. Derived from the back story of a line of Hasbro toys, director Michael Bay's globe-trotting explosion fest offers only a modicum of human interest amid the thunderous special effects. Pervasive action violence, brief rear nudity, brief nongraphic nonmarital sexual activity, drug use, occasional rough and crude and some crass language, frequent sexual references. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification of the theatrical version was L -- limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. The Motion Picture Association of America rating was PG-13 -- parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.
Here are some television program notes for the week of May 9 with their TV Parental Guidelines ratings if available. They have not been reviewed and therefore are not necessarily recommended by the Office for Film & Broadcasting.
Monday, May 10, 9-11 p.m. EDT (PBS) "Into the Deep: America, Whaling & the World." This episode of the series "American Experience" charts the rapid rise and precipitous decline of the American whaling industry, which powered the start of the industrial revolution and laid the groundwork for a truly global economy in the 18th and 19th centuries (TV-PG - parental guidance suggested).
Tuesday, May 11, 8-10 p.m. EDT (History) "The Real Robin Hood." In conjunction with his forthcoming feature film "Robin Hood," director Ridley Scott explores the myth of the marauding outlaw and his origin as a composite of several historical figures whose exploits date back to the age of the Crusades.
Tuesday, May 11, 9-10:30 p.m. EDT (PBS) "The Wounded Platoon." Documentary recounting the dark tale of the men of the 3rd Platoon, Charlie Company, 1st Battalion of the 506th Infantry, and how their traumatic experiences in the Iraq War have followed them home. A "Frontline" presentation.Wednesday, May 12, 8-9 p.m. EDT (PBS) "Churchill's Deadly Decision." This program, part of the series "Secrets Of The Dead," tells the story of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill's agonizing decision to sink the French fleet to prevent its use by the Nazis in the aftermath of France's capitulation to Germany in the summer of 1940 (TV-PG/V -- parental guidance suggested; moderate violence).