Web site TV for Sept. 12 – Sept. 18, 2010
TV film fare -- week of Sept. 12
The following are capsule reviews of theatrical movies on network and cable television the week of Sept. 12. Please note that televised versions may or may not be edited for language, nudity, violence, and sexual situations.
Sunday, Sept. 12, 6:15-8 p.m. EDT (TCM) "Pat and Mike" (1952). Offbeat romantic comedy teams veteran sports promoter Mike (Spencer Tracy) with top amateur athlete Pat (Katharine Hepburn), who is aces in any competition except when her beau (William Ching) is watching. Directed by George Cukor, it's Hepburn's picture with Tracy cheering her on as she goes through her winning paces, including a scene in which Pat saves Mike from two thugs. Feminist twist on the battle of the sexes. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-II -- adults and adolescents. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America.
Friday, Sept. 17, 5:15-8 p.m. EDT (TCM) "Young Winston" (1972). British dramatization of Churchill's memoir, "My Early Life," retells uncritically his own version of his formative years from war correspondent in the Boer War to Parliament, with Simon Ward in the title role. Directed by Richard Attenborough, it excels as a panorama of life in the Empire before World War I, through a succession of tableaux of balls and battles, of parliamentary debates and family discourses. Although not a perfect film, it is a film of idealism and very enjoyable on a number of levels. 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, Sept. 18, 8-9:45 p.m. EDT (AMC) "Airplane!" (1980). This aviation-disaster spoof offers a sprinkling of bright and funny gags. If you don't like one, wait a minute and another will be along. Directed by Jim Abrahams, the comedy is moderately entertaining for those who don't mind an excess of silliness and a certain amount of crudity. 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.
Saturday, Sept. 18, 8-10 p.m. EDT (HBO) "Love Happens" (2009). Serious but overly slick romantic drama about a widowed self-help guru (Aaron Eckhart). He guides others through the grieving process but, after returning to his wife's hometown to host a seminar and falling for a local florist (Jennifer Aniston), he gradually realizes he has unfinished emotional business of his own. Despite Eckhart's complex performance, and an admirably mature central relationship, director and co-writer Brandon Camp's feature debut, a study of personal loss and recovery in a strictly secular context, is too timid to sound the spiritual depths that would make it truly memorable. A half-dozen uses of profanity, occasional crude and crass language, a few sexual jokes and an obscene gesture. 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, Sept. 18, 10-11:50 p.m. EDT (Cinemax) "Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant" (2009). A straitlaced high school student (Chris Massoglia) and his rebellious best friend (Josh Hutcherson) get mixed up in a centuries-old conflict between a race of human-friendly vampires (led by John C. Reilly) and a group of homicidal bloodsuckers known as the Vampaneze. Director and co-writer Paul Weitz's unfocused adaptation of three novels in Darren Shan's "Cirque du Freak" series of children's books, which gets off to a stylish start but bogs down in a meandering plot and overlong fight scenes, offers such a bleak outlook on conventional family life that joining the community of the undead and being adopted by the traveling sideshow of the title -- populated by a beard-sprouting lady (Salma Hayek), a Japanese giant (Ken Watanabe) and the like -- is presented as an inviting alternative. Considerable hand-to-hand and knife violence, some crude and crass language, and a pornography reference. 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.
TV program notes -- week of Sept. 12
Here are some television program notes for the week of Sept. 12 with their TV Parental Guidelines ratings if available. They have not been reviewed and therefore are not necessarily recommended by Catholic News Service.
Sunday, Sept. 12, 1:30-2:30 p.m. EDT (EWTN) "In Concert: De Fesch Missa Paschalis." This concert features the "Missa Paschalis" and "Missa in G" by Baroque composer Willem de Fesch performed by the Holland Boys Choir and Orchestra with Pieter Jan Leusink conducting.
Sunday, Sept. 12, 10-11 p.m. EDT (EWTN) "Heart of the Matter: Newman Roundtable: The Life & Legacy of John Henry Cardinal Newman." Recorded at Littlemore -- the former home of Cardinal John Henry Newman in Oxford, England - this program presents a panel of Newman experts who guide viewers through the life, legacy and spirituality of the world renowned churchman. Also featured is an interview with Deacon Jack Sullivan of Marshfield, Mass., who was cured through the intercession of the saintly theologian. As a result of this healing, Cardinal Newman is scheduled to be beatified by Pope Benedict XVI on Sept. 19, during the papal visit to the United Kingdom.
Monday, Sept. 13, 10-11 p.m. EDT (PBS) "Lafayette: The Lost Hero." This biographical film focuses on the life and legend of the Marquis de Lafayette -- an intriguing, neglected and controversial figure who played a prominent role in both the American and French revolutions (TV-PG -- parental guidance suggested).
Wednesday, Sept. 15, 9-11 p.m. EDT (PBS) "The Chicano Wave/Divas and Superstars." This episode of the series "Latin Music USA" -- rebroadcast in observance of Hispanic Heritage Month - recounts how music played an important role in the struggle for Chicano civil rights, and explores the impact of the Latin pop explosion at the turn of the 21st century (TV-PG -- parental guidance suggested).
Wednesday, Sept. 15, 10-11 p.m. EDT (NBC) "Outlaw." Premiere of a new drama series starring Emmy Award-winner Jimmy Smits as ultra-conservative Supreme Court Justice Cyrus Garza, who surprisingly quits the bench to return to work as a lawyer. A playboy and a heavily indebted gambler, Garza has always believed in a strict interpretation of the law, but since the death of his father, a respected civil rights activist, he has realized that the system he trusted is often flawed. In this episode, Garza defends a death row inmate who has been wrongly imprisoned for 11 years. Smits' skills in the role of a sexually wayward and occasionally irreverent character, who is nonetheless explicitly identified as a Catholic, make a far-fetched premise more believable. But a bit of salty language and some mature content -- including a scene of implied nonmarital sexual activity and a passing reference to bisexuality -- restrict the appropriate audience. The program's regular airtime will be Fridays, 10-11 p.m. Eastern time.
Thursday, Sept. 16, 9-10 p.m. EDT (History) "Total Eclipse." A look at one of the most spectacular phenomena in the heavens, this program -- part of the series "The Universe" -- details the complex movements of Earth, the moon and the sun that produce these unusual events.
Thursday, Sept. 16, 10-11 p.m. EDT (Animal Planet) "Alone Among Grizzlies." This special profiles biologist David Bittner, who spends his summers in the remote Alaskan wilderness, pursuing his lifelong study of the massive bears of the Katmai Coast (TV-PG -- parental guidance suggested).