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3/24/2012 11:14:00 AM
TV film fare - week of March 25
Catholic News Service


NEW YORK (CNS) -- The following are capsule reviews of theatrical movies on network and cable television the week of March 25. Please note that televised versions may or may not be edited for language, nudity, violence, and sexual situations.

Sunday, March 25, 4-6:15 p.m. EDT (TCM) "Going My Way" (1944). Bing Crosby ambles amiably through the role of Father O'Malley, the crooning curate sent to assist the aging, crotchety pastor (Barry Fitzgerald) of a poor parish in need of change. Director Leo McCarey's sentimental story is well-paced with humor and songs such as "Swinging on a Star," but at its sugary center is the theme of new ways replacing the old as conveyed amusingly but with feeling by the two principals. The definitive Hollywood version of Catholic life in an age of innocence, the picture retains appeal today mainly as a well-crafted vehicle of popular entertainment. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-I — general patronage. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America.

Sunday, March 25, 5:30-9 p.m. EDT (AMC) "Ray" (2004). Jamie Foxx gives a bravura performance as Ray Charles, in this superior biographical film which traces the legendary singer's life, from childhood and early blindness in rural Florida to his rise from obscure pianist to chart-topping superstar, as he battles heroin addiction and navigates his solid home life with romantic liaisons on the road. Foxx's impersonation is amazingly accurate, but the entire cast is first-rate, and Taylor Hackford's direction seamlessly melds the satisfying, often exciting, musical numbers with the solid dramatic aspects of the story, which ends on an inspirational note in 1966 with Charles conquering his drug dependence. A handful of crude and profane words, sexual innuendo, racial epithets, drug use and discreet sexual situations. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating was PG-13 — parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

Monday, March 26, 8-10 p.m. EDT (Lifetime) "Mad Money" (2008). Clever, fast-paced caper comedy about three cash-strapped women — a middle-class housewife (Diane Keaton) whose husband (Ted Danson) has just lost his job, a single mom (Queen Latifah) with two young boys to support, and a dippy but clever young woman (Katie Holmes) — who join forces to smuggle money out of the Federal Reserve Bank where they work. The time-honored conventions of heist films, and the lighthearted "Ocean's Eleven"-ish tone throughout outweigh elements that would be morally problematic if viewed from a strictly literal point of view. The stars make a surprisingly effective and appealing team, and there's assured direction from Callie Khouri. Some crude expletives, crass expressions, one use of profanity, mild sexual talk and innuendo, an implied nonmarital encounter and brief drug reference. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating was PG-13 — parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

Monday, March 26, 8-10 p.m. EDT (TCM) "Kes" (1970). British movie set in a small, drab Yorkshire coal mining town tells the story of a lonely, sullen boy (David Bradley) whose life is momentarily given meaning by his experience in raising and training a baby kestrel, a European falcon. Directed by Ken Loach, the movie is a compassionate study of the blighted conditions and brutalizing life of this youth which in its final scenes indicates the possibility of his rising above his environment. Fine experience for adults and older adolescents. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating was PG-13 — parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

Saturday, March 31, 1:30-3:30 p.m. EDT (TCM) "Stagecoach" (1939). In this Western classic, a cowboy (John Wayne) wanted by the law on trumped-up charges joins an odd assortment of passengers (Claire Trevor, Thomas Mitchell, Donald Meek, John Carradine and others) on the stage to Lordsburg in the midst of an Apache uprising. Directed by John Ford, the characters are a microcosm of frontier types, each of whom has a different reason for the journey whose dangers are played out against the majestic vistas of Monument Valley, with a brilliantly staged Indian attack and a final showdown on the streets of Lordsburg bringing the story to a rousing finish. Stylized violence. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-II -- adults and adolescents. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America.

Saturday, March 31, 10-11:45 p.m. EDT (Cinemax) "The Adjustment Bureau" (2011). Curious adaptation of Philip K. Dick's 1954 short story "Adjustment Team" in which the agents of a supernatural bureaucracy (principally Anthony Mackie, John Slattery and Terence Stamp) intervene to break up the budding relationship between a New York politician (Matt Damon) and a gifted dancer (Emily Blunt) because it runs contrary to the predetermined plan of an unnamed higher power. Writer-director George Nolfi's feature debut pitting love against fate -- or perhaps against divine providence -- will intrigue some and strike others as an uneasy attempt to blend science fiction, romance and philosophical speculation. Though this is not a film for young people, the metaphysical elements of the plot can be interpreted by mature viewers in a way that squares with Judeo-Christian faith. Complex themes, brief nongraphic premarital sexual activity, a couple of uses of profanity and rough terms, and considerable crude and crass language. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating was PG-13 -- parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.





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