Web site TV for June 6 - June 12, 2010
TV film fare -- week of June 6
The following are capsule reviews of theatrical movies on network and cable television the week of June 6. Please note that televised versions may or may not be edited for language, nudity, violence and sexual situations.
Sunday, June 6, noon-2:30 p.m. EDT (TCM) "The Keys of the Kingdom" (1945). Underrated adaptation of A.J. Cronin's novel about a Scottish priest (Gregory Peck) sent to China at the end of the 19th century where he rebuilds a ruined mission, endures misunderstanding, war and disease but perseveres through humility and cheerful service to win many converts and friends until retirement in Scotland fishing for supper rather than souls. Directed by John Stahl, the narrative is interestingly contrived and Peck's characterization is entirely likeable and sincere though, like so many vintage Hollywood pictures about religion, lacking much spiritual depth. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-I -- general patronage. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America.
Monday, June 7, 8-10:45 p.m. EDT (AMC) "You've Got Mail" (1998). Breezy romantic comedy in which two rival Manhattan booksellers (Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan) trade barbs unaware that they are falling in love with each other through anonymous e-mail messages. Director Nora Ephron turns in a romantic trifle made enjoyable by the winning chemistry between its appealing stars. Implied affairs and an instance of profanity. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating was PG -- parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.
Wednesday, June 9, 8-10 p.m. EDT (TCM) "The Hasty Heart" (1950). Affecting adaptation of John Patrick's play in which a proud Scot (Richard Todd) recovering from a battle wound in an Allied hospital in Burma at the end of World War II refuses the friendship offered by his Canadian nurse (Patricia Neal) and fellow soldiers (notably Ronald Reagan) who know he has a terminal condition. Directed by Vincent Sherman, the contrived situation is laced with humor, including a running gag about what a Scotchman wears under his kilt, but the performances of those in the hospital ward evoke enough genuine emotion to support the pathos Todd achieves as the lonely, vulnerable soldier. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-I -- general patronage. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America.
Saturday, June 12, 8-10 p.m. EDT (HBO) "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" (2009). Lavish and flashy action-packed prequel to the popular "X-Men" series exploring the origins of conflicted superhero Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), including his defining childhood, turbulent relationship with his brother, Victor Creed (Liev Schreiber), role in a team of fellow mutants (Ryan Reynolds, Will.i.Am, Kevin Durand, Dominic Monaghan) led by the duplicitous Col. Stryker (Danny Huston), and tragic romance with schoolteacher Kayla (Lynn Collins). Director Gavin Hood tries not to lose sight of the human elements with Wolverine generally demonstrating moral conscience, though the kinetic action and violence necessarily predominate. Intense action violence, killings, explosions, patricide, fleeting rear nudity, premarital habitation, some crude expletives, crass expressions and brief profanity, limiting its appropriateness to mature teens and up. The Catholic News Service 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, June 12, 8-10 p.m. EDT (TCM) "San Francisco" (1936). Robust romantic melodrama set on the eve of Frisco's 1906 earthquake as Barbary Coast saloon owner Clark Gable vies with Nob Hill swell Jack Holt for the affections of opera singer Jeanette MacDonald, with local priest Spencer Tracy trying to safeguard her best interests. Director W.S. Van Dyke II's colorful period piece has a grand cast in a formula plot whose romantic complications are resolved and ennobled by the quake's destructive magnitude in a finale that still ranks among the most memorable of screen disasters. Not especially suited for children, though enduring, old-fashioned entertainment for the rest of the family. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-I -- general patronage. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America.
Saturday, June 12, 9-10:50 p.m. EDT (Showtime) "Adventureland" (2009). Sensitive but downbeat coming-of-age tale, set in 1987 Pittsburgh, about an awkward college graduate (Jesse Eisenberg) who takes a summer job at a third-rate amusement park and falls for one of his co-workers (Kristen Stewart), not realizing she is having an adulterous affair with an older employee (Ryan Reynolds). Though generally restrained in its presentation of sexuality, director Greg Mottola's wryly nostalgic romance takes a benign view of its characters' frequent indulgence in marijuana and reaches a morally unacceptable conclusion. Nongraphic adulterous and premarital sexual activity, brief partial nudity, repeated drug use, some sexual and fleeting scatological humor, pervasive rough and crude language, and a few uses of profanity. The Catholic News Service 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 R -- restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.
Here are some television program notes for the week of June 6 with their TV Parental Guidelines ratings if available. They have not been reviewed and therefore are not necessarily recommended by Catholic News Service.
Sunday, June 6, 6-7:30 p.m. EDT (EWTN) "Corpus Christi Benediction & Procession From the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville (Live)." The Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word preside over Benediction and the procession of the Blessed Sacrament for the feast of Corpus Christi, live from Hanceville, Ala.
Sunday, June 6, 7-8 p.m. EDT (check local listings) (PBS) "Elaine Paige: Celebrating a Life on Stage." Elaine Paige, known as the "first lady of British musical theater," performs some of her most popular hits in celebration of her 40th anniversary in show business. With music from "Hair," "Evita," "Chess," "Cats," "Sunset Boulevard" and more (TV-G -- general audience).
Monday, June 7, 10-10:30 p.m. EDT (TBS) "Neighbors From Hell." Premiere of a new animated comedy series about a friendly demon named Balthazor (voice of Will Sasso) who -- with his wife Tina (voice of Molly Shannon), teen children Mandy (voice of Tracey Fairaway) and Josh (voice of David Soren), eccentric Uncle Vlaartark (voice of Kyle McCulloch) and pet dog Pazuzu (voice of Patton Oswalt) in tow - is dispatched from hell to the surface of the Earth to pass undercover as human while sabotaging the work of an industrialist (voice of Kurtwood Smith) whose plans to drill to the globe's core would disrupt life in the Inferno. In this episode, Balthazor lands a job at the magnate's corporation, but finds himself ambivalent about ruining the career of a key fellow employee, Turkish-born engineer Chevdet (also voiced by McCulloch), in order to halt the drilling project. Tina, meanwhile, struggles to befriend her insufferably ditzy new neighbor Marjoe (voice of Dina Waters). Along with a questionably breezy treatment of Hades and its inhabitants, the script displays a steady preoccupation with sometimes repellent scatological and sexual humor -- Marjoe tells of educating her son about the birds and the bees by having relations with his father while the boy watched -- that utterly overwhelms the last-minute lesson about family solidarity with which the opening installment concludes.
Tuesday, June 8, 8-9 p.m. EDT (check local listings) (PBS) "4Troops: Live From the Intrepid." This concert special -- filmed aboard the aircraft carrier USS Intrepid (now berthed permanently in New York Harbor as the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum) -- features 4Troops, a new vocal group made up of U. S. combat veterans who served on the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan, performing standards such as "Amazing Grace," as well as "You Raise Me Up" pop hot and new numbers, including their own "For Freedom" (TV-G - general audience).
Wednesday, June 9, 8-10 p.m. EDT (check local listings) (PBS) "A Lincoln Center Special: Joshua Bell and Friends at the Penthouse." Celebrated violinist Bell and friends perform in the Kaplan Penthouse, part of New York City's Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts (TV-G -- general audience).
Thursday, June 10, Noon-1:30 p.m. EDT (EWTN) "Vigil for Priests (Live)." Pope Benedict XVI leads the vigil for the closing of the Year for Priests live from St. Peter's Square. This special will be rebroadcast 5:30-7 p.m. EDT.Friday June 11, 4-6 a.m. EDT (EWTN) "Holy Mass for the Conclusion of the Year for Priests (Live)." Pope Benedict XVI celebrates Mass concluding the Year for Priests on the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. Live from St. Peter's Square. The liturgy will be rebroadcast 6-8 p.m. EDT.