Summer is once upon us and it means reviving our weekly feature we bring you each weekend of the summer of reviews of the Top Ten Movies of the week as rated by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops so you can check the moralometer before plopping down hard-earned money for something. 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 go in with an open mind and keep in mind the best advice before you plunk down your hard-earned money at the box-office: Would Jesus and His Mother Mary watch it with you? If not, think twice about seeing it.
To the right are the top ten for this last 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 and figures provided through Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc.
TOP TEN MOVIES
FOR THE SECOND WEEK OF DECEMBER
1. TOY STORY 2
$18.25 million last week/ $140.4 million in four weeks:
The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-I --
general patronage. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is G
-- general audiences. In "Toy Story 2" the animated adventures of toys
that come to life when humans aren't around continues as cowboy
Woody voiced by Tom Hanks is stolen by a greedy toy collector, sending Woody's toy buddies, led by Buzz Lightyear, the voice of Tim Allen, on a breathless rescue mission. Featuring even better animation, the briskly paced cartoon sequel is slightly less original,
but zippy action scenes and gentle humor should amuse small fry and grown-ups alike.
2. THE GREEN MILE
$18.2 million in one week:
Because of some violence including an horrific electrocution, 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. "The Green Mile" is a prison drama set in 1935 Louisana where death-row head guard Tom Hanks comes to believe in the innocence of a huge, gentle black man played superbly by Michael Clarke Duncan whose miraculous healing powers affect those around him in startling ways. Adapted from the serialized 1996 Stephen King novel, the movie is unduly long but presents affecting character studies of good and evil men with spiritual undertones and a sobering depiction of capital punishment.
3. DEUCE BIGALOW: MALE GIGOLO
$12.2 million in one week:
Because of sexual situations, comically
intended violence, brief rear nudity and occasional profanity, the U.S.
Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture
Association of America rating is R -- restricted. In "Deuce Bigalow: Male
Gigolo" a klutzy loser (played by Rob Schneider) tries and fails at temporary
male prostitution in order to pay for accidentally wrecking his bossís condo.
The pathetically unfunny comedy dredges up lame double entendres and
toilet humor when not mocking characters with assorted physical diseases
and disabilities who resort to paying for male companionship.
4. THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH
$6.2 million last week/ $99.4 million in four weeks:
Because of much stylized violence and a
few discreet bedroom scenes, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification
is A-IV -- adults, with reservations. The Motion Picture Association of
America rating is PG-13 -- parents are strongly cautioned that some
material may be inappropriate for children under 13. "The World Is Not
Enough" is typical breathless Bond fare in which Pierce Brosnan's agent
007 must outwit a dangerously duplicitous female and a sinister
psychopath intent on seizing control of the world's oil supply. The
escapist fantasy's fast and furious action eventually wears itself out in
an overlong and overly elaborate plot.
5. END OF DAYS
$4.75 million in one week/ $53.3 million in three weeks:
Because of excessive violence, frequent mindless
mayhem, a perverted sexual encounter with nudity, some profanity and
much rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is O --
morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R --
restricted. "End of Days" is an ultraviolent millennium thriller in which
ex-cop Arnold Schwarzenegger struggles to prevent satan, played by Gabriel Byrne, from
impregnating a young woman, thus ushering in the devil's reign. The
big-budget action movie simply exploits a religious theme to showcase
murder, mayhem and explosive special effects far removed from genuine
6. SLEEPY HOLLOW
$4.72 million last week/ $81.4 million in four weeks:
Because of recurring grisly decapitations and a
discreet sexual encounter, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is
A-IV -- adults, with reservations. The Motion Picture Association of
America rating is R -- restricted. In "Sleepy Hollow," a violent adaptation of
Washington Irving's spooky tale of the headless horseman, Johnny
Depp's Ichabod Crane is a pompous, fearful NYC constable sent to
Sleepy Hollow to find a triple murderer who has made off with the victim's
heads. Although it's a visually gorgeous period piece, the contrived humor
doesn't work and the narrative overdoses on scenes of the horseman
and another villain gleefully butchering their prey.
7. THE BONE COLLECTOR
$1.7 million last week /$60.8 million in six weeks:
Because of grisly violence, an implied affair,
occasional profanity and recurring rough language, the U.S. Catholic
Conference classification is A-IV -adults, with reservations. The Motion
Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. "The Bone
Collector" is a grim thriller in which paralyzed police forensics expert
Denzel Washington relies on rookie cop Angelina Jolie to gather
evidence and clues to the identity of a serial killer who is taunting the
bedridden cop with a series of increasingly grotesque murders. The
police procedural slides from engrossing to disappointing with its
unsatisfying revelations and gory wrap-up. selfdestruction.
8. it's-a-DOG, MA
$1.9 million last week/ /$26.4 million in five weeks:
Because of anti-religious buffoonery, intense violence, sexual
references, substance abuse, assorted vulgarities, profanity and
recurring rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is O
-- . The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R
-- restricted. It's-a-"Dog, ma" is a sophomoric religious satire in which a heavenly
messenger persuades the last descendant of Joseph and Mary to leave
her job in an abortion clinic and set out to stop a pair of fallen angels from
regaining heaven by means of a plenary indulgence. The unfunny
proceedings rely on a mindless mix of irreverence and absurdity in poking
fun at biblical characters and Christian stereotypes.
9. POKEMON: THE FIRST MOVIE
$1.18 million last week/ $82.4 million in five weeks:
The U.S. Catholic Conference
classification is A-I -- general patronage. The Motion Picture Association
of America rating is G -- general audiences. "Pokemon: The First
Movie" is a Japanese animated movie based on the TV cartoon series in
which youngsters and their pocket monsters called pokemons gather on a
remote island where they must defend themselves against an evil
pokemon clone and his minions intent on enslaving the world. Colorful but
crudely animated, the movie's characters battle one another while a
preachy voice-over asserts that violence is wrong, thus sending a mixed
message to little ones.
10. BEING JOHN MALKOVICH
$962,925. last week/ $15.3 million in seven weeks:
Because of several sexual encounters, many
sexual references, some rough language and occasional profanity, the
U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-IV -- adults, with
reservations. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R --
restricted. "Being John Malkovich" is a surreal tale in which a puppeteer
(played by John Cusack) is led into a passageway into the mind of actor
John Malkovich (playing himself) by a female co-worker who becomes
sexually attracted to the puppeteer's wife (played by Cameron Diaz). The
odd proceedings grow progressively more bizarre until the endless
complications wear out their welcome well before the ending's final twist.