FRI-SAT-SUN
January 7-9, 2000
volume 11, no. 5

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VIDEOS & VIRTUES      INTRODUCTION
    Because Catholics rent videos like all others, we have decided to inaugurate on every Tuesday a similar feature as our Friday series MOVIES & MORALS. We call the Tuesday entry VIDEOS & VIRTUES in which we'll preview some of the newest releases on Video as rated by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops so you can check the moralometer before plopping down hard-earned money to rent a movie you might wish you hadn't. If it's worthwhile, the Bishops will let you know.

      As you'll see with each review there is almost always something objectionable about each movie so rent with an open mind and keep in mind the best advice before you plunk down your hard-earned money at your local Blockbuster or video store: Would Jesus and His Mother Mary watch it with you? If not, think twice about seeing it.

      Below are some of the latest releases and our pick for the week with the Bishops' reviews. Reviews are categorized by:

A-I -- general patronage;

A-II -- adults & adolescents;

A-III -- adults;

A-IV -- adults, with reservations (an A-IV classification designates problematic films that, while not morally offensive in themselves, require caution and some analysis and explanation as a safeguard against wrong interpretations and false conclusions); and finally, ones no one should see:

O -- morally offensive and should be avoided at all costs!

     Reviews are provided through Film & Broadcasting Division of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops


VIDEOS & VIRTUES

We strongly recommend...

  • LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL (PG-13) (Achieved what Steven Spielberg tried to do and couldn't! Will last with you long after you've seen this excellent four-star film that moved the Pope as well!)
         Because of its Holocaust setting, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents are strongly cautioned that some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. "Life Is Beautiful" offers a bittersweet comic fable in which an Italian Jew convinces his little son their grim existence in a Nazi concentration camp is just a game which they are sure to win. The subtitled picture. and now available in English, begins as a comedy about the young man's (played by Academy Award winning Roberto Benigni) courtship and marriage, then switches midway into the touchingly human story of a parent's determination to protect his child from terror and misery. Released: January 1999


    New Videos released today:

  • LAKE PLACID (R) (Bark is worse than its bite!)
          Because of some predatory violence with decapitations, sex references, occasional profanity and intermittent rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. "Lake Placid" is a lame horror-comedy in which big-city paleontologist Bridget Fonda, earnest game warden Bill Pullman and wealthy eccentric Oliver Platt insist on helping a rural sheriff catch a huge crocodile that has devoured a few locals. The movie offers sparse spurts of comic mileage and suspense is equally absent. Released: July 1999

  • MYSTERY MEN (PG-13) (Stupid, but harmless!)
          Because of intermittent comic violence and some toilet humor, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents are strongly cautioned that some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. "Mystery Men" is a dopey spoof in which seven would-be superheroes (including Ben Stiller, Hank Azaria, Janeane Garofalo and William H. Macy) combine their kooky talents to outwit a nasty megalomaniac (Geoffrey Rush) intent on leveling their metropolis. The ensemble cast offers only sporadic laughs and a chaotic script further dilutes the comedy-fantasy. August 1999

  • DETROIT ROCK CITY (R) (Don't waste your time or soul on this trash!)
         Because of its acceptance of teen recreational drug abuse, demeaning depictions of the clergy, implied sexual encounters including one in a church confessional, some violence, brief nudity, occasional profanity and constant rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is 0 -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Set in 1978, "Detroit Rock City" is a crude comedy that has four pot-smoking teen-age boys willing to do anything, from stealing to prostitution, to secure tickets to a Detroit concert that night by the rock band Kiss. The shrill proceedings lionize the youngsters' anti-social behavior in what is little more than an extended commercial for the raunchy rock band. August 1999

      While the reviews by the NCCB are very good and provide the ratings, we have discovered another site which will give you a much more detailed survey of what to watch out for. Just click on Christian Analysis of Culture Alert.

         

              

  • January 11, 2000
    volume 11, no. 5
    MOVIES & MORALS

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