Web site TV for Aug. 8 – Aug 14, 2010
TV film fare -- week of Aug. 8
The following are capsule reviews of theatrical movies on network and cable television the week of Aug. 8. Please note that televised versions may or may not be edited for language, nudity, violence and sexual situations.
Wednesday, Aug. 11, 10 p.m.-midnight EDT (TCM) "The Odd Couple" (1968). Two men separated from their wives and sharing an apartment discover what incompatibility is all about. One is obsessively neat (Jack Lemmon) and the other is a compulsive slob (Walter Matthau). The story is a nice twist on the adjustments people have to make in life as well as marriage and both principals take good advantage of the comic potential of teaming a disparate pair. Director Gene Saks relies on Neil Simon's adaptation of his own stage play and the result is often hilarious comedy. Some sexual references. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating was G -- general audiences. All ages admitted.
Thursday, Aug. 12, 8:30-10 p.m. EDT (Showtime) "The Great Buck Howard" (2009). Charming show biz comedy about a law school dropout (Colin Hanks) who takes a job as road manager for a once-famed but now washed-up mentalist (John Malkovich), eventually bonding with him, despite the performer's egotistical delusions, and falling for his much put-upon publicist (Emily Blunt). Sustained by Malkovich's masterly characterization, writer-director Sean McGinly's gentle spoof offers a valentine to perseverance along with a sendup of celebrity culture, though the central romance becomes sexual after mere acquaintance. A premarital relationship and some mildly sexual humor. 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.
Friday, Aug. 13, 6-8 p.m. EDT (TCM) "Captain Nemo and the Underwater City" (1970). Jules Verne's Nemo (Robert Ryan) rescues a group of landlubbers (Nanette Newman, Bill Fraser, Kenneth Connor and Chuck Connors) on the condition that they not attempt an escape from his self-sufficient city 20,000 leagues under the sea. Directed by James Hill, the special effects, the underwater city and the dramatic complications are intriguing enough to engross a child's imagination in this generally pleasing utopian, anti-war fantasy. The Catholic News Service 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, Aug. 14, 11:45 a.m.-2:30 p.m. EDT (AMC) "North to Alaska" (1960). Robust adventure story set in 1900 Nome where a trio of gold prospectors (John Wayne, Stewart Granger and Fabian) make a big strike, then have to defend it against a slick claim-jumper (Ernie Kovacs) while dealing with a Frenchwoman (Capucine) who has only marriage on her mind. Director Henry Hathaway alternates the full-blooded action sequences with ongoing romantic misunderstandings between the principals. 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.
Saturday, Aug. 14, 8-10:30 p.m. EDT (HBO) "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. Also shown in Imax. Pervasive action violence, brief rear nudity, brief nongraphic nonmarital sexual activity, drug use, occasional rough and crude and some crass language, and frequent sexual references. 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 PG-13 -- parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.
Saturday, Aug. 14, 8-10:35 p.m. EDT (Showtime) "Inglourious Basterds." (2009). Provocative World War II fantasy in which a team of ruthless Jewish-American commandoes led by a hard-bitten Southern officer (Brad Pitt) and a young French Jewish woman (Melanie Laurent) passing as a gentile cinema owner in occupied Paris plot independently to assassinate key Nazi leaders during a gala film premiere, even as the German officer (Christoph Waltz) who killed her family threatens both schemes. Between episodes of graphic bloodletting, writer-director Quentin Tarantino weaves a suspenseful, though somewhat lurid, alternate history, but the Americans' systematic brutality toward enemy soldiers can only be accepted within a genre far removed from reality and on the supposition that all Teutonic combatants were Holocaust enablers. Strong violent content, including torture and mutilation, complex moral issues, a few uses of profanity, and much rough and some crude language. 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.
Saturday, Aug. 14, 9-11 p.m. EDT (ABC) "Meet the Fockers" (2004). Glossy, good-natured, often intentionally tasteless sequel to "Meet the Parents" as Greg Focker (Ben Stiller) and his soon-to-be bride, Pam (Teri Polo), and in-laws (Robert De Niro and Blythe Danner) drive to Florida to meet his gregarious, unconventional parents (Barbra Streisand and Dustin Hoffman) with predictably farcical results. The chief pleasure of director Jay Roach's fitfully funny film is watching the stars go through their anything-for-a-laugh paces so gamely, but though the film ultimately espouses good family values, much of the humor, language and setups are on the crude side. Sexual situations and innuendo, coarse language and brief rear nudity. 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 PG-13 -- parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.
TV program notes -- week of Aug. 8
Here are some television program notes for the week of Aug. 8 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.
Sunday, Aug. 8, 8-9 p.m. EDT (Animal Planet) "The Uprising." This special examines how species from across the globe seem to be demonstrating increasingly violent tendencies toward humans. Narrated by Richard Belzer (TV-PG -- parental guidance suggested).
Sunday, Aug. 8, 9-10:30 p.m. EDT (PBS) "Inspector Lewis, Series II: Allegory of Love." In this "Masterpiece Mystery!" presentation, featuring Kevin Whately and Laurence Fox, literary whimsy becomes murderous reality with the death of a Czech barmaid in the university city of Oxford, England (TV-PG -- parental guidance suggested).
Wednesday, Aug. 11, 9-10 p.m. EDT (Discovery) "Man vs. Wild." Season premiere of this ongoing series in which, followed by a cameraman, adventurer Bear Grylls uses his military training to demonstrate survival skills -- everything from traversing through extreme heat and cold, to scavenging for and eating raw insects.
Wednesday, Aug. 11, 10-11 p.m. EDT (EWTN) "St. Edmund Campion." This documentary explores the faith journey and martyrdom of St. Edmund, an English Jesuit priest (1540-1581).