TV film fare -- week of Nov. 7, 2021
NEW YORK (CNS) -- The following are capsule reviews of theatrical movies on network and cable television the week of Nov. 7. Please note that televised versions may or may not be edited for language, nudity, violence and sexual situations.
Sunday, Nov. 7, 6-8 p.m. EST (TCM) "The Subject Was Roses" (1968). Fine drama about a Bronx Irish family's domestic crisis succeeds far beyond the limitations of its basically one-set story. Starring Patricia Neal and Jack Albertson as the parents, and Martin Sheen as their serviceman son, the movie probes the love and hate that alternately bind the three together and tear them apart. Adapted from Frank Gilroy's Broadway drama, the movie contains intimate touches of family life, its joys and its frustrations, and is masterful in its revelation of human nature, jealousy and love. Mature themes. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association rating was G -- general audiences. All Ages Admitted.
Tuesday, Nov. 9, 6:15-8 p.m. EST (TCM) "Challenge to Lassie" (1949). After an aged sheepherder (Donald Crisp) is killed by robbers in 1860 Edinburgh, the dog he had trained from a pup overcomes all manner of obstacles to keep vigil beside her master's grave each night. Directed by Richard Thorpe, the fact-based story of a dog's steadfast loyalty is prime fare for youngsters, though older viewers may be more interested in the legal conflict between Lassie's defender (Edmund Gwenn) and the town magistrate (Alan Napier). Engaging family fare. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-I -- general patronage. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association.
Thursday, Nov. 11, 8-10 p.m. EST (Showtime) "Mr. Brooks" (2007). Sleekly shot thriller in which a daytime executive/nighttime serial killer (a subtle Kevin Costner), being blackmailed by a blood-lusting photographer (Dane Cook), suspects his own daughter (Danielle Panabaker) of homicidal tendencies while a gritty police detective (Demi Moore) doggedly seeks to nail the guilty party. Co-writer and director Bruce A. Evans fashions a trashy but chilling melodrama enhanced by William Hurt's sly performance as the serial killer's satanic alter ego, determined to control the conscience-stricken killer. A repeated sex scene with full female nudity, some gory violence, suicide, occasional profanity and recurring rough language. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was L -- limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. The Motion Picture Association rating was R -- restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.
Saturday, Nov. 13, 8-9:30 p.m. EST (HBO) "Boogie" (2021). Streetwise and sullen sports drama in which the aspirations of a New York City high school basketball star (newcomer Taylor Takahashi) to gain a college scholarship and eventually join the NBA are hindered by several factors. These include his disrespect for all but one (Jorge Lendeborg Jr.) of his fellow players, his consequent refusal to be a team player, his domineering mother's (Pamelyn Chee) schemes for a quicker payout, her enmity toward his supportive but ineffectual dad (Perry Yung) and the distraction of a burgeoning romance with a classmate (Taylour Paige). Writer-director Eddie Huang, who also plays the athlete's sympathetic uncle, provides some insights into Chinese American culture and his main character's battle to overcome implicit prejudice can be applauded. But the script romanticizes the premature physicality of the central relationship, treats smoking pot as a routine activity and merely tweaks the conventions of the genre while building up to an old-fashioned climactic showdown with the protagonist's only worthy rival (rapper Bashar "Pop Smoke" Jackson). Drug use, offscreen and possibly underage premarital sexual activity, vulgar banter, at least one profanity, a couple of milder oaths, pervasive rough and much crude language. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association rating was R -- restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.
Saturday, Nov. 13, 8-9:40 p.m. EST (Cinemax) "The Tuxedo" (2002). Drawn-out fantasy in which cabbie-turned-secret-agent Jackie Chan dons a tuxedo that gives him superhero powers as he teams with a novice agent (Jennifer Love Hewitt) to thwart a water mogul's plot for world domination. Director Kevin Donovan's generally innocuous action comedy is a James Bond wannabe whose continuous choreographed fight scenes may thrill Chan fans but few others. Brief deadly violence, much comic violence and some sexual innuendo. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-II -- adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association rating was PG-13 -- parents are strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.
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Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service.