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FRI-SAT-SUN to FRI-SAT-SUN      July 9-18, 1999      SECTION FIVE       vol 10, no. 132

To print out entire text of Today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO and SECTION THREE and SECTION FOUR


Historical Events in Church Annals for July 16:

Historical Events in Church Annals for July 17:

Historical Events in Church Annals for July 18:


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
  • 2.   BIG DADDY
  • 3.   TARZAN
  • 4.   SOUTH PARK
  • 5.   THE GENERAL'S DAUGHTER
  • 6.   STAR WARS: EPISODE ONE - THE PHANTOM MENACE
      (20th Century Fox) -    $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...
      (New Line)    $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
      (Touchstone)    $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
      (Universal)   $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
      (Miramax)    $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.
    Reviews provided through Film & Broadcasting Division of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and figures provided through Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc.


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    July 9-18, 1999 volume 10, no. 132   DAILY CATHOLIC