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July 9-18, 1999
SECTION FIVE vol 10, no. 132
Historical Events in Church Annals for July 16:
Pope Saint Leo IX excommunicates Michael Cerularius, the Patriarch of Constantinople who was responsible for the lasting schism of the Greek Church from Rome.
Death of Pope Innocent III, 176th Successor of Peter, who re-established his temporal authority within the Papal states and actively promoted the Fourth Crusade as well as convening the 12th Ecumenical Council.
Our Lady appears to Saint Simon Stock in England and bequeaths the protective scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. For more see LITURGY.
Blessed Padre Junipero Serra, Spanish missionary founds the first of 21 missions in California at Mission San Diego de Alcala on a hillside in the eastern end of Mission Valley.
Pope Leo XIII releases his encyclical on the Columbus Quadricentennial.
Historical Events in Church Annals for July 17:
Death of Pope Saint Leo IV, 103rd Successor of Peter who was the first pontiff to put the date on official documents. He confirmed the Venetians in their right to elect the Doge. He built walls around the Vatican Hill and the Leonine City.
Death of Saint Nerses Lampronats, Archbishop of Tarsus. This Armenian saint did all in his power to reunite the Armenian Church with Rome.
Pope Innocent IV excommunicates Frederick II Hohenstaufen, Holy Roman Emperor for heresy, breach of peace, and perjury.
King Saint Louis XI of France and the 8th Crusade land in Carthage in North Africa.
Martin Luther is accepted by the Augustinians into their monastery at Erfurt. Here satan would enter and tempt the monk to rebel against the Church forging his own agenda over God's Plan. As history has shown, despite the need for reforms within Holy Mother Church, Luther took the wrong path toward that goal.
Historical Events in Church Annals for July 18:
The deranged Roman Emperor Nero sets fire to Rome, blaming the Christians in hopes the populace would turn against them and swing public opinon towards him. Alas, as he fiddled the angels sang, welcoming countless souls into the Heavenly kingdom; a place the pagan emperor would likely never enter.
Death of Saint Marcellina, fourth century nun from Rome who gave herself totally to prayer. He was the older sister of Saint Ambrose.
Death of Saint Arnulf, Bishop of Metz who resigned his bishopric to retire to a hermitage - Remiremont Monastery where he spent the rest of his life in prayer.
Censio Savelli becomes Pope Honorius III, 177th Successor of Peter. He would go on to organize the 5th Crusade with the help of Andrew II of Hungary. It was Honorius who defined in the Liber Censorium the rights of the popes and specified ceremonies for their election.
King Henry VIII declares that the Pope's authority is null and void throughout England from this day hence. This, of course, came in retaliation after Pope Clement VII excommunicated the monarch for not upholding his own marriage and divorcing Catherine of Aragon.
A wild wild ride west tops July 4th holiday box office: Top Ten Films for First Week of July
Finally a respectable, fun-filled escapist film "Wild Wild West" wrested the top spot at the box office after fears that scatological movies like "Big Daddy" and "South Park" would score big. Thanks to the drawing power of Will Smith who has made a habit of starring in blockbusters over the Fourth of July, the take-off on the old television series easily outpaced Adam Sandler's film. Smith star-power has pulled down big ratings with previous Independence Day releases such as "Independence Day" and "Men in Black" as well as last year's taut thriller "Enemy of the State". "Tarzan" held on to third while one of the worst movies ever made "South Park - the Movie" just beat out the "The General's Daughter" for fourth. The megahit Star Wars' "Episode One - The Phantom Menace" continued to slip, dropping to sixth ahead of "Austin Powers - The Spy who..." and newcomer "Summer of Sam", a Spike Lee vehicle that denigrates Italian Catholics. "Notting Hill" and "An Ideal Husband" finished 9th and 10th respectively. For the Top Ten reviews for the final week of June prepared by the NCCB, click on MOVIES AND MORALS
TOP TEN MOVIES FOR THE FIRST WEEK OF JULY
1. WILD WILD WEST
$50.1 million in one week:
Because of intermittent explosions and stylized violence, some sexual innuendo with double entendres and fleeting rear nudity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents are strongly cautioned that some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. In "Wild Wild West", based on the '60's TV series, Will Smith and Kevin Kline play dashing post Civil War government agents who must disable a behemoth killing machine operated by a wheelchair-bound madman bent on bringing down the Republic. The blend of sci-fi contraptions and a comic tone in an Old West setting results in hallow escapist entertainment emphasizing impossible stunts and decorative femme fatales.
2. BIG DADDY
$26.4 million last week/ $90.1 million in two weeks:
Because of implied affairs, coarse expressions and gestures, some profanity and fleeting violence, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents are strongly cautioned that some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. In "Big Daddy", Adam Sandler plays an irresponsible 32-year-old temporarily taking custody of a motherless 5-year-old boy to impress a girlfriend, but in the process he learns parenting is more than just hanging out and goofing off. The one-joke movie lurches from toilet humor to blatant brand-name product placements to increasingly sappy sentiment as Sandler's character predictably matures.
3. TARZAN $19.2 million last week/ $111 million in three weeks
Because of intensely menacing hunting scenes, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-II -- adults and
adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is G -- general audiences. "Tarzan" is Disney's animated tale about an orphaned baby boy raised by jungle gorillas who grows up before encountering his first humans, including a duplicitous hunter intent on capturing his beloved ape family and spunky Jane, who tempts Tarzan to return to civilization. The classic characters of Edgar Rice Burroughs are appealing, the animation splendid and the music tuneful but some action scenes of predatory violence are too intense for younger children.
4. SOUTH PARK $14.8 million in one week
Because of excessive rough language, scatological digressions and sexual references, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. "South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut" is a musical cartoon feature in which grade school children sneak into a raunchy Canadian movie, emerging with a four-letter-word vocabulary that shocks their mothers into a national anti-smut campaign leading to war against Canada. The satiric storyline takes self-serving pot-shots at the movie rating system, the V-chip and censorship, but features little wit and less humor as the children's constant use of foul language is excruciating and the sexual gags are tiresomely
5. THE GENERAL'S DAUGHTER
(Paramount) $14.6 million last week/ $67.8 million in three weeks
Because of sporadic intense violence including rape, full nudity, videotape of a sadistic sexual encounter, frequent rough language and intermittent profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. "The General's Daughter" is a lurid military thriller in which an Army criminal investigator (John Travolta) assigned to solve the brutal strangulation of a promiscuous female captain (Leslie Stefanson), is pressured to participate in a cover-up after he unravels a widespread criminal conspiracy of many years standing.
Despite sleek visuals and some strong performances, the movie plays like a cynical and at times grotesque potboiler.
6. STAR WARS: EPISODE ONE - THE PHANTOM MENACE $11.7 million last week/ $371.6 million in seven weeks:
Because of sci-fi swordfights and battle sequences, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification of Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace is A-II - adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested. "The Phantom Menace" is a disappointing prequel to the "Star Wars" trilogy in which two Jedi knights (played by Liam Neeson and Ewan McGregor) intent on saving the planet Naboo from Federation invaders enlist the help of a young boy who will eventually become the evil Darth Vader. By emphasizing fantastical creatures and myriad special effects, writer-director George Lucas loses much of the movie's human dimension and ends up achieving mostly visual spectacle. May 1999
7. AUSTIN POWERS: THE SPY WHO... $10.8 million last week/ $170.1 million in four weeks
Because of comically intended violence, frequent sexual innuendo, crude references, rude gestures and a few instances of profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents are strongly cautioned that some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me" is a mindless sequel to the '97 spoof in which the swinging British secret agent (played by Mike Myers) time travels back to the '60s to recover his libido and joins forces with a comely CIA agent (Heather Graham) to again save the world from the wacky machinations of a madman and his miniature clone. Silly shenanigans alternate with gross toilet humor and lame sexual innuendo for a mixed bag of goofy, truly tasteless entertainment.
8. SUMMER OF SAM $7.8 million in first week
Because of numerous rough sexual encounters including a bisexual orgy with nudity, intermittent gory violence,
recreational drug use, some profanity and incessant rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. A serial killer who terrorized 1977 New York City forms the backdrop for "Summer of Sam", about a druggy hairdresser (played by John Leguizamo) who compulsively cheats on his wife (Mira Sorvino) and whose macho buddies convince him that his sleazy punk rocker pal (Adrien Brody) may be the killer dubbed Son of Sam by the frenzied tabloid media. The shrill drama exaggerates ethnic stereotypes to almost comic, and very inappropriate, effect while assaulting viewers with a barrage of hostility, perversity and prejudice.
9. NOTTING HILL
$5.1 million last week/ $97.9 million in six weeks:
Because of an off-screen sexual encounter, some crude references,
occasional profanity and minimal rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference
classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13
-- parents are strongly cautioned that some material may be inappropriate for children
under 13. "Notting Hill" is a gauzy romantic comedy in which a Hollywood movie star
(played by Julia Roberts) and a timid London bookseller (Hugh Grant) fall in love but he
finds himself too intimidated by her fame to pursue the relationship. The contrived
crowd-pleaser is long on stunning smiles and sugary sentiment but short on realistic
romance. May-June 1999.
10. AN IDEAL HUSBAND $3.4 million last week/ $5.5 million in three weeks
Because of fleeting nudity and sexual innuendo plus references to fraud and deceitful behavior, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents are strongly cautioned that some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. "An Ideal Husband", Oscar Wilde's 1895 drawing-room comedy of manners, finds a rising London politician (Jeremy Northam) in danger of losing his career and adored wife (Cate Blanchett) unless a spoiled bachelor ally (Rupert Everett) can outwit a blackmailing femme fatale (Julianne Moore). The streamlined adaptation is visually and verbally elegant with an able ensemble cast skewering the era's social pretensions.
July 9-18, 1999 volume 10, no. 132 DAILY CATHOLIC