Web site TV for Nov. 14 – Nov. 20, 2010
TV film fare -- week of Nov. 14
The following are capsule reviews of theatrical movies on network and cable television the week of Nov. 14. Please note that televised versions may or may not be edited for language, nudity, violence and sexual situations.
Sunday, Nov. 14, noon-2 p.m. EST (TCM) "I Confess" (1953). Murky thriller set in Quebec City where a murderer (O.E. Hasse) confesses his crime to a priest (Montgomery Clift) who, bound by the seal of the confessional, refuses to answer certain questions of a police inspector (Karl Malden) and winds up on trial for the murder. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock from a play by Paul Anthelme, the situation is further muddled by a troubled woman (Anne Baxter) from the priest's youth, but the stark location photography picks up some of the narrative slack and the suspenseful conclusion is handled with the director's usual flair. Stylized violence, menacing situations 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.
Sunday, Nov. 14, 7-9 p.m. EST (Lifetime) "No Reservations" (2007). Sweet story, adapted from the 2001 German film "Mostly Martha," now set in New York, about a work-obsessed master chef (Catherine Zeta-Jones) who takes in her orphaned 9-year-old niece (Abigail Breslin). It's also about her subsequent rivalry with and then growing admiration for the restaurant's happy-go-lucky sous-chef (Aaron Eckhart), who helps open her up to life. Despite formulaic and overly sentimental moments, director Scott Hicks' excellent adaptation maintains a sensible tone, and allows the engaging story to unfold at an unhurried pace, while the performances are immensely appealing. Apart from a handful of expletives and crass expressions, including an instance of profanity and some remarks that imply the acceptability of premarital living arrangements, and one such implied encounter, the film may be acceptable for older adolescents. 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.
Thursday, Nov. 18, 8-11 p.m. EST (AMC) "Hidalgo" (2004). Fact-based crowd-pleaser set in the late 19th century about a guilt-ridden cowboy (Viggo Mortensen), who enters a grueling 3,000-mile race across the Arabian Desert, during which he and his underdog horse, Hidalgo, must endure sandstorms, brain-baking heat and desert raiders. Part old-fashioned adventure, part redemption parable, director Joe Johnston's film weds sweeping visuals and a strong narrative to craft a winning tale of friendship, fate, forgiveness and the indomitable spirit of man. Recurring adventure violence and some mild sexual innuendo. The Catholic News Service 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, Nov. 19, 10 p.m.-midnight EST (TCM) "Gallipoli" (1981). Enthusiastic young Australians (Mel Gibson and Mark Lee) enlist for service in World War I and soon have their romantic notions of the war as a glorious and noble adventure dissolved. Director Peter Weir contrasts naive patriotism with youthful idealism in this superbly rendered period drama. Intense battle scenes and a depiction of a brothel. 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.
Saturday, Nov. 20, 8-10 p.m. EST (HBO) "Edge of Darkness" (2010). After his adult daughter (Bojana Novakovic) is brutally murdered, a Boston police detective (Mel Gibson) investigates her secretive work for a nuclear research firm (led by Danny Huston), aided by her fearful boyfriend and co-worker (Shawn Roberts) and by a shadowy fixer (Ray Winstone) whose loyalties are ambiguous. In a reasonably absorbing but gritty adaptation of the acclaimed 1985 BBC miniseries of the same title, director Martin Campbell mixes sometimes shocking violence into a stark tale of loss and corruption, and skirts the dark edges of vigilantism. Complex moral issues, considerable and sometimes bloody violence, an implied premarital relationship, a few uses of profanity, 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.
TV program notes -- week of Nov. 14
Here are some television program notes for the week of Nov. 14 with their TV Parental Guidelines ratings if available. They have not all been reviewed and therefore are not necessarily recommended by Catholic News Service.
Monday, Nov. 15, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. EST (Telecare) "Fall General Assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops." Telecare, the television station of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, N.Y., presents live coverage of the USCCB's annual general assembly in Baltimore. Coverage of the gathering's public sessions concludes Tuesday, Nov. 16, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. EST. Some sessions will also be broadcast on EWTN.
Tuesday, Nov. 16, 8-9 p.m. EST (PBS) "Secrets of Stonehenge." This episode of the series "Nova" follows a group of researchers who have been given exclusive access to the dig site at Bluestonehenge, a prehistoric stone circle recently discovered about a mile from Stonehenge. The evidence they discover offers important new clues that might help to solve the enduring mystery of the more famous monument (TV-G -- general audience).
Tuesday, Nov. 16, 9-11 p.m. EST (History) "Third Reich: The Rise." First episode of a two-part miniseries profiling some of the individuals who comprised the Nazi regime that ruled Germany from January 1933 to May 1945. Through the use of Nazi archives and German newsreel recordings, as well as other footage carried home by Russian troops during World War II, the documentary uncovers unfamiliar anecdotes and overlooked details to shed new light on one of the darkest chapters in human history. The program concludes Wednesday, Nov. 17, 9-11 p.m. EST with an episode entitled "Third Reich: The Fall."
Tuesday, Nov. 16, 10-11 p.m. EST (TBS) "Glory Daze." Premiere of a new campus comedy series -- set at an Indiana college in 1986 -- that follows the misadventures of a quartet of newly arrived freshmen: sheltered Catholic high school grad Joel (Kelly Blatz), would-be Casanova and closet virgin Eli (Matt Bush), conservative preppy Jason (Drew Seeley) and gifted baseball player Brian (Hartley Sawyer). In this episode, the four befriend one another and explore the local fraternity scene together, eventually pledging Omega Sigma, a Hoosier "animal house" awash in alcohol and hazy with marijuana smoke. The so-called humor on display is relentlessly low-minded, retailing in jokes about -- and sometimes scenes of -- casual sex, prostitution, condom use and masturbation. Add to all of this a Mexican-American midget whose function during frat parties is to serve as a peripatetic guacamole dispenser -- that delicacy being conveniently held in the bowl-shaped top of his sombrero -- and the tastelessness becomes almost breathtaking. The script's gauntlet of vulgarity culminates in a glimpse of rear male nudity (TV-14/D, L, S -- parents strongly cautioned; intensely suggestive dialogue; strong coarse language; intense sexual situations).
Wednesday, Nov. 17, 8-9 p.m. EST (PBS) "Lost Ships of Rome." This program recounts how, in 2009, a team of marine archaeologists carrying out a sonar survey of the seabed around the remote Italian island of Ventotene made an astonishing discovery; the wrecks of five ancient Roman ships were found in pristine condition. Part of the series "Secrets of the Dead" (TV-PG -- parental guidance suggested).
Wednesday, Nov. 17, 10-11p.m. EST (EWTN) "Project Amazon: A New Commandment." This reality-style show follows 20 Americans into the heart of the Brazilian jungle as they seek to serve God by ministering to the Caboclos Indians who are much in need of their medical expertise.
Saturday, Nov. 20, 10-11 p.m. EST (EWTN) "Fr. Corapi: How To Make a Good Confession." Through an examination of conscience and a detailed look at the Ten Commandments, Father John Corapi, a member of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity, guides viewers to the self-knowledge required to participate fruitfully in the sacrament of reconciliation.