Web site TV for Oct. 24 – Oct. 30, 2010
TV film fare -- week of Oct. 24
The following are capsule reviews of theatrical movies on network and cable television the week of Oct. 24. Please note that televised versions may or may not be edited for language, nudity, violence and sexual situations.
Sunday, Oct. 24, 7-9 p.m. EDT (Lifetime) "P.S. I Love You" (2007). Uneven but ultimately touching and well-acted love story about a woman (Hilary Swank) who loses her Irish husband (Gerard Butler) to a brain tumor but is guided through the stages of grief by letters he wrote for her before he died and arranged to have periodically delivered. Writer-director Richard LaGravenese's film seems contrived at first, but it slowly builds in interest as its heroine goes through her healing journey. She is helped by her girlfriends (Lisa Kudrow and Gina Gershon) and two men who take a romantic interest in her (Harry Connick Jr. and Jeffrey Dean Morgan). Moderate conversational expletives and crass expressions, one nonmarital and a couple of marital nongraphic bedroom scenes and casual acceptance of the former, some sexual banter and passing homosexual references, and brief rear male nudity. 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.
Wednesday, Oct. 27, 8-10 p.m. EDT (TCM) "The Lady Eve" (1941). Playful romantic comedy in which a con artist (Barbara Stanwyck) falls for a millionaire's guileless son (Henry Fonda). But when he breaks up with her, she seeks revenge by visiting his father's Long Island estate masquerading as a British aristocrat's daughter. Writer-director Preston Sturges centers the comedy on the attraction of opposites as the socially inept Fonda is hopelessly confused by the sophisticated Stanwyck in a series of ridiculous situations held together by a splendid supporting cast (Charles Coburn, Eugene Pallette, William Demarest and Eric Blore). Romantic complications with some sexual situations. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-III - adults. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America.
Thursday, Oct. 28, 5:15-7:30 p.m. EDT (TCM) "Mrs. Pollifax: Spy" (1971). Rosalind Russell plays a woman free of family commitments who satisfies a life-long ambition to become a spy by joining the CIA. She winds up imprisoned with accomplice Darren McGavin on an Albanian mountain top from which she must effect a daring escape. Director Leslie Martinson's adventure spoof is laced with warm humor and clever situations and features a winsome performance by its star in her last screen appearance. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-II - adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating was G -- general audiences. All ages admitted.
Saturday, Oct. 30, 8-10 p.m. EDT (HBO) "Amelia" (2009). Hilary Swank portrays aviatrix Amelia Earhart in a handsome, mellifluous biography suitable for viewing by multiple generations yet which nevertheless fails to soar as an adventure or romance. No one could expect director Mira Nair, using two literary biographies as source material, to offer the definitive take on Earhart's personality, let alone solve the mystery of her disappearance over the Pacific in 1937. But the vague insights into her character and relationships, both with husband George Putnam (Richard Gere) and intimate friend Gene Vidal (Ewan McGregor), though ultimately affirming the bonds of marriage, prove frustrating, particularly coupled with the film's lack of sustenance for aviation buffs. Discreetly handled adulterous and premarital sexual situations, one instance of crass language, and one use of profanity. 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.
Saturday, Oct. 30, 8-10:15 p.m. EDT (TCM) "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" (1939). Sprawling medieval melodrama from Victor Hugo's story of Quasimodo (Charles Laughton), the misshapen cathedral bell-ringer who rescues a kind gypsy dancer (Maureen O'Hara) from the gallows, then saves her from the clutches of the evil judge (Cedric Hardwicke) who had been his benefactor. Directed by William Dieterle, the 15th-century Paris setting is vibrantly rendered, the crowded plot moves briskly and, at the center of the piece, Laughton's feeling performance transcends the character's grotesque features to win audience sympathy. Stylized violence and romantic complications. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-II - adults and adolescents. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America.
TV Program Notes – Week of October 24th
Sunday, Oct. 24, 9-10:30 p.m. EDT (PBS) "Sherlock: A Study in Pink." First episode in a miniseries that offers a new take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classic Sherlock Holmes crime novels, now set in present-day London and starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the Baker Street sleuth and Martin Freeman as his loyal sidekick Dr. Watson. Alan Cumming hosts this "Masterpiece Mystery!" presentation (TV-PG -- parental guidance suggested).
Wednesday, Oct. 27, 9-10:30 p.m. EDT (PBS) "Chicago Symphony Orchestra Riccardo Muti Inaugural Festival Concert." This episode of the series "Great Performances" marks Muti's arrival as the 10th music director of the celebrated Chicago Symphony Orchestra (TV-G -- general audience).
Thursday, Oct. 28, 8-8:30 p.m. EDT (NBC) "Scared Shrekless." Inspired by the popular series of "Shrek" films, this animated special recounts how the loveable ogre (voice of Mike Myers) celebrates Halloween by challenging Donkey (voice of Dean Edwards), Puss in Boots (voice of Antonio Banderas) and the other fairy-tale characters to a scary storytelling contest.
Saturday, Oct. 30, 8-9:30 p.m. EDT (EWTN) "Paul VI." First episode of a two-part biographical profile of Pope Paul VI (1897-1978) highlighting his apostolic activity and outreach to the church around the world. The program concludes Saturday, Nov. 6, 8-9:30 p.m. EDT.